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Serbia hopes South Stream is not over yet

Serbia is disappointed by Russia’s decision to halt the construction of the South Stream gas pipeline and believes it is a collateral victim of the dispute between the EU and Russia, but is hoping the project will not be abandoned completely. Apart from the importance it would have for energy security, as another route would be opened for supplying Serbia with Russian gas, no longer only via Ukraine, it was also expected that the pipeline ...

EU still not pressuring Serbia over Russia

The first visit of the new European commissioner for neighborhood policy and enlargement negotiations, Johannes Hahn, to Belgrade on Nov. 20, was marked by support to the process of Serbia’s association with the EU and to the reforms on that road, while the commissioner demonstrated a certain level of understanding for the sensitive issue of Serbia’s harmonization with the EU’s decisions on Russia. Hahn’s visit to Serbia – his first ...

Readiness for Cooperation Overshadowed by Kosovo

The first visit by an Albanian prime minister to Belgrade in 68 years was to mark a new phase in Serbian-Albanian relations and send an important signal to the EU and the international community on the readiness of the two countries to cooperate. However, at the very start of the visit it became clear that even with the good will expressed and encouragement from the EU, it would not be easy for Belgrade and Tirana to put aside their differences ...

EU to Launch Independent Investigation into Corruption in EULEX

The EU’s judicial and police mission to Kosovo, EULEX, the largest EU's civilian mission, has since the end of October been shaken up by accusations of the corruption of judges and prosecutors of the mission, and Brussels officials on Nov. 4 announced that an independent investigation would be launched into the allegations published by Pristina ...

Putin in Serbia: Demonstration of Close Relations

The visit of Russian President Vladimir Putin to Serbia drew attention to the sensitive position of Belgrade, between the EU, which it wants to join and Russia, with which it wants to maintain close relations. The European Union, which Serbia expects to join around 2020, has sent a clear signal that it will closely monitor this visit, and the Serbian authorities also received a clear message that Serbia must reiterate its pro-European stand ...

Match overshadowed by politics

The incident which resulted in the interruption of the European Championship qualification match between Serbia and Albania has stirred the public in the region, caused tension in relations between Serbia and Albania and incited speculation about the political reasons which, allegedly, stand behind this, in view of the forthcoming visits of the Russian president and of the Albanian prime minister to Serbia. The EU's response to the incident was ...

Progress Report: Mixed Reactions

The presentation of this year’s report on Serbia’s progress resulted in a reaction that was not usual for Serbia, at least not until now. Prime Minister Aleksandar Vučić effectively contested the claims of the Commission about media freedom, and this at the height of the scandal with the removal of political talk shows from influential TV channels, for which he claimed that the government had nothing to do with. This issue aside, Vučić ...

Lower Roaming Prices in the Region Expected Soon

The governments of Montenegro, Serbia, Bosnia-Herzegovina and Macedonia signed an agreement in Budva on Sept. 29 on the reduction of roaming prices, according to the EU model. The agreement envisages the gradual lowering of roaming prices, to the level which citizens of EU member countries pay when they are staying in another member country. Besides representing an additional initiative for cooperation in this region which aims towards EU ...

Pride Parade in Belgrade Positive Signal on Road to the EU

After four years, on Sept. 28 Belgrade saw the holding of a Pride Parade that passed without any major incidents, which was welcomed as a step forward in respecting human rights in a country looking to join the EU. Although it had been unknown until the last minute whether the parade would be approved, and the march was secured by heavy police forces, the atmosphere ahead of the parade was this year somewhat more favorable despite the ...

Pause in Enlargement Not Jeopardizing EU Future of Western Balkans

Official Belgrade believes that the announced pause in the admission of new EU members during the next mandate of the European Commission, albeit not encouraging, does not reduce the EU membership prospect of the Western Balkan countries, which will be able to join the EU after they fulfill all set conditions.The pause in the EU enlargement is not in contradiction with Serbia’s plan to complete the membership negotiations, which it started ...

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