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Serbia

The Window of Opportunity for the Western Balkans

Will the Western Balkan countries be able to take advantage of the moment and will it bring the year 2018 closer to the European Union? In February 2018, a new Enlargement Strategy was presented in Strasbourg by the EU Commission. Bulgaria, currently having the Presidency of the Council of the EU, will organize a major Balkan’s Summit in May. Austria, for a long time one of the most prominent promoters of the EU Enlargement for the Western Balkans and a country deeply intertwined with the region, will assume the EU presidency in the second half of 2018. This year represents one of the crucial moments for enlargement as major steps need to be undertaken to reach the goal of making the enlargement perspective realistic for 2025.

April 26, 2018

Goals for Austria's Presidency of the Council of the European Union

On 1 July 2018, Austria will take over the Presidency of the Council of the European Union from Bulgaria. During its Presidency of the Council of the European Union (1 July to 31 December 2018), guided by the motto "A Europe that protects", Austria will focus on three key areas: security and the fight against illegal migration, retaining competitiveness through digitalisation, and stability in the neighbouring regions (particularly the accession of the Western Balkans to the EU).

April 25, 2018

The New Balkans in the Year of Hope for EU Enlargement

2018 has been frequently described as the „year of hope“ for EU enlargement and for the Balkans. In February 2018, a new Enlargement Strategy was presented in Strasbourg by the EU Commission. Bulgaria, currently having the Presidency of the Council of the EU, will organize a major Balkan’s Summit in May 2018. Austria, for a long time one of the most prominent promoters of the EU Enlargement for the Western Balkans and a country deeply intertwined with the region, will assume the EU presidency in the second half of 2018. 2018 represents one of the crucial moments for enlargement as major steps need to be undertaken to reach the goal of making enlargement perspective realistic for 2025.

April 20, 2018

Telekom Austria Prepares Expansion in the Western Balkans

Telekom Austria is strategically strengthening its search for takeover targets and has made EUR 1 billion available in the war chest. CEO Alejandro Plater has announced his intention to expand again in the Western Balkans (Serbia, Croatia and other countries of former Yugoslavia).

April 11, 2018

The Western Balkans Remain a Priority of Austrian Foreign Policy

Because of a common history and the tradition of political, cultural and economic relations, Austrian foreign policy has always attached particular importance to the Western Balkans. The primary goal of Austrian foreign policy is to support the transformation of the Western Balkans area into a zone of stability. From the Austrian perspective there is only one option for the Western Balkans: a full European integration of the region. However, the political commitment from the regions' leaders is expected.

February 28, 2018

Western Balkans Summit was Held in Paris

Following the 2014 Western Balkans Summit in Berlin and the Vienna Western Balkans Summit of August 2015, the third Western Balkans Summit was held in Paris in the context of the ‘Berlin Process’. More than 500,000 of the people with migration background who live in Austria are from the region. Austrian companies have hundreds of branches or subsidiaries in the Western Balkans, which clearly illustrates the very close economic relations.

July 8, 2016

Western Balkans Countries Discussed Investment, Jobs and Integration in Vienna

The World Bank and the Vienna Institute for International Economic Studies (wiiw) held a high-level policy dialogue on ‘Investment, Jobs and Integration’ last week. Ministers and senior officials from the Western Balkans region as well as policy experts from international organisations and the business community gathered to discuss the challenges the region is currently facing, in particular the high unemployment rate, low international competitiveness, and lack of modern infrastructure.

July 8, 2016

Vienna Insurance Group Buys AXA Subsidiaries in Serbia

Vienna Insurance Group (VIG) is acquiring AXA’s life and non-life companies in Serbia. The purchase will increase VIG’s market share in Serbia to around 11.5 percent.

July 7, 2016

The Western Balkans Conference Which Led to Row Over Worsening Refugee Crisis

Convened on the initiative of Austrian Foreign Minister Sebastian Kurz and Austrian Minister of the Interior Johanna Mikl-Leitner, the Western Balkans conference “Managing Migration Together” was held at the Federal Ministry of the Interior in Vienna. 18 foreign and interior ministers from the Western Balkans attended the conference. The participants included the foreign and interior ministers of Albania, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Bulgaria, Croatia, Kosovo, Macedonia, Montenegro, Serbia and Slovenia.

February 26, 2016

Central and Eastern Europe's Financial Elite Gathered at the CEE Forum in Vienna

The 21st Euromoney Central and Eastern European Forum ended in Vienna today, where 1000 delegates from the region joined local and international investors to help plan, debate and analyze the economic agenda for the region for the year ahead. The vast majority of the delegates have a negative outlook for the year 2016. Only one of the participants expects that this year CEE will grow more than 3.5%.

January 20, 2016

Central and Eastern European Forum in Vienna next Week

The Central and Eastern European Forum - organized by Euromoney - is taking place in Vienna next week. 1,000 top level policymakers, issuers, and commentators from the region will join local and international investors to help plan, debate and analyze the economic agenda for the region for the year ahead.

