Daily Survey



Belgrade, 06. 11. 2008.



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kosovo – metohija

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SERBIA – CONFERENCE “ Serbia & EU, strengthening of Eu perspective ”


BELGRADE, Nov 6 (Tanjug) - Foreign Minister Vuk Jeremic asked the European Union (EU) not to set any further conditions before Serbia in its integration processes with Europe and to treat it like all the other countries from the western Balkans that are aspiring to join the EU. Jeremic spoke at a conference entitled "Strengthening Serbia's European Perspective," organized by the Belgrade Fund for Political Excellence. Jeremic suggested that the EU should defreeze the implementation of the Interim Agreement on trade by the end of this year, and enable Serbia to acquire the status of a candidate-country for admission to the EU and to be placed on the White Schengen List in 2009. "So here is what I propose. Let us get rid of the extra conditionality, and un-freeze the Interim Agreement by the end of this year. Let us make 2009 the year that Serbia is put on the White Schengen List, and the year we achieve Official Candidacy Status," Jeremic said. "Let me begin by saying clearly that never in the history of Serbia have we had a more pro-European government than that of Boris Tadic.Never have we been in a better position to deliver on our commitments and our promises.Never have we been more able to commence the sprint to the finish line of Europe," he said. "And why have we not done so? Why are we not closer?" Jeremic asked. "My answer is because Serbia is, unfortunately, not being treated like other EU membership aspirants in the Western Balkans. We seem to be held to a different set of standards," he said. "First we had the additional constraint of a very harshly conceived definition of full cooperation with the ICTY, where more recently full compliance has come to mean delivering Mladic - even if there is no hard evidence whatsoever that he is currently in Serbia. And then, after incredible external pressure was put on our neighbors to recognize Kosovo's UDI - creating new regional fissures - we are asked to pretend that everything is business as usual. And now, some even try to insinuate that Serbia's recognition of Kosovo should be yet another pre-condition for candidacy status," minister said. "The time has come to say: Enough is enough. Yes, Serbia does face a unique set of challenges - and believe me, we're very much aware of them. But instead of helping us overcome them, it looks like some are creating new obstacles for us to jump over," Jeremic said.


PARIS/BELGRADE, Nov 6 (Tanjug) - Serbian Deputy Prime Minister Bozidar Djelic said on Thursday he was encouraged by the talks he had had with French officials during his three-day working visit to France, which was of primarily economic nature. "France has marked Serbia as a crucial country of the West Balkans," Djelic said in an interview for Tanjug, following his visit to Paris, where earlier this week he had meetings with Diplomatic Counselor for the French President Jean David Levitte and Deputy Secretary General to the French Presidency Francois Perol, who is in charge of economic and financial issues. The talks with the counselors of Nicolas Sarkozy, whose country will be presiding over the EU till the end of the year, were focused on Serbia's admission into the Union. The French officials "insisted on a full cooperation with The Hague Tribunal, which the arrest of (former military commander of Bosnian Serbs) Ratko Mladic represents the most evident proof of," Djelic said. "We want to prove that our country is fully cooperating with the ICTY, but the position of Holland and The Hague Tribunal is firm," the deputy prime minister added. "On the other hand, it was pointed out that the fulfillment of this condition did not include just the ratification of the Stabilisation and Association Agreement and its implementation, but also a very speedy progress of our country toward candidate status," the deputy prime minister explained. Djelic and his collocutors also discussed the liberalisation of the visa regime. "No specific date was set, but progress is expected to be made in spring," he said. During the talks, Djelic insisted on that that the process of European integration and the resolution of the Kosovo issue were two separate processes and that the acceptance of the European EULEX mission did not represent a condition for Serbia's approaching the EU, although France is expecting a "constructive" approach of the Serbian government toward that issue. "EULEX is not a condition for Serbia's European integration," Djelic stressed. "Presently, there has been a halt in respect to EULEX, because Serbia has not found a common language with the international community. Our government is carrying out the policy because of which was elected in the first place - both Kosovo and Europe," the Serbian deputy prime minister said.


