Suzana Grubješić, Deputy Chaiman G17Plus, talking about the European Union.

On January 20 to 22 the Jarl Hjalmarson Foundation organized a conference in cooperation with G17 Plus in Serbia. The theme was “Political branding and EU integration”. The location of the conference was the city of Nis, about three hours’ journey from Belgrade. This was the last conference in a series of three parts.

The first day started with Klas Hjort, who works for Christopher Fjellner European Parliament, talking about how the EU works, how to influence and why Europe matters. In the afternoon of the first day Suzana Grubješić, who is deputy leader of G17Plus, paid a visit to the conference. She spoke about European integration from a Serbian perspective. (more…)

In a report issued on October 12, the EU Commission stated “that Croatia meets the political criteria and [the Commission] expects Croatia to meet the economic and acquis criteria and to be ready for membership by 1 July 2013.” At the same time the Commission recommended that the Council grant Serbia the status of candidate and give green light for accession negotiations with Montenegro.

In a set of annual reports – issue on October 12, 2011 – the Commission informed on the progress towards EU accession made by the Western Balkans, Turkey, and Iceland over the past year. (more…)

Today’s arrest of the Bosnian Serb wartime military leader Ratko Mladic is welcomed by numerous leaders in the international community. Ratko Mladic was indicted by the International Criminal Tribunal for the Former Yugoslavia (ICTY) on 25 July 1995 and was a fugitive from justice for almost 16 years. “Ratko Mladic has been the most wanted ICTY fugitive and his arrest is proof of the readiness of state to fulfill all international obligations as well as those of domestic law ” said Suzana Grubješiæ, Vice President of G17 PLUS – a sisterparty of the JHS. She added that all those accused of the worst war crimes must be brought to justice.

The OSCE Chairperson-in-Office, Lithuanian Foreign Minister Audronius Ažubalis, welcomed the arrest of Bosnian Serb wartime military leader Ratko Mladic as a very important step for justice and regional reconciliation. So did Jerzy Buzek, the President of the European Parliament saying:

“I welcome the arrest of Ratko Mladic and congratulate the Serbian authorities. The arrest is good news for Serbia, for the stability of the region and gives new impetus to Serbia’s EU accession process. His arrest is convincing proof of Serbia’s efforts and cooperation with the ICTY.” (more…)

Oskar Öholm greeting Nicola Lazic. Flaked by Stefan Dragojevic, Kire Ilioski and Jens Ahl.

On May 13-14, 2011, the Jarl Hjalmarson Foundation organized a round-table conference with leaders from cooperation partners in the Balkans. The conference focused on the continued integration of the Balkan states into Europe as well as other aspects of the European Union.

 

“The Countries in the Balkans have to push for membership. The EU never invites anyone to join,” said Walburga Habsburg Douglas, MP and member of the Hjalmarson Foundation board. Her view was shared by the participants. (more…)

 

Standing are Minister for Foreign Affairs Antonio Milošoski from Makedonien (to the left) and Genc Pollo, Minister for Innovation and ICT in Albanien.

May 7-8, the Jarl Hjalmarson Foundation arranged a round table conference on the EU integration of the Balkan countries. The participants were high level politicians from the Foundation’s sister parties in four Balkan states. The group consisted of some 20 politicians including two ministers – the Macedonian Minister for Foreign Affairs Antonio Milošoski and Genc Pollo, Albanian Minister for Innovation and ICT.

Among the issues discussed at the conference were membership and security in the Balkan region. Göran Lennmarker, the Chairman of the Parliamentary Committee for Foreign Affairs and the Chairman of the Foundation, reminded the participants that although the path to a membership may seem endless to the Balkan countries, the situation was once the same for the Baltic states. Today, those countries are all EU-members.

Numerous participants noted that Sweden is the most enlargement-friendly member of the Union. In addition, they emphasized that this, the third Balkan conference arranged by the Foundation, constituted an excellent opportunity to “openly discuss problems and exchange experiences among friends”.

The participants discussed obstacles on the path to  full EU membership – such as bilateral conflicts. Nevertheless, the participants agreed that there is indeed a development in the right direction.

– Since we met last time, we have achieved visa freedom for, for example, Serbians, said Nikola Lazic, Serbian parliamentarian and International Secretary for the Democratic Party of Serbia (DSS).

The participating parties where Albanian Partia Demokratike e Shqipërisë, Bosnian Partija Demokratskog Progresa and Stranka Demokratske, VMRO-DPMNE  from Macedonia and Serbian Demokratska Stranka Srbije and G17Plus.