Monday, December 31, 2007

Happy New Year 2008

Be always at war with your vices, at peace with your neighbors, and let each New Year find you a better man ~ Benjamin Franklin

AS THE CLOCK STRIKES TWELVE, we wish you all the happiest of New Years', filled with bountiful health, joyous and prosperous comings, and plentiful smiles and laughter with family and friends.

We also wish upon thee self-determintaion, where Albanians throughout the Illyrian Kingdom of Skenderbeg will rule themselves. As 2008 will usher in the independence of KOSOVA, we also pray for the recognition of self-rule for its other constituent parts -- TETOVA, CHAMERIA, MALESIA, ULQINI, PLAVE/GUSIJ, PRESHEVA & BUJANOVAC

And to all you Slavic sympathizers -- in the USA and abroad -- whether you operate covertly or under the guise of (Albanian) organizations, your time to retract your ill-deeds has has arrived. Your financial and personal gains at the expense of Albanian blood and feud will surely be front-n-center in 2008, it was just a matter of time.

A NEW YEARS' WISH FOR MALESIA -- It is important that the political leadership in Montenegro realize that in no other time in its modern history has the Albanian Question surfaced as it has today, with the continuing demands of greater human/minority rights, the confiscation of (home)land, the denial of administrative/professional employment, lack of academic freedom, linguistic proliferation in the mother-tongue, and government independence that has led to the most lopsided judicial proceedings in recent memory. As a result, unless these issues are resolved, or plans to resurrect the shortcomings in the human element of the Albanian, 2008 may prove to be quite a year to remember -- one that resonated the birth of the Kosova conflict at the conclusion of the 1990s.

AND TO OUR ALBANIAN LEADERS -- may you crawl out of your shells and open your near-sighted lenses to witness the catastrophe taking place in what you cry to be a HOME-LAND. Our fallen fathers are grimacing in their graves and shedding tears liquefied with blood that what they left behind to complete, has reversed its course and thus all their "efforts" were shed for NOT ... NOT for what they dreamt to be, but what was strategically planned to become by the Slavic nemeses. Represent your constituents with honor and not by fear, for the time may come when our offspring will speak of a homeland that once was, but is no more!

And we leave you with a reminder that is applicable to ALL ALBANIANS under the rule of SLAVS. This is a snapshot of you -- as Albanian -- whether in Kosova, Malesia, or Manhattan -- are perceived by those you wish to live alongside.

Kosovaret rrëfejnë për përdhunimet e kryera nga serbët (WARNING: DISTURBING)

Saturday, December 29, 2007

Gorby Against Kosova Independence

29/12/2007, MOSCOW, December 29 (RIA Novosti) - Former Soviet leader Mikhail Gorbachev sharply criticized on Saturday attempts by the EU and NATO to decide the future of Serbia's Albanian-dominated breakaway province of Kosovo.

The UN Security Council has failed so far to bridge divisions over the future of Kosovo. On December 19, the U.K.'s UN envoy, John Sawers, said there was no possibility of overcoming the difficulties in talks within the UN, and that the European Union would now assume responsibility for determining Kosovo's status.

"It is an unprecedented step, which will certainly result in failure, both politically and morally," Gorbachev said in an interview with the government daily Rossiiskaya Gazeta.

"For the first time in history, two organizations are trying to assume responsibility for the future of a country - Serbia - which is not a member of either of them," the former Soviet president said.

Most Western countries are seeking independence for the volatile area, which has been a UN protectorate since NATO bombings of the former Yugoslavia ended a war between Kosovo Albanians and Serb forces in 1999, but is still recognized as part of Serbia under the international law.

"By destroying the international law and replacing it with poorly disguised tyranny, the proponents of this approach have certainly miscalculated the outcome of their actions," Gorbachev said.

He urged the participants of the Kosovo talks to show political wisdom and continue the dialogue until mutually acceptable solution has been found.

Kosovo's 2-million Albanians are expected to declare independence with Western backing sometime in the beginning of 2008.

The Russian Foreign Ministry earlier said Russia would undoubtedly use its veto power at the UN Security Council if a decision on Kosovo's unilateral independence was made.
The UN Security Council will revisit the issue of Kosovo in January amid fears that the unilateral declaration of independence from Serbia would destabilize the situation in the Balkans.

Monday, December 24, 2007

Merry Christmas

We wish all of our bloggers a Merry Christmas and safe comings for the New Year. As we welcome Kosova's independence in 2008, we come to realize that during the Lord's season we should all be grateful for our health, our family and our faith in God -- Identity -- History -- Myths -- and Language, which for Albanians all around the world is the mainstay our identity, and without these we are nothing but an empty shell.

Saturday, December 15, 2007

shqiptarja e pare qe po kandidon per Europarlamentare

Botuar tek "Tirana Observer", 13 Dhjetor 2007

Mirela Bogdani - shqiptarja e pare qe po kandidon per Europarlamentare

Nga: Rajmonda Moisiu

1. Dr. Bogdani, ju jeni sh! ! qiptarja e pare deri me sot qe keni mundur te perfshiheni ne procesin e kandidimit per nje nga institucionet me te larta politike te Evropes, ate te Parlamentit Europian. Si arritet, si e huaj ne 5 vjet qendrimi ne Britanine e Madhe, tek nje sukses i tille?

Ne vendet si Britania e Madhe me pune, arsimim dhe ambicje mund te arrish gjithshka, sepse ketu vleresohen aftesite dhe meritokracia, pavaresisht nga nacionaliteti, gjinia apo raca. Angazhimi im me Partine Konservatore Britanike (PKB) filloi pak muaj pasi u vendosa ne Britanine e Madhe. Duke qene se ne Shqiperi kisha qene per disa vite e involvuar ne “party politics”dhe ne Cardiff University po beja nje MSc per shkenca polit! ! ike dhe per me teper karieren time te re e shikoja ne politike, e pashe te arsyeshme te perfshihesha ne politike ne vendin tim te ri. U anetaresova me konservatoret, edhe sepse bindjet e mia jane te djathta (jo si ato ne politiken shqiptare), por edhe se PKB eshte nje nga partite me te vjetra e prestigjoze te botes dhe do kisha se cfare te mesoja e perfitoja nga angazhimi me to. Kane kaluar me se 4 vjet qe atehere. Fillimisht u angazhova ne aktivitetet politike dhe sociale te deges lokale (pjese e strukturave rajonale te quajtura “party associations” e qe perbejne strukturen me te rendesishme te aktivitetit te partise ne baze). Me pas punova ne Asamblene e Uellsit si researcher ne disa projekte me grupin parlamentar konservator. Para tre vjetesh u zgjodha anetare e deges lokale, me pas koordinatore e politikave (Policy Coordinator) dhe vjet u zgjodha si sekretare (Honorary Secretary) e deges. Gjate gjithe kesaj kohe jam angazhuar vazhdimisht ne fushatat elektorale per Westminster (Parlamentin Britanik), zgjedhjet europiane (Parlamentin Europian), per zgjedhjet rajonale (Asamblene e Uellsit) dhe zgjedhjet lokale, duke punuar ngushte e ndihmuar kandidatet, shperndare fletushka, duke bere “canvassing” (biseda dere me dere me njerezit), etj. Keto metoda dhe aktiviteti ne baze jane aq ne kontrast me politiken ne Shqiperi ku baza eshte e fjetur dhe aktiviteti kryesor ne fushatat elektorale jane mitingjet populiste. Nje pjese e rendesishme e aktivitetit ku une jam perfshire eshte dhe mbledhja e fondeve (fund-raising) per fushatat elektorale dhe kandidatet, duke organizuar aktivitete te ndryshme sociale. Kjo perben nje pjese te rendesishme te aktivitetit te degeve lokale sepse kandidatet financohen nga partia (ose “associations” ) dhe te gjithe shpenzimet deri ne detaje regjistrohen dhe raportohen deri tek nje strukture e vecante e pavarur, ndryshe nga ne Shqiperi ku kandidatet shpesh financohen nga burime te dyshimta deri elemente te krimit te organizuar dhe shpenzimet nuk regjistrohen apo raportohen tek askush. Vec kesaj nje moment tjeter i angazhimit tim ka qene pjesemarrja e rregullt ne mbledhjet e konferencat e partise, ku percaktohen politikat dhe zgjidhen strukturat drejtuese.

2. Ju keni filluar procesin e kandidimit ne 2007, nderkohe qe zgjedhjet e ardhshme europiane jane ne maj te 2009. Pse kaq shpejt dhe a mund te na tregoni ne menyre me te detajuar per kete proces?

Faktikisht une fillova qe ne fundin e vitit 2006, pra eshte nje process qe zgjat 3 vjet. Fillimisht dergova nje leter ne Komitetin e Seleksionimit te Kandidateve, nje strukture e pavarur nga kryesisa dhe shoqatat e partise, ku shpreha interesimin tim per te kandiduar ne zgjedhjet europiane te 2009. Pas! ! nje muaji me erdhi nje leter e kryetarit te Komitetit, bashke me formularin perkates dhe kerkesen per tre referenca. Formulari ishte goxha kompleks, sepse perfshinte kerkese informacioni mbi eksperiencen politike dhe profesionale te kandidatit, formimin akademik, perfshirjen ne aktivitete vullnetare etj. Pas dorezimit te dosjes me formularin dhe emrat e tre referenteve, Komiteti u dergoi te tre referenteve te mi formulare per te plotesuar ne lidhje me figuren time. Shqyrtimi i dosjes dhe referencave nga anetaret e Komitetit perbente fazen e pare te selektimit, te cilen une e kalova me sukses dhe per te cilen u njoftova ne maj. Faza e dyte ishte ajo qe quhet “Bordi Parlamentar i Perzgjedhjes” (“Parliamentary Assesment Board” - PAB) nje provim 5 oresh para nje paneli te perbere nga deputete, eurodeputete dhe aktiviste partie, te cilin duhet ta kaloje cdo kandidat. Testimi permban 5 faza: provim me goje (interviste) , provim me shkrim (dy ese), nje mini-fjalim publik (public speaking), ushtrim pune ne grup (team exercise) dhe ushtrim per percaktim prioritetesh (in-tray exercise). Une e dhashe PAB-ne dhe jam ne pritje te rezultateve (dhe zgjidhjes se ca barierave teknike qe shpresoj ti kaloj). Nese kalon fazen e dyte, shpallesh kandidate zyrtare dhe perzgjedh zonen elektorale ku deshiron te kandidosh. Faza e trete (qe eshte pranveren e ardhshme) konsiston ne paraqitjen e kandidatit, se bashku me kandidatet e tjere (gjithmone nga e njejta parti) ne zonen elektorale para anetareve te partise se zones, ku secili ben nje prezantim te vetes dhe programit electoral. Anetaret e zones pastaj votojne per kandidatet e preferuar dhe ata qe dalin ne fillim te listes shpallen si kandidate te zones (sepse zgjedhjet europiane jane sipas sistemit proporcional) . Pas kesaj kandidatet fillojne punen dhe lidhjen me zonen dhe elektoratin, periudhe e cila zgjat nje deri ne nje vit e gjysem. Pra shikohet sa process i gjate dhe i nderlikuar, por dhe sa demokratik dhe transparent eshte. Une jam akoma ne mesin e ketij procesi dhe shpresoj te arrij ne finish, po edhe nese jo, prap do jete nje experience shume e vlefshme dhe interesante.

