Slovenia: Janša accuses MEP Sophie in ‘t Veld of censorship, demands her resignation
Slovenian Prime Minister Janez Janša urged Dutch MEP Sophie in ‘t Veld (Renew/D66) to resign as chair of the European Parliament’s democracy monitoring group. His call came after Friday’s public consultation on the situation in Slovenia and the allegations that Janša's government is censoring the media. Janša urged in ‘t Veld to step down, accusing her of irreparably damaging the reputation and credibility of the Democracy, Rule of Law and Fundamental Rights Monitoring Group. “The Slovenian government takes freedom of speech and media freedom very seriously, and therefore we do not accept censorship,” reads a letter penned to in ‘t Veld by Peter Šuhel, Janša’s...
Greece: Commissioner Johansson meets with Mitsotakis and Dendias
European Commissioner for Home Affairs Ylva Johansson wrapped up her visit to Greece by meeting with Greek Prime Minister Kyriakos Mitsotakis and Foreign Minister Nikos Dendias. During their meeting, according to information from the Greek government, Kyriakos Mitsotakis and Ylva Johansson discussed inter alia the Commission's proposal for the new Pact on Migration and Asylum. The proposal concerns tackling the immigration-refugee issue, with the first-host countries currently shouldering a disproportionate amount of the burden. The two sides agreed that substantial improvements are needed on the basis of solidarity, so that full responsibility for managing the migration issue is not buck-passed exclusively to the front-line Member...
OP/ED: Social media raise concerns following Elena Akrita’s 30-day Facebook ban
By Christos Koutsonasios * Social media undoubtedly represent a great possibility for anyone, no matter who they are, to express themselves freely. I say possibility and not reality. Strong reality and not real possibility. For the first time in the field of idea circulation, anyone can become a journalist for themselves, have a public platform, communicate their views or the views of others without commitments and promissory to economic and political agents, without being blackmailed, censored and self-censored. One can make free use of these means and be judged, criticized, confronted, evaluated, this is the quintessence of democracy in a society that wants and claims...
EU-US co-operation in support of Albania stronger than ever
Co-operation between the United States and the European Union in supporting Albania is stronger than ever, Kim and Soreca said. The Ambassador of the United States of America to Albania, Yuri Kim, met on Monday with the Head of the European Union Delegation in Tirana, Ambassador Luigi Soreca. Kim said there are many challenges ahead, such as the implementation of Justice Reform, the April 25 election, and Albania's EU accession. However, Kim stressed that they agree that the cooperation of the United States of America and the European Union in supporting Albania is stronger than ever. https://twitter.com/USAmbAlbania/status/1376573522584211467?ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw%7Ctwcamp%5Etweetembed%7Ctwterm%5E1376573522584211467%7Ctwgr%5E%7Ctwcon%5Es1_&ref_url=https%3A%2F%2Fibna.gr%2Fnews%2F2021%2F03%2F38119%2F "Many challenges lie ahead - Implementation of Justice...
North Macedonia: Zaev and Mickoski decide to push back census to September
At the Parliamentary Group in Skopje, North Macedonian Prime Minister and SDSM President Zoran Zaev discussed with VMRO-DPMNE leader Hristijan Mickoski the upcoming census, the work of the Assembly, the elections, the pandemic, the economy and European integration. The two men held an hours-long private meeting in the Parliamentary Group, which concluded with compromise statements and an agreement to postpone the census, which will take place in September. North Macedonian Prime Minister Zoran Zaev, in a statement to the media after his meeting with VMRO-DPMNE President Hristijan Mickoski, noted that the topics discussed at the meeting were the census, COVID-19 vaccination, the Electoral Code and promoting...
Latest publication by Slovenian IFIMES rekindles tensions between Bulgaria and North Macedonia
Five days after a scandal erupted following a publication by the Slovenian IFIMES institute which referred to Bulgaria and Germany as "mafia states interested in Nazism," late last night the government of North Macedonia issued a statement following the Bulgarian Ministry of Foreign Affairs' call on the Deputy Ambassador to provide explanations. In its response, the Government of North Macedonia notes that it considers it "inappropriate to summon our Deputy Ambassador to Sofia, Vladimir Krtsevski, for explanations to the Bulgarian Ministry of Foreign Affairs for views expressed by a third party, in an analysis that is in now way connected to the government and which...
Montenegro: Statement on Srebrenica genocide sparks international outcry
The Embassy of the United States in Montenegro, the European Union, British Ambassadors to Montenegro and Bosnia and Herzegovina, along with many other representatives of the international community expressed concern over the statements of Montenegrin Minister of Justice Vladimir Leposavić regarding the events in Srebrenica in July 1995. On Friday, Montenegro’s Justice Minister Vladimir Leposavić said he was prepared to recognize that genocide was committed in Srebrenica, “once this is proven unequivocally.” Despite being an accredited international law expert, he claims the International Criminal Tribunal for the Former Yugoslavia, which in several verdicts ruled that a genocide did take place in Srebrenica, has “lost its...
Croatia: Milanović facing calls for his dismissal as quarrels with political figures continue
Following Croatian President Zoran Milanović’s numerous clashes with almost all political institutions in Croatia in the last couple of days, top-tier representative of the Croatian Democratic Union (HDZ) Vladimir Šeks hinted that it was time to consider the President's dismissal. On Friday, quoting the Italian film “The Good, the Bad and the Ugly”, Milanović described Prime Minister Andrej Plenković as “ugly”, Independent Democratic Serb Party leader Milorad Pupovac as “dirty”, and parliamentary speaker Gordan Jandroković as “bad”. Pupovac said that Milanović had told him by telephone that the other parliamentary representatives of the ethnic minorities should vote for Zlata Đurđević, his candidate for Supreme Court...
Kosovo: The first shipment of AstraZeneca vaccines from the COVAX program arrived on Sunday
AstraZeneca's first shipment of COVID-19 vaccines arrived in Kosovo on Sunday afternoon and vaccination will begin in the coming days. Kosovo has received 24,000 doses of the AstraZeneca vaccine through the COVAX program and authorities will initially start vaccinating health workers and the vulnerable population. Kosovo Prime Minister Albin Kurti has said the arrival of the first batch of vaccines will save lives. "This is a small shipment, but it gives our country a lot of hope that we will be able to save lives, especially of medical staff and vulnerable people", Kurti told media at Pristina Airport where himself and Health Minister Arben Vitia...
Serbia: European Parliament adopts progress report
The European Parliament on Thursday approved a progress report on Serbia underlining that normalization of relations between Belgrade and Pristina and respect for the country's fundamental rights are crucial in setting the pace of accession negotiations. The report calls on Serbia to achieve concrete results in justice, media freedom and the fight against corruption, welcoming economic indicators and participation in regional co-operation. The report also acknowledged Serbia's progress in developing a functioning market economy, and encouraged the Serbian government to continue implementing structural reforms in this area, according to a statement posted on the European Parliament's website. In addition, the report welcomes the fact that...