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  • EAST-WEST BRIDGE
    the similar mechanism but in reverse order the National Bank of Serbia redeems excess RSD on the market because we as a country spend more abroad than we generate income As a comparison in 2014 the NBS spent EUR 1 4 billion on dinar defence In the period from 2011 to 2014 Switzerland spent EUR 450 billion to defend its franc The question is raised why has the SNB made such decision right now Dollar has begun to grow vertiginously in relation to EUR meaning that 450 billion redeemed by the Swiss in the past few years has been losing its value in relation to the world currency number 1 dollar even by several per cents on a daily basis At the same time rouble has begun to fall vertiginously and rich Russians got an idea to buy Swiss francs thus creating an additional pressure On the top of this the European Central Bank got the green light to already next week begin printing fresh EUR 500 billion which additionally impaired EUR in relation to the major world currencies above all dollar Now when we have understood why it has happened let s consider the repercussions to the region of Central and Eastern Europe Housing but also other loans in the countries like Poland Austria Hungary and Croatia will become more expensive in relation to their referential value Poland and Austria are stable growing economies therefore the shock will be felt the least in those countries Their citizens mostly have stable jobs their salaries slightly grow on average there will be more work out loans but on aggregate there will be no major shocks Hungary has solved the majority of its problem A populist measure retroactive exchange rate return to 2008 period has enabled the Hungarians to be discharged with almost 30 per cent discount However at the same time such measure has decimated Hungarian banks gross national income has vertiginously fallen and unemployment has reached its historical maximum value Croatia will be under a great pressure The Croatian Government sees the possibility to make a populist move within pre electoral campaign as a very catchy one especially after the loss of the presidential elections The opposition to such move would include the Croatian National Bank and Croatian Governor who understands very well to what extent such populist measure would be additionally ruinous to already fragile Croatian macroeconomic situation Repercussions to Serbia Around EUR 1 billion of above all housing loans and around 100 000 affected people A great majority of borrowers in Swiss francs have had difficulties in the payment of their monthly liabilities After franc strengthening the majority de facto and in accordance with the NBS regulations become insolvent Their loans have additionally grown in relation to euro their salaries have mostly remained the same or decreased and the value of purchased real estate has in most cases fallen What are the options A return real estate to bank Pro at first it seems as if agony ceases

    Original URL path: http://www.ewb.rs/editone.aspx?id=253 (2015-02-28)
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  • EAST-WEST BRIDGE
    in December 2003 participating States adopted the OSCE Strategy Document for the Economic and Environmental Dimension In doing so they committed themselves to co operate on economic good governance sustainable development and environmental protection issues in order to tackle the threats and challenges to security that had emerged over the previous decade The following documents are relevant to the initiative hereto Maastricht Strategy Document for the OSCE Economic and Environmental Dimension MC 11 JOUR 2 03 osce org eea 20705 Ministerial Council Decision on the Future orientation of the economic and environmental dimension MC DEC 4 09 osce org cio 40699 Ministerial Council Decision on Further OSCE efforts to address transnational threats and challenges to security and stability MC DEC 2 09 osce org cio 40713 Ministerial Council Decision on Follow up to the 16th Economic and Environmental Forum on maritime and inland waterways co operation MC DEC 9 08 osce org mc 35514 Madrid Declaration on Environment and security MC DOC 4 07 osce org mc 29550 Ministerial Council Decision on Follow up to the 15th Economic and Environmental Forum water management MC DEC 7 07 osce org mc 29446 Ministerial Council Decision on the Future transport dialogue in the OSCE MC DEC 11 06 osce org mc 23054 Ministerial Council Decision on Migration MC DEC 2 05 osce