Balkan Developments

EC ready to help Romania fight corruption

Photo: BGNESThe European Commission offered assistance to Bucharest in relation to the adoption of controversial changes in anti-corruption legislation. The events that took place in the past 12 months raised concerns, EU Commissioner for Justice, Consumers and Gender Equality Věra Jourová commented in a debate at the European Parliament named Threats to the Rule of Law by the Romanian Justice System Reform. The Romanian citizens launched street protests against the changes in the legislation related to the work of that country’s judiciary. The EC shares these concerns, Commissioner Věra Jourová said.

Turkish government hopes to open new page in Turkey-Germany relations

Photo: Turkish government hopes to open a new page in the Turkey-Germany relations, the spokesperson of Turkey’s President Ibrahim Kalin said. We are making serious diplomatic efforts to improve the relations, Mr Kalin pointed out. We hope that the next German government would realize Turkey’s importance as an ally, Ibrahim Kalin said in Ankara. He pointed out that the economic and cultural ties should not be sacrificed for short-term political calculations. Germany is the leading trade partner of Turley and millions of people of Turkish descent live in Germany.

Senior politicians in Greece investigated over bribes paid by pharmaceutical company

Photo: BGNESThe Anti-corruption Commission at the Greek National Assembly starts an investigation for corruption among senior Greek politicians. According to the investigators, Greek politicians received money from Swiss pharmaceutic company to boost subscriptions of their products at public hospitals and sales prices. According to the investigation, the company purposefully kept prices of medicines high which hampered the access of thousands of patients to life-saving medicines. Two former premiers and eight former ministers were allegedly involved in that case, the authorities claim. According to the opposition in Greece, the Syriza party aims to discredit its opponents.

Karl Erjavets: Ljubljana will take Croatia to EU Court in Luxembourg if it fails to respect decision of Hague Permanent Court of Arbitration regarding border with Slovenia

Photo: EPA/BGNESSlovenia’s Minister of Foreign Affairs Karl Erjavets said he was surprised by the statement of EC President Jean Claude Juncker that the dispute related to the border between Croatia and Slovenia was a bilateral issue. This is a problem of the European Union and of the rule of law, Minister Erjavec said in a TV interview. Slovenia and Croatia approached the Hague Permanent Court of Arbitration on their border dispute. The court ruled that most of the Piran Bay shared between the two neighbors was Slovenia’s territorial waters. However, Croatia refused to accept that decision. Slovenia’s Minister Erjavets also pointed out that by rejecting the decision of Hague Permanent Court of Arbitration Croatia is violating the rules of the EU and if Croatia continues to do so Ljubljana is to take this country to the EU Court in Luxembourg.

Kosovo President Hashim Thaci voices dissatisfaction with strategy the European Union on Western Balkans

Photo: rferl.orgKosovo President Hashim Thaci voiced his dissatisfaction with the strategy of the European Union on the Western Balkans, which in his view is unfair to Kosovo. Thaci wrote on his Facebook profile that the strategy failed to offer clarity on Kosovo’s possible membership and according to Kosovo’s President, his country faced injustice. In his view, this was due to the lack of a unanimous position in the EU about the Kosovo independence which is not recognized by five member states. Hashim Thaci said Kosovo will continue to work for this country’s accession to the EU.

Ivica Dačić sees no sense of new agreements between the authorities in Belgrade and Pristina

Photo: kurir.rsSerbia’s Minister of Foreign Affairs Ivica Dačić told the UN Security Council that he saw no sense of new agreements between the authorities in Belgrade and Pristina, because Kosovo did not respect any of the agreements reached so far. During debates on the latest report of the UN Secretary General Antonio Guterres regarding the situation in Kosovo, Minister Dačić pointed out that despite all impediments and challenges, Serbia continues to fulfill all agreements with Kosovo hoping that this approach has no alternative and that all issues can be solved in a peaceful manner only.

Compiled by: Miglena Ivanova

English version: Kostadin Atanasov

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