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CrisisWatch Database

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Kosovo

  |  1 Aug 2014

Unchanged

Political crisis sparked by June elections continued: newly-formed opposition bloc 17 July elected head of Democratic League of Kosovo (LDK) Isa Mustafa Speaker of Parliament after Democratic Party of Kosovo (PDK) deputies had declared parliamentary session adjourned; PM Hashim Thaci filed complaint with Constitutional Court. No progress achieved in EU-led talks 23 July on controversial Mitrovica bridge. EU investigative team 29 July said it found evidence of crimes against humanity committed by high-ranking Kosovo Liberation Army members during and after 1990s war with Serbia.

Bosnia and Herzegovina

  |  1 Aug 2014

Unchanged

A Dutch court on 16 July ruled the Netherlands liable for 300 Bosnian Muslims killed in the 1995 Srebrenica massacre. The Genocide anniversary was commemorated in mid-July.

Macedonia

  |  1 Aug 2014

Unchanged

Ethnic Albanian protesters 4 July clashed with riot police during rally against jailing of several Muslims for murder of ethnic Macedonians in Skopje; 20 police, several protesters injured; 6 ethnic Albanians sentenced 30 July to 3 years in prison for participation in violent protests.

Kosovo

  |  1 Jul 2014

Unchanged

Parliamentary elections held 8 June with 43% turnout: ruling Democratic Party of Kosovo (PDK) narrowly defeated opposition Democratic League of Kosovo (LDK). Opposition parties LDK, Alliance for the Future of Kosovo (AAK) and PDK splinter group 10 June agreed to form coalition against PDK. EU 12 June extended 2,000-strong rule of law and justice mission until June 2016, said mission will now start “phasing out executive functions in justice sector”. Mitrovica Serbs 18 June dismantled barricade that had been blocking main bridge for 3 years, 20 June re-blocked bridge; police in Mitrovica 22 June clashed with Kosovo Albanian protesters.

Macedonia

  |  1 Jun 2014

Unchanged

Opposition Social Democratic Union 28 May resigned seats in parliament in protest over 27 April snap poll results. Arrest of ethnic Albanian suspected of killing young Macedonian sparked protests, ethnic clashes in Skopje 20-21 May; several dozen protesters detained, 5 charged; civil rights groups accused police of excessive force. NATO Sec Gen Rasmussen 23 May said resolution of name dispute with Greece key to joining alliance.

Bosnia and Herzegovina

  |  1 Jun 2014

Unchanged

Some 200 protested outside Federation parliament in Sarajevo 9 May calling for resignation of entity govt, demanding govt fulfil demands submitted by citizens’ plenums in April. UN High Rep to Bosnia 15 May emphasised need for ongoing international oversight of 1995 Dayton peace agreement implementation.

Kosovo

  |  1 Jun 2014

Unchanged

Main parties 7 May agreed to dissolve parliament and hold snap elections 8 June following failure to agree on creation of national army; Serb parties refused to support move unless guaranteed reserved seats in parliament for another 4 years. Montenegrin officials warned would seek international arbitration in Kosovo border dispute if no agreement reached soon.

Kosovo

  |  1 May 2014

Unchanged

3 ethnic Serb police attacked in northern municipality Zubin Potok 1 April. Following arrest of Kosovo Serb early month for 2011 killing of ethnic Albanian police officer in 2011, 4 Serb municipalities in north 16 April announced they would cease cooperation with EULEX. Parliament approved international court to address alleged crimes committed by ethnic Albanian guerrillas during 1998-99 war with Serbia.

Bosnia and Herzegovina

  |  1 Apr 2014

Unchanged

Anti-govt protests that began early Feb continued on smaller scale in several towns and cities. EU foreign policy chief Ashton, visiting 12 March, said EU will switch focus from constitutional reform to economy, welfare, judiciary.

Kosovo

  |  1 Apr 2014

Unchanged

Govt announced plan to transform Kosovo Security Force into Kosovo Armed Forces by 2019; Belgrade said plan violates April 2013 normalisation agreement, cited guarantees forces will never enter Serb-majority north of Kosovo. Kosovo Serbs 16 March cast votes in Serbian election in polls organised by OSCE. Russian embassy in Belgrade said Moscow’s policy of non-recognition of Kosovo unchanged notwithstanding developments in Crimea.

