Daily Survey

Belgrade, May 14, 2012


SERBIA

JEREMIC AT UN SECURITY COUNCIL SESSION ON KOSOVO

NEW YORK, May 14 (Tanjug) - The UN Security Council will hold on Monday a session in the presence of Serbian Foreign Minister Vuk Jeremic, at which the regular three-month UNMIK report on the situation in Kosovo will be presented.In his new report Tanjug had access to, UN Secretary General Ban Ki-moon cautioned about tensions and risks threatening to hamper stability in Kosovo, and said that there will be not be much room for the dialogue between Belgrade and Pristina in the coming months.The reports states that the number of criminal acts directed against ethnic minorities in Kosovo has increased in the period February-May 2012, that is when compared to the same period last year.The UN secretary general also cautioned that the number of returnees has reduced in the same period, and that only 136 people returned to Kosovo in the past three months. The returnees include 33 Serbs, 10 Roma people, 83 Ashkalis, eight Bosniaks and two Albanians. This is 48 percent less than in the same period 2011, when 264 persons came back to Kosovo.Tensions and confrontations pose a great risk to stability in Kosovo and the entire region, and there is still considerable resistance of Kosovo Albanians to legal measures protecting Serbian cultural and religious heritage in Kosovo, the report says.At the previous session which was held on February 8, ambassadors of the UN Security Council member states called for the continuation of dialogue between Belgrade and Pristina and for finding a decision about representation of Kosovo in regional forums, which was accomplished later in March.One of the main topics of the February session was the investigation into organ trafficking in Kosovo, following reports by CoE Special Rapporteur Dick Marty, but the UN Security Council member states then put forward different views of whether an investigation should be carried out by EULEX, as advocated by the U.S. and other NATO members, or by the UN, as advocated by Russia and China.Almost a year and a half ago, EULEX began an investigation into the trafficking of human organs, but has not yet released any data on how the investigation is progressing and whether indictments for those crimes might be expected soon.

SANU WANTS MINISTRY OF SCIENCE & HIGHER EDUCATION

BELGRADE, May 14 (Tanjug) - Representatives of the Serbian Academy of Arts and Sciences (SANU), the national councils for higher education, and scientific and technological development, and the rectors of the Belgrade and Novi Sad universities signed Monday a motion calling for the establishment of a ministry of higher eduction, science and technological development.SANU President Nikola Hajdin said Serbia needed a ministry which would combine the closely linked fields of education and science.Hajdin said the idea had been around for a while and was necessary for the society's development.The motion's supporters said a single ministry would pool funds for higher education and science.Belgrade University Rector Branko Kovacevic said education needed to be placed on new foundations by being united with science, allowing the country to adapt to the demands of a new time.Kovacevic believes the new ministry would contribute both to the quality of education and the economic development and prosperity of the country.Srdjan Stankovic, chairman of the national higher education council, also stressed the importance of uniting science and education to enable both fields to evolve and contribute to the country's development.Novi Sad University Rector Miroslav Veskovic said Serbia had to produce creative and productive knowledge, which was only possible through a symbiosis of research and higher education institutions.The people behind the motion recalled that after the ministry of science was abolished in the government reshuffle in March last year, over 5,000 people signed a petition calling for its re-establishment.

PROSECUTORS OFFICE: THERE WAS NO FIXING OF RESULTS

BELGRADE, May 14 (Tanjug) - Prosecutors office said "There was no fixing of results, bag with election material stolen after regular procedure was completed".

RIK PRESIDENT: ELECTIONS REGULAR, NO ANNULMENT

BELGRADE, May 12 (Tanjug) - Predrag Grgic, the president of the Republic Electoral Commission (RIK), has stated that the May 6 elections were completely regular and that there is no reason for their annulment, adding that the complaint lodged by the Serbian Progressive Party (SNS) will be considered at today's session."The elections were organized and carried out in keeping with all legal procedures. All complaints that the RIK has received so far have been dismissed as untimely or unfounded and there is no reason for the elections to be annulled. The Commission will today discuss the SNS' complaint received yesterday, just like it did with all the previous ones," Grgic told Tanjug."The RIK always acts in compliance with the law and it will do so this time as well," he said.

