International Information Centre for Balkan Studies

Croatian county among Europe’s worst hit in pandemic

April 15, 2021

Croatia's northern Varazdin County is among Europe's most affected regions in terms of coronavirus cases, with the seven-day incidence of 500 cases per 100,000 population, the head of the county coronavirus task force, Robert Vugrin, said on Thursday.

Vugrin visited a vaccination point in a high school in the town of Varazdin on Thursday morning, where 1,500 people were expected to get vaccinated during the day.

Vugrin said that there had been 145 new cases confirmed in the county over the past 24 hours and warned about the increase in the number of new cases after Easter. In two weeks since 1 April, the seven-day incidence went from 250 to 500 per 100,000 people.

The numbers of people needing hospital care also rose, with 132 patients currently housed at the Varazdin General Hospital, including 19 on ventilators.

However, death rates dropped compared to November and December 2020, with 15 fatalities in March and 19 so far in April, he said.

Source:  https://rs.n1info.com/english/croatian-county-among-europes-worst-hit-in-pandemic/

Bosnia's FBiH entity to join Sarajevo Canton's vaccine procurement efforts

April 15, 2021

The Government of Bosnia’s Federation (FBiH) entity has approved an agreement with the Government of Sarajevo Canton on the implementation of a vaccine procurement agreement with the Russian Direct Investment Fund and authorized the FBiH Prime Minister to sign it.

“Given that the position of an independent negotiator would put the Sarajevo Canton at a disadvantage among producers compared to negotiators who require a larger amount of vaccines, which would directly affect the price per dose and waiting time for delivery, the Cantonal Prime Minister expressed interest and a requested the participation of the Government of FBiH in these activities,” a statement from the FBiH Government said.

 The FBiH Government also request from Public Health Institute to take over a “proactive role” in the procurement procedure, saying the institution is obliged to “solve organizational-technical, personnel and other preconditions necessary for successful and proactive management of activities on the selection of sources of procurement, implementation of legal procedures, operational-technological preconditions for import and distribution of vaccines.”

“In case the implementation of these activities requires the adoption of decisions of the FBiH Government, the Institute must promptly address it with a proposal for their adoption,” it said.

Source:  https://ba.n1info.com/english/news/bosnias-fbih-entity-to-join-sarajevo-cantons-vaccine-procurement-efforts/

Bosnian city of Banja Luka decides masks no longer necessary outdoors

April 15, 2021

The Banja Luka City Headquarters for Emergency Situations decided Thursday that face masks are not obligatory outdoors, but the citizens were recommended to adhere to the prescribed epidemiological measures in accordance with the situation, so as to protect their own health, Anadolu news agency reported.

“It was stated, during today's session, that the current epidemiological situation in Banja Luka is still unfavorable, but that there has been a slight decline in the number of infected people on a daily basis,” the statement said.

According to the Banja Luka HQ, it was decided that public gatherings of up to 30 people are allowed in the city, as envisaged by the measures of the Republika Srpska (RS) entity Emergency HQ for the territory of this entity.

Due to the unfavorable epidemiological situation, the Banja Luka HQ previously adopted measures that are stricter in relation to the measures adopted by the RS HQ.

Source: https://ba.n1info.com/english/news/bosnian-city-of-banja-luka-decides-masks-no-lnoger-necessary-outdoors/

Grlic-Radman says Croatia supports BiH's EU membership because of stability

April 15, 2021

Croatia wants to see Bosnia and Herzegovina as a future member of the European Union because that is the only way to ensure stability in this area, and Bosnia and Herzegovina will have all our support, Croatian Foreign Minister Gordan Grlic-Radman said on Thursday.

“Bosnia and Herzegovina is our most important neighbor, a country with which we share 1,100 kilometers of border, a country made up of two entities, three equal peoples, including Croats, and it is our constitutional and moral obligation to help Bosnia and Herzegovina on its European path,” Grlic-Radman said in Kresevo at the end of his two-day visit to Bosnia and Herzegovina.

He visited the Franciscan monastery and a museum co-financed by the Croatian government, which should open soon.

“We want to help all areas of the life of Croats in this place, where Croats make up more than 80% of the population so that they would stay in this area, especially young people,” Grlić Radman said.

Together with HDZ BiH party leader Dragan Covic, he visited the plants owned by the Stanić family, noting that these modern production facilities prove that it is possible to live and invest there.

