Daily Survey

Belgrade, April 3, 2012

SERBIA

JEREMIC: MORE CHINA'S INVESTMENTS CAN BE EXPECTED

BOAO, April 02 (Tanjug)- Serbian Foreign Minister Vuk Jeremic will pay a two-day visit to China as of Monday, where he will take part in the Boao Forum for Asia (BFA) Annual Conference 2012 in the Hainan province, China, upon the invitation of the Chinese government.
Jeremic will give a speech at the panel entitled "Asia in the Changing World: Moving toward Sound and Sustainable Development", which will also be addressed by World Bank President Robert Zoellick.
Apart from the bilateral meetings with Chinese officials, Minister Jeremic will also confer with major investors from Asia and other parts of world.
Jeremic will meet with Chinese businessmen, whose companies are already investing in Serbia or are yet to decide to do so. "It is a true honor to participate in a forum which gathers world leaders and most important investors worldwide. This exceptional opportunity, which the host has presented us with, makes it possible for Serbia to present its potentials to some of the world's major companies," Jeremic told Tanjug.
"It is realistic to expect an increase in the Chinese investments by the end of the year after the meetings we will have on Monday and Tuesday," the Serbian foreign minister said.
Serbia and China signed the Agreement on Strategic Partnership in 2009. The two countries have excellent political relations, which greatly contributed to further development and promotion of the economic ties, and China's greater interest to invest in Serbia, Jeremic said.
The Boao Forum for Asia is the largest economicinvestment conference in Asia, which gathers political leaders and representatives of major companies worldwide. The 2012 Boao Forum was opened by Chinese Vice Prime Minister Li Keqiang, Italian Prime Minister Mario Monti, and Pakistani Prime Minister Yousaf Raza Gilani.

CONFERENCE ON REGIONAL PARLIAMENTARY COOPERATION

BELGRADE, April 03 (Tanjug)- Serbian Parliament Speaker Slavica Djukic Dejanovic will Monday open a two day international conference dubbed 'Cooperation between parliaments and independent regulatory bodies in Southeast Europe,' the parliament released in a statement.
The conference is organized by the Serbian parliament and the European Movement in Serbia, with the support of the OSCE Mission to Serbia, USAID and the Friedrich Ebert Foundation.
Save for Djukic Dejanovic, the list of speakers also includes Head of OSCE Mission to Serbia Dimitrios Kypreos and President of the European Movement in Serbia Vlastimir Matejic.
The event will take place at the Serbian parliament building.

KOCIJANCIC: DIALOGUE TO BE RESUMED AFTER NEW GOVT TAKES OFFICE

BRUSSELS, April 02 (Tanjug)-The European Commission expects that the Belgrade Pristina dialogue, which has stalled due to the forthcoming elections in Serbia, will be resumed after the new government takes office, EU foreign policy chief Catherine Ashton's spokesperson Maja Kocijancic told Tanjug on Monday.
Just like last year's election process in Kosovo, the elections in Serbia may also slow the pace of meetings and reduce the potential for reaching agreements, she said, and pointed out that the dialogue is expected to resume "in full swing" after the forming of the new government.
Kocijancic said that meetings at the level of working groups are being held regularly.
She also pointed out that nine rounds of Belgrade Pristina talks have resulted in seven important agreements, and added that the EU will continue to support cooperation between Serbia and Kosovo, in order to improve living standards for their citizens.

KACIN: ENTRY TALKS EXPECTED AT START OF 2013

BELGRADE, April 02 (Tanjug)- The European Parliament's (EP) Rapporteur on Serbia Jelko Kacin stated that it is reasonable to expect that Serbia will be granted a date for the start of accession talks at the EU December summit, and that talks could commence at the beginning of 2013.
"Taking into account that the elections will be held on May 6, followed by the talks on forming a new government and summer recess, I think that it is more reasonable to expect that Serbia will obtain a date for the start of entry talks at the December summit of the EU Council, and in line with that scenario, the talks would commence at the beginning of 2013," Kacin said in an interview for the Belgradebased magazine Cord.
Kacin stressed that Brussels will not make the recognition of Kosovo a condition for Serbia's further EU integration. The EU has never set that as a condition, and will not do that as long as there is a single European member state which has not recognized Kosovo as an independent country, he underlined.
The EP rapporteur on Serbia said that at the same time it is crystal clear that Serbia will have to normalize relations with Kosovo and become an honest partner to Pristina in the integration process.
According to Kacin, in order to get a date for commencement of entry talks, Serbia has to continue the dialogue with Pristina, resolve the issue of telecommunications and energy, and to fully implement the reached agreements. Kacin noted that this especially referred to the integrated management of administrative crossings, which would take time.
Kacin preferred not to comment on the possible outcome of the parliamentary elections in Serbia, but underscored that it is vital that all relevant political forces in the country reach consensus on strategic goals related to changes to the Constitution and implementation of agreements which were reached during the dialogue with Pristina.
Speaking about the candidate status for EU membership which was granted to Serbia on March 1, Kacin said that this was not an EU gift, but that the country deserved the status as it had met all the criteria put forward by the EU Council in December last year.