3. Ju keni qene e perfshire ne politiken shqiptare para se te largoheshit nga Shqiperia. Si ju duket dallimi ndermjet procesit te selektimit te kandidateve ne partite shqiptare dhe ato britanike?

Nga ajo qe shpjegova per lart, gjithkush mund te ve re kollaj dallimet e thekshme qe ekzistojne midis dy paleve. Ne kete process dua te ve ne dukje 3 momente nga procesi zgjedhor ketu, qe jane si nata me diten me procesin ne Shqiperi. E para ka te beje me kohen e procesit, e cila sic thashe ketu fillon 3 vjet perpara, per vete faktin se kandidatet i nenshtrohen nje procesi selektimi disa fazash, pastaj trajnimi dhe pastaj njohja me elektoratin perkates. Nderkohe ne Shqiperi procesi i seleksionimit te kandidateve fillon vetem 2-3 muaj para zgjedhjeve, qe eshte qesharake. Momenti i dyte eshte kush eshte kush mund te jete i pershtatshem per te qene kandidat dhe kush i zgjedh kandidatet. Duke qene se politika ne vendet si Britania eshte mbi baza demokratike, te gjithe anetaret e partise kane te drejten te paraqesin kandidaturen. Procesi i seleksionimit te kandidateve behet nga Komiteti qe permenda dhe panele speciale qe ngrihen per kete qellim, kurse lideri dhe kryesia e partise nuk nderhyjne absolutisht ne kete process. Ndersa ne Shqiperi jane kryesisht kryetaret e partive (dhe sa me te vogla te jene partite, aq me fuqiplote jane kryetaret) bashke me kryesite perkatese qe perpilojne listat e kandidateve dhe c’eshte me e keqja ka aludime qe kete e bejne ne shkembim te parave apo favoreve. Kjo sjell pastaj skandale te tilla, psh njerez qe nuk kane qene asnje dite anetare te asaj partie papritur figurojne ne liste e behen me pas deputete (sic ndodhi me Partine Republikane ne zgjedhjet e 2005), apo njerez qe s’kane as me voglen experience ne politike 3 muaj me vone e shohin veten deputete apo ministra (sic ndodhi me anetaret e KOP-it te PD-se), apo njerez pa me te voglin background arsimor e professional apo akoma me keq njerez te dyshimte apo te perfshire me krimin e organizuar perfshihen ne lista (sic ndodhi me PS, PR e te tjera parti). Momenti i trete ka te beje me financimin e fushatave elektorale dhe kandidateve, te cilin e permenda me lart. Pra do te mjaftonte ky aspekt, ai i procesit zgjedhor dhe perzgjedhjes se kandidateve, qe ka te beje me zgjedhjet e lira e te ndershme (nje nga guret e themelit te demokracise dhe kriteri i pare i Kopenhagenit) qe Shqiperia ta shikonte me tejqyre hyrjen ne BE.

4. Ana tjeter e jetes suaj ne Angli jane studimet akademike. Sivjet u botua libri juaj i ri " Albania and the EU: The Tumultuous Journey towards Integration and Accession” (Shqiperia dhe Bashkimi Europian: Udhetimi kaotik drejt pranimit dhe integrimit). Ne mos gaboj, ky eshte libri juaj i trete? Si ju lindi ideja te beni nje liber te tille?

Ideja fillimisht lindi ne veren e vitit 2003. Atehere sapo po mbaroja programin e nje masteri ne fushen e politikave publike Europiane ne Universitetin e Kardifit dhe si teme dizertacioni kisha zgjedhur ate te maredhenieve Shqiperi-BE dhe procesin e integrimit. Ideja e temes ishte te eksploroja avantazhet e kryesisht pengesat e Shqiperise ne rrugen e saj drejt BE-se duke analizuar kushtet politike dhe social-ekonomike si dhe aktoret e brendshem. Ate vere erdha ne Shqiperi per te bere ca intervista per dizertacionin me perfaqesues te kesaj fushe. Njeri prej tyre, Ledi Bianku, drejtor i Qendres per Studime Europiane, me propozoi qe pas perfundimit te botohej nga qendra e tyre. Mu duk interesante ideja e konvertimit te dizertacionit ne liber. Kur u ktheva ne Britani, kete ide e bisedova me supervizorin tim, Prof. John Loughlin, dhe e ftova te behej bashke-autor i librit. Pas perfundimit te dizertacionit (i cili u vleresua me “distinction”) fillova punen per ta shkruar si liber. Pas disa muajsh pune, libri ishte gati per botim, megjithate duke qene se ish shkruar ne anglisht, une e pashe te udhes ta perktheja dhe ne shqip per ta bere te lexueshem nga audienca shqiptare (gje qe me mori dhe dy muaj te tjere) duke e bere dy-gjuhesh. Libri, me titull “Shqiperia dhe BE: Procesi i integrimit dhe pranimit”, u botua ne shtator te 2004 nga shtepia botuese Dajti 2000 ne Tirane . Pas kesaj u organizua ceremonia e perurimit te librit nga Zyra e Keshillit te Europes ne Tirane . Libri gjendet ne librarite e Tiranes dhe, meqe perfshin nje audience shume te gjere, ka gjetur interes jo vetem nga studentet dhe studiuesit e shkencave politike. Megjithate se bashku me Prof.Loughlin duke pare qe versioni i pare kishte mangesi dhe nevoje per nje analize me te thelle, vendosem te bejme versionin e dyte. Mirepo duke qene se integrimi europian eshte nje teme shume dinamike dhe bashkekohore, duke qene se u shtuan kapituj te rinj e u bene shume ndryshime, doli si nje liber i ri.
5. Sa kohe ju mori pergatitja e tij dhe si e siguruat botuesin e famshem I.B.Tauris?
Libri me mori dhe nje vit tjeter nga koha e botimit te te parit. Por kete rradhe vendosa qe botimi te behej ne Angli, por kjo ishte nje ndermarrje e veshtire dhe e gjate. Nje njeri qe ka botuar nje liber akademiko-shkencor jashte e di sa e veshtire eshte, meqe kalon neper nje process te gjate dhe neper shume editore etj. Kurse ne Shqiperi eshte aq e lehte te botosh nje liber, mjafton ti paguash ca para pronarit te shtepise botuese ose printuese dhe per dy jave librin e shikon te mbaruar. Une isha me fat qe nder ato qe pranuan botimin e librit, ishte shtepia botuese I.B.Tauris ne Londer, e cila ka nje reputacion shume te mire, sidomos ne fushen e politikes se jashtme. Me duhet ta pranoj qe procesi i prodhimit me lodhi shume me teper se vete shkruarja e librit: per nje vit mu desh te bashkepunoja me editoret, per kontratat, faqosjen, redaktimin, kopertinen, e shume e shume gjera te tjera, Ishte nje odise e vertete. Megjithate kur libri u botua ne shkurt te ketij viti u lumturova shume, aq me teper qe kish dale nje prodhim shume cilesor dhe prezentabel. Nje ceremony shume interesante e perurimit te librit u zhvillua ne maj ne Oxford , ne St Antony’s College (kolegjin ku studioj une), me pjesemarrjen e shume akademikeve dhe studiuesve, si dhe te ambasadorit tone ne Londer. Libri eshte vetem ne anglisht, 280 faqe dhe gjendet ne librarite dhe bibliotekat ne UK, Europe, UK, Kanada dhe ne vere arriti dhe ne Shqiperi ne librarite e “Adrion”. Libri gjendet gjithashtu dhe
6. Ka kaluar mese nje vit nga hyrja jote ne Oksford. C'mund te tregosh nga eksperienca e deritanishme ne nje nga nga institucionet akademike me prestigjoze te botes? Me c’kam marre vesh kete vit jeni e vetmja studente shqiptare ne Universitetin e Oxfordit prej 16 mije studentesh?

Te them te drejten, edhe pas nje viti nuk e besoj qe jam aty dhe vazhdoj te ndjehem me fat dhe e privilegjuar qe Zoti me dha mundesine per te studiuar ne Oxford . Ne klasifikimin e 20 universiteteve me te mira ne bote per 2007 qe behet cdo vit nga “The Times Higher Educational Supplement”, Oxfordi vazhdonte te rradhitej i dyti ne bote, pas Harvardit, nderkohe qe kryeson listen e universiteteve europiane si numer 1 ne Europe . Me pelqen ambienti shume i larte akademik dhe intelektual i studenteve e pedagogeve, cilesia e niveli i bisedave, debateve e diskutimeve, leksionet me figurat me te spikatura te botes akademike, politike e intelektuale. Gje tjeter qe me pelqen shume eshte vete qyteti me kolegjet, bibliotekat e kishat e tij, arkitektura e vecante dhe magjepese dhe historia e tyre qe prej shekullit te 12 kur u krijuan kolegjet e para. Pra ka shume tradite, histori, bukuri dhe aristokraci. Ama nuk me pelqen te qenurit “studente” (jo thjesht per ceshtje moshe, po se deri vjet une isha pedagoge ne Universitetin e Kardifit dhe eshte e veshtire te kaloje nga mesuese ne nxenese). Tjeter gje eshte se, per te mbajtur statusin e universitetit me te mire, nga studentet kerkohet nje volum i madh pune e pergatitje, cilesi dhe standarte teper te larta dhe organizim thuajse perfekt, qe krijon shpesh momente frustrimi dhe stresi.

7. Si e balanconi jeten midis karrieres, studimeve, librave, angazhimit politik, me familjen, vajzen dhe pergjegjesite ne shtepi?