org mc 17339 Permanent Council Decision on Theme Agenda and modalities for the Twenty third Economic and Environmental Forum PC DEC 1131 14 osce org pc 121827 Permanent Council Decision on Theme agenda and modalities for the Twenty Second OSCE Economic and Environmental Forum PC DEC 1088 13 osce org pc 103903 Permanent Council Decision on Dates agenda mandate and modalities of the 2012 Economic and Environmental Dimension Implementation Meeting PC DEC 1044 12 osce org pc 92553 Permanent Council Decision on Strengthening the effectiveness of the economic and environmental dimension PC DEC 1011 11 osce org pc 86066 Permanent Council Decision on Dates agenda mandate and modalities of the 2011 Economic and Environmental Dimension Implementation Meeting PC DEC 995 11 osce org pc 76457 Permanent Council Decision on Strengthening and improving the effectiveness of work in the economic and environmental dimension PC DEC 958 10 osce org pc 73646 Brussels Agreement between Serbia and Kosovo Programmatic framework Having in mind that outcomes from the 22 nd Forum 2014 were to encourage the OSCE to integrate and to mainstream Disaster Risk Reduction DRR in its projects and programmes to foster trans boundary co operation including the development of national disaster risk management policies and to provide its comprehensive approach to security into the ongoing global processes for the post 2015 Framework for Disaster Risk Reduction and the post 2015 Development Agenda as well as the 2015 agreement on climate change in particular within the Economic and Environmental Dimension where engagement of the ENVSEC and other relevant international organization were praised Serbia should see its position in setting up operational format for the implementation of those policies and recommendations Water and

    Original URL path: http://www.ewb.rs/editone.aspx?id=251 (2015-02-28)
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  • EAST-WEST BRIDGE
    the global financial and economic crisis is promising improvements in Serbia s economic rankings through painful reforms Serbia remains outside the World Trade Organization and the OECD it has got a backlog of more than 3 billion euros in approved and unused loans badly needed for outdated road rail and energy infrastructure its aid to farmers is scarce labor market inflexible and job prospects weak Its peers based on credit ratings are in Latin America Asia and Africa not Europe The market capitalization at the Belgrade Stock Exchange where not a single valuable state asset including telecoms and power companies is listed has fallen to 6 5 billion euros this year from more than 16 billion euros in 2007 The government has yet to offer a plan to curb high fiscal deficit and public debt making public sector savings and freeing up cash to let the private sector thrive Many economists believe Serbia needs a 5 percent GDP growth a year 2 billion euros in annual foreign direct investments and almost a million new jobs in private sector to prosper Instead of growth the economy is in its third recession since 2009 the number of active workers has fallen by 300 000 in the same period to 1 7 million people somewhat below the number of pensioners Nearly 770 000 people were active job seekers in August this year almost unchanged for eight months The job market had 44 281 vacancies at the end of 2013 according to National Labor Office figures With 7 2 million people and an economy of 30 billion euros or three times what it was in 2000 output levels are still around 35 percent below those in 1989 the year remembered by many Serbians as a symbol of decent living standards that ended in 1991 with the start of Balkan wars GDP per capita is 60 percent below the European Union average and key macroeconomic indicators are mixed inflation is at record low 1 5 percent fiscal gap around 8 5 percent of GDP public debt is above 70 percent of GDP and the current account deficit about 5 5 percent of GDP Between 2000 and 2013 foreign direct investment topped 16 billion euros or 168 euros a year per inhabitant Most cash came from European Union s banks which established operations in a market emerging after economic and financial collapse as well as from the sale of flagship companies in mobile telephony retail pharmaceuticals tobacco oil and car making sectors Labor intensive industries which feed less developed cities and regions have remained unsold with liabilities of more than 6 billion euros equaling 20 percent of GDP Two major investments since 2000 by Italy s Fiat and Russia s Gazprom are leading export growth and preventing deeper economic declines Successive governments have hoped the third major investment the biggest single inflow in Serbia s history to be Russia s South Stream gas pipeline That would turn Serbia into an energy hub earning it close to