DEGERT: NUMBER OF COLLECTIVE SHELTERS IN SERBIA DROPS TO 27

VRANJE, April 02 (Beta) - EU Delegation to Serbia head Vincent Degert stated in Vranje on April 2 that the number of collective shelters in Serbia has significantly dropped over the past ten years.
"Until ten years ago, there were more than 300 collective shelters, and now there are fewer than 27, and we hope these will be closed soon," Degert said during the moving in of 20 vulnerable families from the Vranje area into new apartments.
The construction of the building for the refugees was financed by the EU with EUR370,000 within the project "Welfare Housing in Protected Conditions."
During his visit to Vranje, Degert also met with young entrepreneurs at the Business Incubator Center in this town.
The European Union has so far invested around EUR18 million in the southern and southwestern part of Serbia, in order for these regions to become dynamic, he said.
The EU invested EUR45,000 through the Progress program and the City of Vranje 12,400 in equipping the Business Incubator Center and the training of its users. The Center was opened in 2006.

SERBIA - K&M

LOCAL ELECTIONS IN KOSOVO UNCERTAIN

KOSOVSKA MITROVICA, April 02 (Tanjug)-Secretary for the state electoral commission Veljko Odalovic said Monday that a letter has been sent to UNMIK through the Ministry for Kosovo related to the organization of elections in Kosovo.
Odalovic told Tanjug that the commission has still not had direct contact with UNMIK, but as the deadlines are approaching, it expects a clear response from the UN Mission in Kosovo regarding the organization of parliamentary and local elections in the province, set for May 6.
State Secretary with the Ministry for Kosovo Oliver Ivanovic said he is concerned about UNMIK's unclear position regarding Serbian elections in Kosovo.
"They said they cannot organize elections in this situation. This response is not clear enough and I expect it will be clarified in the period ahead," he said.
Ivanovic said it is almost impossible to hold elections south of the Ibar without the help of UNMIK, and that if the UN, EU or some international organization respond negatively, holding the elections will certainly be a problem, which could lead to the Kosovo Interior Ministry "sending police, arresting people carrying election material, closing polls and detaining people."
Ivanovic said a possible solution is forming provisional municipal councils, adding he expect the government will make a decision regarding local elections in Kosovo this week.
Electoral commission spokesman Miodrag Petrovic told Tanjug that the commission does not have the legal authority to conduct local elections in Kosovo, and that they will be carried out by municipal commissions.
"When we conduct parliamentary elections, we need to have cooperation with UNMIK, and we have had this in the past, because organizing these elections is our legal obligation," he said.
Deputy Prime Minister and Interior Minister Ivica Dacic stressed Serbia would respect Resolution 1244, while UNMIK Head Farid Zarif has said Serbia will be violating the Resolution if it organizes local elections in Kosovo.
Zarif sent a letter to the Serbian government saying the UN mission can not organize local elections in Kosovo under the current conditions.
Last week Dacic confirmed that some EU and US officials have pressured Serbia not to hold local elections in Kosovo, because this would supposedly violate Resolution 1244.
Both Dacic and Minister for Kosovo Goran Bogdanovic agree that not holding local elections in Kosovo would not jeopardize local administrations in the Serb municipalities. Bogdanovic said that "a possible failure to hold local elections in Kosovo will not lead to a shutdown of Serbian institutions in Kosovo."
The institutions "will continue to exist and function with the aim of assistance and survival for the Kosovo Serbs," said Bogdanovic.
Head of Belgrade's team in the dialogue with Pristina Borislav Stefanovic confirmed for the daily Press on Monday that Serbian institutions will remain in Kosovo regardless of the election, noting that "local elections will probably not be held, because UNMIK has come out with a negative stance."
Stefanovic added that Serbia does not want to violate Resolution 1244 "which guards our sovereignty in Kosovo."