Me shume pune, lodhje e sakrifica, aq me teper aktualisht qe me duhet te kaloj javen ne Oxford dhe vetem fundjaven ne shtepi ne Kardif. Lexoj e punoj gjithe kohen (edhe ne tren), dhe nuk kam asnje minute te lire. Tani vajza, Cindy, eshte rritur (kete vit eshte ne klase te peste), prandaj e kam me te lehte. Megjithate shtepia, femija dhe familja ka plot pergjegjesi dhe angazhime, por kur ke sens te mire organizimi dhe menaxhimi, te gjitha behen.
10. Jeni anetare, ashtu si dhe une, e forumit “Bota e Gruas Shqitpare”? Cfare ju ben pershtypje ne komunikimin dhe aktivitetin tone ne kete grup?

U beme disa kohe ne kete forum te perbere nga gra intelektuale te fusha! ! ve te ndryshme, krijuese e shkrimtare, dhe qe jetojne kudo neper bote. Ndryshe nga forumet e tjera virtuale shqiptare ne te shumten e te cileve ka polemika e mosmarveshje, ne kete forum ndihesh mire dhe komforte mes mikeshave dhe kolegeve me te cilat ke gjera te perbashketa per te ndare e diskutuar.

11. Nese ktheheni ne Shqiperi, a do te konsideronit ambicjen e nje karrieren politike ne majat me te larta, si Presidente?

Une kam akoma plane e objektiva per te realizuar ne “atdheun tim te dyte”, ku nder me kryesoret jane perfundimi i studimeve ne Oxford dhe ecuria e kandidimit. Megjithate jam me mendje te hapur dhe me kenaqesi do te pranoja nese me propozohet apo ofrohet nje po! ! zicion, konform arsimimit dhe eksperiences sime, ku mund te jepja kontributin tim. Dhe si une ka me dhjetra shqiptare intelektuale ne te gjithe boten, qe do kishin deshire te ktheheshin nje dite e qe dijet, aftesite dhe eksperiencat e fituara ne perendim ti vinin ne funksion te progresit dhe zhvillimit ne Shqiperi. Nje grua presidente…kjo do te perbente nje tjeter rast te paprecedent ne Shqiperi dhe njekohesisht nje gje shume pozitive per shoqerine dhe shtetin shqiptar.

Suksese dhe Faleminderit!

Bisedoi Raimonda Moisiu, Moderatore e Forumit “Bota e Gruas Shqiptare”
Michigan, USA

Thursday, December 06, 2007

U festua 95 vjetori i pavarësisë në Montreal, Kanada

Më 3 dhjetor, u festua në Montreal, Kanada, 95 vjetori i Pavarësië së Shqipërisë. Për këtë ngjarje të shënuar në historinë e shqiptarëve komuniteti shqiptar i Kebekut në Montreal kishte zgjedhur restorantin «La belle Helène » në Laval. Në fakt festimi i festës së flamurit është kthyer në traditë në Montreal por këtë vit kishin marr masat që festa të ishte festë me të gjithë kuptimin e fjalës.

Në mbrëmje pëveç shqiptarëve nga Montreali dhe rrethinat për të festuar këtë ngjarje të shënuar për tê gjithë shqiptarët, ishte i pranishëm dhe ambasadori i Shqipërisë në Kanada, shkëlqesia e tij zoti Besnik Konçi, kryetari i shoqatës së shqiptarëve të Otavës zoti Fehmi Asllani dhe të tjerë. Në mbrëmje u ndodhe dhe një mik i veçant: kapurrali që ndodhet në kanada për një seancë trainimi.

Mbrëmja u drejtua me mjeshtri nga simpatikja Aulona Leskaj e ndihmuar nga Ajet Nuro. Në mbrëmje në emër të komunistetit shqiptar të Kebekut në Montreal foli zotu Lulzim Laloshi, kryetar i këtij komuniteti dhe një nga organizaorët kryesor të kêsaj mbrëmje festive. Folësi dhe të tjerë në mbrëmje foli për rëndësinë e 28 nëntorit për të gjithë shqiptarët dhe për atë që shqipatrët e Kosovës meritojnê pavarësinë e plotë dhe së shpejti ata do ta kenë atë. Siç tha edhe folësi, nuk ka rast tjetër si ky i shqiptarëve që një komb të ndahet nên pesë shtete tê ndryshme e me kufij mes tyre. Partaj e mori fjalën ambasadori i Shqipërisë në Ottawa, zoti Besnik Konçi pasi uroj të pranishmit për festën e flamurit, kujtoi se kombi ynë është i coptuar dhe shteti shqiptar i cunguar. Po pavarësia e Kosovês êshtë në rrugën e zgjidhjes. Nuk mund ti thjeshtojmë gjërat për pavarësinë e Kosovës theksoi zoti Konçi, duhet pranuar se pavarësia nuk është njê fjalë e thjeshtë dhe duhet punë për të evituar pengesat por e rëndêsishme êshtë që ajo është në rrugën të mbarë. 95 vjetori i Pavarësië përkon me 20 vjetorin e vendosjes së marrdhënieve diplomatike të Shqipërisë me Kanadanë. Kohët e fundit marrëdhëniet e Shqipërisë me Kanadanë janë intensifikuar dhe vizitat e fundit të Kryetares së Kuvendit të Shqipërisë zonjës Topalli, Kryeministrit Berisha dhe ministrit të mbrojtjes Mediu do të ndikojnë në intensifikimin e këtyre marrdhënieve. Së shpejti do të vizioj Shqipërinë dhe kryetari i dhomës së lartë (Senati) së parlamentit kanadezë gjë që tregon se dhe Kanadaja po punon për thellimin e marrdhënieve dy palëshe.

Kanadaja gjithashtu është e pranishme të ekonominë shqiptare me investime në fusha të tilla si hidrokarburet dhe po punohet për të tërhequr edhe më shumë investime në Shqipëri.
Kapiteni Festim Alimadhi solli atmosferën e ushtrisë shqiptare. Prania e një ushtaraku shqiptar në festën e flamurit tregon se dhe shqiptarët tash janë të lidhur me struktarat ndërkombëtare si NATO etj. Dhe kapiteni kishte me se të krenohej përderisa kolegët e tij dhe vëllezrit tanë marrin pjesë në misione paqe në shumë vende të botës.

Në mbrëmje ndodhej dhe kryetari i shoqatës shqitare për Otavën zoti Fehmi Asllani. Dua të theksoj këtu diçka. Zoti Asllani është njeri i palodhur dhe nuk vjenë për herë të parë në aktivitetet e shqiptarëve të Montrealit. Ai jo vetëm është i palodhur në Otava por inkurajon dhe shqiptarët e Montrealit. Otava ndodhet mbi dyqind kilometra nga Montreali dhe vetëm rruga është një sakrificë. Por dhe familja e tij nuk e lë vetëm. Pra faleminderit, mik, për vizitën dhe fjalët e ngrohta që na sollët në emrin e gjithë shqiptasrëve që jetojnë dhe punojnë në kryeqytetin e Kanadasë Otava.

Të pranishmit në sallë kënduan himnin kombëtar të Shqipërisë dhe atë të vendit pritës, Kanadasë.

Këngëtari Florent Nushi, është hera e dytë që vjenë në Montreal, këtë herë për të festuar me bashkëkombasit e vetë festën e flamurit. Florenti është nga Gjakova por unë mud të them se ai është nga ata shqiptarë që janë të adaptuar për të qenë nga të gjitha trojet shqiptare. Duke kënduar këngë për Ali Pashain ai bëhet padashur tepelenas. Por ai di të jetë korçar elbasanas pale shkodran… Jo shkodranët duhet të kenë ngelur veçanësisht të kënaqur sepse kërkesa e tyre muzikore u këndua me kitarë dhe u shoqërua nga shkodranë dhe jo shkodranë. Po nëse Florenti këndoi këngët e Jugut të Shqipërisë askush nuk ka dyshim që këngët me motive nga Kosova nuk munguan. Dhe e fundit, Florentu shoqërohej nga kolegu i tij Detar Sherifi që është nga Pogradeci. Pra muzikantët e mbrëmjes ishin nga Shqipëria e nesërme.

Surpriza e mbrëmjes. Mund ta them pa frikë se surpriza e mbrëmjes ishte këngëtarja Suela . Ajo këdoi një këngë anglisht-shqip të titulluar “far away” në anglisht dhe “parajsa” në shqip. Për këtë këngë ajo shoqërohej nga një këngëtar kanadez që në fund i entuziazmuar thirri “ I love your country !” Por kënga që bënë pjesë në albumin e saj të parë ishte vërtet e bukur dhe ritmike. Ajo tingëlonte bukur si në shqip dhe në anglisht. Mbajeni pra mend emrin e Suelës sepse do t’ju bëjë për vehte. Shqiptarët që u ndodhën në sallë pra në natën e 3 dhjetorit nuk besoj se do ta harrojnë Suelën.

Surpriza tjetër është faqja e re në internet e komunitetit shqiptar të Kebekut në Montreal. Ajo gjendet në adresën

Në mbrëmje nuk kishte të pranishëm nga metropoli kanades, Toronto por ata na kishin bërë nj¸e dhuratë të veçantë. Nga Torono na kishin dërguar shumë kopje të gazetës JON që del në Toronto. Për më tepër, botuesit e gazetës i ofrojnë komunitetit shqiptar një apo dy faqe hapsirë në gazetën JON. Së dyti, në mbrëmje u njoftua se dy producebt shqiptar nga Toronto kanë xhiruar jnë film ku mes të tejrëve lusn i mirënjohuri Timo Flloko si dhe një artist hollivudien.
Paradoksi i shqiptarëve të Montrealit. Në mbrëmje u bë dhe hedhja e një shorti për një televizor. Organizatorët kishin menduar edhe për mbledhjen e informatave për shqiptarët e komunitetit shqiptar të Kebekut në Montreal. Paradoksi qendron ne faktin se, nëse shqiptarëve të Montrealit u qajnë sytë për tu dëfryer ata e kanë jnë të metë të vogël. Kjo ndoshta për të prishur syrin e keq... Këtë shqetësim e shprehu një nga oprganizatorët e mbrëmjes; anëtarësimin dhe përfshirjen e shqiptarëve në komunitetin shqiptar sepse vetëm kështu do u shkohet gjer në fund prejekteve që ka marr përsipër komuniteti. Ai u kërkoi bashkathatdhetarëve të vetë të anëtarësohen në komunitetin shqiptar të Montrealit dhe të aktivizohen në të.

Duke u nisur nga entuziazmi i mbrëmjes së flamurit mund të themi pa frikë se komuniteti shqiptar i Montrealit nuk do të presi vitin tjetër për të festuar festën e flamurit. Aktivitete të tjera e presin në të ardhmen e afërt. Sepse jo më kot shqiptarët e Montrealit pretendojnë të jenë një nga komunitetet shqiptare më gjallë në Amerikën e Veriut.