Source:  https://ba.n1info.com/english/news/grlic-radman-says-croatia-supports-bihs-eu-membership-because-of-stability/

EU Delegation: Strong support to Bosnia's EU path

April 15, 2021

The EU is unequivocally committed to the sovereignty, unity and territorial integrity of Bosnia and Herzegovina. This has been repeated many times and this is our firm and unchanged position, the EU Delegation said Thursday.

The statement noted that the European Union and its member states are fully and firmly support Bosnia and Herzegovina’s EU perspective.

“Bosnia and Herzegovina should take advantage of 2021 as a non-election year to accelerate reforms as identified in the 14 key priorities of the European Commission in order to advance on the EU path. We will continue to support those efforts,” the statement said.

Source:  https://ba.n1info.com/english/news/eu-delegation-strong-support-to-bosnias-eu-path/

OHR: The time for ideas from alleged non-paper has passed

April 15, 2021

The time for redrawing of borders in the Western Balkans has passed and the international community's position on Bosnia as a united and sovereign country is clear, the High Representative in BiH Valentin Inzko told N1 following the news of an alleged non-paper sent to EU diplomatic circles.

“According to [Lord] Paddy Ashdown [the former High Representative in BiH], the then President of the Republic of Croatia, Dr Franjo Tudjman, ‘revealed’ his policy towards Bosnia and Herzegovina to him personally in London on May 6, 1995, on the occasion of the 50th anniversary of the victory over fascism. Then, at the urging of Paddy Ashdown, whom he met for the first time in his life, President Tudjman drew a famous ‘napkin’ in which his aspirations for Bosnia and Herzegovina were explicitly outlined.

And in 1996, Momcilo Krajisnik handed me a finely made geographical map at Pale (a Sarajevo neighbourhood), according to which BiH would give up Neum, and Croatia would be formed from ‘one piece’. In return, Bosnia and Herzegovina would get a parcel of approx. 20 kilometres, south of Dubrovnik, on the Montenegrin border. The novelty was in another detail. Half of the coast would belong to the Republika Srpska entity. I keep that map somewhere in Austria.

However, the time for redrawing borders has passed. The Peace Implementation Council’s (PIC) Steering Board has repeatedly reaffirmed its unquestionable commitment to the territorial integrity and fundamental structure of BiH as a single, sovereign state consisting of two entities. The Dayton Peace Agreement does not offer the possibility of state disintegration and in this regard, the OHR's position remains clear and unchanged. Therefore, the public and political discourse in BiH is best focused on how to accelerate reforms in order to improve people's daily lives and improve BiH's path to EU integration,” High Representative Valentin Inzko told N1 commenting on the alleged document sent to the seat of the EU in how to disintegrate Bosnia and Herzegovina.

Slovenian online media outlet necenzurirano.si has published a document which they claim is the non-paper on the Western Balkans, allegedly sent by Slovenian Prime Minister Janez Jansa to Brussels, which sparked strong reactions in Bosnia and Herzegovina as parts of the document speak about redrawing of the country's borders.

Speaking to N1, the Slovenian journalist who wrote the article which provoked fierce reactions throughout the region and Europe, Primoz Cirman said that the public in Slovenia was shocked and wondered if it was even possible for their country to get involved in something like this. But he added that it is certain that the Slovenian government distributed it.

Source:  https://ba.n1info.com/english/news/ohr-the-time-for-redrawing-of-bih-borders-has-passed/

Former Slovenian MEP: Ideas on redrawing borders in WB must be rejected

April 15, 2021

Ideas on redrawing borders in the Western Balkans and annexing parts of Bosnia to neighboring countries must promptly be rejected to avoid a risk of possible conflicts, former European Parliament member, Igor Soltes, told N1, commenting on an alleged non-paper which Slovanian media said the country’s PM sent to Brussels.

The document, published by necenzurirano.si on Thursday, proposes Kosovo to join Albania and parts the Serb dominated part of Bosnia and Herzegovina to be included in Serbia and the country’s mostly Croat-populated parts to be annexed to Croatia.

It is not clear who drafted the document but according to some officials, it is an idea that is circulating among some EU members.

Slovenian PM, Janez Jansa, denied that he sent such a document.

