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Kosovo Issue Remains Unresolved

Until recently, Kosovo has been a “frozen” conflict, a place for scoring political points by both the authorities and the opposition and seemed like an almost impassable obstacle on the path to the EU. Although the current government has in a relatively short period of time, through a pragmatic approach, managed to move things from a standstill and gain Brussels’ favor for Serbia’s progress toward the EU, most problems remain open, ...

GMO Polemics in Serbia

The debate about the opening of the market for genetically modified organisms (GMO) is often put into ideological context in Serbia, with insisting on the notion that admission into the EU and the World Trade Organization (WTO) also envisages opening for GMO. In this, the high level of protection the EU regulations secure for their citizens is not sufficiently mentioned. In a statement for EurActiv, a junior advisor of the EU delegation in ...

Coin: Better Laws on Labour and Construction for More Investments

I would say to an investor: come to Serbia. Although, it is very complicated when you come to this country for the first time. We shall definitely have more investments if we simplify the business environment. I do not think that, for the time being, one could say that there is a lack of political will to apply the reforms, on the contrary. The attention should be focused on the administration: on accountability, the method in which human ...

Slow reconciliation in the Balkans

The consequences of the wars in the former Yugoslavia, such as resolving the issue of refugees and the displaced and war crimes trials before domestic courts, will not be a separate segment of the negotiations with the EU, but will be important for accession within the existing chapters, participants of a conference on the position of transitional justice in the negotiations with the EU said on Nov. 14. Pierre Mirel of the European Commission ...

Tobacco producers seek transparent rules for EU quotas

The issue of quotas for the importing of cigarettes with lower customs tariffs from EU countries, which was wrongly interpreted in the Serbian public as a new concession to the new member of the Union - Croatia, was solved in mid-October by a decision of Serbia to accept the quotas. It was also explained at that time that the allowing of quotas was Serbia's obligation that stems from the Stabilization and Association Agreement. Leading world ...

Cost of building licenses in Serbia the highest in the region

The cost of obtaining a building license in Serbia is the highest in the region of Europe and Central Asia, an analyst of the World Bank’s division for the development of the private and financial sectors, Irina Bilotserkivska, told the portal EurActiv Serbia. Commenting on the Doing Business report about business conditions for 2014, Bilotserkivska said that the “bottleneck” in Serbia is the time needed for the obtaining of building ...

Northern Kosovo after municipal elections: towards a new (im)balance?

The municipal elections in Kosovo on 3 November will be a litmus test for the Brussels Agreement and for the normalisation of relations between Serbia and Kosovo, but also an omen for the EU’s ability to impose stability in its backyard. These elections are seen as a milestone in the integration of northern Serbs into Kosovo’s legal system – but they are the beginning of the process, not the end. Overseeing the elections facilitated by ...

Baillie: Historic moment for Serbia and EU

Serbia has made tremendous progress, which should lead to a positive decision about the date for the start of negotiations with the EU, and now it is important to invest “all possible effort” to formulate the plan of implementation of the agreement with Pristina, stated the ambassador of Luxembourg to Serbia, Sasha ...

Cirkovic: Funds for civil society should be planned better

Over the past few years, despite the crisis, the government has been setting aside significant funds for civil society, but those funds need to be planned better and harmonized with national priorities, said director of the government’s Office for Cooperation with Civil Society Ivana Cirkovic. In an interview with the web portal EurActiv Serbia, Cirkovic pointed out that, according to data from the Business Registers Agency, there are 19,907 ...

Belgrade and Pristina open most delicate issue in dialog

The new, fifth round of talks between the prime ministers of Serbia and Kosovo, Ivica Dačić and Hashim Thaci, in Brussels has shown that resolving the delicate issue of Serbian institutions in northern Kosovo will take time, while for now it is important that the question was raised in the dialog. Although officials in Brussels voiced satisfaction with the progress made in the negotiations, there have been no concrete results and the next ...

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