Nga Ajet Nuro, Montreal, Kanada

Saturday, December 01, 2007

Balkan expert forecasts measures taken after Kosova's independence

Expert Says Kosovo Has 'Clear Idea Where It Wants To Go'

The International Crisis Group's James Lyon

December 1, 2007 (RFE/RL) -- No breakthroughs regarding Kosovo's future status have been made as the "troika" of international mediators prepare to report to the UN secretary-general. Representatives of the United States, Russia, and the European Union on December 10 will issue their reports on the latest round of negotiations regarding the breakaway Serbian province. RFE/RL correspondent Heather Maher asks Belgrade-based James Lyon, the special Balkans adviser to the International Crisis Group, for his predictions on what the coming days and weeks might bring.

RFE/RL: Kosovar leaders have said they are prepared to declare unilateral independence, while Belgrade has said it will use all diplomatic and legal means to annul such a declaration. Considering the two positions, how severe is the threat of violence breaking out?

James Lyon: Well, right now we'd have to say that the big threat would not be from what we would consider to be formal military movements - that is, the army of Serbia moving in to Kosovo. Rather, what everyone is concerned about is the possibility for low-level insurgency or for attempts by Albanians to ethnically cleanse Serbs. Perhaps people are concerned about the spillover effect into northern Macedonia, among the Albanian sections there; the potential for spillover into southern Serbia's Presevo Valley region, which is Albanian majority; and then the question of whether or not there might be some spillover into Bosnia. In all of these cases we're not talking classic, mass military movements but rather -- perhaps low level -- insurgencies, paramilitary organizations, the remnants of former guerrilla organizations, etc., etc.

RFE/RL: What's likely to happen if and when Kosovo declares independence? How do you see the days immediately following such an announcement playing out?

Lyon: Well I think Belgrade will probably respond by announcing measures against the Albanian parts of Kosovo. I suspect that Belgrade will declare that the Albanian parts of Kosovo have violated the UN Security Council Resolution 1244 and that they have seceded from the sovereign country of Serbia. And this will then bring into much sharper focus the partition that has already occurred in Kosovo, where the northern parts of the country will maintain their adherence to 1244 and to Serbian sovereignty, whereas the Albanian majority parts of the country will claim to be an independent country. At that point we should expect to see Belgrade consider a series of measures. Will they find a way to cut off telephone services? Will they find a way to perhaps reduce or cut off electricity that might be going through there (Kosovo)? Would they be tempted perhaps to shut down the borders? The answers to some of these [questions] are not yet known, others we are getting some ideas, but it's still unclear. And then how would Belgrade respond to the countries that go on to recognize an independent Kosovo? Will it withdraw its ambassadors? Will it close its embassies and cut off diplomatic relations? Will it ask its citizens to boycott the goods that those countries-- have trade embargoes with those countries? We aren't yet certain how far they're prepared to go on these, but we should expect Belgrade to react quite angrily and the international community should not underestimate Belgrade's willingness to respond.

RFE/RL: The United States has said it will recognize an independent Kosovo. Do you still expect that to happen and, if so, how long will it wait to make that move?

Lyon: We expect to see the U.S. recognize Kosovo independence in a rather rapid fashion, along with Great Britain, France, Germany, and Italy. After that, the remainder of the EU countries will slowly follow suit with the exception, probably, of Cyprus, Greece, and Romania. Maybe Bulgaria.

RFE/RL: So, you don't see the EU acting as a unified body to recognize an independent Kosovo, just its member states individually?

Lyon: The EU as a body will not be able to recognize Kosovo independence because it will not have unanimity among its members. It operates on a consensus basis. However, the vast majority of EU members will recognize Kosovo bilaterally.

RFE/RL: Do you see any way Russia could be persuaded to support Kosovo's independence, considering they have remained staunchly opposed to such a scenario throughout the negotiations?

Lyon: There are a lot of questions that have been asked about what can Russia be given to persuade Russia to support the international community on Kosovo? The answer to this is: no one knows what Russia wants. If we have a better idea what Russia wants, then we might be able to offer it something. The question is whether the West has anything at all that it can offer Russia. It may not have. There may be nothing Russia wants. Russia may feel that this is a position it wants to hold the line on because if the West moves ahead, outside of the Security Council, then Russia feels it might be able to then take similar actions in its own backyard. The crux of the matter is, Russia is essentially in a win-win position -- it has nothing to lose over this issue.
RFE/RL: Given the difficulty Kosovo has had with imposing rule of law and keeping its democratic institutions functioning, how viable is an independent Kosovo?

Lyon: Well, Kosovo obviously has a long, long way to go. Its institutions, I think, could be characterized right now as barely functional. And even in that functionality there's a great deal of dysfunctionality. We don't see any real signs that there is yet a rule of law in place, or that there will be one for the foreseeable future. And we don't see any signs that Kosovo's institutions are going to be at a level that would be acceptable to permit them to move toward the EU within the near future. Keep in mind that Kosovo culture and society among both Serbs and Albanians has always been quite primitive and that it's a part of the world where there's never been highly developed institutions. And so there's very little experience with creating institutions. Family ties and loyalties are usually far more important than institutional or national loyalties. And this is going to play a considerable [role] over time and it's going to take Kosovo a long time to modernize and to move forward.

RFE/RL: You're based in Belgrade. What is the mood there in these days leading up to the December 10 report?

Lyon: I think there's a sense of nervousness. I think most Serbs are fed up with the Kosovo question -- they want it to just go away, they've been hearing nothing but Kosovo since 1987. And Kosovo is dominating the political debate and dialogue. There is no reform going on, there is no significant political movement on any major issue. Kosovo monopolizes everything and drains all the political energies. And so in that regard, I think a lot of Serbs would just be glad that it will be a resolved issue, one way or the other. But on the other hand, that doesn't mean Kosovo is going to disappear from the public debate. I think Belgrade will go through a very traumatic and cathartic experience over this and it will probably flail around wildly and try to find blame, and place blame, and it's very possible that Belgrade may decide to go into a self-imposed period of isolation for a while afterward, until it comes to grips with what happened. In other words, the impact on Belgrade may be far more serious in terms of Belgrade's short-term political prospects than it will on Kosovo. Kosovo seems to have a clear idea where it wants to go and how it's going to get there. Belgrade really doesn't, at this stage.

Wednesday, November 28, 2007

Gëzuar 28 Nëntorin

Stafi nga FREE-MALESIA ju uron të gjithë bashkëatdhetarëve Ditën e Flamurit, 28 Nëntorin. Gëzuar Ditën e Flamurit kudo që të jeni në botë.

Te dashur e te nderuar bashkeatdhetar Kane kaluar 94 vjet nga dita e shume pritur , e lumtur dhe e paharruar kur ne Vloren heroike , mbas pes shekujsh roberie , plaku i mencur i kombit tone , heroi i popullit Ismail Qemali , shpalli pamvaresine e Shqiperise. Ne kete dite te festes se bekuar te flamurit tone , ju uroj dhe pershendes te gjitheve, dhe i shalla u baft festimi sot I vjet me gjith KOSOVEN E PAMVARUAR!!

Monday, November 26, 2007

Kosova Deserves Independence


AmbassadorEmbassy of the Republic of Albania in Israel
54/26 Pinkas Street
Tel Aviv 62261
Tel. +972 35465866
Fax.+97 23 5444545
cel: +972 054 806601

Nov 26, 2007

As a regular Post reader, I was disappointed by Caroline B. Glick's recent column "Islam and the nation-state" (November 13). It promulgated numerous misconceptions about Kosovo and the Kosovo Albanians.

Glick writes: "Today the US and the EU are leading the charge toward the establishment of a Palestinian state and the creation of an independent state of Kosovo" - as if the two issues were related. There is no connection between being for the establishing of a state of Kosovo and the establishment of a Palestinian state. It is wrong to compare Kosovo with the Palestinian case simply because they have one thing in common - the Muslim religion. Analogy, goes the saying, is no substitute for analysis.

Israel opposes an imposed solution on Kosovo, but the Israeli government has given its full support to the Contact Group principles - one of them being the non-return of Kosovo to the situation before 1999. Kosovo is not a minority-dominated enclave within some other nation-state, as Glick claims. Serbia's power is not being eroded as there is no longer any Yugoslavia. Kosovo, under the UN's mandate since 1999, has already established its state institutions, independent of Serbia.

FOR READERS to better understand why Glick is mistaken in her analogy, it is necessary to know some basic truths about Kosovo: The area was annexed by Yugoslavia, against Kosovar resistance in 1918. This annexation violated the right of the Kosovars to self-determination and, therefore, violated international law.

Although Kosovo Albanians constitute 92% of the population of Kosovo, the autonomy it enjoyed was unconstitutionally removed by Serbia in 1989. After Tito's death in 1980, the situation deteriorated, reaching its nadir in the 1998 genocide.

It is precisely this genocide which explains the uniqueness of Kosovo case. For more than a century, genocide and mass expulsions of Kosovo Albanians transformed Kosovo into a unique case. Albanians suffered extreme repression under the Milosevic regime. Some 12,000 civilians were killed, and 1.5 million Albanian civilians were displaced as part of an ethnic cleansing campaign of the Serbian Army in 1999. Around 3,000 are still missing.

Serbia has lost all legal and moral claim over Kosovo. When a state so discriminates against a national group under its rule, the right of that group to self-determination includes the right to secession. This idea is internationally recognized. The right of Kosovo to self-determination is not restricted to the right of internal, substantial autonomy inside Serbia. It is a right to secede from Serbia, a right to independence, as envisaged by the Ahtisaari Package. Kosovars cannot be forced to go back under the sovereignty of Serbia.

I deliberately use the term "Kosovo Albanians" because "Kosovo Muslims," as Glick calls them, has an underlying propaganda purpose. Why doesn't she refer to "The Serbia Orthodox"?
LET'S BE clear: There is no Islamist trend in the Albanian cause. It is a fundamental mistake to equate religion with ethnicity.

While referencing Milosevic, Glick writes: "He stood accused of ethnically cleansing Kosovo of its Muslim population, which was perceived as innocent." Thus the genocide against Kosovo Albanians - the most documented event of its kind since WWII - is, for Glick, just a perception. This is beyond belief.

Regarding her claim that "Kosovo Muslims" are financed by Saudis, and their alleged connections to "global jihadists," this is false. No one in the democratic West will swallow this distorted version of the reality in Kosovo.

"Jihadist" and "irredentist" are simply loaded Serbian code-words. Kosovo is strongly supported by Washington, London, Paris and Rome. As Albania's prime minister, Dr. Sali Berisha, has stated: "Kosovo and Kosovars have chosen Brussels."