“Any change of borders or unification represents a great danger and leads to the risk that the latent situation turns into a dangerous game,” Soltes told N1, adding that he hopes “we are wise enough and have enough knowledge of history to know what such initiatives lead to.”

“For that reason, we need to be very careful and react promptly,” he said.

“When I was in the European Parliament, there were initiatives to change borders and initiatives to resolve border issues and agreements like the one on Belgrade-Pristina, and then it was clear that there must be no changes in territories, and the situation in Bosnia was cited as an example,” he explained.

Soltes stressed that the official position of Slovenia is that it always supported efforts to bring the Western Balkans closer to European integration and that his country has offered Bosnia help with that through various projects.

Soltes also commented on the 1995 Dayton Peace Agreement, which ended the Bosnian war and contains the country’s Constitution, arguing that it is completely up to the citizens of BiH to decide on its fate.

However, he stressed that ideas such as those in the controversial alleged non-paper must be rejected because they “open up huge problems and there is a great risk that new conflicts might occur, which is not in the interest of BiH.”

Bosnia must have a common position, at least when it comes to foreign policy, he said, adding that when there is internal discord, there is a lot of room for various manipulations, so all efforts should be made to at least reach a consensus on key issues.

Source:  https://ba.n1info.com/english/news/former-slovenian-mep-ideas-on-redrawing-borders-in-wb-must-be-rejected/

Slovenian journalist: There are three non-papers regarding Bosnia

April 15, 2021

Slovenian journalist from the local necenzurirano.si portal, Primoz Cirman, whose article on non-paper containing the redrawing of borders in the Balkans provoked fierce reactions throughout the region and Europe, told N1 that the public in Slovenia was shocked and wondered if it was even possible for their country to get involved in something like this. But he added that it is certain that the Slovenian government distributed it.

He noted that this non-paper is not Slovenia’s official position and that the public does not believe that it was created in their country, but that Slovenia did participate in its distribution.

“We don't know if it was created in Ljubljana, Budapest or Belgrade, but we know that the Slovenian government has distributed it to various channels in recent months. The Slovenian Ministry is not the author, but Prime Minister Janez Jansa's cabinet took part in the distribution. According to our sources, we believe that the document is from the beginning of this year. If you followed the development of events, this document was already in diplomatic circles in March who checked whether the ideas from the document could be fulfilled or not,” Cirman told N1.

When asked who could be the creators of this document, Cirman answered: “The Serbian-Croatian-Albanian national question is mentioned in non-paper. These are phrases that are used by well known local politicians. We don’t believe that Slovenia would write something like that. We know what the reactions were in Slovenia. No one has publicly denied the existence of the document. Janez Jansa said that he couldn’t have deliver it to Mr. Michel because he hadn’t seen him in several months. So there are ideas that it may have been written in Belgrade, maybe in Zagreb, maybe in Budapest. We can't see who the author is.”

The Slovenes were amazed that something like this was happening and that, Slovenia got involved in such a story, he said, considering that it has always supported the united BiH.

He also emphasizes that they discovered more documents.

“Yesterday, Slovenian Minister of Foreign Affairs, Anze Logar, threw a smoke bomb at the parliamentary committee, where he was asked about this document. He exposed another non-paper written in Croatia, and Slovenia acceded to the document. According to our information, there are three non-papers on BiH in which Slovenia also participates in different ways,” said Cirman.

After he published the text, numerous reactions followed, considering that the story includes 5-6 countries and, as Cirman says, it opened some old wounds.

“This non-paper takes Slovenia back 30 years because it seceded from Yugoslavia in 1991 and has always, as we say here, been on the right side of history. But with this non-paper, Slovenia protects the interests of people whose ideologies led to the wars in Yugoslavia, and that is something that is shocking for the Slovenian public. From the Slovenian point of view, it is difficult to accept that something like this is even possible. That we, as a state, took part in nationalist plans that speak of greater countries in the Balkans,” he told N1.

The Slovenian journalist said he believes Slovenia’s formal foreign policy will be in line with the EU’s interests which are a united BiH.

“With this non-paper and with the Croatian non-paper, Slovenia has now aligned itself with the countries with which it didn’t want to have some particularly close relations like the Hungarians, we are also talking about the Serbian national interest… Nobody is talking about the European idea of peace, a peaceful solution. There’s talk of some division here and this is the rhetoric we heard in the late 1980s. BiH has always been a friendly country with Slovenia and we think that this will lead to a deterioration of relations,” Cirman concluded.