    Original URL path: http://www.ewb.rs/editone.aspx?id=241 (2015-02-28)
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  • EAST-WEST BRIDGE
    Wahhabism as it began appearing in the country Nevertheless the town of Rozaje has now become reputed for its Wahhabi community In Macedonia the size of the Wahhabi community is difficult to assess but it has been perceived as a major threat by the ethnic Macedonian majority which has come to associate the community with al Qaeda Certain ethnic Albanians of Macedonia have adhered to Wahhabism and some of them have adopted a paramilitary lifestyle In November 2007 an inter ethnic Macedonian taskforce killed former guerilla fighter and proponent of Wahhabism ethnic Albanian Ramadan Shiti along with six of his acolytes in the villages of Brodec Vejce and Vesela where they had established a base of operations 13 extremists were captured in addition to the men killed and a massive weapons cache was seized 22 Recently in June 2014 six ethnic Albanians from Macedonia were convicted for terrorism and sentenced to life imprisonment having murdered five ethnic Macedonians 23 In Kosovo so far Wahhabis led by Shefqet Krasniqi have limited their activities to harassment and assaults on moderate preachers functionaries and Mosques 24 In Bosnia like in Serbia and Macedonia a more violent pattern had emerged whereby certain fundamentalists had crossed the line from being merely radicals participating in acts of vandalism to becoming terrorists On the 27th of June 2010 a bomb exploded in the police station of Bugojno Bosnia and Herzegovina leaving one officer dead and six injured This attack was apparently organized by a certain Naser Palislamovic in retaliation for the arrest of his brother in law Rijad Rustempasic who had been arrested in March 2008 for plotting attacks on Catholic Churches and foreign troops Rustempasic was a member of the El Mujahid unit under Emir Barbaros during the war 25 The Bugojno attack was orchestrated to coincide with the increase of police presence in the town for the local Ajvatovica pilgrimage an annual gathering vehemently opposed by extremist Wahhabis Later on the 28th of October 2011 Mevlid Jasarevic from Novi Pazar Serbia opened fire with an assault rifle on the U S Embassy in Sarajevo He had been a resident of Gornja Maoca 26 In 2010 the village had been raided by 600 government agents confiscating weapons caches and combat instruction videos 27 The inhabitants of the village have according to the BBC repeatedly refused to recognize the authority of the Bosnian state In a 2014 report on Terrorism the BVT Austria s Counter Terrorism security service expressed concern for these villages as they allegedly pose a security threat to the West and Austria in particular The BVT report indicates that certain locations in the Western Balkans have become indoctrination training and recruitment centers Westerners allegedly travel to these fundamentalist villages in order to further educate themselves in radical ideology but also receive training There they also establish connections with recruiters who organize their travels to Syria or Iraq The rise of radical Salafism in Bosnia has spilled over into the Sandzak region shared by Serbia and Montenegro and in Macedonia giving rise to intra Muslim tensions but also becoming a serious trans national security threat to the local governments Throughout the Balkans these radical Wahhabis obviously have easy access to funds and weaponry and clearly do not have good intentions for members of the other religious communities c Jihad in Iraq and Syria The spread of radical Salafism in the region as well as the proliferation of Islamic terrorist networks could cause in the future the same sectarian tensions that now plague the Northern Caucasus Inevitably Wahhabis and fundamentalists such as Naser Palislamovic will target Catholic or Orthodox communities and could well reignite inter religious in addition to intra Muslim tensions in the region The recent trend of Wahhabis from the Western Balkans taking up arms and joining either ISIS or Jamaat al Nusra in Syria and Iraq makes this threat all the more real As seasoned Jihadists from Syria and Iraq brutalized