January 13, 2016

Report: Drug Money and Opiate Trafficking on the Balkan Route

A report recently launched by the United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime (UNODC) shows that the total value of illicit heroin and opium trafficked from Afghanistan to Western Europe through the Balkans amounts to some $28 billion every year. Sixty-five per cent of this total ($18 billion) is generated in Western and Central Europe.

December 14, 2015

Only Full EU-Integration Can Stabilise the Western Balkans for a Lasting Time

Minister for Foreign Affairs, Sebastian Kurz commented on the European Commission’s progress reports, which were presented earlier this month: “Most of the Western Balkans countries’ progress on their way in direction of EU-membership is noticeable and positive. The Commission’s new methodology renders possible an improved analysis on the progress made in the respective countries in the last year. This creates a positive competition. The new progress reports also underscore that all candidate countries still have a lot of hard work before them and EU support towards this is essential. The current refugee crisis is no exception in this respect as it shows, how important the Western Balkans countries and Turkey are to Europe in tackling this particular challenge.”

November 18, 2015

A Global Labour Force: 230 Million International Migrants On Our Doorstep

OSCE expert meeting in Vienna focuses on effective policies for temporary, seasonal and circular labour migration. Some 70 representatives of OSCE participating States and Partners for Co-operation, experts from international organizations, civil society and research centres discussed changing labour migration dynamics at an expert meeting that concluded in Vienna today on effective policies for temporary, seasonal and circular labour migration.

November 9, 2015

Euromoney Names UniCredit-Bank Best Bank in CEE

Euromoney has presented UniCredit with nine awards for excellence, including Best Bank in Central Eastern Europe, Best Debt House in Central Eastern Europe and Best Transaction Services House in Central Eastern Europe.

July 14, 2015

Alliance Against Trafficking in Persons Acts to Combat Human Trafficking

Protecting groups vulnerable to human trafficking along migration routes and in destination countries is the focus of the 2015 Alliance conference, where during the next two days leading experts are looking for new ways to assist at-risk migrants. “This has become an increasingly urgent international issue with serious security implications for the OSCE area and neighbouring regions,” Aleksandar Nikolić, Serbia’s State Secretary of the Interior Ministry, said on Monday.

July 6, 2015

EBRD Sees Mixed Outlook for CESEE Countries in 2015-16

The outlook for economies in central and south eastern Europe is improving on the back of eurozone monetary easing but prospects further to the east of the transition region have worsened, as the impact of Russia’s recession intensifies.

May 14, 2015

Ivica Dačić in Vienna: Serbia Takes Over OSCE Chairmanship from Switzerland

The new OSCE Chairperson, Serbia’s Foreign Minister Ivica Dacic, spoke today at the inaugural Permanent Council meeting of Serbia's OSCE Chairmanship Vienna. He revealed his Chairmanship priorities pledging to rebuild trust and confidence in the OSCE region of 57 participating states.

January 15, 2015

Serbian Foreign Minister Dačić to Visit Vienna

The new OSCE Chairperson-in-Office, Serbian Foreign Minister Dačić will visit Vienna on Thursday. He will outline the Serbian Chairmanship’s priorities to the OSCE Permanent Council*.

January 13, 2015

Voestalpine to Supply Linepipe Plates for the Second South Stream Pipeline

This year sees the voestalpine Group securing its third major contract in the pipeline business. Following the first, now completed, contract for the Russian-European pipeline project South Stream, and for Rota 3, a pipeline project in Brazil, voestalpine will deliver 120,000 tons of sour-gas-resistant, high-strength linepipe plates for the second South Stream pipeline by spring 2015. The South Stream contract is not affected by sanctions. Further negotiations are also currently underway concerning extremely challenging pipeline projects.

September 5, 2014

Mid Europa Partners' New Fund to Invest EUR 800 Mln in CEE

Mid Europa Partners, the British private equity firm focused on buyouts in Central & Eastern Europe, announced the final closing of Mid Europa Fund IV at €800 million, complemented by an additional pre-allocated co-investment program of €650 million. Fund IV represents the largest dedicated fund to the CEE Region raised in the last 5 years.

September 5, 2014

Transport & Logistics - DB Schenker Opens New Logistics Center in Belgrade

DB Schenker will be moving into a new logistics center near Belgrade/Serbia at the beginning of 2015. The center will offer customers the technology for specialized logistics solutions.

August 29, 2014

Canada's Foreign Affairs Minister John Baird Visits Austria and The Balkans

Canada's Foreign Affairs Minister John Baird today announced that he will visit Croatia, Serbia and Albania. The visit to the Balkans comes after Baird spoke about Ukraine and other global security issues at a high-level forum in Salzburg, organized by the International Peace Institute and the Salzburg Global Seminar.

August 27, 2014

Cost of Living Rankings: CEE Capitals Cheaper, Vienna is 32nd Most Expensive City

The Mercer's 2014 Cost of Living Rankings have been published and cover 211 cities across five continents. While Western European cities have all risen in the rankings mainly due to the strengthening of the Euro against the US dollar, most cities in Central and Eastern Europe (CEE), however have fallen in the ranking as a result of local currencies depreciating against the US dollar. Bratislava (#84), Prague (#92), Kiev (#98), Ljubljana (#116), Zagreb (#120), Budapest (#135), Warsaw (#142), Belgrade (#184).