BELGRADE, Nov 6 (Tanjug) - The implementation of Serbia's large-scale plan for the arrest of the two remaining ICTY indictees is underway, and it is yet to be seen if it will give results, President of the National Council for Cooperation with the Hague Tribunal Rasim Ljajic said. He said that, same as in the previous actions, the Serbian side will inform about this ICTY Chief Prosecutor Brammertz who will visit Belgrade on Nov 17 and 18. "For Holland the full cooperation with the ICTY equals Mladic in The Hague and therefore it is clear what is to be done," said Ljajic who is also the coordinator of the action team for location, arrest and transfer of ICTY indictees and Serbian minister of labor and social policy. He recalled that Holland practically blocked Serbia's road towards further European integration due to internal political reasons and added that it is unlikely that Holland would change its stand.



BELGRADE, Nov 6 (Tanjug) - Deputy Premier Bozidar Djelic said that the European Commission (EC) report on Serbia's progress toward European integrations is a sufficient basis for Serbia to acquire the status of a candidate-country for membership in the EU next year, provided it cooperates with the ICTY. ICTY Chief Prosecutor Brammertz will give his report to the UN SC in mid-December and it will primary depend on whether ICTY indictee Mladic is apprehended and extradited to The Hague, Djelic said. It is up to Serbia to round up this cooperation and meet this political condition, and then Serbia will be seen that the report describes Serbia as a country with a major potential and the pillar of the Balkans, stability and progress, Djelic said. The report also said that parliament, regrettably, failed to pass a large number of laws, and also mentions that it is necessary to fight corruption and organized crime and that a thorough reform of the judiciary is needed, Djelic said.


BRUSSELS, Nov 5 (Tanjug) - European Enlargement Commissioner Olli Rehn confirmed that Serbia could be given the status of candidate for EU membership in 2009 if it fulfilled the remaining conditions - if it fully realized its cooperation with the ICTY and carried out the required reforms. If it fulfills these conditions, Serbia still has the chance, according to the best possible scenario, to be granted the status of candidate for membership in 2009, the European commissioner pointed out while presenting an annual report of the European Commission on the progress Serbia had made in respect to European integration, which was officially announced in Brussels on Wednesday. Serbia has now to do all in its power so as to arrest and handover the remaining ICTY indictees, including Mladic, Rehn told a news conference. Rehn noted that the new Serbian government had marked as its key priorities the country's European integration and the reforms it had to make to that effect. He pointed out that Serbia had a very important role in the region and that the European Commission required a constructive approach from it in respect to the deployment of the EULEX mission.


BRUSSELS, Nov 5 (Tanjug) - The Serbian economy continued to grow strongly and the country made some progress towards establishing a functioning market economy, the European Commission said in its annual progress report on Serbia made public in Brussels. Good growth rates were accompanied by widening external imbalances and the vulnerability increased also in the light of the global financial crisis. Fiscal policy remained expansionary, contributing to the resurfacing of inflationary pressures in 2008. Despite recent high economic growth rates, unemployment remains a major challenge, the EC said. There was some progress in privatisation, but structural reforms in general slowed down. The country continued to attract the FDI, however, some foreign investors have been affected by the unstable political climate. A competitive and dynamic private sector has not yet been fully established. Further efforts are needed to enable Serbia to cope in the medium term with competitive pressures and market forces within the Union, the EC said. Serbia is well placed to implement the SAA and the Interim Agreement, thanks to its good administrative capacity. There has been progress in the field of free movement of goods and continued improvements in customs and taxation administrations. However, there was little legislative output on European standards and weak enforcement capacity in competition. Little progress has been made in the area of information society and media. A comprehensive and effective system of public internal financial control is still not in place. Money laundering and organised crime continue to be a serious problem in Serbia, the EC said. Little progress has also been made in the social policy, health and education sectors, the EC said.


BRUSSELS, Nov 5 (Tanjug) - The judiciary sector in Kosovo remains weak and people and drug trafficking, organized crime and corruption are serious problems, the European Commission said in its progress report on Kosovo. Kosovo has a clear perspective in the EU and the EC will see how it can help it take its place in the regional stabilization and association process, the report says. Kosovo has made some progress in approximating its legislation and policies with European standards, but little progress has been made on the effective implementation and enforcement of legislation, the report says. More efforts are needed in approximation and implementation of European standards, in particular in fighting organized crime, money laundering, drugs, taxation, energy and employment, the report says.