by their experiences and indoctrination return from conflict to the Balkans they may attempt to open a new Jihad front in the region The most prominent Bosniak to have travelled to the Middle East in order to join Jamaat al Nusra is Nusret Imamovic one of the most important radical Wahhabis in Bosnia and leader of the Gornja Maoca community As of the 24th September 2014 he has been designated as a Foreign Terrorist Fighter by the U S State Department The BBC estimates 3 000 Europeans fighting in Syria and Iraq 28 According to the Westpoint Combating Terrorism Center from January 2013 to June 2014 between 218 and 654 foreign fighters from Albania and the ex Yugoslav states have travelled to Syria some 330 of them Bosnian citizens 50 to 90 Albanians 80 to 150 Kosovars a dozen Macedonians two Montenegrins and between 30 and 70 Serbs 29 Between 38 and 51 of these have died while between 69 and 93 have returned home from the battlefield Bosnia is now the fifth largest non Arab contributor to the insurgency behind the U K France Russia and Germany 30 The Western Balkans region ranks third Up until June 2014 83 of foreign fighters from the Balkans joined Jamaat al Nusra while only 10 joined ISIS and only 3 joined the Free Syrian Army It is safe to assume that the percentage has now grown in favour of ISIS as it gained massive popularity thanks to its offensive into Iraq According to the CTC before the Syrian conflict less than a dozen known individuals from the Western Balkans had ever participated in other conflicts as Jihadists The reason behind such a great number of Muslims from the West Balkans answering the call to Jihad can only be attributed to the network of radical extremists which haD established itself in the region during the 90s and early 2000s According to Almir Dzuvo the director of the Intelligence Security Agency of Bosnia and Herzegovina there are 3 000 potential terrorists in Bosnia alone of which

    Original URL path: http://www.ewb.rs/editone.aspx?id=243 (2015-02-28)
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  • EAST-WEST BRIDGE
    reality has sunk in and the Kosovo issue is no longer top news in Serbia In illustration the possibility of Kosovo s Atifete Jahjaga attending the Belgrade European Commission 38 th Session has prompted Brussels to say according to press reports that her visit to Belgrade would mark epochal progress in relations between Belgrade and Pristina and be a powerful message of stabilization of the region and Serbia s role in the process It ran in the local press for just one day To achieve the aforementioned the Serbian government should be supported and left in peace to focus on accomplishing the above Herculean duty and not be continually targeted by various political factions both at home and abroad which themselves wont for a better solution give out sometimes opposing signals and messages which way Serbia should go or how to go about it like whether Serbia must join EU sanctions against Russia Many a western diplomat and stakeholder seemed to have been momentarily oblivious to the fact that Serbian leaders have clearly and loudly supported Ukraine s territorial integrity even if they baulked at joining the sanctions also opposed by many in the EU itself The West must bear in mind that despite the fact that the current government enjoys an unprecedented majority in the short history of Serbia s democracy the opposition to EU and or NATO is still strong especially in view of the fact that Russia has invested into shaping the minds and hearts of Serbia s citizens like never before in the relations between the two countries Russia s President Putin s new found interest to come to Belgrade and attend the 70th anniversary of liberation of Belgrade is not a mere coincidence Sadly in turn it has provoked just about every pundit and talking head in the EU to give an opinion on the subject and more often than not it was conflicting confusing or downright misleading On the contrary it would serve every political dove s interest to make the best use of Serbia s imminent chairmanship of the OSCE and its special ties with Brussels and Moscow to mend Western Russian relations That said friendship has never been or ever will be a defining factor in international relations there are no emotions only sheer political economic and security interests that guide foreign policies of countries This has been lost on Serbia much to its detriment on numerous occasions Ignoring the rapidly changing political dynamics Serbia is still not accepting the outstretched hand of friendship by NATO memories still fresh from the bombing in 1999 However it justifiably relies on Germany its biggest foe in two world wars for political backing on its road to EU membership Today Serbia owes a huge debt to Germany for accepting its hundreds of thousands of migrant workers who send each year billions of euros home and thus playing a huge role in sustaining Serbia s economy As alliances rapidly shift in historical terms to suit the

