Daily Survey

Belgrade, April 4, 2012

SERBIA – EU - K&M

TADIC: PRESIDENTIAL ELECTION ON MAY 6

BELGRADE, April 04 (Tanjug) - Serbian President Boris Tadic announced Wednesday that he has decided to cut his term short so that a presidential election could be held on May 6.
"I will run in the election with a lot of optimism, due to the positive trends in our country," Tadic told reporters. He said the election would be difficult, but also give people an opportunity to choose which path they want the country to take. "I propose a path of European integration and preserving the country's integrity," said Tadic. "We will not recognize Kosovo," he reiterated.
"I am still the president today and tomorrow," said Tadic.
He said he would send a letter to Serbian parliament Speaker Slavica Djukic Dejanovic on Thursday, who will then call presidential elections for May 6, the same day as the parliamentary and local elections. The president's term of office ends when he sends the letter to the parliament speaker.
"I have not been postponing this decision and I do not expect problems with the Socialist Party of Serbia," said Tadic. He noted that political reforms would be stalled if the elections were held on different dates, and that the citizens he has met with recently have also told him it would be better not to stretch out the process over the entire year.
"Now no one can accuse me of not wanting to let go of my seat," Tadic joked, but added he is confident of winning. He said economic reform would be the focal point of his campaign.
"There are no institutions in Serbia which should not be involved in economic reforms. We will continue our policy of preserving macroeconomic stability, improving the competitiveness of our products in foreign markets and raising employment," Tadic explained.
The president said he would respect all his rivals, because he sees elections as a sport game.

PARLIAMENT SPEAKER TO CALL PRESIDENTIAL ELECTIONS

BELGRADE, April 04 (Tanjug) - Serbian President Boris Tadic announced Wednesday that he has decided to cut his term short so that a presidential election could be held on May 6, and according to the Law on President of the Republic, Serbian Parliament Speaker Slavica Djukic Dejanovic will assume the role of the acting president of the republic and call the elections.
According to the Law on President of the Republic, the President shall file his written resignation to the National Assembly, and his term of office ceases once the resignation arrives in the parliament.
The president is due to inform the public about his resignation, and may even provide an accompanying explanation.
If the president files a resignation, thus terminating his mandate prematurely, the elections shall be called in a manner providing that they are held not later than three months from the day when the term of office of the President of the Republic ends.
From the day of calling the elections until the polling day no less than 30 and no more than 60 days may elapse. The mandate of the President of the Republic lasts five years and the President cannot be appointed to the post more than two times. However, Tadic can seek the next mandate given that according to the Serbian Constitution from 2006, the current mandate is his first one.
When it comes to presidential candidates, they can be proposed by registered political parties, coalitions and groups of citizens, which can be established in accordance with a written agreement by at least 10 voters, with signatures verified by court. The nomination of the candidate may be submitted only if it is supported by at least 10 000 signatures verified by court.
April 6 is the deadline by which the presidential elections should be called in order to be held on May 6, at the same time with the parliamentary and local ones. According to the regular procedure, the presidential elections should have been called by November 18, 2012 and held by January 17, 2013 at the latest.
According to the Law on Election of the President of the Republic of Serbia, the elections shall be called 90 days prior to the end of the term of office of the incumbent President of the Republic, and concluded not later than 60 days from the day of calling the elections.

SANINO: TOGETHER ON SERBIA'S EU PATHWAY

BELGRADE, April 04 (Tanjug)- European Commission's Director General for Enlargement Stefano Sanino pointed out in Belgrade on Wednesday that Serbia's further EU course is a common pathway of Belgrade and Brussels, and recalled that on this way it is very important to continue to promote relations with Kosovo.
In his address at a meeting of an expert group of the Coordination Body for the EU Accession Process, Sanino said that Serbia has accomplished a lot in terms of the European integration process in the previous few months, stressing that political efforts aimed at closing of a difficult chapter of history, inherited from the era of Slobodan Milosevic, should be continued.
The EC official also noted that the momentum of reforms should be maintained, stressing that the EU and Serbia will work together towards this goal.
We will continue to back you on this course. This is a common pathway, a partnership, something that we have to do together and finish together, Sanino said.
Sanino believes that winning the EU candidate status is an important step, but that it is necessary to continue to move towards the EU membership.
I am certain that the process of the European integration was an engine of changes and transformation of the country and society, as it makes it possible for Serbia to connect with other countries in the international community, while it also modernizes the country's administration, and helps realization of economic and financial stability, and modernization of the country as a whole, he said.
Head of the EU Integration Office Milica Delevic said in her opening address that Wednesday's meeting was organized to consider the challenges which the country and the society will face once the EU accession talks are launched.
The meeting was also addressed by Serbian President Boris Tadic.