SERBIA – EU

CVETKOVIC & STOLTENBERG: STABILITY MOST IMPORTANT FOR SERBIA

BELGRADE, May 12 (Tanjug) - Prime Minister Cvetkovic conferred with Norwegian Prime Minister Jens Stoltenberg, and said that political and economic stability is of utmost importance for Serbia in the further process of EU integration. Stoltenberg congratulated Serbia on obtaining the status of an EU candidate, and added that the country is rapidly moving down the path of EU integration and deepening of cooperation with regional countries, the EU and Norway. The Serbian prime minister said that Serbia is ahead of an intensive process of EU integration and further implementation of all necessary reforms.Cvetkovic stated that Serbia and Norway have very good bilateral relations, but that they should be improved even more, especially in the field of economy.The two officials concluded that the good example of Telenor, a telecommunications company which is the biggest individual investment in Serbia, should be followed by other Norwegian companies, and that mutual cooperation could be expanded in the field of energy, environmental protection and infrastructure, says a statement issued by the government's Office for Media Relations.

STOLTENBERG: EU SEES CHANGES IN SERBIA

BELGRADE, May 14 (Tanjug) - Changes in Serbia are evident to me and all my colleagues in the EU, and I am sure in four years' time Serbia will be knocking on the EU's door, Norwegian Prime Minister Jens Stoltenberg has said.When I talk to my European colleagues, it is evident to everyone that changes have taken place in Serbia. Of course you have serious economic problems, low growth and high unemployment, but this is the case in almost all EU member countries and the problems in Serbia are in large part a consequence of the serious crisis in the whole EU, he said.Talking about the May 20 runoff in the Serbian presidential election in an interview for the daily Blic, Stoltenberg said he would congratulate the president and prime minister whoever won, as he always did with countries with which Norway had close ties.He said he had known Boris Tadic, president of Serbia for the past eight years, for a long time and believed he was an excellent leader in his country and an excellent representative on the international scene.The Norwegian prime minister noted Serbia had become more modern and developed as a society in recent years, and candidate status for EU membership came as a reward for these changes.Asked what kind of government Serbia needed to come closer to the EU, Stoltenberg said it was not his place to comment on the composition of the future cabinet, but that he had personally had a good experience with Tadic.Now when I listen to other European leaders talk about Serbia and how they see the country, it sounds a lot different than it did just a few years ago, when images of Serbia were burdened with problems in cooperation with the International Criminal Tribunal for the former Yugoslavia and still under a strong impression left by the Milosevic era, he said.

DEGERT: SERBIA'S EU PATHWAY WILL CONTINUE

NOVI SAD, May 12 (Tanjug) - Head of the EU delegation to Serbia Vincent Degert stated in Novi Sad Saturday that Serbia's EU pathway will continue after the forming of the new government, adding that potential complaints to the election process should be resolved within the regular procedure.When asked about his views of the current situation in Serbia after the parliamentary and ahead of the second round of presidential elections, and whether it will reflect on the country's EU integration process, he said that Serbia has been working on building democracy for the past ten years.That is the path you must continue following. In case of allegations, they should be considered within the procedure that resolves such issues, Degert said.He recalled that elections in Serbia were monitored by the representatives of the international community, ODIHR, OSCE and the Council of Europe, and stressed that they can also be addressed for evaluation in the event of complaints to the election process.Degert also pointed out that he is ready to confer with leader of the Serbian Progressive Party (SNS) Tomislav Nikolic if Nikolic wishes to discuss this issue with him.We have a very clear goal - to open accession talks between the EU and Serbia as soon as possible, as soon as Serbia is ready. There are several other challenges ahead of the new government and parliament and we are ready to move on, Degert underlined.