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Balkan developments

Slovenia extends the introduced border control to Croatia and Hungary


The Slovenian government has extended border controls with Croatia and ‎Hungary until December 21 in order to prevent terrorism, extremism and cross-‎border crime, BTA reported. Slovenia reinstated police checks on October 21 ‎after Italy did the same on its border with Slovenia, citing a danger to public ‎order, internal security and an increased risk of terrorist attacks due to the ‎situation in the Middle East and Ukraine. 


Slovenian Interior Minister Boštjan ‎Poklukar said that Ljubljana plans to extend border controls after December 21 ‎because of the medium risk of terrorism in Slovenia and the high risk of terrorism ‎in the EU under Art. 28 of the Schengen Code, allowing border control for two ‎months. After that, control will remain under Art. 25 and Art. 27, which allow it ‎for 6 months.‎


Albanian Prime Minister: Migrant centers are not ideal, but they are an EU ‎solution
Italian PM Giorgia Meloni and Albania's PM Edi Rama
The agreement with Italy on migrants will not have social consequences for ‎Albania, Prime Minister Edi Rama said, quoted by the national agency ATA. The ‎agreement provides for the establishment of two centers near the city of Shëngjin ‎to accommodate up to 3,000 migrants rescued at sea per month and up to 36,000 ‎per year. They will remain there while their asylum applications are processed. ‎
"Closed centers are not the ideal solution, but we are not the ones offering a ‎solution to a problem for the whole of Europe. These are centers approved by the ‎EU," Rama pointed out.


Turkey and Greece sign a declaration of friendship and good ‎neighbourliness

Greek Prime Minister Kyriakos Mitsotakis and Turkish President Recep Erdogan ‎signed the Athens a Declaration on Friendly Relations and Good Neighborliness. ‎This happened after the 5th high-level meeting of the Turkey-Greece ‎Cooperation Council on December 7, 2023, the Greek news agency ANA-MPA ‎reported, quoted by BTA. The two countries are committed to maintain ‎friendly and good-neighbourly relations and remain in calm waters, the statement reads. They will use effective communication channels at all levels to prevent ‎conflict situations and escalation. 

Athens and Ankara will develop their relations ‎along 3 axes - political dialogue on matters of mutual interest, a positive agenda ‎and confidence-building measures. The Athens Declaration does not affect the ‎legal positions of the two countries, which adhere to the principles of the UN. ‎


Plans to build second Ruse-Giurgiu bridge under a military ‎mobility program
Photo: romania-insider.com
Romania has submitted a project for the construction of a second bridge near ‎Giurgiu and Ruse under the European program for military mobility, European ‎Commissioner for Transport Adina Vălean announced. "The result of the ‎application can be announced on December 15," Valean told the media in ‎response to a question about a second bridge between Romania and Bulgaria near ‎Ruse - Giurgiu. The project is for a road bridge with a rail option. The estimated ‎value of the feasibility study is EUR 6 million. The European Commissioner also ‎said that the railway connection Bucharest - Giurgiu will be financed separately ‎with 570 million euros, because it is part of a corridor that should continue south. ‎Valean expressed hope that the new bridge between Giurgiu and Ruse will ‎have a railway component. 

AGERPRES recalls that Sofia and Bucharest already ‎on September 21 presented the project for the new bridge to the European ‎Commission, Focus agency reports.‎


Cyprus passes law to attract foreign intellectual capital

Cyprus will attract tech talent to work on the island by easing citizenship rules. ‎The parliament in Nicosia approved a law for this. The measure is for foreign ‎highly qualified specialists in scientific research, technology and innovation. With ‎the adopted changes, part of the requirements are eased, bureaucracy is reduced ‎and procedures are improved in relation to this priority group for Cyprus. ‎Applicants' requests will be considered within 8 months. 

The new model of ‎naturalization is aimed at attracting intellectual, not financial capital, and has ‎nothing to do with the compromised and canceled program for the so-called ‎golden passports, MPs emphasized during the adoption of the law, reports the ‎correspondent of BNR in Cyprus Branislava Bobanats.


Compiled by Ivo Ivanov

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