Daniel Hamilton

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On 5 June, the centre-right coalition of Macedonian Prime Minister Nikola Gruevski was re-elected for a second term in office.

As predicted, Gruevski’s cumbersomely-named Internal Macedonian Revolutionary Organization and Democratic Party for Macedonian National Unity (VMRO-DPMNE) formed a governing coalition with the ethnic Albanian Democratic Union for Integration. Aside from a handful of complaints about ballot-rigging in ethnic Albanian areas close to the country’s northern border with the disputed province of Kosovo, the election was an uneventful one – just as one might expect it would be in a South Balkan republic with little more than two million citizens. Gruevski’s coalition, while struggling to deal with the realities of the country’s crumbling infrastructure and high unemployment rate, has two clear priorities: achieving Macedonian membership of both NATO and the EU.

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Nobody could doubt that the past few years have been painful ones for Serbia.

Once the motor of the powerful Yugoslav state, the country now struggles to deal with the realities of its recent history that have reduced it to little more than a minor regional power, scarred by two decades of ultranationalist policies imposed by a short-sighted and self-serving political class. Divorced from Montenegro and stripped of Kosovo, a province of profound cultural, religious and historical importance to the Srpski psyche, the Serbian state’s humiliation is absolute.

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In 2007 – over two years before the Lisbon Treaty entered into effect – the European Council adopted to so-called Prum Convention as means by which to reinforce cooperation between Member States on issues such as combating illegal immigration, crime border crime-fighting and preventing terrorist attacks on EU Member States.

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