Source:  https://ba.n1info.com/english/news/slovenian-journalist-there-are-three-non-papers-regarding-bosnia/

Croatian FM: Nobody in the EU advocates for disintegration of BiH

April 15, 2021

No one in the European Union advocates the disintegration of Bosnia and Herzegovina and everyone, including Croatia, wants to help the country's integration into the Union as soon as possible, Croatia's Foreign and European Affairs Minister Gordan Grlic Radman said in Sarajevo on Thursday.

At the end of his two-day official visit to that country, Grlic Radman met separately for talks with Prime Minister Zoran Tegeltija, and senior parliamentary officials, Democratic Action Party (SDA) leader Bakir Izetbegovic, who chairs the House of Peoples, and Croatian Democratic Union (HDZ BiH) leader Dragan Covic, who is Izetbegovic's deputy in the house.

After the talks, Grlic Radman told reporters that the agenda included a non-paper that Croatia had previously sent to the EU Foreign Affairs Council aimed at accelerating BiH's EU integration.

The talks on the document proved that Croatia respects BiH and wishes to open room for the non-paper to be improved and thus make the debate that will most likely be held in the EU Foreign Affairs Council in May, more productive.

Grlic Radman underscored that Croatia's position in relation to BiH is clear and that it fully recognises BiH as a country comprised of two entities and three constituent and equal peoples.

“We strongly support the need to amend the election law and remove any inequalities that exist,” said Grlic Radman, adding that the BiH officials agreed that the election law has to be changed and cooperation within the country improved.

EU fully respects BiH's territorial integrity and sovereignty

Asked whether it was true or not that some EU countries support the idea of a “peaceful breakup” of BiH, Grlic Radman explicitly said that something like that certainly does not exist in the EU.

“The entire EU and all of its member states respect international law, just like Croatia, which means the territorial integrity and sovereignty of BiH as a state,” said Grlic Radman, adding that any other claims are mere speculation.

He said that the EU's policy is focused on an affirmative approach to BiH, which is contained in Croatia's non-paper. He added that Croatia is and remains BiH's advocate in the EU structures and that it wants that country to be more strongly represented in talks within various bodies in the Union.

“We can do a lot here to help,” said Grlic Radman.

Before the talks with the representatives of the executive and legislative authorities, Grlic Radman met separately with US Ambassador Eric Nelson and the head of the EU Delegation, Johann Sattler.

Both officials later tweeted that they dedicate special attention to changes to the election law in BiH and that that was an important topic of discussion with Croatia's foreign minister.

Sattler recalled that the Union's opinion as a roadmap provides BiH with a chance to move forward and hold “freer & fairer elections in 2022.”

Grlic Radman then visited Kresevo with a population of almost 5,000 residents, 80% of whom are Croats.

Source:  https://ba.n1info.com/english/news/croatian-fm-nobody-in-the-eu-advocates-for-disintegration-of-bih/

Tanja Fajon: Ideas contained in alleged non-paper on WB are dangerous

April 15, 2021

The ideas contained in a document which Slovenian media said the country’s Prime Minister sent to Brussels, proposing the redrawing of borders in the Western Balkans which would include annexing parts of Bosnia to its neighbouring countries, are a product of “dangerous politics,” Slovenian member of the European Parliament, Tanja Fajon, said on Thursday.

The document on the Western Balkans allegedly proposes Kosovo to join Albania and parts the Serb dominated part of Bosnia and Herzegovina to be included in Serbia and the country’s mostly Croat-populated parts to be annexed to Croatia.

It is not clear who drafted the document.

Fajon said that ideas of redrawing borders in the region are “concerning.”

“At a time when a policy of community needs to be promoted, statements of divisions are very dangerous,” she said.

“The idea of redrawing the borders in BiH, which paid a high price, is dangerous. The Dayton Accords ended every military conflict and every problem should be resolved through dialogue,” she stressed.

She called ideas of the dissolution of Bosnia a product of “very dangerous politics” and urged the Slovenian Prime Minister to comment on the alleged non-paper.

“We have to agree and solve problems together, not to talk about separation,” she said.