    Original URL path: http://www.ewb.rs/editone.aspx?id=237 (2015-02-28)
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  • EAST-WEST BRIDGE
    a very warm welcome to the 38 th European Meeting in Belgrade We are particularly honoured by the presence of the Prime Minister who opens our meeting in the company of so many of his distinguished colleague leaders from our West Balkans Region We are also thankful to the Minister of Foreign Affairs who welcomes us at the opening reception and who had initiated this meeting by inviting us in the very first place to gather in Belgrade We remain grateful to both for their precious and generous hospitality throughout our conference This is our inaugural meeting of the Commission in Serbia However this is not the first time we address this part of Europe in our gatherings Since the late 1980s through the 1990s to the early 2000s we at Trilateral have regularly focused our attention and discussions on this Region where History has wrought much havoc and distress It has been said that this Region suffers from too much History History that many quote but few draw lessons from plunging the region into chaos every 30 or 40 years As illustration Belgrade alone has been run over in its history by some 150 armies and razed more than 40 times We owe it to our children not to leave them such a legacy and finally pave way for a lasting peace stability and prosperity in the region for centuries to come not decades There is no doubt that there is readiness and capability to achieve this noble goal in the entire region The best illustration of that is that only 15 years ago it would be impossible even to imagine holding this event in Belgrade But thanks to the courage endurance and commitment of all the peoples of the region and their leaders we are here today to

    Original URL path: http://www.ewb.rs/editone.aspx?id=235 (2015-02-28)
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  • EAST-WEST BRIDGE
    koji ostaje središnji i trajni zadatak u saradnji s Uneskom učinio je da se pažnja javnosti usredsredi samo na taj segment delovanja Ovo međutim nikako nije dobro ni sa aspekta potencijalne uspešnosti u izvršavanju tog osnovnog zadatka jer bismo jedino razvijanjem diverzifikovane saradnje sa većim brojem stranih partnera u ostalim oblastima nadležnosti Uneska uključujući i kulturne mogli računati na njihovu spremnost da ispolje više razumevanja za ovo višestruko osetljivo pitanje od našeg vitalnog interesa Smatrate da bi u Unesku trebalo da se predstavimo konkretnim projektima jer u suprotnom i pored odličnih diplomatskih kontakata neće moći ništa da se uradi na poljima koja su nama važna Naravno da bi saradnja Srbije s Uneskom bila produktivna nužno je nastupiti s konkretnim i što je naročito značajno adekvatno i svestrano pripremljenim projektima jer se forumi i stručna tela Uneska u proceni inicijativa i projekata država članica rukovode krajnje preciznim i razrađenim propozicijama tako da se često događa da neki predlozi aktivnosti budu odbačeni iz čisto formalnih razloga Kako kandidatura uvek ima znatno više od mogućnosti prihvatanja važno je unapred izbeći te razloge A političkih će naravno uvek biti Pominjete zaštitu životne sredine To je i posebno poglavlje za pristupanje EU Mnogi smatraju da krećemo od nule da na tom polju ništa nismo uradili Problematika zaštite životne sredine i prirodnih bogatstva izbija u sam vrh prioriteta kojima Unesko planski posvećuje pažnju sada i u kontekstu usvojenih srednjoročnih ciljeva UN među kojima se naročito insistira na održivom razvoju u svim njegovim dimenzijama od ekološke do kulturne Ne bih rekao da u oblasti zaštite životne sredine uključujući prirodna bogatstva krećemo baš od nule Tokom priprema za odlazak u Pariz zapazio sam da se recimo u Ministarstvu poljoprivrede i u Zavodu za zaštitu prirode veoma ozbiljno radi na programima iz ove oblasti Isto važi i za međunarodnu saradnju u oblasti hidrologije Ima i prilično lokalnih inicijativa ali nedostaju bolja institucionalna koordinacija i što