GOOD REGIONAL COOPERATION IN MIGRATION

BELGRADE, April 03 (Tanjug) - Minister of Security of Bosnia Herzegovina (BiH) Sadik Ahmetovic said in Belgrade Tuesday that regional cooperation in the field of migration was particularly good and pointed to great progress arising from changes in relevant legislation.
Taking over the chairmanship of the Migration, Asylum, Refugees Regional Initiative (MARRI) from the Serbian Interior Ministry, Ahmetovic stressed that Serbia had achieved tangible results while chairing MARRI over the previous year.
We have established a good regional cooperation, thanks in great part to Ivica Dacic and his ministry, and citizens' trust in the police in the region has been raised, Ahmetovic said. The legislation changes and good results have led, among other things, to visa liberalization, he added.
He said BiH pledged to improve the cooperation in the field of legal business migration.

DEGERT: ILLEGAL GRANTS AND LOANS MUST BE RETURNED

BELGRADE, April 03 (Beta) - We shall insist on the fulfillment of the basic goals of the Media Strategy, the chief of the European Union's delegation in Serbia, Vincent Degert, said on April 3, pointing out that the media cannot be financed through direct subsidies at the national, regional or local levels, while illegal grants and loans must be returned.
There are always problems when one moves from the Strategy as a plan document, to its implementation in practice, Degert told the Fonet agency, adding that this applies to the media, but also in other fields.
However, Degert stressed, we will have to insist on the fulfilling of the basic goals of this strategy. He said that one of these goals is ownership of the media, which must be fully transparent. Among the goals, Degert also listed the ways for financing the media, which cannot be through direct subsidies, either at local, regional or national level.
Asked about the journalist associations' protests against the state's interestfree loan to Tanjug, Degert replied that, if state aid exists, it must be fully transparent and legal. These are obligations, Degert said, and we shall insist that they are fulfilled properly. If there are illegal grants or loans, they must be returned, said the EU ambassador.

KFOR ANNOUNCES CLOSING OF ALTERNATIVE ROADS

ZUBIN POTOK, April 03 (Tanjug) - Representatives of KFOR stated at a meeting with representatives of north Kosovo Serbs in Zubin Potok on Tuesday that they have received orders from the NATO command to close down the alternative roads in north Kosovo Metohija.
This information was passed on by Zubin Potok Municipal President Slavisa Ristic after the meeting with representatives of international military and civilian missions in Kosovo.
Ristic expressed belief that closing down of the roads would be a step in the wrong direction, which could destabilize the situation in north Kosovo.
"KFOR Colonel Adolf Conrad told us that KFOR has received an order from the NATO Command in Naples to close down the alternative roads," Ristic said.
"We do not view the alternative roads leading towards central Serbia as illegal. We believe that these are legal and free roads which our citizens have been using for all these years, and their closure would be an obstacle to the freedom of movement," Ristic said.
Serbs will not accept closing of roads, and this move reintroduces the risk of a strong protest which may include putting up barricades, Ristic said.
The meeting in Zubin Potok was attended by Head of the Kosovska Mitrovica District Radenko Nedeljkovic, and Leposavic and Zvecan Municipal President, Branko Ninic and Dragisa Milovic, and representatives of UNMIK and EULEX.
Serbs in north Kosovo mostly use alternative roads thus avoiding the Brnjak and Jarinje administrative crossings in the boycott of Kosovo customs officers deployed at the checkpoints.