It is no coincidence that Kosovo was liberated by NATO, a powerful and democratic structure of states with an overwhelming Christian population.

THERE IS social cohesion and religious harmony in Kosovo. Today, the Speaker of the House, Kolë Berisha, is a Catholic. There is also a Christian Democratic Party now in the forefront of the struggle for independence in Kosovo. Kosovo Albanians are more European than any other neighboring country in the Balkans. All surveys make clear that an overwhelming majority of the population supports NATO membership and EU integration.

Any discussion on the independent state of Kosovo should concentrate on the democratic nature of that state. Glick is mistaken when she urges the Olmert government to "immediately and loudly restate its opposition to the imposition of Kosovar independence on Serbia." Her logic of opposing the establishment of Muslim-only states should not apply in the case of Kosovo, because Kosovo is not and will not be a Muslim state.

Attempts to differentiate between the Albanians in Albania and the Albanians in Kosovo are wrong. There is, of course, sub-cultural diversity, as with all nations in the world, but Albanians on both sides of the border share the same culture, ethnicity, history, language, tradition, myths and legends.

The best answer, however, to all the speculations about Albania and the Albanians was given by your reporter Greer Fay Cashman in her Post report, "Sheltered from the Nazis in Albania" (November 4), which noted that Albania saved every one of its Jews during the Holocaust. And most of the Albanians who gave shelter to Jews during WWII were Muslims. Within the context of excellent relations existing between Albanians and Jews, there is no cause for inflammatory statements based on our religious heritage alone.

Sunday, November 25, 2007

U.S. and EU will acknowledge Kosova Independence -- Holbrooke

Back to the Brink In the Balkans

Washington Post
By Richard Holbrooke
Sunday, November 25, 2007; Page B07

At a most inopportune time, the Balkans are back. On Dec. 10, the U.S.-E.U.-Russian negotiating team tasked with getting the Serbs and Albanians to agree on Kosovo's future status will report to the United Nations that it has failed. A few weeks later Kosovo's government will proclaim that Kosovo is an independent nation -- a long overdue event.

The United States and most of the European Union (led by Britain, France and Germany) will recognize Kosovo quickly. Russia and its allies will not. Kosovo's eight-year run as the biggest-ever U.N. project will end with great tension and a threat of violence that could spread to Bosnia.
Because security in Kosovo is NATO's responsibility, there is an urgent need to beef up the NATO presence before this diplomatic train wreck. Just the thought of sending additional American troops into the region must horrify the Bush administration. Yet its hesitations and neglect helped create this dilemma -- which Russia has exploited.

There is more bad news, virtually unnoticed, from nearby Bosnia. Exactly 12 years after the Dayton peace agreement ended the war in Bosnia, Serb politicians, egged on by Moscow and Belgrade, are threatening that if Kosovo declares its independence from Serbia, then the Serb portion of Bosnia will declare its independence. Such unilateral secession, strictly forbidden under Dayton, would endanger the more than 150,000 Muslims who have returned there.

Recent American diplomacy led by Undersecretary of State Nicholas Burns and special envoy Frank Wisner, working closely with E.U. negotiator Wolfgang Ischinger, has largely succeeded in persuading most of our European allies to recognize Kosovo rapidly. But NATO has not yet faced the need to reinforce its presence in Kosovo. Nor has serious transatlantic discussion begun on Bosnia, even though Charles English, the American ambassador in Sarajevo, and Raffi Gregorian, the deputy high representative in Bosnia, have warned of the danger. "Bosnia's very survival could be determined in the next few months if not the next few weeks," Gregorian told Congress this month. Virtually no one paid any attention.

The icing on the cake? Russia has threatened to link the Kosovo issue to the claims of two rebellious areas of far-away Georgia, Abkhazia and South Ossetia.

These issues had seemed largely resolved in the late 1990s. For such extensive backsliding to
occur took a poisonous combination of bad American decisions, European neglect and Russian aggressiveness.

When Serbian dictator Slobodan Milosevic was ousted in September 2000 and a reformist government took over, the road seemed open to a reasonably rapid resolution of Kosovo's final status. But the new Bush team hated anything it had inherited from Bill Clinton -- even (perhaps especially) his greatest successes -- and made no effort to advance policy in Kosovo until 2005 and ignored Bosnia. Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld even sought to pull American troops out of the NATO command in Kosovo, which Secretary of State Colin Powell prevented. (However, the State Department did not prevent Rumsfeld from prematurely turning the NATO command in Bosnia over to a weak E.U. Force, a terrible mistake.)

By the time meaningful diplomatic efforts started in 2006, the reformist prime minister in Belgrade had been assassinated by ultranationalists. And Vladimir Putin decided to reenter the Balkans with a dramatic policy shift: No longer would Russia cooperate with Washington and Brussels in the search for a peaceful compromise, as it had in 1995 when Bill Clinton and Boris Yeltsin sat on the hillside at Hyde Park and reached a historic agreement to put Russian troops under NATO command. Today, Putin seeks to reassert Russia's role as a regional hegemon. He is not trying to start another Cold War, but he craves international respect, and the Balkans, neglected by a Bush administration retreating from its European security responsibilities, are a tempting target.

Putin was hardly quiet about this; I watched him bluntly warn German Chancellor Angela Merkel, Defense Secretary Robert Gates and delegates to the Munich security conference in February that Russia would not agree to any Kosovo settlement that Belgrade opposed. There was a vague feeling in Washington and Brussels that Putin was bluffing -- and no real planning in case Putin meant it.

Not only did he mean it, Putin upped the ante by extending his reach into the Serb portion of Bosnia. Using some of his petrodollars, Putin turned its mildly pro-Western leader, Milorad Dodik, into a nasty nationalist who began threatening secession. The vaunted Atlantic alliance has yet to address this problem at a serious policy level-- even though, as Gregorian warned, it could explode soon after Kosovo declares independence.

The window of opportunity for a soft landing in Kosovo closed in 2004. Still, Bush should make one last, personal effort with Putin. His efforts must be backed by temporary additional troop deployments in the region. It is not too late to prevent violence, but it will take American-led action and time is running out.

Richard Holbrooke was the chief architect of the Dayton peace agreement, which ended the war in Bosnia. He writes a monthly column for The Post.

Sunday, November 18, 2007

Hashim Thaci new Kosova Prime Minister -- Independence Promised

PRISHTINA, KOSOVA, November 18, 2007 – "I thank all of those who helped our victory and the victory of Kosova," Mr. Thaci said shortly after midnight yesterday during a celebration for his Democratic Party of Kosova (PDK), which an unofficial tally showed had won 35 per cent of Saturday's vote.

"The citizens of Kosova sent the world a message that we are a democratic country ready to join the European family," he said. "The strongest message was that Kosova is ready (for) independence."
The Democratic League of Kosova, traditionally the province's largest political bloc, trailed with 22 percent.
Official results were expected Monday.
Before hundreds of cheering supporters, Thaci said, "Tonight the clock has turned. A new century has begun. Kosova is ready to go forward on the road that will lead us closer to Kosova independence."
After casting his ballot earlier, Thaci said in an interview that if he became Kosova's prime minister he would declare independence from Serbia after Dec. 10. The date is when international envoys must report back to the UN secretary general, Ban Ki Moon, on efforts to resolve the dispute over Kosova's future status.
"Immediately after Dec. 10, Kosova's institutions will declare the independence of Kosovo," said Thaci, 39.

Saturday, November 17, 2007

Thaci early favorite in historic election

November 17, 2007, PRISTINA, Serbia (AFP) - Voters in Kosovo braved icy weather and fears of renewed violence to elect a government the majority Albanians hope will lead the troubled Serbian province to independence.

"These elections will be an additional verdict towards our destiny" of independence, Kosovo President Fatmir Sejdiu said after voting in downtown Pristina.
"Kosovo is entering into a new phase of its democracy and status," said the leader of the ruling Democratic League of Kosovo (LDK).

Coming less than a month before the end of internationally mediated talks on Kosovo's future status, the elections pit the LDK against the opposition Democratic Party of Kosovo (PDK).
Tensions were high for the parliamentary, mayoral and municipal elections after the Serbian government urged Kosovo's 100,000 minority Serbs to boycott the polls.
Police said 15 ballot boxes were destroyed early Saturday in a fire at a school in a southern village near Macedonia.
On the eve of the election, the family home of a Serbian politician was targeted in a Molotov cocktail attack in the northern municipality of Zvecan, police spokesman Veton Elshani told AFP.
"The explosion damaged a car in the garage. We don't know what is behind the attack," said Elshani, who could not confirm reports it was the home of a Serbian MP who defied Belgrade's call to boycott the vote.
Front-runner Hashim Thaci pledged independence for Kosovo on Saturday as the breakaway province voted for a new parliament ahead of a showdown with Serbia over its bid for statehood.
"These elections are not about Kosovo's status," the former guerrilla fighter said after casting his ballot. "We will declare independence immediately after December 10."

Thursday, November 15, 2007

Zgjedh përnjëmend! Pra, mos voto

Shkruar nga Glauk Konjufca

Kosova qe tetë vjet qeveriset prej Institucioneve të Përkohshme të Vetë-Qeverisjes së UNMIK-ut, që tashmë janë bërë të përhershme. Falë këtyre institucioneve vetëm një gjë ka qenë e sigurt për qytetarin e Kosovës: teposhtëzja e jetës së tij, përkeqësimi i mirëqenies, mashtrimi e poshtërimi. Meqë këto institucione janë të UNMIK-ut, por jo të popullit, degradimi i jetës së qytetarit nuk është devijim a mosplotësim i funksionit të këtyre institucioneve, por pikërisht realizimi i mandatit të vërtetë që ato kanë. Mandat për t’ia lehtësuar punën UNMIK-ut, mandat për ta legjitimuar praninë e këtij regjimi antidemokratik, por kurrsesi mandat për zhvillimin ekonomik të Kosovës si dhe për realizimin e interesave e qytetarëve. Prej partive politike aktuale këto institucione janë shfrytëzuar për pasurim personal, për interesat e ngushta të udheheqësive partiake, për manipulime tenderësh, për punësimin e familjarëve e kushërinjve dhe për asgjë tjetër. Deri sot janë mbajtur katër palë zgjedhje për kësi lloj institucionesh.