July 25, 2014

Analysis: The South Stream Gas Pipeline

Due to the signing of the South Stream agreement between OMV and Gazprom for the Austrian part of the pipeline during Putin's visit to Vienna, we take a look at the background of the project.

June 25, 2014

Austria's Foreign Policy on the Western Balkans

Due to centuries of political, cultural and economic interrelations, Austrian foreign policy has always attached particular importance to the Balkans. The prime goal of Austrian foreign policy is to support the transformation of the Western Balkans into a zone of stability.

June 4, 2014

Austria: Western Balkans Representatives are Meeting in Vienna

The Western Balkans Conference and the Central European Initiative (CEI) Ministerial Meeting are currently discussing questions regarding the EU enlargement, the role of the EU as a peace project and the economic situation in the Western Balkans.

June 3, 2014

German Retailer Metro Faces Massive Losses in CEE

Sales in CEE declined 14.8 percent last year for German retail and wholesale enterprise Metro Group.

May 9, 2014

New Serbian Government Wants Speedy EU Accession

The new Serbian government is determined to accelerate the EU accession progress.

May 2, 2014

Serbia: New Government Taking Drastic Measures

New head of the Serbian government Aleksandar Vucic has ambitious plans to reform the state and restructure state finances.

April 28, 2014

Raiffeisen Bank International AG - SWOT Analysis & Company Report May 2014

This new report contains in depth information and data about Raiffeisen Bank International AG and its operations and markets. It contains an overview, business and strategy description, financial ratios, valuation & forecast data and a SWOT analysis.

April 25, 2014

Serbia: “Huge Challenges Ahead”

President Tomislav Nikolic appointed Aleksandar Vucic to form a new Serbian government.

April 23, 2014

Serbia: Key Rate Kept Unchanged.

The NBS (National Bank of Serbia) decided to keep the policy rate unchanged as there is no threat of inflation.

April 22, 2014

Serbia: EU Negotiations Important for Reforms

According to Tanja Miscevic, chief negotiator in Serbia’s EU accession talks, the opening of the Chapters 23 and 24 are crucial for the reform process in the Western Balkan country.

April 22, 2014

Serbia: PM Nominated Next Week

The Serbian President will nominate the new Prime Minister on Tuesday, April 22.

April 18, 2014

Serbia: New Government Stands

Despite the absolute majority of his party SNS, Vucic could create a strategic alliance with the social democrats.

April 17, 2014

Hypo Group: Privatization of Balkan Business Until 2015

The nationalized problem bank intends to sell its Balkan business within 2014.

April 17, 2014

Serbian New Government More Efficient and Modern

The presidency of the Serbian Progressive Party (SNS), which gained a landslide victory in the recent parliamentary elections, has decided to create a coalition with the Alliance of Vojvodina Hungarians (SVM).

April 15, 2014

Serbia: “Radical Measures” Needed to Tackle Grey Economy

Experts call for higher penalties to make tax evasion and gray economy less profitable and establish financial discipline.

April 14, 2014

Serbia’s Goal to Join EU until 2020 “Realistic”

According to former German Chancellor Gerhard Schröder, Serbia’s aim to become a member of the European Union until 2020 is realistic.

April 11, 2014

Vucic: “Not Afraid of Social Riots”

The future Prime Minister of Serbia underlined the necessity of reforms.

April 10, 2014

Moldova: Urgent Call for EU-Membership

Getting out of the zone of uncertainty and instability, this is the aim of the Moldovan Prime Minister Iurie Leanca.

April 10, 2014

Serbia: Vucic Rejects Single-Party Government

Aleksandar Vucic, leader of the Serbian Progressive Party (SNS) and future Prime Minister, said on Tuesday that his party does not intend to govern on its own.

April 9, 2014

Nikolic: “Russia Will Never Recognize Kosovo”

In an interview with Austrian daily “Presse”, Serbian President Tomislav Nikolic voiced his opinon on the political crisis on Crimea and the future about talks between Serbia and Kosovo.

April 8, 2014

Serbia: Effective Measures for Economy

The Serbian Chamber of Commerce considers the measures for economic growth “a very big thing”.

April 7, 2014

ECB Puts Pressure on Hypo Group

The distressed Austrian nationalized lender has no access to the Eurosystem monetary policy credit instruments. About ten potential buyers might be interested in the Balkan lender.

April 5, 2014

Serbia: Vucic New Prime Minister

The chief of the Serbian Progressiv Party (SNS) Aleksandar Vucic will be nominated by the Serbian President Tomislav Nikolic as the new Prime Minister.

April 4, 2014

More than Half of Serbians Aspire EU Membership

55 percent of the Serbian citizens are in favor of the country becoming an EU member.

April 4, 2014

Serbian Future Government Needs to Be “Compact”

According to the deputy leader of SNS, Aleksandar Vucic “shall introduce iron discipline in the Government.”

April 3, 2014

Serbia: New Government to Hold EU Accession Talks Regularly

The next government of Serbia will hold sessions with regard to the EU accesssion on a regular basis, as announced by Miscevic, chief EU negotiator of Serbia.

April 3, 2014