Bosnia and Herzegovina

  |  1 Mar 2014

Unchanged

Protests began in over 30 towns early Feb, triggered by collapse of privatised companies in Tuzla and resulting layoffs. Hundreds of redundant workers gathered in front of govt building in Tuzla 5 Feb calling for compensation; over 30 injured, 27 arrested. Several thousand joined protests 6 Feb, scores injured; protests began in Sarajevo and other places same day in support of Tuzla protesters and over economic conditions; 8 Feb spread to 32 towns in Bosniak-Croat entity, with protesters in some cities attacking and setting fire to govt buildings, clashing with police; several hundred injured, scores detained. Several politicians resigned, including canton govts in Tuzla and Zenica. Situation calmed 9 Feb, though protests continued demanding further resignations, measures to curb corruption, improve economy. Small protest also in Republika Srpska capital. Governing Social Democratic Party 12 Feb submitted proposal to parliament to change state-level electoral law to enable early elections. Sarajevo canton govt late Feb accepted protesters’ demands for govt of experts, lower wages for officials.

Kosovo

  |  1 Mar 2014

Unchanged

In 23 Feb re-run of local election in Mitrovica North, Goran Rakic, candidate from Belgrade-backed “Srpska” list, won with 52.6% of vote. Pristina and Belgrade in disagreement over whether voting in Serbia’s March parliamentary elections can also be held in Serb areas of Kosovo. UNSG Ban in report to UNSC praised progress by Kosovo and Serbia on normalisation of relations.

Kosovo

  |  1 Feb 2014

Unchanged

Newly-elected mayor of Mitrovica refused to take office 13 Jan, calling Nov local elections “major scam by international community”; new polls set for 23 Feb. Member of Mitrovica municipal assembly shot dead by unknown assailant in N Mitrovica 16 Jan.

Serbia

  |  2 Jan 2014

Unchanged

EU FMs 17 Dec agreed Serbia can start EU membership talks Jan following implementation of April 2013 EU-mediated agreement with Kosovo.

Kosovo

  |  2 Jan 2014

Unchanged

Run-off elections for 25 of 38 municipalities 1 Dec; no incidents reported, amid heavy security in North Mitrovica; some irregularities. Democratic Party of Kosovo won total of 10 municipalities in elections; Democratic League of Kosovo 9; Belgrade-backed “Srpska” 8. During 19th round of EU-mediated talks, Serbian and Kosovo PMs 5 Dec agreed that a Serb will command regional police in Serb-majority northern Kosovo.

Macedonia

  |  2 Jan 2014

Unchanged

European Council 17 Dec again postponed discussion on opening Macedonian EU membership talks until June 2014, due to Greek position on name dispute.

Bosnia and Herzegovina

  |  1 Dec 2013

Unchanged

High Representative Valentin Inzko in report to UNSC expressed concern over political crisis, need for reform, Bosnian Serb calls for secession. Republika Srpska (RS) President Dodik 20 Nov said RS should be separate state. Preliminary results of Oct census show fall in population from 1991 level from 4.4mn to 3.79mn. Upper chamber of parliament 5 Nov adopted changes to Law on Personal Numbers, required for newborns to obtain personal documents. Prosecutors 27 Nov indicted Federation entity President Budimir and several other senior figures over suspicious amnesties.

Kosovo

  |  1 Dec 2013

Unchanged

Local elections held across Kosovo 3 Nov, including first local polls to be held under Kosovo jurisdiction in country’s 4 mainly-Serb northern municipalities. Polls marked by widespread fraud. Turnout among Kosovo Serbs low despite encouragement to vote from Belgrade, amid deeply flawed electoral preparations in north. Serb hardliners threatened Serbs who turned out to vote, attacked 3 polling stations, prompting OSCE staff to withdraw from N Kosovo; violence prompted widespread condemnation, plus criticism of police handling of security. Despite irregularities Central Election Commission (CEC) only ordered re-run of vote in 3 assaulted polling stations in North Mitrovica. Amid heavy security no incidents reported at re-run on 17 Nov, but turnout still low at 22% despite intensified pressure from Belgrade to vote; prosecutors subsequently opened investigation into whether Belgrade-backed Srpska list coerced people into voting. CEC also ordered re-vote in Zvečan after losing candidate presented evidence of fraud. 10 out of 35 municipalities saw outright winner in first round vote; run-off vote for others scheduled for 1 Dec. Belgrade-backed list “Srpska” won vote in 3 Serb municipalities, North Mitrovica headed for run-off.