UNMIK-u dhe partitë politike edhe pas gjithë kësaj gjendjeje të padurueshme politike e ekonomike që vetë e kanë krijuar, edhe pas fyerjeve të panumërta që ia kanë bërë qytetarit të Kosovës, paturpësisht po e ftojnë atë që për herë të pestë të votojë për po të njëjtat institucione, që me shumë sukses na kanë çuar drejt humnerës shoqërore, politike dhe ekonomike. Prandaj, ne jemi kundër këtyre zgjedhjeve, sepse këto janë zgjedhje për t’ua zgjatur jetën atyre që qyetarit po ia shkurojnë jetën. Ne jemi kundër këtyre zgjedhjeve sepse nëpërmjet tyre nuk do të përmirësohet jeta e qytetarit, por jeta e një grushti politikanësh mashtrues; ne jemi kundër këtyre zgjedhjeve sepse me to nuk do të rritet pensioni fyes i plakut, por xhepi i servilëve të UNMIK-ut; ne jemi kundër këtyre zgjedhjeve sepse këto zgjedhje me siguri nuk do të ndërtojnë shtëpi për invalidët dhe veteranët e luftës, por sigurisht që do të ngrisin pallatet shumëkatshe të politikanëve. Lëvizja VETËVENDOSJE! nuk është kundër zgjedhjeve si element i patjetërsueshëm i demokracisë, por jemi kundër KËTYRE zgjedhjeve, sepse, në kohën kur popullit i mohohet liria dhe vetëvendosja, këto janë zgjedhje pa demokraci. Zgjedhjet pa demokraci, e të cilat nuk janë zgjedhje për ta sjellur demokracinë, por për ta vazhduar gjendjen ekzistuese, janë zgjedhje antidemokratike. Ne thërrasim që, si të tilla, ato të bojkotohen. Lëvizja VETËVENDOSJE! nuk është kundër institucioneve si element i domosdoshëm i organizimit shoqëror e politik, por ne jemi kundër KËTYRE institucioneve që po na e mohojnë vullnetin, po na i shkelin interesat , po na e shkatërojnë të tashmen, prandaj po na e rrezikojnë të ardhmen.

Por jo vetëm kaq: të kesh votuar në këto zgjedhje do të thotë të kesh votuar për thellimin e krizës ekzistuese; të jesh pajtuar me përdhosjen e dinjitetit; të mendosh që statusi i Kosovës nuk i takon popullit, por Grupit të Unitetit, UNMIK-u dhe Serbisë; ta kesh miratuar copëtimin e Kosovës nëpërmjet decentralizimit dhe të jesh i një mendjeje që trashëgimia kulturore dhe historike mesjetare e Kosovës të quhet kulturë serbe, ashtu qysh e quan “eksterritorialiteti“ në Pakon e Ahtisaarit. Meqë institucionet politike i ka ndërtuar dhe i kontrollon UNMIK-u e jo populli i Kosovës, të votosh për to do të thotë të kesh votuar për UNMIK-un.

Zgjedhjet e nëntorit do të jenë si të gjitha të mëparshmet. Premtimet do të jenë po të njëjtat sepse ato nuk janë përmbushur. Zgjedhjet në Kosovë janë të reduktueshme në përsëritje premtimesh. Vazhdimësia e jetës politike të mashtruesve e gënjeshtarëve mund të ekzistojë vetëm si premtim. Sërish do të na e premtojnë ata pavarësinë në fund te vitit 2007, ashtu siç na e patën pemtuar atë në qershor të vitit 2006. Në fund të vitit do të na thonë që pavarësia vjen gjatë vitit 2008 dhe do të vazhdojnë kështu deri në zgjedhjet e ardhshme. Natyrisht, do të vazhdojnë po i lejuam që të vazhdojnë.

Ne jemi kundër zgjedhjeve të tilla, pra kundër këtij kori të zymtë të përsëritjes së mashtrimeve, sepse jemi për referendum. Referendum për liri. Referendum në të cilin populli i Kosovës lirshëm do ta përcaktonte statusin politik të vendit dhe drejtimin e tij të zhvillimit. Vetëvendosja e popullit që do të materializohej nëpërmjet referendumit është e vetmja kontratë e drejtë ndërmjet institucioneve politike dhe popullit sovran si garanci fundamentale e demokracisë. Institucionet që do të dilnin prej këtij referendumi e që do ta kishin burimin te sovraniteti i popullit, do të themelonin kushtetutën e Kosovës që do ta mishëronte vullnetin e popullit dhe historinë e tij. Do të krijoheshin institucionet shtetërore të mbrojtjes së këtij vullneti, prej të cilave më e para ushtria e Kosovës që do ta mbronte lirinë dhe sovranitetin e vendit.

Në mënyrë që qytetari i Kosovës të vetëdijësohet për thelbin dhe mashtrimin që po i përgatitet nëpërmjet zgjedhjeve, Lëvizja VETËVENDOSJE! fillon fushatën antizgjedhore.

Wednesday, November 14, 2007

Fjalim i kryetarit të komunës në mbledhjen urgjent të Këshillit të Komunës së Tetovës

Te nderuar te pranishëm, te nderuar këshilltarë, te nderuara media, zonja dhe zotërinj.

Me lejoni qe t’ju informoj për ngjarjet qe po ndodhin ne Malësinë e Tetovës, posaçërisht ne fshatin Brodec qe duke dashur qe te kryej obligimin qe kam ndaj jush, njëkohësisht te ndaj shqetësimin e thelle qe kane qytetaret për këto ngjarje. Poashtu, duke vlerësuar se jemi ne një situate te rende e pashe te arsyeshme qe te kërkoj ndihmën tuaj ne këto momente duke konsideruar se te gjithë jemi te zgjedhur drejtpërdrejte nga ana e qytetareve për zgjidhjen e problemeve te tyre, kurse unë kam besim se ju do te jepni maksimumin ne kapërcimin e sa me te shpejte te kësaj situate.

Me date 07 nëntor 2007, rreth orës 6 te mëngjesit nga ana e Ministrisë se Punëve te Brendshme është ndërmarre një aksion për kapjen e te ikurve nga Burgu i Dubraves se Kosovës ne gjithë Malësinë e Sharrit, ne ketë aksion sipas informatave qe kemi ne, kane marre pjese rreth një mije pjesëtare te policisë, operacioni është zhvilluar ne suaza te një lufte te vërtete dhe janë përdorur pothuajse te gjitha llojet e armeve.

Me duhet te njoftoj se për ketë operacion nuk ka qene aspak e informuar komuna as për intervenimin e as edhe për zhvillimin e ngjarjeve. Dje kemi dorëzuar një kërkese deri te spb për te na njoftuar për gjithë atë çka ka ndodhur ne këto fshatra, ndërsa ky i fundit ende nuk na ka dërguar informate për ngjarjet e fundit.

Jemi përpjekur ne vazhdimësi qe te mbajmë kontakte me banoret vendas dhe me këshilltaret qe vijnë nga ato ane me qellim qe te kuptojmë se çka ne te vërtete po ndodh ne fshatrat e Malësisë se Tetovës.

Sipas informatave te grumbulluara, kuptuam se janë rrethuar dhe janë bllokuar te gjitha vendbanimet e Malësisë se Tetovës dhe se ne fshatin Brodec po zhvillohet një lufte e vërtete. Shtetrrethimit dhe terrorit psikologjik nuk i kane shpëtuar as fshatrat tjera te Malësisë si f. Shipkovice, Vice, Sellce, Llace, Xherme, Bozovce, Veshalle, Gajre, Lisec, etj. Shqetësimi ynë ishte dhe vazhdon te mbetet gjendja e përgjithshme e banoreve te këtyre fshatrave sepse ato u ballafaquan me një tmerr duke ngelur ne mes krismave te shkëmbyera ne mes palëve.

Nga ana tjetër duke ditur se shumica e banoreve jetojnë ne gjendje te rende sociale ato shpejt u ballafaquan edhe me mungesa ushqimore dhe ilaçe. Ne vazhdimësi ka pasur kërkesa për t’iu dale ne ndihme banoreve qe kane pasur nevojë dhe nuk është arritur qe te ndihmohen per shkak se nuk kane lejuar forcat e policisë.

Edhe pse Ministria e Punëve te Brendshme operacionin e shpalli si te suksesshëm duke aluduar se asnjë civil nuk është lënduar, për ne kjo mbetet ende enigme sepse deri me tani është manipuluar shume me emrat e te vrarëve, atyre te plagosurve si dhe te arrestuarve, gjithashtu deri me tani ende nuk dihet se nëse këto persona kane qene te përfshire ne konflikt dhe përderisa nuk konfirmohen këto, Komuna e Tetovës do te konsideroje se popullata civile nuk është kursyer.

Gjithashtu një nga vendbanimet siç është fshati Shipkovice qe poashtu është prekur rende gjate këtij operacioni nuk është kursyer nga ana e pjesëtareve te MPB-se dhe me siguri qe edhe ju i keni pare fotografitë qe janë paraqitur nëpërmjet mediave dhe qe këto fotografi flasin shume për ngjarjet.

Përveç asaj qe ka ndodhur këto dite, ne brengosemi edhe për gjendjen e tanishme sepse Ministria e Punëve te Brendshme operacionin e shpalli te përfunduar ne ora 14 te 7 nëntorit ndërsa forcat policore kane mbajtur deri sot ne mëngjes te rrethuara fshatrat e Malësisë duke penguar lëvizjen e lire te qytetareve. Përderisa vazhdon te ekzistoj një terr informativ për veprimet e policisë nga ana e MPB-se ne shprehim dyshimin tone se çka munde te ndodhe ne netët dhe ditët e ardhshme ne këto vendbanime dhe me gjere.

Një delegacion i komunës sot ishte ne fshatin Brodec për tu njoftuar me për se afërmi me ngjarjet dhe situatën e krijuar dhe me ketë rast delegacione vërejti se ndaj këtij vendbanimi është ushtruar force brutale pa bere selektim te caqeve. Vlen te theksohet shqetësimi i madh i banoreve për fatin e personave te arrestuar te çilet aktualisht gjenden neper burgje dhe spitale. Kërkesa e tyre është qe bashkëfshataret e tyre te lirohen sa me shpejt sepse ato nuk kane qene te përfshire ne këto ngjarje dhe se ato janë arrestuar neper strehimoret e fshatit.

Duke konsideruar se gjendja ne Malësinë e Tetovës dhe ne komunën e Tetovës e gjetiu është shume e tensionuar kërkojmë nga te gjithë faktorët relevant e sidomos nga ato ndërkombëtare si SHBA, OSBE, BE dhe organizatat humanitare qe te ndikojnë maksimalisht për normalizimin e situatës dhe te mos lejohet qe këto ngjarje te marrin përmasa me te mëdha.