COLOGNE, Nov 6 (Tanjug) - The latest report of the European Commission (EC) has welcomed the reforms in Serbia, but it has failed to point out that Serbia should not be permitted to hinder the European Union's (EU) work with the population in Kosovo, Doris Pack, chairwoman to the European Parliament Delegation to Southeastern Europe, said on Wednesday. Serbia was assessed correctly in the EC report, she said. The reforms have been welcomed, but the presence of stagnation was also registered. Serbia must now move froward, Pack said in an interview for Deutsche Welle. Serbia should make the problem of Kosovo a side issue. There are possibilities for Serbia moving even closer to the European Union (EU), but there are conditions for this which are the same as for all the other neighboring states, with full cooperation with the International Criminal Tribunal for the former Yugoslavia (ICTY) in The Hague, Pack said.


BELGRADE, Nov 5 (Tanjug) - Head of the European Commission Delegation to the Republic of Serbia Josep Lloveras stated that Serbia has potential to speed up the pace of its moving closer to the EU provided it achieves full cooperation with the Hague and carries out the necessary justice and economic reforms. On the occasion of the publication of the EC's annual report on Serbia's progress in European integration, Lloveras told that Enlargement Commissioner Olli Rehn had evaluated earlier that "Serbia can still, in the best-case scenario, receive candidate status in 2009 if it meets the necessary conditions." Lloveras also said that a report by ICTY Prosecutor Brammertz, due to be submitted before the UN SC in mid-December, will be of crucial importance for the evaluation of Belgrade's cooperation with the ICTY by the EU Council of Ministers. Recalling that the report refers to the period between Oct 1, 2007 and Nov 1, 2008, Lloveras said that the signing of the SAA in late April is a turning point in the relations between Serbia and the EU and that the EC believes that the country has the administrative capacity to implement the Provisional Agreement.


BELGRADE, Nov 5 (Beta) - Head of the EC Delegation Lloveras said Serbia would have to pursue a more restrictive budget policy amid the consequences of the world financial crisis. Presenting the Commission's report on Serbia's progress in accessing the EU, Lloveras said the document assessed that the world financial crisis had "only a limited impact" on Serbia and its financial sector, but added that Serbia's economy was vulnerable. According to him, the report pointed to the increasing current account deficit and the growing level of external debt, creating the need for significant capital inflow. "In that sense, the external imbalance renders the Serbian economy vulnerable to possible disruptions in the flow of capital," Lloveras explained. Lloveras stressed that Serbia had achieved a significant and even vast growth over the past 12 months and that the country had progressed in establishing a functional market economy. He added that improvements had been made in free trade, customs, and tax administration. According to him, not enough had been done in establishing a system of internal financial control.


BRUSSELS, Nov 5 (Tanjug) - The European Union should make closer ties with Serbia conditional on its acceptance of the EULEX mission, European Parliament Rapportuer for Kosovo Joost Lagendijk said. Serbia's progress in EU integration process and improved cooperation with the ICTY should be commended, but Belgrade must not be allowed to think that its stand on Kosovo and EU integration are two separate issues, he said in a release after the European Commission made public its progress report on Serbia. The European Commission gently urges Serbia to be constructive as regards Kosovo, but the EU should make it clear that obstruction of EU missions in Kosovo will not be tolerated, he said. Serbia still opposes EULEX deployment in northern Kosovo, and the EU must not allow it to take further steps towards membership as long as it continues to do so, he said.



BELGRADE, Nov 5 (Tanjug) - President Boris Tadic told British Foreign Secretary David Miliband that Serbia insists that the reconfiguration of the international civilian mission in Kosovo (UNMIK) should be approved by the UN Security Council. Tadic and Miliband also discussed the promotion of bilateral relations, Serbia's european prospects and the situation in the region, Tadic's press service announced.