Source:  https://ba.n1info.com/english/news/tanja-fajon-ideas-contained-in-alleged-non-paper-on-wb-are-dangerous/

BiH politicians divided over alleged Slovenian non-paper on Western Balkans

April 15, 2021

A non-paper allegedly sent by Slovenian Prime Minister Janez Jansa to Brussels, proposing the redrawing of borders in the Western Balkans which would include annexing parts of Bosnia to its neighbouring countries, has prompted condemnation in Sarajevo after online media outlet necenzurirano.si published its content on Thursday.

The document on the Western Balkans allegedly proposes Kosovo to join Albania and parts the Serb dominated part of Bosnia and Herzegovina to be included in Serbia and the country’s mostly Croat-populated parts to be annexed to Croatia.

It is not clear who drafted the document but according to some officials, it is an idea that is circulating among some EU members.

Not a new idea

But officials in Sarajevo argued that this idea is exactly what prompted the 1992-95 Bosnian war and would do the same again if pursued.

The Croat member of Bosnia's tripartite Presidency, Zeljko Komsic, said that the document implies that Bosnia and Herzegovina would no longer exist.

“They are proposing an option that was offered to us even before the war began, and it was offered during the war as well,” Komsic said.

The paper is motivated by “anti-Islamism and anti-Semitism,” which is “the real evil we need to talk about here,” Komsic explained.

He pointed out that it was dangerous that “extreme fascism” and nationalism have prevailed in some European countries.

“Of course it is more dangerous now than it was before because it grabbed all the instruments of power. We can no longer talk about a moderate Christian right, we are now facing something that is terribly reminiscent of the World War II period and it is happening under the roof of that European house. It seems that these ‘European friends’ have very quickly forgotten the historical experience of Hitler,” he said.

Komsic said that Croatia had drafted a similar paper which was not this harsh but that it was essentially seeking a division of BiH based on ethnicity.

Komsic’s Bosniak colleague in the Presidency, Sefik Dzaferovic, said clearly that the ideas proposed by the non-papers are “leading BiH and the entire region toward a war,” which he said he will not allow.

“We will not allow the territorial integrity, independence and sovereignty of BiH to be attacked at any price. Everyone must be aware of that. Everyone who does that is dragging BiH, the region and Europe into war. That, I think, does not suit anyone,” said Dzaferovic.

He reminded that throughout history empires that tried to wipe out Bosnia and Herzegovina, in the end, all fell apart themselves.

“I call on all these retrograde forces in BiH and in the BiH neighbourhood, Europe and the world. History is the teacher of life. Let them finally learn something from history. Empires came, fell, passed, BiH remained and survived,” he said, declaring that Bosnians who love their country will fight against these attacks and count on the help of the civilized world because if ideas like these prevail, “then there is no future for the world.”

Bosnia’s future, he said, is in NATO, the EU as a sovereign, democratic country.

Commenting on the document, Bosnia’s Foreign Minister, Bisera Turkovic, said that someone was trying to open “Pandora's box, destabilize the situation in the Western Balkans.”

“For a long time now, as BiH, we have been fighting in international circles with malignant propaganda and a kind of hybrid war against the Euro-Atlantic interests of BiH and its citizens. I see all this in that context,” Turkovic said.

Dodik: Dissolution of Bosnia should remain an option, but not through war

However, the Chairman of the three-member Presidency of Bosnia and Herzegovina, Serb representative Milorad Dodik, who is visiting Belgrade to accept another donation of vaccines from Serbia, said that the idea of a peaceful breakup in BiH is not new and it exists as a consequence of the fact that the country can not function with the current setup.

He said he will keep coming to Belgrade to persuade President Aleksandar Vucic to accept such a concept.

“Regardless of the fact that I understand the way he views regional and other relations and that Serbia has international obligations, I certainly think that the option of a peaceful separation should be put as one of the relevant options in the future,” he said.

Dodik said his concept is a peaceful separation, not a war, but added that his colleagues in the Presidency obviously favour bombing as a way to separate Kosovo from Serbia and that “for them, a peaceful separation is a terrible thing.”

He pointed out that the two are trying to stop any conversation about a peaceful separation as they advocate a unitary country dominated by Muslims.

“So a peaceful breakup should be put as one of the options that should be one of the more important things to be discussed. And whether it will be peaceful or something violent does not depend on us,” but rather on big powers.

Dodik said he is against war and doesn’t want to put Serbs anywhere near a war solution.

“But I will be persistent in insisting that BiH cannot succeed if there is no basic agreement on anything,” he said.