Këto dhe ngjarjet tjera qe kane ndodhur ne Tetove kohëve te fundit si: vendimi i gjyqit kushtetues qe ne e vlerësuam si vendim politik dhe te dëmshëm, ngjarjet ne fshatin Oder te komunës fqinje si dhe bastisjet ne fshatin Bogovine kane bere qe qytetaret te mos ndjehen te sigurte dhe ajo duket sheshazi. Ne mënyre absolute policia e Tetovës nuk duhet te lejoje qe ne tetove dhe rrethine te ketë te vrare dhe te mos ketë vrasës, prandaj ne kërkojmë qe te zbardhen vrasjet qe kane ndodhur dhe ato te dalin para organeve te drejtësisë si dhe te marrin masa preventive për parandalimin e këtyre akteve.

Te nderuar te pranishëm këto ngjarje ndikojnë negativisht edhe ne mirëqenën e qytetareve, ne zhvillimin ekonomik lokal dhe ne përmirësimin e kushteve për jete me te mire. Andaj kërkoj nga ju qe te jepni kontributin tuaj sublim qe Tetovës ti kthehet siguria dhe ti hapen dyert e perspektives.

Sot te nderuar këshilltarë gjendemi poashtu përpara një sfide tjetër, te cilën besoj se me ndihmën e njëritjetrit do te mundësojmë qe sa me lehte ta kalojmë, sepse, fundi fundit jetojmë ne një qytet dhe duhet qe t’i thyejmë te gjitha barrierat dhe te vendosemi ne mbrojtje te qytetareve tanë pavarësisht se kujt komuniteti i takojnë, ndërsa sot për ne me shume kane nevoje qytetaret shqiptare. E keqja është e keqe dhe kështu duhet te jete për te gjithë. Duhet te punojmë qe tek ne te sundoje e mira dhe ne fund le te dëshirojmë te gjithë qe këto ngjarje te mos përsëriten sepse janë ne dem te gjithëve qe jetojmë dhe veprojmë ne këto hapësira.

Kryetari i Komunës Tetovë

Monday, November 12, 2007


Dear friends,

We would like to notify you on our great concern related to the possible rising of tension in the Balkans due to the present delay in affirming Kosovo’s final status. This concern has pressed us, civil society actors and youth forums across the political spectrum, to organize a peaceful rally in name of Kosovo’s independence.

Through this rally we would like to call upon all international actors to respect the will of the people of Kosovo, and hence recognize Kosovo’s independence as a determining factor of stability and Euro-Atlantic integration for the region.

We urge you to join us in this initiative to demonstrate our unequivocal support for Kosovo’s independence. The rally will take place this Thursday, November 15, 2007, at 17:00 hrs. The rally will start with a peaceful march from Skanderbeg Square to Mother Teresa Square where we will also hold a concert with famous Albanian singers.

Part of this initiative is also a petition addressed to the United Nations and the trilateral negotiation partners USA, EU, and Russia.

We would like to use this opportunity to encourage different institutions, organizations, companies, and private individuals to provide their support to this initiative. Concurrently, we would like to express our deepest gratitude to all those that are currently engaged on a volunteer bases in organizing this rally.

Thank you in advance to all for your support!

Rally Organizers:

Political Youth Forums of:
Civil Society Organizations:
Democratic Party MJAFT! Movement
Socialist Party Albanian Institute of Liberal Studies
Socialist Movement for Integration Red and Black Fans
Republican Party The Forum of Free Thought
New Democratic Party

Friday, November 09, 2007

Conference at Harvard brings together Balkan policymakers

The Kokkalis Program at Harvard University would like to invite you to the following events:

"Parliamentary Summit: Priorities and Challenges in Efficient and Democratic Governance in Southeast Europe"

Tuesday, November 13, 2007 4:00 p.m.

-- Georgi Bliznashki, Coalition for Bulgaria Party
-- Aldo Bumci, Democratic Party of Albania
-- Dan Doncev, VMRO-People's Party of FYROMacedonia
-- Mirjana Malic, Social Democratic Party of Bosnia and Herzegovina
-- Alexander Vlahovic, Democratic Party of Serbia

Wiener Auditorium, Taubman Building, 15 Eliot Street
Cambridge, MA

Friday, October 26, 2007

From three Leaders to three Stooges: Dinosha, Bardhi & Sinishtaj struggle with constitution

PODGORICA, Montenegro, 23 October 2007 -- Fireworks lit the sky above Podgorica this past Monday night to celebrate the important milestone for the country after it approved the much anticipated constitution after becoming a sovereign state 16 months ago. The festivities followed by a reception for Montenegro's political elite and diplomats who were the architects of the legal document.

Last Friday parliament voted to adopt a constitution reflecting the country's newly gained independence, and then formally adopted it late Monday night, after much political maneuvering among its members in parliament.
In the 81-seat parliament, 55 lawmakers voted in favor of the bill, while 22 voted against it, and the rest abstained. Following months of deliberations in parliament, the ruling coalition managed to secure the two-thirds majority required for the adoption of the constitution to avoid a referendum.

The three Albanian representatives (Vasel Sinishtaj, Ferhat Dinosha, and Mehmet Bardhi), decided to abstain and did not vote in favor nor against the text. But their decision to abstain once again played into the hands of the majority.

Out of the 77 votes cast, the three Albanian votes (and 1 Bosniak) were the only ones undecided, leaving many experts to believe that the Albanians were under immense pressure not to partake in what could have been a deciding factor on whether the document passed or went to a referendum. Because 54 votes were required to reach two-thirds, securing the Albanian vote was critical, and thus came the incentives to Sinishtaj, with promises of a full municipality for Tuz, similar to promises made during Montenegro's independence drive, but with no end result.

According to published reports (BIRN, Blic, Dan, Vjesti, SE Times), the document was approved by the opposition Movement for Changes, the Liberal Party and by parties that represent Montenegro's Bosniak Muslim, Albanian and Croat communities. However, the Albanian support seemed to drop off when Sinishtaj and Bardhi reportedly backed-off on their initial support of the document and sought consultation from the Albanian diaspora in the United States as to whether their vote was representing the needs of those Albanians from Montenegro who live outside the state.
The diaspora requested to review the draft, but when the parties were unable to furnish a copy of the legal document it was too late and the constitution had already gone to a vote.

The decision to abstain is an enigma to this day, especially given that Dinsosha had more important business to attend to outside Montenegro and thought that voting for a document that would seal the fate of his people was not pressing enough. Bardhi, on the other hand, went on record to cite breaches to European laws as the reasons behind his decision to abstain. Although his argument was not supported by one single reference to any European law against minority/human rights, he would have had more credibility and substance to his decision by just voting "NO" instead of not voting at all. Abstaining provides some legitimacy, if not acceptance, to the language of the constitution, therefore his arguments were also dumbfounded. Sinsihtaj, a candidate that was vigorously supported by Malesia and the diaspora seemed confused from the very beginning. He was used as a pawn for the Montenegrin majority as they promised him a full municipality in Malesia for his vote. After initially agreeing to the language, he immediately backed off, without any argument or reasoning why, thus also abstaining and conceding that the Constitution may be in the best interests of Albanians, but not sure.

On the other hand, members of some pro-Serbian political parties in Montenegro boycotted the proclamation ceremony of the new Montenegrin Constitution on Oct. 22, saying it makes about 200,000 Serbs who had comprised a constitutive nation the minority in Montenegro, and under the new constitution, the Serbian language has been removed from official use and Serbs have no right to dual citizenship.

Where Albanians threw heartless jabs at the constitution in efforts to back their decision, parliament members from the Socialist National Party, National Party, Serbian National Party and Democratic Party flatly rejected the constitution, saying it does not guarantee the same right to all people in Montenegro.

According to the agreement which led to the constitution, early elections would be held in late 2009, a year ahead of schedule.

Monday, October 22, 2007

Troika Sets out Principles for Kosova Talks

October 22, 2007

Vienna, Austria -- The Troika of international mediators on Kosova’s status presented both parties on Monday with its first set of proposals aimed to "open a path for a solution".
Troika Assessment on Negotiations: Principal conclusions The Troika has reviewed the positions of the two parties. Without prejudice to the positions of both parties on status, the following principles can open a path to a solution:

1. Belgrade and Pristina will focus on developing the special nature of the relations existing between them especially in their historical, economic, cultural and human dimensions.
2. Belgrade and Pristina will solve future problems between them in a peaceful manner and not engage in actions or dispositions that would be regarded as threatening to the other side.
3. Kosovo will be fully integrated into regional structures, particularly those involving economic cooperation.
4. There will be no return to the pre-1999 status.
5. Belgrade will not govern Kosovo.
6. Belgrade will not re-establish a physical presence in Kosovo.
7. Belgrade and Pristina are determined to make progress towards association and eventually membership of the European Union as well as to move progressively towards Euro-Atlantic structures.
8. Pristina will implement broad measures to enhance the welfare of Kosovo-Serbs as well as other non-Albanian communities, particularly through decentralization of local government, constitutional guarantees and protection of cultural and religious heritage.
9. Belgrade and Pristina will cooperate on issues of mutual concern, including
a) Fate of missing persons and return of displaced persons
b) Protection of minorities
c) Protection of cultural heritage
d) Their European perspective and regional initiatives
e) Economic issues, including fiscal policy and energy, trade and harmonization with EU standards and development of a joint economic growth and development strategy in line with regional economic initiatives.
f) Free movement of people, goods, capital and services.
g) Banking sector
h) Infrastructure, transportation and communications
i) Environmental protection
j) Public health and social welfare
k) Fight against crime, particularly in the areas of terrorism, human-, weapons- and drug-trafficking and organised crime.
l) Cooperation between municipalities and the government of one of the two sides.
m) Education
10. Belgrade and Pristina will establish common bodies to implement cooperation.
11. Belgrade will not interfere in Pristina`s relationship with IFIs [international financial institutions].
12. Pristina will have full authority over its finances (taxation, public revenues, etc.)
13. Kosovo`s EU Stabilization and Association Process (Tracking Mechanism) will continue unhindered by Belgrade.
14. The international community will retain civilian and military presences in Kosovo after status is determined.

Source: BIRN

Saturday, October 13, 2007

Tit for Tat: Albanians offerred Full Municipality for Constitutional Approval

PODGORICA, Montenegro, 13 October 2007 -- After months of negotiations, the ruling coalition reached a deal with part of the opposition on the country's new constitution, opening the way for its adoption by a 2/3 majority in parliament.

Svetozar Marovic, vice president of the ruling Democratic Party of Socialists (DPS), and Nebojsa Medojevic, leader of the opposition Movement for Changes (PzP), announced late on Tuesday (9 October) that a coalition of the DPS and the Social Democratic Party will be backed by the PzP, the Albanian Alternative Party (Sinishtaj) and the Bosniak Party.