Bosnia and Herzegovina

  |  1 Nov 2013

Unchanged

Bosnian leaders again failed to agree on constitutional reforms required to implement 2009 European Court of Human Rights umSejdić-Finci ruling, as required by EU. EU responded saying it would cut €47mn in pre-accession assistance, around half of 2014 allocation. Annual EU Progress Report 22 Oct criticised lack of reform, emphasised Brussels does not intend to impose solutions. Bosnia finally performed first post-war population census 1-15 Oct amid accusations of fraud and irregularities.

Kosovo

  |  1 Nov 2013

Unchanged

Scattered violence marred preparations for first local elections to be held under Kosovo jurisdiction in Serb-held northern municipalities 3 Nov, fuelled fears for violence on election day. 3 explosions targeted local politicians 14-19 Oct. Belgrade and Pristina traded accusations of fraud related to voter registration process. UNDP survey early Oct found almost half Serbs in N Kosovo do not plan to vote, only half of voters aware of who was running for mayor. Most of region’s established politicians supporting boycott campaign. EU Progress Report said Kosovo must strengthen anti-corruption efforts; Kosovo began talks on Stabilisation and Association Agreement 28 Oct.

Bosnia and Herzegovina

  |  1 Oct 2013

Unchanged

Ahead of Oct EU deadline to implement 2009 European Court of Human Rights Sejdić-Finci ruling which stipulates that minorities must be able to run for 3-member presidency posts currently reserved for Bosniaks, Serbs and Croats, Bosniak Party of Democratic Action (SDA) and Croatian Democratic Union (HDZ) 5 Sept put forward new proposal for electing members of 3-member state presidency. Proposal criticised by other parties. Parties expected to report to EU Enlargement Commissioner Füle 1 Oct.

Kosovo

  |  1 Oct 2013

Unchanged

Belgrade and Pristina pushing ahead with plans for Kosovo-wide municipal elections 3 Nov. Serbian officials registered state-backed slate of candidates for first local elections to be held under Kosovo law in the four northern municipalities Serbia has controlled since 1999 (Leposavić, North Mitrovica, Zubin Potok and Zvečan). Central Electoral Committee 2 Sept agreed to print ballot papers without Republic of Kosovo symbols. As part of EU-mediated April deal normalising Kosovo-Serbia relations, Serbian govt 10 Sept dismissed mayors and dissolved assemblies of the 4 northern municipalities, naming interim govts headed by its chosen candidates for Nov polls – completing Serbia’s administrative withdrawal from Kosovo and in effect representing Serbia’s acquiescence to implementing non-status components of 2006 Ahtisaari Plan. Northern Kosovo Serbs continue to reject submission to Pristina’s authority and urge boycott of elections. One or more unknown gunmen opened fire on EULEX convoy 19 September, killing Lithuanian policeman en route to northern border post at Jarinje; risk of further violence in run-up to polls. Belgrade also formed team for establishing Association of Serbian Municipalities in Kosovo, also part of April deal.

Serbia

  |  1 Oct 2013

Unchanged

In return for start of membership negotiations with EU, expected Jan 2014, govt agreed to withdraw its institutions from Kosovo territory and support Kosovo govt’s sovereignty over its whole territory ahead of Nov local elections (see Kosovo).

Macedonia

  |  1 Oct 2013

Unchanged

UN mediator in name dispute between Greece and Macedonia Matthew Nimetz visited capitals early month, said significant differences remain. FM Poposki after meeting with Greek counterpart on sidelines of UNGA said sides far from solution. UNSG Ban offered to help organise high-level talks.

Bosnia and Herzegovina

  |  1 Sep 2013

Unchanged

Serb youths assaulted 4 Bosniak returnees in Zvornik in eastern Republika Srpska 8 Aug. Long-awaited population census, first since 1991, scheduled for early Oct.