BELGRADE, Nov 5 (Tanjug) - President Boris Tadic congratulated Barrack Obama on election victory. The election opens a new chapter in the long history of Serbian - US relations, characterized by alliance and friendship most of that time, Tadic said. Serbia is firmly committed to fostering relations with the US and contributing to Balkan stability and future in Europe, he noted. By sharing the common values of justice, democracy and freedom, Serbia and the US can work together as partners to make a better world, he said. Tadic also expressed hope that the new US administration will have more understanding for Serbia, which is defending its legitimate interests by peaceful and diplomatic means.


BELGRADE, Nov 5 (Tanjug) - Interior Minister Ivica Dacic and US ambassador in Belgrade Cameron Munter said that the fight against crime and terrorism is the joint goal of Serbia and the United States. Speaking at a joint press conference after the signing of an agreement on the donation of the US embassy of Zodiak boats to the Interior Ministry's Special Anti-Terrorist Union (SAJ), Munter and Dacic called for boosting cooperation between the US embassy and the Serbian police in the security sphere. Dacic set out that the US embassy's donation would also contribute to improving SAJ's technical capacities, noting that this demonstrates that the joint goal is security in Serbia. Munter said that the donation is the best example of Serbian - US cooperation, underscoring that the fight against global terrorism is one of the major tasks of the US and that it needs help from other countries for this.


BELGRADE, Nov 5 (Tanjug) - Foreign Minister Vuk Jeremic voiced hope that the relations between Belgrade and the new US administration in Washington will be better than those with the previous administration of George Bush. "I hope that our relations with the new American government will be better than those with the departing administration, and this will not be difficult, bearing in mind the relations we had with the Bush administration," Jeremic said. The Serbian foreign minister added that he expects more understanding and more room for cooperation with the new administration in Washington. "I think that the world hoped for changes and that is what happened," Jeremic said, pointing out that the presidential election in the United States are very important event for both American and world political history.


BELGRADE, Nov 5 (Tanjug) - Serbian Speaker Slavica Djukic - Dejanovic said it is necessary to intensify efforts to improve the position of refugees and the displaced and called on international organizations and donors to help Serbia to deal with them on a permanent basis. Opening a public meeting on improving the position of refugees and internally displaced persons, Dejanovic recalled that during the 1990s Serbia provided sanctuary to hundreds of thousands of refugees from all parts of the former Yugoslavia. Dejanovic pointed out that many of them became naturalized in the meantime, but that 97.000 refugees still remain in Serbia, together with 206,000 internally displaced from Kosovo and Metohija who are currently unable to return home. Many of them continue to have existential problems, while a number, especially members of the Roma minority, live in conditions well below those required by human dignity, Dejanovic explained. She called on the MPs to take active part in all processes linked to promoting the position of refugees and the displaced in Serbia.


BEIJING, Nov 5 (Tanjug) - China appreciates its ties with Serbia and views it as a reliable and good friend and partner, Chinese Vice President Xi Jinping told Serbian Defence Minister Dragan Sutanovac, who arrived on a five-day visit to China on Tuesday . Xi praised the healthly and stable development of Sino - Serb relations, as the two countries have always backed each other and closely cooperated on international issues, the Xinhua news agency reported. The Chinese vice president added that China respects the choice that the Serb people have made regarding their development path, noting that China is prepared to work with Serbia in promoting mutual ties. Sutanovac said that Serbia highly appreciates its links with China, that it strongly supports the policy of a single China and that it is prepared to work on strengthening inter-state and military cooperation with China. During his first visit to the most populous country in the world, Sutanovac congratulated China on the successful organization of the recent summer Olympic Games, its exceptional reform results and its opening towards the world over the past three decades.


BELGRADE, Nov 6 (Tanjug) - Minister for Labor and Social Policy Rasim Ljajic said that it is necessary to cut down on public spending in the country because of the global economic crisis. "The administration must generally be cut down, which is not likely to happen soon, but that is the way toward achieving full stability in the country and preserving the macroeconomic objective, which is the government priority," Ljajic told in the Federation Palace after the signing of a decision on an expansion of the effects of the general collective agreement. The Serbian government has 25 members and the parliament 250 seats, Ljajic said, underscoring that these numbers are not the best solution. "Things should begin with us in order for the country to be stabilized," he said. It can hardly be expected that the economic crisis will bypass Serbia, Ljajic said. "We do not want to alarm citizens over that, but we don't want to give them false hopes, either," he said.