The stragedy to seal the Albanian vote in support of the new constitution was spearheaded to include a deal that would "guarantee" Albanians (in Malesia) a full municipality within 6 months of implementation.

The official language in Montenegro will be Montenegrin, with Serbian, Bosniak, Albanian and Croatian in official use. This is the result of an agreement reached by the Montenegrin authorities and opposition parties, as they negotiated the country's new constitution.

It was agreed that the constitution defines Montenegro as a civic state, but that all the nations who live in Montenegro will be individually named in the preamble of the future top legal act.

In regard to the contentious issue of dual citizenship it was proposed that the constitution determines that all those who had dual citizenship on the day of the declaration of independence of Montenegro, June 3, 2006, keep their citizenships, and that the state bodies be given one year to reach bilateral accords on the matter with states, whose citizenships have in the meantime been acquired by the citizens of Montenegro.

It was agreed that after the adoption of the new constitution, early parliamentary elections be held in 2009, one year before the date for a regular vote, and that the issue be regulated by a constitutional law.

Deputy Secretary of the Venice Commission Thomas Markert welcomed the agreement between the ruling and some oppositional parties in Montenegro about the approval of the constitution in the parliament with a two thirds majority, the Montenegrin Republika newspaper writes. The Venice Commission will rule on the new constitution in December. Markert said expert from the body of the Council of Europe did not plan to visit Montenegro over the next months, but they would keep in contact with the officials in Podgorica.

Montenegro, which lost its statehood in 1918, regained independence in a successful referendum in May 2006. The country has large non-Montenegrin communities, most notably ethnic Serbs and Albanians.

Montenegro Rebuffs Albanian Demands:

Thursday, October 11, 2007

Balkan conference seeks cooperation in 2008

PODGORICA, MONTENEGRO -- Regional Conference “Through Cooperation towards Integration”, which was held for the first time this year in Montenegro, gathered over 150 participants from six countries of the Region, so as the representatives of the EU Member States (Slovenia, Poland, Slovakia and Hungary) and European Commission.

Work on plenary session, gave the summary of the current phases in the European Integration process in Albania, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Croatia, Serbia, Macedonia and Montenegro, with emphasize on the priorities expected by the Governments of the countries from the Region in 2008.

Work in Working Groups, on themes: harmonization with the Acquis and challenges of translating of it, management of the pre-accession funds, civil society strengthening, and reform in the field of justice, freedom and security, provided qualitative exchange of the experiences in the aforementioned areas, and defining of the potential common projects aiming to enhance regional cooperation.

This Conference showed that: the countries of the Region define the European Integration process as the strategic framework for the future development of the countries, they gradually assume so-called „ownership of the process“, and the common goal of the all National Programmes for Integration is the same – full membership in the Union, in line with the fulfilment of all accession criteria.

Although the countries of the Region are currently in the different stages of the integration process towards EU, there is, without any doubt, the significant free room for enhancing of the regional cooperation in this process, based on the good practice of the previous enlargement process, and on clearly defined specific interests of each country included.
Montenegro, as the host country of this year’s Conference has proposed Draft Memorandum on Technical Cooperation in the European Integration process.

The aim of the Memorandum is to enhance cooperation models in the Process, through strengthening of the relations in the following areas:

1. Approximation of the national with the European Union legislation, taking into account priorities in that process,

2. Methods and results of the analysis and evaluations of the efficiency in the process of introducing European standards into legislation and economy,

3. Strengthening of the institutional capacities and enhancing of the competency level in the public administration on matters important for accession to the European Union,

4. Translating of the European Union legislation,

5. Establishing of the manners for utilizing of the European financial instruments in best possible way, including IPA, national and regional programs,

6. Informing of the public on European Union accession process,

7. Strengthening of the cooperation between the Governments and Civil Society in European integration process.

The countries of the Region, with signing of this Memorandum, would strengthen following fields of cooperation:

1. Exchange of the information and experiences,

2. Organization of joint activities and events: meetings, conferences, round tables, forums, on which experts and officials of the signatory Parties will take part,

3. Organization of the joint consultations, initiatives and activities in order to achieve as good results as it is possible in the signatory Parties’ countries in the field of European Integration,

4. Advanced trainings through organizing seminars on matters of European Integration, and instigating experts from the Parties to involve into the aforementioned process,

5. Development of joint initiatives,

6. Exchange of public employees in the field of common interest, having in mind available human resources on both sides.

In order to implement this memorandum, joint cooperation Committee will be established, which would meet once a year at least. The members of the Committee will be appointed by the Governments of all countries, and the Commission representatives will be invited as observers. For all above mentioned fields of cooperation, persons responsible for coordination will be delegated by all country institutions involved.

Having in mind common interest of the all countries in Region for the establishing of the closer cooperation in the accelerated process of association and accession to the European Union, all countries participants of the Conference, supported this initiative, expressing their readiness to define final proposal of the Memorandum in direct communication in following months, with aim of its finalization and signing, the next Regional Conference latest.

Having in mind that the Regional Conferences, until now, have been held in Tirana, Skopje, Belgrade, Sarajevo, and this year in Podgorica, the Republic of Croatia expressed their readiness to be the host of the next Regional Conference on European Integration, in October 2008, in Croatia.

Working Group I

Harmonization with Acquis and Challenges of Translation


I Legal harmonization

-Legal harmonization is among all Copenhagen criteria for accession, the most demanding one, not only due to new legislation to be drafted and adopted but especially of its implementation and enforcement
-Legal harmonization is needed not only for accession to the EU but also for speeding up transition and to improve competitiveness of economic subject on the way to the functioning of market economy
-Legal drafting is a process which requires key stakeholders to be included (inspectorate, judiciary, regulatory, agencies) for better implementation latter on.
-Role of National parliament in legal harmonization is important, especially through the work of parliamentary working bodies
-Harmonization with Acquis is also at the same time harmonization with domestic legal system as well as with domestic economy. Domestic legal tradition should be respected and transitional periods where needed for economy.
-Trained and educated public employees are crucial for legal harmonization assisted where needed by proper technical assistance.
-Planning and strategy approach with clear coordination role, including also timetable of policies, reforms and measures for implementation is needed, although the main work on legal drafting is on line ministries

II Translation

-Translation of Acquis is a precondition for proper legal harmonization-Central translation coordination unit in each country is recommended which should have coordination role and overview of translation process in the country (register of translated texts, glossaries, manuals, etc.)
-Translation of legal texts requires expert, legal and linguistic revision.-Planning of translation as well as priorities should be done in close connection with legal harmonization priorities (cooperation of institutions).
-After translation of legal text a legal revision is a must, therefore legal revision should be organized by the state.


I Legal harmonization

-Discussion and exchange of views on implementation of SAA and legal harmonization through common bodies (Council, Committee and Subcommittees and Joint Parliamentary Committee) and also through bilateral cooperation.
-Exchange of best practices in implementation of NPAA.

II Translation

-Cooperation within the region in organizing round tables and exchange of experiences concerning organization of translation process with special emphasis on legal revision with TAIEX support.
-Discussion and exchange of practical experience on translation process in the region.-Exchange of already translated texts between countries of the region should be further encouraged to avoid duplication.

Working Group II

Instrument for Pre-Accession and Cross Border Co-operationConclusions and recommendations

1) Different capacities in region countries can create problems in creation of CBC projects between countries (certain funds may be not spent).

2) Mutual cooperation towards common challenges – common projects (Multi-beneficiary IPA), co-financing and establishment of future Decentralized Implementation System structures, increase of capacities of the countries in the region.

3) Regional Technical assistance - need for flexible approach of EC. Emphases should be put on training in Project Cycle Management for local governments, as well as developing Master plan for training and needs assessment.

4) Need for strong cooperation between Government and NGO’s. Country administration should start working on building bridges between potential beneficiaries and NGO’s.

5)Common problem is adjustment of national regulations to EU requirements regarding management of IPA. Strengthening the cooperation with the EU Member States devoted to legal issues.

Working Group III

Civil Society and public private partnership in the EU Integration process

1. Current Status

- Enhancement of the cooperation between the Government and the civil society in the EU integration process
- Neccesity for new forms of partnership between State, profit and non-profit institutions in the European Integration process

a. Profitable (PPP)
b. Non-profitable (NGOs)
c. Interaction between profitable and non-profitable for the interest of the society

- Introducing more favorable legislative, Institutional and financial framework

2. PPP in the process of the European Integration

- Public needs financed by private sector
- Government
- Local Government
- Promotion of the Public Private Partnership as a tool for infrastructural investment
- Long-term planning
- Importance of the regional coordination
- Importance of the institutional and organizational framework
- CSR – Corporate Social Responsibility

3. Common questions related to NGOs

- European good practices regarding legislative framework
- European good practices between
- State and the NGOs
-Private sector and the NGOs
- Finance and its transparency of public funding
- Independence of NGOs
- Participation fee for the EU funded programs

4. Final remarks/recommendations

- Bridging gaps between the Government,Civil society and the private sector in the EU integration process
- Strengthening of the role of the civil society through the social dialogue
- Strengthening of the regional cooperation and communication among the government officies
- Strenghtening of the role of the NGOs in IPA planning and its implementation
- Promotion of the joint activities between profit and non-profit sector (PPP)

Working Group IV

Cooperation in Justice and Home Affairs with emphasize on needs for training on EU Law

Suggestions and Recommendations

1. Establishment of a regional network between involved institutions on mutual legal assistance in criminal and civil matters.

2. Activities to increase capacities in legislative techniques with regard of approximation to the acquis for secretariats for legislation and line ministries.

3. To increase cooperation of training centres, it was agreed to prepare a gathering of representatives from all judicial training centres of the region shortly. At this meeting topics and possibly curricula of short term, mid term and long term training programs including budgetary questions will be discussed and planned. GTZ Open Regional Fund – Legal Reform agreed to support this gathering.

Topics could be:

- Organisation of Implementation of Conventions and reformed laws regarding prevention of corruption.
- Implementation of economic related laws, which were currently reformed within approximation to the acquis.

4. Study visits for judges, prosecutors and civil servants in the region and in new member states to share experience on Approximation and Harmonization matters.

5. Organisation of training for judges to implement European Convention on Protection of Human Rights and Freedoms as interpreted by the European Court of Human Rights.

6. Enhance Regional Cooperation in the Area of Integrated Border Management.

7. Initiate the set up of a comprehensive, internal training program for judiciary and relevant bodies, involved in corruption cases in order to share common knowledge, with support of available pre-accession instruments and other means of support.