Kosovo

  |  1 Sep 2013

Unchanged

Ahead of local elections scheduled for 3 Nov, first in Serb-held northern Kosovo since independence, Serb parties yet to register with Kosovo Election Commission ahead of 3 Sept deadline for candidate and party list registration. Belgrade reportedly pushing idea of joint, Belgrade-backed list; northern opposition to participating still firm. Kosovo and Serbia PMs discussed ballots during talks in Brussels 27 Aug. Kosovo Deputy PM Tahiri said all “parallel security structures” in northern Kosovo should go by late Sept.

Bosnia and Herzegovina

  |  1 Aug 2013

Unchanged

As “babylution” protests that began in June over parliament’s failure to adopt law on ID numbers fizzled out, House of Representatives 18 July passed ID number law, requiring number on IDs to include digit referring to 9 districts (5 in Federation, 3 in RS, 1 in Brčko), allowing entity citizenship to be discerned; new protests against law. Party of Democratic Action (SDA) vetoed law in House of Peoples 23 July citing violation of Bosniak vital national interests. Social Democrats and League for Better Future voted with Serb and Croat parties on law. EU Council 22 July chastised Bosnia over lack of reform. State investigators 19 July arrested SDA MP Šemsudin Mehmedović on charges of war crimes; SDA called for state investigation agency chief to be suspended for abuse of office, since no arrest warrant issued by state prosecutor. European Court of Human Rights 18 July issued landmark ruling against Bosnia finding it had violated rights of 2 men convicted of war crimes by state court by sentencing them based on 2003 criminal code instead of old Yugoslav code; ruling casts doubt on many war crime sentences issued since 2003. Authorities reported several Bosnian citizens fighting alongside radical Islamist group al-Nusra in Syria.

Kosovo

  |  1 Aug 2013

Unchanged

Northern Kosovo Serbs 4 July formed “Assembly of the Autonomous Province of Kosovo and Metohija”, ad hoc representative body comprising local elected officials from northern municipalities. Belgrade exerting strong pressure on northerners to avoid provocations before start of Serbia’s EU accession talks: 19 July called on Kosovo Serbs to vote in Nov local elections. Northern leaders still mulling options, including boycott, mass turnout followed by mass refusal of elected officials to interact with Pristina. Under strong U.S. and EU pressure Kosovo Assembly 11 July passed controversial amnesty law, needed to allow northern Serbs to participate in Kosovo political life without fear of prosecution for political crimes; first (rejected) draft had also covered range of serious crimes.

Bosnia and Herzegovina

  |  1 Jul 2013

Unchanged

Protests began outside state parliament 5 June demanding MPs resolve dispute over adoption of new law on personal numbers which is preventing babies born since Feb 2013 from obtaining ID numbers and personal documents including passports; protests triggered by cases of infants unable to travel abroad for urgent medical treatment. Law blocked due to disagreement over whether numbers should denote entity of birth. Some 3,000 protested 6 June, blocked parliament building overnight, trapping MPs, staff and several hundred foreign visitors. High Representative Inzko agreed to call session of Peace Implementation Council (PIC) to end stalemate; PIC said pushing through law using executive powers not an option. Some 10,000 took part in largest protest in Sarajevo 11 June; smaller gatherings elsewhere in country, including Republika Srpska capital Banja Luka. Protesters also calling for 30% reduction in MP salaries. Some Serb, Croat officials refused to attend govt/parliament sessions in Sarajevo citing security concerns; PM Bevanda suspended govt 12 June. Govt 17 June rejected draft agreement on border with Croatia, day later accepted agreement, needed to allow flow of people, goods into Croatia when it joins EU. First census in 22 years given go-ahead for 1 Oct start.

Kosovo

  |  1 Jul 2013

Unchanged

Kosovo PM Thaçi and Serbia PM Dačić 21 June agreed on steps towards normalising relations and implementing 19 April EU-brokered agreement: Kosovo to hold local elections throughout territory and for 1st time in North 3 Nov; Serbian courts in North to close Sept; Serbian police premises closed, consensus candidate identified as regional police commander. Following agreement, EU Council 28 June agreed to launch talks on Stabilisation and Association Agreement with Kosovo and open accession talks with Serbia. Local Serb leaders considering options against agreement. Kosovo and Serbia appointed liaison officers 17 June to help monitor implementation of April agreement.

