Slovenia : Croatia – a lose-lose game

So, we are heading towards an full-scale diplomatic war among Slovenia and Croatia. Which is a pity. If Slovenian really blocks the progress of negotiations with Croatia, this will do no good to our bilateral relations and also will not bring us closer to a solution of the dispute (background from NYT here). Let us roll-back for a moment. Continue reading

Macedonia goes to court

This is an interesting development. For those out there following the case of Macedonia (too long to call it the Former Yugoslav republic of Macedonia + countries should be allowed to call themselves as they see fit), this is a development of considerable interest. So, Macedonia brought Greece to court (MK government’s announcement here, short news here) because of the principle “pacta sunt servanda”. Greece recently blocked the invitation to Macedonia to join NATO and so here we go…after 17 years the issue will land on the International Court of Justice desk. Continue reading

The Balkan Monitor and “Copenhagen minus”

During the Slovenian EU Presidency we did some nice things on the Balkans – some credit goes to us (thanks UroŇ°) for the drafting of the final Declaration on the Western Balkans (PDF) that was part of the European Council conclusions in June 2008. Thanks to those poor guys negotiating our draft through then – many thanks to you as well, I know it was not easy:)

The Balkans are even more central to my current job. And today we organised an internal screening of the “Return to Europe” documentary on Albania, even the Commissioner Olli Rehn joined us. I’ve seen the documentary before and today met part of the team behind – from the ERSTE Stifting and the European Stability Initiative. The Albanian piece in particular is good and above all positive. As I spent some time there in summer 2007, I know how the place looks like. True, Albania has been remote from Europe for far too long, but it has been growing impressively. A country that was subject to a complete chaos in 1997 nowadays looks relatively modern and on the way up. Something to be proud of – many thanks also to people from MJAFT. I wonder if such a civic movement would work in some of the EU countries…Make sure you take your time to visit the website www.returntoeurope.org. Continue reading

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