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DAILY SURVEY 06.12.2018.
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SERBIA

BRNABIC: I HOPE SERBIA WILL NOT HAVE TO USE ITS MILITARY

BELGRADE, December 5 2018 (Beta) - Serbian Prime Minister Ana Brnabic stated on Dec. 5, commenting on the announcements about forming the army of Kosovo, that she hoped Serbia would not have to use its military, but that this was currently one of the options on the table, since Serbia could not sit by idly through another ethnic cleansing of the Serbs. "I hope we will never have to use our military, but that is also one of the options on the table at this moment, because we cannot sit idly by and watch another ethnic cleansing and new 'Storms', although (Albanian Prime Minister) Edi Rama is calling for them," Ana Brnabic told reporters in the Serbian government building. She said that Serbia had been investing in defense capacities since Aleksandar Vucic became prime minister, because they were devastated. "When someone knows you have a strong military, then they have to sit at the table with you and talk," Brnabic said. Serbian President Aleksandar Vucic recently stated that the Albanians were planning to form the army of Kosovo on Dec. 14.

BRNABIC: SERBIA LOSES EUR42 MILLION PER MONTH DUE TO PRISTINA'S FEES

BELGRADE, December 5 2018 (Beta) - Serbia is losing 42 million euros per month due to the 100-percent import fees on goods from Serbia that were introduced by Pristina, Serbian Prime Minister Ana Brnabic stated on Dec. 5. "This loss is nowhere near what the Serbs in Kosovo and Metohija are losing because of the Pristina authorities' unreasonable decision," Brnabic said at a news conference in the Serbian government. She stressed that the Serbs in Kosovo and Metohija were now feeling even less secure and more discriminated than on Nov. 6, when the 10-percent import fees were introduced on goods from Serbia, and on Nov. 21 when they were increased to 100 percent. "We do not know if the Serbs in Kosovo and Metohija will have fuel, medicines and food, because of this irrational decision by Pristina, which is also unreasonable towards the Albanians," the prime minister said. She stressed that almost all Albanian products were being made with raw materials from Serbia.

VULIN: KOSOVO ARMY FORMATION INADMISSIBLE FOR SERBIA, KFOR GUARANTEES SAFETY

BELGRADE, December 5 2018 (Beta) - In a meeting with Head of EU Delegation to Serbia Sem Fabrizi on Dec. 5, Defense Minister Aleksandar Vulin said that the formation of a Kosovo army was inadmissible for Serbia and KFOR was the only body guaranteeing safety in according with U.N. Security Council Resolution 1244. Vulin said that Serbia's firm position remained unchanged in relation to the need to strictly adhere to Resolution 1244 provisions, noting that KFOR was the most responsible for preserving peace and security in Kosovo's territory. Speaking about the 100 percent import duties which Pristina had imposed on goods from Serbia, Vulin branded it as yet another act of Pristina's self-will, which was in violation of regional free trade agreements. He also thanked EU Commissioner Johannes Hahn on his principled stand and offering support to Serbia regarding the duties. Vulin stressed that Serbia had been and would continue to be the stability factor in the region. He said that the Defense Ministry would continue to cooperate with the EU as part of the common security and defense policy through its engagement in EU missions, preparations for participation in EU Battlegroup, preparations for deployment of civilians to missions, and participation in joint projects with the European Defense Agency.