Serbia

  |  1 Jul 2013

Unchanged

European Council 28 June agreed to open accession talks with Serbia, starting latest Jan 2014.

Bosnia and Herzegovina

  |  1 Jun 2013

Unchanged

High Representative Inzko’s latest report to UNSG Ban cited concern over independence rhetoric from Republika Srpska. Constitutional Court 24 May ruled Federation entity president Živko Budimir, arrested late April for corruption, be released from detention along with 4 co-accused aides. State prosecutor’s office said it would appeal decision. Budimir’s Party of Justice and Trust claim arrest politically motivated. ICTY 29 May convicted 6 leaders of wartime Croatian Defence Council (HVO) of war crimes; also implicated Croatia for backing HVO campaign of ethnic cleansing and seeking to seize Bosnian territory. European parliament voted against proposal to suspend Bosnia from Council of Europe over its failure to enact constitutional reforms.

Kosovo

  |  1 Jun 2013

Unchanged

Kosovo PM Thaçi and Serbian PM Dačić 24 May agreed on implementation plan for EU-brokered 19 April normalisation deal, covering 6 policy areas including legislative change, Association-Community formation, police, courts, elections. Serb leaders in north early month reiterated rejection of 19 April deal, wrote to Russia seeking help against “unilateral action” of U.S., EU and Pristina. Serbian deputy PM Vučić and Kosovo Serb leaders 12 May reached agreement on implementation of April deal, including Serbian support for northern Kosovo. Pristina police 5 May arrested alleged regional organised crime figure Naser Kelmendi. EULEX 23 May arrested 7 former KLA members on war crimes charges from 1998-99.

Kosovo

  |  1 May 2013

Improved

Kosovo and Serbia reached breakthrough deal at 10th session of EU-mediated dialogue in Brussels 19 April: agreement recognises authority of Pristina over whole territory of Kosovo and grants local autonomy based on provisions of Ahtisaari Plan. Also creates new post of police commander for northern Kosovo, to be Serb appointed by Pristina on nomination of local authorities, and chamber of Court of Appeal in North Mitrovica with majority of Serb judges. Northern Serbs rejected deal, considering their options. Despite protests against deal in Pristina and Belgrade and northern Mitrovica, Kosovo Parliament 21 April voted 89-5 in favour of deal, Serbia’s govt approved it 22 April, Serbian parliament 26 April. Followed 8th and 9th round of dialogue earlier in month at which Belgrade rejected terms which it claimed did not provide basic rights, security for Serbs.

Serbia

  |  1 May 2013

Improved

European Commission 22 April said it would recommend start date for EU accession talks with Serbia following breakthrough deal normalising relations between Belgrade and Pristina (see Kosovo).

Macedonia

  |  1 May 2013

Unchanged

Ruling VMRO DPMNE won majority of mayoral seats in 7 April 2nd round of local elections, consolidating first round gains; court ordered re-run in several municipalities due to allegations of irregularities. European Commission progress report 16 April said country had made progress in almost all EU-related areas. UN mediator in name dispute between Greece and Macedonia offered fresh compromise proposal.

Bosnia and Herzegovina

  |  1 May 2013

Unchanged

Following visit to Bosnia 18 April, EU foreign policy chief Ashton said she was disappointed by lack of progress on political reform, political parties’ focus on party and ethnic interests; echoed concern expressed by EU Enlargement Commissioner Füle over continued failure to implement 2009 European Court of Human Rights Sejdić-Finci ruling. President of Bosniak-Croat Federation Živko Budimir and 18 other officials arrested as part of corruption investigation.

Bosnia and Herzegovina

  |  1 Apr 2013

Unchanged

Bosniak Party of Democratic Action (SDA) MPs 21 March blocked nominations of 3 judges to entity’s constitutional court, which has been incomplete since 2008 and needs quorum of judges to rule on validity of Feb no-confidence vote in govt. Federation PM Nermin Niksic (SDP) walked out of govt session 20 March, accused other parties of staging a putsch after they voted to change procedures to allow deputy PM to call govt sessions. Court sentenced former Serb paramilitary commander Veselin Vlahovic, “Monster of Grbavica”, to 45 years’ jail for war crimes.