BELGRADE, Nov 5 (Tanjug) - Japanese Ambassador to Serbia Tadashi Nagai and representatives of medical centers in Ljubovija, Sjenica, Uzica and Soko Banja signed an agreement on a donation by the Japanese government. The donation worth EUR 169,595 is aimed at helping improve the health system in Serbia, and it includes one ambulance vehicle, an EEG machine, defibrillator, a haematological counter, a biochemical analyzer and an ultrasound machine. Thanking for the donation, Serbian Health Minister Dr Tomica Milosavljevic said that the donation is aimed at emergency interventions and equipment that is used to save lives at the last moment. Ambassador Nagai underscored that the aid is intended to upgrade the emergency medical aid and quick diagnostics. He also said that Japan had so far donated about EUR 200 million to Serbia, and that EUR 17 million of that amount was donated to the country's health system.



KRASNODAR, Nov 5 (Tanjug) - Prime Minister Mirko Cvetkovic stated that at a meeting of intergovernmental Serbia-Russia committee for trade, economic, scientific and technical cooperation, which is scheduled for November 24, he expects concrete results in regards to expansion of the list of goods to be exported to Russia tax free. In his statement with reporters in Krasnodar, where he opened today an exhibition of Serbia's companies, Cvetkovic recalled that the Agreement on Free Trade with the Russian Federation includes 90 percent of products and that the Serbian side is very much interested in expanding the list. Russian Minister for Emergency Situations Sergei Shoigu will chair the intergovernmental meeting to be held on November 24, while Deputy Prime Minister Ivica Dacic will head Serbia's delegation. During the next round of talks, abolition of taxes on monitors, cars, furniture and TV sets will be discussed. Cvetkovic also said that the aim of the government's economic policy is to upgrade the competitiveness of the Serbian industry in Russia's market.


BELGRADE. Nov 5 (Tanjug) - Deputy Premier and Economy Minister Mladjan Dinkic, the representative of the UNDP program Nina Reza and Italy's ambassador Alessandro Merola on Wednesday signed an agreement on the implementation of the UN Art Gold Serbia project over the next three years in the municipalities of the Macva and Kolubara districts. The first stage of the economic development will be financed by the Italian government by three million euros and will be implemented by UNDP, with the participation of 14 municipalities.


BELGRADE. Nov 5 (Beta) - The director of the European Bank for Reconstruction and Development (EBRD) in Serbia, Hildegard Gacek, announced that the bank would invest more than the planned EUR 250 million in Serbia, in 2009. "We have no limits for investment per state and the EBRD is ready to back all projects offered in Serbia," Gacek told at the Economic Summit of Serbia. Gacek pointed out that Serbia is a state with great potential for economic development, especially in the private sector. "Serbian companies have potential for development, not only on the national market, but also for the expansion of business across the border, and the EBRD wishes to support them in future activities," she added.



KOSOVSKA MITROVICA, Nov 5 (Tanjug) - State Secretary in the Kosovo and Metohija Ministry Oliver Ivanovic told that the Serbs from Kosovo and Metohija and Belgrade regret that NATO has assumed the task of training and equipping the so-called Kosovo army. "We believed that this could not have been avoided to a certain extent, but that it would be much better if NATO, as an institution, were protected from being compromised in such a manner, from engaging in the equipping and training of a uni-national army, viewed by the Serbs as a threat," Ivanovic stated. NATO Secretary General Jaap de Hoop Scheffer said during his visit to Pristina on Tuesday that, apart from the usual tasks, NATO has a new one - the disbanding of the Kosovo Protection Corps in order "to develop a controlled Kosovo army." "We thought that a way out of this situation is that, instead of NATO as an institution, one or two countreis were to appear in that role to also sponsor the implementation of that part of the plan that we have absolutely rejected," Ivanovic set out. He said that such a solution would in any case have been less painful. "However, it is clear that the NATO Council and the General Secretary himself thought otherwise and now we will have the situation that the formation of such an army, with all the equipment it will be getting, will in fact represent an additional threat to the Serbs," Ivanovic pointed out.