JOKSIMOVIC: CHAPTERS 17, 18 SHOULD BE OPENED IN BRUSSELS ON DEC. 10

BELGRADE, December 5 2018 (Beta) - EU Integration Minister Jadranka Joksimovic said on Dec. 5 that in Serbia's accession talks with the EU, Chapter 17 dealing with economic and monetary policy and Chapter 18 on statistics should be opened at an intergovernmental conference in Brussels on Dec. 10. Joksimovic told reporters that Serbia had submitted seven negotiating chapters that had been technically ready, that is, they had passed through all the necessary procedures in Serbia's institutions and the European Commission. She added that a relatively small number of chapters to be opened was due to the fact that the enlargement policy was currently not a priority of the EU member states. According to Joksimovic, the EU is "not in the best form" to implement the enlargement policy in election campaign when all member states are preparing for European Parliament elections, scheduled for late May next year, while Great Britain is exiting the EU by the end of March 2019. Joksimovic said that 19 member countries had given the green light for the opening of three chapters, while some countries had given their go-ahead for four and five chapters, some were only for the opening of one chapter and some were against the opening of any chapter, but considering that the EU applies consensus decision-making, the decision was to open two chapters. Joksimovic said that she was neither too happy or unhappy as there was a pace and Serbia had been opening chapters and demonstrating that reforms were being implemented and going forward. "This is a process that is sometimes successful and sometimes less successful, but it is important that Serbia is going forward," Joksimovic said. Speaking about the rule of law and progress reports for Chapters 23 and 24, Joksimovic said that the progress achieved in these chapters was taken into account by EU members states when making a decision on the number of chapters to be opened, as well as Chapter 35, which monitored the implementation of the Brussels agreement. She stressed that as a minister with experience in the field of EU integration, she could say that Serbia had made considerable progress in the rule of law, but still would not see more chapters opened. Speaking about Chapter 35, she said that only the absence of political will or any constructive moves by Pristina could be concluded, as Pristina had failed to fulfill commitments deriving from the Brussels agreement, "but has rather with its unilateral moves regressed the already bad atmosphere and trusts." "Pristina's moves have mocked the concept of EU values which the region should cherish. The EU was founded on the freedom of movement of people, goods and services and these are the fundamental values of the EU. which, along with the freedom of media and the rule of law have been further developed," Joksimovic said.

KUBUROVIC, SWEDISH AMBASSADOR DISCUSS JUDICIAL REFORM

BELGRADE, December 5 2018 (Beta) - Justice Minister Nela Kuburovic and Swedish Ambassador to Serbia Jan Lundin on Dec. 5 discussed Serbia's EU integration and Sweden's support to judicial reform. They assessed that Serbia had made progress but that much work lay ahead on the EU path, according to a release from the ministry. Lundin said that Sweden backed Serbia's EU path, adding that he was sure it belonged in the EU. Ambassador Lundin stressed that Sweden had been providing support to Serbia in implementing reforms, including the judicial reform. He further said that Sweden wished to support Serbia in judicial reform and that cooperation would continue through the Multi Donor Trust Fund for Justice Sector. Kuburovic thanked Ambassador Lundin on the support Sweden had been providing to Serbia for years now in improving and strengthening Serbia's judicial capacities.

STOLTENBERG: KSF TRANSFORMATION INTO ARMY COULD HAVE SERIOUS CONSEQUENCES FOR KOSOVO

BRUSSELS, December 5 2018 (Beta) - NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg on Dec 5 said that Pristina authorities' attempts to turn the Kosovo Security Forces (KSF) into an army, contrary to NATO's advice, "could have serious consequence for Kosovo's EuroAtlantic integration." Stoltenberg said that in such a case, the NATO Council would have to reconsider the level of KFOR's presence in Kosovo and Metohija. He warned that the imposition of 100 percent import duty by Pristina' on goods from Serbia and Bosnia-Herzegovina "are provoking new divisions and such moves are pushing the EU-brokered Belgrade-Pristina dialogue into an even more difficult situation." Stoltenberg called on Pristina and Belgrade to refrain from provocative measures and messages. In the closing of NATO foreign ministers' meeting in Brussels, Stoltenberg said that "it is a bad moment for the KSC transformation into army, noting that changing the KSF mandate could be made only in accordance with the Constitution, with consultations with NATO member countries and other allies and with the participation of all factors in Kosovo. He underlined that the Pristina authorities were now attempting to act "contrary to advice by many NATO allies and without the engagement of all factors," reiterating that if the KSF mandate changed, "NATO would have to reconsider the engagement level in Kosovo." Stoltenberg made the statement after NATO foreign ministers and EU High Commissioner Federica Mogherini had considered "cooperation with the Western Balkans," the region, which Mogherini described of "crucial importance for European security."