Kosovo

  |  1 Apr 2013

Unchanged

4 March 6th round of talks between Kosovo and Serbian PMs focusing on future of Serbian-financed parallel institutions in N Kosovo began in Brussels 4 March, no agreement reached. Following 7th round of talks 20 March, EU foreign policy chief Ashton said sides “very close to solution to some specific issues such as northern Kosovo”, hopeful that they will finalise deal at meeting scheduled 2 April. EU Enlargement Commissioner Stefan Füle told Kosovo leaders to strengthen fight against corruption, in addition to normalizing relations with Serbia, in order to achieve Stabilisation and Association Agreement by June.

Macedonia

  |  1 Apr 2013

Unchanged

Opposition and govt 1 March struck deal ending political crisis: opposition agreed to end boycott of parliament and take part in 24 March local elections, govt agreed to talks on timing of general elections, debate about democratic freedoms; commission of experts to investigate 24 Dec 2012 incident in parliament that triggered crisis. In local elections, ruling VMRO DPMNE won first round vote in 25 out of 80 municipalities, with lead in 32 more ahead of second round scheduled early April. Opposition, which won only 1 seat outright, renewed call for early general elections. OSCE expressed concern over irregularities in polls. Beginning of month saw 2 days of riots in Skopje following appointment of ethnic Albanian ex-guerrilla Talat Xhaferi as defence minister: protest by several hundred ethnic Macedonians reportedly turned violent, prompting counter-protests by ethnic Albanians; around 30 injured.

Bosnia and Herzegovina

  |  1 Mar 2013

Unchanged

Federation of Bosnia and Herzegovina (FBiH) entity lower chamber 12 Feb voted no confidence in FBiH govt; upper chamber 15 Feb blocked vote, through Bosniak caucus’s invocation of vital national interest. Constitutional court unable to rule on validity of veto as lacks necessary quorum of judges, due to ongoing failure to fill posts falling vacant. Republika Srpska (RS) president Dodik asked RS govt to step down, named former head of EU integration unit Željka Cvijanović new PM. Bosnia parliament voted to delay first nationwide census since 1991 until Oct.

Kosovo

  |  1 Mar 2013

Unchanged

Kosovo and Serbian PMs met for 5th round of dialogue in Brussels 19-20 Feb; spoke about institutions in north Kosovo, agreed to meet again 4 March. Presidents of Kosovo and Serbia 6 Feb met for first time since Kosovo declared independence. Series of bombings in N Mitrovica, many targeting homes/property of people linked with Kosovo govt office, but also including 2 Serb children injured 4 Feb; large explosion 25 Feb demolished apartment. Local Serbs renewed roadblocks on Pristina-Belgrade highway. European Commission 12 Feb issued first report on Kosovo’s progress on requirements of visa liberalisation roadmap, citing limited capacity to fight organised crime and calling for several new laws. Serbian monastery Visoki Dečani surrounded by KFOR troops 8 Feb to protect it from demonstrators. Kosovo-Serbia agreement on liaison officers to work in EU delegation premises in Belgrade and Pristina delayed by disagreement over diplomatic immunity.

Macedonia

  |  1 Mar 2013

Unchanged

As political crisis continued, govt turned down opposition SDSM demand to postpone 24 March local elections or hold them together with early general elections. SDSM pledged to boycott local elections unless settlement is reached with govt. EU enlargement commissioner Füle wrote to SDSM and ruling VMRO party leaders 21 Feb warning Macedonia risked losing its way to EU and NATO unless they could find a way forward, travelled to Skopje 28 Feb.

Kosovo

  |  1 Feb 2013

Unchanged

Kosovo and Serbia PMs met in 4th round of EU-mediated talks in Brussels 17 Jan, agreed on compromise solution for customs duties, VAT for Serb-run north of Kosovo. PM Thaçi late month announced special fund to be set up in state budget for Serb-run north, to be financed from customs/taxes collected at border with Serbia; Serbia condemned proposal. Dozens of Serb graves attacked in Klokot and Prizren 20-21 Jan, in apparent retaliation for Belgrade’s removal of monument to Albanian fighters in Preševo (see Serbia). 3 official vehicles found burnt out in Pristina 18 Jan; 2 blasts reported in north 17 Jan.