je hronična boljka sredstva Ima projekata koji su već registrovani u Unesku a i nekih koji se pripremaju recimo u oblasti zaštite nematerijalnog kulturnog nasleđa gde je nedavno u Uneskovu listu upisan i naš prvenac krsna slava Neke projekte Srbija kandiduje zajedno sa susednim i drugim državama Rekli ste da je u ovom trenutku ključno formiranje Nacionalne komisije pri Unesko Koja je njena funkcija Hitno formiranje Komisije za saradnju s Uneskom glavni je sistemski i institucionalno organizacioni preduslov za delovanje prema ovoj organizaciji Trenutno je rad Komisije blokiran Dosadašnji predsednik je razrešen dužnosti a generalni sekretar je otišao u diplomatsko predstavništvo u inostranstvo Komisija je važno savetodavno telo vlade ima međuresorni karakter njeni članovi moraju biti istaknuti stručnjaci u oblasti prosvete nauke i kulture poželjno je da u stručnom pogledu bude što nezavisnija a da je kao i do sada operativno u administrativno tehničkom smislu podržava Ministarstvo spoljnih poslova nadležno za saradnju Srbije s međunarodnim organizacijama Koliko je naša pozicija u ovoj organizaciji trenutno jaka koliku specifičnu težinu imamo danas Relativna pozicija svake države u svim međunarodnim organizacijama odraz je njenog aktualnog međunarodnog položaja

    Original URL path: http://www.ewb.rs/pressone.aspx?id=196 (2015-02-28)
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  • EAST-WEST BRIDGE
    will be possible to help these unstable countries solve their problems Next 12 months are critical Renzi said Europe must eliminate the red tape of bureaucracy or it will be finished We re all for quantitative easing in Europe but it s not enough Lawrence H Summers Charles W Eliot University Professor Harvard University USA said Liu Minkang Distinguished Fellow Fung Global Institute Jong Kong Sar said that QE policies are there to buy time for further fiscal economic and political reforms The ECB decision on quantitative easing QE lays the ground for stimulus in the Eurozone but the challenge now is for governments to move ahead with structural reforms We have done our part but the ECB cannot raise productivity increase employment or encourage investment said Benoît Coeuré Member of the Executive Board European Central Bank Frankfurt Explaining the ECB s intervention he said We could not sit by and watch the political foundations of the European project being undermined Monetary policy was not enough to encourage growth Policy makers shouldn t kid themselves Axel A Weber Chairman of the Board of Directors UBS Switzerland said They need to deliver policy reforms not just loose monetary policy Germany s Chancellor Angela Merkel called for urgent fiscal reform in Europe Whatever the decision of the European Central Bank ECB on quantitative easing European leaders must not be diverted from continuing with meaningful structural reforms The European single market needs to become less regulated and more open Time is of the essence she said Every day we delay is a lost day We need to promote growth and create long term jobs Right now structural reforms are the only game in town We need politicians to act Min Zhu Deputy Managing Director International Monetary Fund IMF Washington DC said Zhu added that worldwide the whole banking sector is much stronger than a few years ago but the risks have moved into the shadow banking sector US economic performance is strong and provides a significant boost to global demand But much of the growth is coming from consumers and government spending with private investment still relatively low David M Rubenstein Co Founder and Co Chief Executive Officer Carlyle Group USA said that since governments and banks are no longer funding infrastructure investments as much as they did in the past more and more infrastructure projects will be funded by private equity Right now the US seems the greatest place in the world in which to invest he said However he cautioned that economic growth there is leaving many behind especially in middle and lower income groups We re in a currency war One of the easier ways to stimulate your economy is to weaken your currency US economy is strong but weakness elsewhere would make it hard for the Federal Reserve to raise interest rates The dollar s strength which could have a chilling effect on the US economy would also encourage US monetary authorities to keep rates low Gary D Cohn

    Original URL path: http://www.ewb.rs/editone.aspx?id=255 (2015-02-28)
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