The Dayton Peace Agreement that ended the war was brokered by an ideology of a great liberal order in the world, which believed that peoples who fought against each other could reconcile.

Serbia’s President, Aleksandar Vucic, said he does not know of any initiative based on the document.

“I have no idea what this is about,” Vucic said.

“We respect the integrity and sovereignty of BiH, both the institutional sovereignty of BiH and the institutional sovereignty of the entities,” he stressed.

“We are interested in economic development, progress, to help our own, but also other nations,” he argued.

Source:  https://ba.n1info.com/english/news/bih-politicians-divided-over-alleged-slovenian-non-paper-on-western-balkans/

Alleged non-paper on WB leaks out: Merging of RS and Serbia, Kosovo and Albania

April 15, 2021

Slovenian online media outlet necenzurirano.si has published a document which they claim is the non-paper on the Western Balkans, allegedly sent by Slovenian Prime Minister Janez Jansa to Brussels, which sparked strong reactions in Bosnia and Herzegovina as parts of the document speak about redrawing of the country's borders.

The introductory part of the document published by the Slovenian outlet, for which they claim is the document that Jansa sent to European Council President Charles Michel, reads that the main issue of the Western Balkan region is the “unresolved national issues of Serbs, Albanians and Croatians.”

The key issues remain unresolved years later, says the document, even after the post-conflict peace that was established in the region with the efforts of the EU and NATO, and after two countries – North Macedonia and Montenegro made progress on its EU path.

“Based on the existing methods and rhythm of problem-solving, it is difficult to imagine the European perspective of Serbia and Kosovo, EU membership for Bosnia and Herzegovina is fully excluded,” reads the paper, which stresses that nobody is satisfied with the situation in BiH apart from few local politicians and Turkey, which takes advantage of “this empty period” by enhancing its influence in BiH.

The document offers a few solutions as well as suggestions on how to implement them.

It first mentions the unification of Kosovo and Albania, which Serbia would support if larger parts of Bosnia’s Serb-dominated region Republika Srpska are merged with Serbia. Also, it suggests the national issue of Croats would be solved if predominantly Croat cantons in BiH are merged with Croatia or “by granting a special status” to the Croat part of Bosnia and Herzegovina (using South Tyrol as a model).

“Bosniaks will thus gain an independently functioning state and assume full responsibility for it. A referendum is organised for the people to choose between the EU and a non-EU (Turkey) future. For the time being, a convincing majority of Bosniaks supports the EU perspective but, in the case of the continuation of the chaos and an increasingly stronger influence of Turkey and radical Islam, the situation can drastically deteriorate over the next decade,” reads the document.

According to this paper, some steps to achieve these goals are already underway and they include checking the possibilities to implement the plan with international and regional decision-makers.

“If the EU, the United States and the majority of the regional decision-makers agree with the plan and steps for its implementation, the EU seizes the initiative and formalises it,” it added.

The initial information about the alleged document was published by the Bosnian media outlet politicki.ba. It did not unveil the alleged non-paper’s content but said it was about redrawing of borders in the Western Balkans and “finishing the fall of Yugoslavia.” The information sparked reactions and prompted Bosnia Presidency member Zeljko Komsic to summon Slovenia’s Ambassador to BiH Zorica Bukinac for a meeting. She denied the allegations, saying that the policy of the Republic of Slovenia towards BiH has not changed and that her country supports Bosnia’s European path.

European Commission spokesperson also denied being aware of such document, stressing that European Union’s position on the Western Balkans and borders in the region is clear – “there is nothing to be changed on that.”

The agenda of any meetings between North Macedonia’s President Stevo Pendarovski and his Slovenian counterpart Borut Pahor did not include a possibility of border changes in the Balkans, Pendarovski’s office said in a statement on Thursday. Their last meeting when during Pahor’s visit to Skopje last September.

Source:  https://rs.n1info.com/english/alleged-non-paper-on-wb-leaked-merging-of-rs-and-serbia-kosovo-and-albania/

FM Turkovic: Bosnia's territorial integrity unquestionable

April 15, 2021

The territorial integrity of Bosnia and Herzegovina is unquestionable and “no one serious in European Union” would adopt the idea of jeopardising someone's integrity, Bosnian Foreign Minister Bisera Turkovic said commenting on the alleged non-paper document that, according to media, speaks about redrawing of borders in the Western Balkans and which Slovenian Prime Minister Janez Jansa sent to Brussels.