Macedonia

  |  1 Feb 2013

Unchanged

Political crisis that began 24 Dec with ejection of opposition MPs from parliament ahead of budget vote ongoing, as opposition continued to boycott parliament, staged protests and road blocks during month. Opposition demanding resignations of ministers for police, justice and finance, early general elections in March, reform of electoral register. PM Gruevski accused opposition of attempting coup, rejected early general elections. Meeting between Gruevski and opposition leader Crvenkovski 22 Jan failed to resolve crisis. Several thousand participated in opposition march 27 Jan. Visiting EU Enlargement Commissioner Štefan Füle 23 Jan urged sides to resolve crisis, focus on EU accession agenda. UN mediator in name dispute between Macedonia and Greece Matthew Nimetz held talks in both countries’ capitals 9-11 Jan, and with negotiators in New York late month; Füle also proposed new initiative on name.

Bosnia and Herzegovina

  |  1 Feb 2013

Unchanged

Political crisis in Mostar continued to worsen; city lacking lawful govt after it failed to hold local elections in Oct 2012, now has no budget for 2013. Bosnian Army war memorial in front of city hall destroyed by explosion 14 Jan. Local leaders rejected new attempt by Office of the High Representative 23 Jan to negotiate a solution. EU Enlargement Commissioner Štefan Füle warned EU will not recognise next elections if Bosnia fails to implement European Court of Human Rights Sejdić-Finci ruling. In Federation entity, coalition led by Social Democratic Party continued efforts to pass no-confidence vote in entity govt. Govt criticised after clearing way for formation of 4th, Croat-language public broadcaster.

Serbia

  |  1 Feb 2013

Unchanged

Parliament 13 Jan passed resolution on high-level dialogue with Pristina, based on govt platform adopted earlier in month, which calls for territorial and political autonomy for Serb municipalities in Kosovo, accepts step-by-step approach in place of demand that “nothing is agreed until everything is agreed”, drops call to demilitarise Kosovo. Authorities 20 Jan removed controversial memorial to ethnic Albanian fighters in Preševo in south, prompting upheaval in Preševo, calls for secession.

Kosovo

  |  30 Dec 2012

Unchanged

PM Thaçi and Serbian PM Dačić met for 3rd time in Brussels 4 Dec, agreed to implement controversial Integrated Border Management agreement, under which border and trade officials from both sides to work in coordination. Implementation started 10 Dec at 2 crossing points. Belgrade rejected Pristina’s claims that it would shortly be appointing diplomats, reiterated officials would be “liaison officers”. Pristina-Belgrade dialogue scheduled to continue 17 Jan. Serbian govt officials 17 Dec circulated long-awaited govt platform for negotiations, treating Kosovo as autonomous province, calling for Autonomous Community of Serbian Municipalities in Kosovo; Thaçi dismissed plans. EU Council 12 Dec declined to give mandate for start of negotiations for Stabilisation and Association Agreement for Kosovo, called for progress on rule of law, public administration, minority protection, cooperation with EULEX and other areas. Public anger, protests after Supreme Court panel of majority EULEX judges late Nov ruled retrial of Klecka case involving PDK party VP Fatmir Limaj and several other former KLA fighters, ordered detention of Limaj.

Bosnia and Herzegovina

  |  30 Dec 2012

Unchanged

Continued uncertainty over Mostar city govt and budget after Bosniak Party of Democratic Action (SDA) 28 Nov walked out of OHR-led negotiations among political parties. Republika Srpska VP Vlajki 12 Dec said entity “should declare independence”. Gunman who shot at U.S. embassy Oct 2011 jailed for 18 years.

Macedonia

  |  30 Dec 2012

Unchanged

EU Council 11 Dec declined to open accession talks with Macedonia, after Greece again blocked start date for talks on grounds of bilateral name dispute, supported by Bulgaria. As thousands of pro- and anti-govt protestors clashed violently outside parliament over govt’s 2013 proposed budget and opposition attempts to block it, opposition ejected from parliament 24 Dec, began parliamentary boycott 25 Dec.

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