BRUSSELS, Nov 5 (Tanjug) - EU Foreign Policy and Security Chief Javier Solana said in Brussels on Wednesday that three "parallel processes" lead to the deployment of EUlex throughout Kosovo and that talks about this have reached "a sensitive moment." Solana set out that the three processes are: talks between Belgrade and UNMIK on the six points proposed by UN General Secretary Ban - Ki Moon, talks on a possible UN Security Council presidential statement and a dialogue between Belgrade and the EU on EUlex. These three processes are parallel, but they should not block each other, Solana told the Foreign Policy Committee of the European Parliament. He underscored that a sensitive moment in the talks on EUlex has been reached, and that he would meet with the UN General Secretary during the weekend to consider the resolution of the remaining problems. Previously, Solana said that he expects the deployment of EUlex in Kosovo in December.


PRISTINA, Nov 5 (Tanjug) - European Commission's (EC) progress report for Kosovo, despite noting a few achievements such as maintaining order in difficult circumstances, harshly criticizes the Kosovo government because of the lack of progress in fighting corruption, organized crime and because of the weaknesses of the judicial and administrative system. Head of the European Commission Liaison Office to Kosovo Renzo Daviddi said at a news conference that this report does not comprise legislative which is in the process of adoption, or institutions which are in the process of formation. The EU official said that the EC proposes the realization of a study for Kosovo in fall 2009, to assess in which way Kosovo could most benefit from its regional and European integration.


PRISTINA, Nov 6 (Beta) - The EU's special envoy in Kosovo, Pieter Feith, welcomed the EC announcement that it would prepare a feasibility study and its progress report on Kosovo. "I welcome the Commission's proposal to conduct a feasibility study, evaluating the means to further Kosovo's political and socioeconomic development," Feith stated. The statement by the EU special envoy in Kosovo said that the feasibility study was "good news for Kosovo," since it would "develop ideas on how Kosovo, as part of the region, can best progress towards integration with the EU." "In this context, I encourage the relevant institutions in Kosovo to undertake the necessary reforms," Feith said. He added that the European Commission's report on Kosovo's progress, published on Nov. 5, represented "an important tool for assessing Kosovo's overall progress in undertaking the necessary reforms."


PRISTINA, Nov 6 (Tanjug) - British Foreign Secretary David Miliband said in Pristina on Wednesday that the EULEX mission would be deployed on the whole Kosovo territory, and that it would not deal with the issue of status, but rather with the protection of the people. The EU mission enjoys the support of all member countries and it will protect all the inhabitants of Kosovo, Miliband said after his meeting with local officials. Miliband arrived in Pristina after his visit to Belgrade, where he conferred with Serbian President Boris Tadic and Foreign Minister Vuk Jeremic. During his first visit to Pristine, The British foreign secretary had a joint meeting with Kosovo President and Prime Minister, Fatmir Sejdiu and Hasim Taci, respectively, parliament speaker Jakup Krasnici and Foreign Minister Skender Hiseni.


PRISTINA, Nov 6 (Beta) - Kosovo President Fatmir Sejdiu stated that he did not expect a change of policy regarding Kosovo after the U.S. presidential elections, which went to Democratic candidate Barack Obama."I welcome this great historic process for the United States of America. I deeply respect the U.S. role for and in Kosovo,' Sejdiu said, after returning to Kosovo from a visit to Albania.He added that the U.S. administration's policy has always been important for Kosovo, which "helped the freedom of the people of Kosovo." Premier Hashim Thaci also congratulated the newly elected U.S. president, saying that Kosovo will be America's partner in the achievement of peace and democracy for everyone. Thaci held a special news conference on Nov. 5 about the U.S. elections, saying that Obama was "the direct personification of the American dream." The U.S. presidential elections were the main topic of all the media in Pristina, which called them historic, not only for the U.S. but for the entire world, as well.Throughout the night, electronic media reported about the voting and the initial results of the U.S. elections, and the press gave them front page coverage.