ECONOMY

GERMANY HELPS SERBIA WITH EUR1.8 BILLION IN DEVELOPMENT PROJECTS

BELGRADE, December 5 2018 (Beta) - Germany has supported Serbia with EUR1.8 billion over the past 18 years, through projects of cooperation in development, the German ambassador in Belgrade, Thomas Schieb, stated on Dec. 5. "During these 18 years, there have been 80 technical cooperation projects and almost 60 projects of financial cooperation," he said at the celebration of the anniversary of German-Serbian developmental cooperation in the Belgrade City Hall. Schieb said that, since 2000, through various projects in cooperation with the Serbian government, local institutions, the German Development Organization GIZ, the German Development Bank KfW, reforms have been supported that were oriented to sustainable economic development, the environment, renewable energy sources, improvement of governance and the judiciary, better education for young people, that is the improvement of overall living conditions for the people. "Serbia, as a future EU member, is an important partner for us, important for the development of the entire region and the improvement of living conditions in Serbia has as a consequence a better life in South East Europe. For Germany, Serbia is the key country in the region," he said. Schieb believes that the well-implemented projects that Germany supported in Serbia were a measure of success and that every citizen benefited from these projects, directly or indirectly. "The first cooperation contract was signed just 39 days after the democratic changes in 2000 - that was 30 million German marks in aid for importing electricity," the German ambassador recollected. He pointed out that almost EUR30 million was designated in 2018 for future projects in Serbia, with the focus on rural areas. Serbian Minister for European Integration Jadranka Joksimovic has stated that Germany had helped by investing in sustainable development and the reform processes in Serbia. "Some of the projects supported by Germany were the rehabilitation and output enlargement of the Bajina Basta hydroelectric power plant, and the same is currently under way in the power plant in Zvornik. Work is under way on introducing remote heating in 21 municipalities in Serbia with the help of funds from Germany, while 24 municipalities are working on installing waste water treatment systems," Joksimovic said. She stressed that Germany was the biggest bilateral donor of developmental aid to Serbia, whose donations help the sustainable development of local administration units in Serbia, adding that this was not just an expression of solidarity, but of a political decision to help those countries which are seriously counted on as important partners. Belgrade Mayor Zoran Radojicic recollected that around 400 German companies operated in Serbia, employing around 50,000 people, and 50 companies in Belgrade alone. The marking of 18 years of cooperation in development between Germany and Serbia will also be held in Subotica, Vranje, Trstenik and Zajecar - where significant projects are being realized within the partnership.

CoE TO DISBURSE EUR4 MIL TO BACK LOCAL GOVERNMENTS IN SERBIA IN 2019

BELGRADE, Decewmber 5 2018 (Beta) - Early next year, the Council of Europe (CoE) will ensure an additional EUR4 million to continue supporting local self-governments in Serbia, particularly in boosting human resources, head of the Council of Europe in Belgrade TobiŠ°s Flessenkemper said on Dec. 5. On Dec. 5, Flesenkemper met with State Administration and Local Self-Government Minister Branko Ruzic to discuss further cooperation in raising the capacities of local self-governments and improving conditions for the exercise of rights of national minorities, according to a statement from the ministry. Ruzic said that so far projects had largely increased the level of understanding and knowledge of employees in municipal and town administrations about the legal framework. This particularly refers to the Law on Local Self-government, which has provided for more engagement of citizens in the policy-making process and the strengthening of cooperation between municipalities, as well as to three laws dealing with ways to improve the exercise of minority rights in terms of language and letters, the protection of rights and freedoms, and the work of national councils of national minorities, according to the statement.