Tue, May 21 2013
TIME OF TRIAL: Bosnian Serb leader Radovan Karadzic in court in The Hague in November 2009. Prospects for European integration of the Western Balkans include the arrest and prosecution of war criminals from the time of the conflicts that followed the breakup of the former Yugoslavia.
BACKHAND DELIVERY: Czech president Vaclav Klaus played a winning game in getting his demands met as a precondition for signing the EU’s Lisbon Treaty.
THE KOSOVO SAGA: Former UN mediator Martti Ahtisaari was feted in Pristina, where president Fatmir Sejdiu conferred Kosovo’s highest honour on him, but Serbia and its allies continued their determined battle in court and on the diplomatic front against recognition of Kosovo as independent.
BY ANY OTHER NAME: The election as Greece’s prime minister of George Papandreou, seen with UN mediator Matthew Nimetz, raised hopes of progress towards resolution of the long-standing dispute of the use of the name ‘Macedonia’. But the beginning of 2010 saw Skopje and Athens maintaining their standoff.
CHAOS IN CHISINAU: Ire at electoral irregularities brought anti-Communist protesters out in the streets in Moldova’s capital in April.
H1N1: The countries of Central and Eastern Europe were hit as the H1N1 virus, previously commonly known as Swine Flu, swept through, leaving deaths in its wake, a scramble for vaccines, and – as in the case at a school in Sofia – the wearing of masks in an attempt to ward off the ailment.
Photo: Georgi Kozhouharov
KEY DIALOGUE: US president Barack Obama in talks with Turkish prime minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan, having identified Ankara as a vital player in the future of the region.
A CLOSE-RUN THING: Romanian president Traian Basescu held on to his job, but began 2010 with his country facing serious challenges in seeking to build economic and political stability.
Bulgaria and Romania are working actively to meet the Schengen criteria, Bulgarian President Georgi Purvanov said at a joint news conference with his Romanian counterpart Traian Basescu.
EU and Georgia sign a visa facilitation agreement with Georgia, opening the way for easier travel and people-to-people contact across Europe. The signature of the readmission agreement negotiated between the EU and Georgia in parallel will be organised very soon, the EC says.
European Home Affairs Commissioner Cecilia Cecilia Malmström said that she "strongly supported" visa facilitation for Georgia.
Foreign policy chief Catherine Ashton welcomes moves by Armenia to complete ratification of protocols on normalising relations, and the statement by Turkey’s president on restoring bilateral ties.
Turkish foreign minister Ahmet Davutoglu says that the Obama administration is not doing enough to block further action on the genocide issue, considering that Turkey is a key ally of the United States. Turkish authorities also say the US resolution will complicate their efforts to normalise relations with Armenia.
Long-stay visa holders to have greater freedom to move around the EU, by being allowed to travel to most other EU states for three months in any six-month period in the same way as a residence permit holder.
Turkey, which rejects the genocide label, has recalled its ambassador from Washington for consultations.
Turkey warns of repercussions if resolution is approved, while US president Barack Obama and Turkish counterpart Abdullah Gül discuss ‘bilateral issues’ on eve of vote.
March 3 sees Bulgaria celebrate its national day, marking the 132nd anniversary of its 1878 liberation from Ottoman rule
There have been no formal negotiations about basing missiles in Bulgaria, the Foreign Ministry says, while Bulgaria will keep strictly to the joint approach of Nato decision-making about issues of shared security.
There are no negotiations between Sofia and Washington on Bulgaria being part of the US missile shield, Foreign Minister Nikolai Mladenov says, while his deputy Marin Raikov says that Moscow has not reacted officially to suggestions Bulgaria might participate.
In the context of the partnership of the US and Bulgaria in Nato, many things are discussed, including missile defence, says US ambassador James Warlick, against a background of Russian concerns after reports Sofia may agreed to join the US missile shield system.
Several Roma, including children, killed in past year in violence in Hungary involving firearms, gasoline bombs, grenades.
Matthew Nimetz to be in Skopje on February 23 and 24 and in Athens on February 26, the United Nations announces.
During a visit by UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-Moon, Greek Cypriot leader Demetris Christofias and Turkish Cypriot leader Mehmet Ali Talat say the divided island’s problem has remained unresolved for too long.
About $93.2 million will be made available immediately and the rest will be released following semiannual reviews.
In his first visit to Cyprus, Ban Ki-Moon says leaders are making progress, although observers believe time may be running out for a deal.
Greek alternate foreign minister Dimitris Droutsas and Macedonian foreign minister Antonio Milososki, meeting in London on January 28 2010, discussed the Macedonia name dispute and the future of bilateral relations.
Unemployment across the 27 EU states and in the euro zone worsened in December 2009, both hitting new highs, according to official statistics.
The measure is aimed to stimulate and develop small and medium sized business enterprises, help finance some infrastructure projects, improve education and health care
European Commission concludes Hungary, Latvia, Lithuania and Malta have taken effective action to correct their budget deficits; extends deadlines for Lithuania and Malta.
Spain, current holder of the rotating presidency of the EU, will do its utmost to achieve progress in the process of integrating the Western Balkans into the bloc, its foreign minister says.
Advisory mission as part of EU’s Operation Althea will help strengthen local capacity, the bloc’s foreign ministers agree.
Official decision by Serbia's Boris Tadic follows confirmation that Kosovo president Fatmir Sejdiu will be present.
Viktor Yanukovych has more than 31 per cent of the vote, followed by prime minister Yulia Tymoshenko with more than 27 per cent, according to exit polls.
If the president of Kosovo is there, I won’t be, Serbian president Boris Tadic says.
Condemnation of Andis Hadjicostis' murder and calls for the case to be resolved quickly and effectively follow the fatal shooting on January 11 in Nicosia, Cyprus.
Belgrade protests to Western ambassadors after Serbia’s minister for Kosovo Goran Bogdanovic is escorted out of Kosovo in the latest in a series of similar incidents.
The Zlatograd-Termes border crossing point will be inaugurated officially by Bulgaria's Prime Minister Boiko Borissov and his Greek counterpart, George Papandreou, on January 15 2010.
Analysts say Serbia faces a long and bumpy road to EU membership - a process that may take five to eight years, or maybe longer.
Decisive victory over Zagreb mayor Milan Bandic.
The Borissov juggernaut thundered into power, and served thin pizza
Bulgaria spent its third year as an EU member fighting its own shortcomings
Despite the tripartite coalition government keeping their collective fingers crossed, economic recession reached Bulgaria early in 2009
IT in Bulgaria in 2009 was mostly equivalent with attempts at mass access to personal data.
Bulgaria’s judicial system was under intense scrutiny throughout 2009
Governments in Prague and Bucharest could soon join Sofia in instituting temporary moratoriums on shale gas exploration.
Coalition around ruling Democratic Party has largest share of vote in Serbia's parliamentary election, according to exit polls.
Centre-right New Democracy is said by exit polls to have largest share of votes, but diminished even from its 2009 defeat, while socialists Pasok – the 2009 victors – gets somewhere around 14 to 17 per cent.
An agreement reached with the Organisation for Security and Cooperation in Europe (OSCE) will allow voters with dual citizenship in Kosovo to vote in the upcoming parliamentary and presidential elections in Serbia.
Twenty radical Muslims suspected of being members of a terrorist group that has been linked to the murder of five fishermen in early April.