“It all has an apparent goal of opening Pandora's box, destabilise the situation in the Western Balkans. I suppose that some believe they could achieve their wartime goals in such circumstances,” said Turkovic.

“We have been fighting as Bosnia and Herzegovina for quite some time in the international circles against malignant propaganda and sort of a hybrid war against Euro-Atlantic integration of BiH and citizens. I am seeing this entire situation in this context,” she added.

Some media outlets recently reported that Jansa handed over a non-paper document to European Council President Charles Michel, which allegedly suggests ideas of redrawing of borders in the region and reads that “finishing the fall of Yugoslavia” is one of the priorities.

Jansa dismissed such allegations, stressing that Slovenia is “seriously seeking for solutions towards the development of the region and the EU perspective of the Western Balkan countries” and that such claims are “trying to prevent such goals.”

The media headlines prompted Bosnia Presidency member Komsic to summon the Ambassador of Slovenia to BiH Zorica Bukinac for a meeting. She also denied the allegations, saying that the policy of the Republic of Slovenia towards BiH has not changed and that her country supports Bosnia's European path.

European Commission spokesperson also denied being aware of such document, stressing that European Union's position on the Western Balkans and borders in the region is clear – “there is nothing to be changed on that.”

Source:  https://ba.n1info.com/english/news/fm-turkovic-bosnias-territorial-integrity-unquestionable/

Serbia’s lawyer can’t be judge after telling N1 state emergency was illegal

April 15, 2021

The deputy Ombudsman in Serbia's central town of Kraljevo Ivan Petrovic, who had earlier told N1 the state of emergency introduced last year amid the coronavirus epidemic was an unconstitutional move, could not be elected judge since "sick and conflicting persons" could not take judicial office according to the head of town's authorities opinion sent to the Commission for Election of Judges.

She suggested to the Commission to demand Petrovic’s medical record. She mentioned his statement to N1 about the legality of the state of emergency, which was declared without the Parliament decision since the body did not work due to the epidemic.

Petrovic had access to Jelena Becic’s opinion after he applied for the post of judge.

„He, as a deputy Ombudsman, had recently talked to N1 TV and said the introduction of the state of emergency was unconstitutional. He asked for the assessment of the constitutionality of that decision, and the public knows the outcome. I suggest that you obtain his medical record from the respective institution. I think that the conflict and sick persons cannot be worthy of judicial office (by this, I don’t think about the concrete name), Bekcic wrote to the Commission.

Petrovic told N1 on Thursday he would sue Bekcic for office abuse adding she prevented him from applying for a judge at the Kraljevo Basic Court and insulted him.

He added that Bekcic was not even supposed to give an opinion since that was the town’s hall and its Commission’s job.

Petrovic believes it’s her revenge for his criticism of her, as he said, illegal work.

He added the police had been violating the „mental and private peace of his relatives“ at the address registered as his residence.

Petrovic added he saw Bekcic’s request to the police to check if he was fictitiously registered at the address.

Bekcic failed to answer N1’s questions about her attitude toward Petrovic and whether she had any evidence based on which she asked for his medical record and did she think her act was discriminatory.

Source:  https://rs.n1info.com/english/news/serbias-lawyer-cant-be-judge-after-telling-n1-state-emergency-was-illegal/

Vucic to Quinta envoys and EU: I’m sure Serbia can move faster towards EU

April 15, 2021

Serbia's President Aleksandar Vucic said on Thursday his country could accelerate its approach to the European Union "in a period ahead of us."

He published on his Instagram profile that he had „good and open talks with the ambassadors of the Quinta countries in Serbia and the head of the EU Delegation (US’Antony Godfrey, UK’s Sian MacLeod, France’s Jean-Louis Falconi, Italy’s Carlo Lo Cascio, charge d’affaires at the German Embassy a.i. Dorotea Gizelman and Sem Fabrizi) about all important issues related to Serbia and its future.

„An important visit to Brussels is soon. We’ll talk about all regional issues, the rule of law and our progress on the European road. I’m convinced that in a period ahead, Serbia can move forward faster,“ Vucic wrote.

Source:  https://rs.n1info.com/english/news/vucic-to-quinta-envoys-and-eu-im-sure-serbia-can-move-faster-towards-eu/

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