RFE/RL NEWSLINE Vol. 11, No. 211, Part II, 14 November 2007

RE MOST EU MEMBERS SET TO RECOGNIZE KOSOVA? A senior British official has said that 22 of the EU's 27 member states are ready to recognize the independence of Kosova, the news service Balkan Insight reported on November 13. Balkan Insight noted that major EU countries are now considering recognizing a unilateral declaration of independence even without waiting for a consensus within the EU. Other reports indicate that the five doubters are Cyprus, Greece, Romania, Spain, and Slovakia. Recognition by the EU heavyweights is unlikely to come before the second half of next year, however, while the United States is expected to recognize an independent Kosova without much delay. Balkan Insight quoted an EU source who suggested that the recognition would come during next year's French EU Presidency, which starts on July 1, since the French are eager to resolve the Kosova status and advance Serbia's EU integration during their half-year term. TV

KOSOVA SAYS ALL SET FOR ELECTIONS. Kosova's Central Election Commission has announced that the province is prepared for the November 17 local and parliamentary elections, local media reported on November 12. The commission said some 620 polling stations are ready to accommodate the more than 1.5 million citizens who are eligible to cast their votes, and that ballots have been printed. Voters outside Kosova can still register until the day of the vote, hence no definitive figures are available. The parliamentary and municipal elections were called by the head of the UN Mission in Kosova (UNMIK), Joachim Ruecker, at the end of August (see "RFE/RL Newsline," September 4, 2007) and are being boycotted by some ethnic-Serbian parties in line with calls from Belgrade (see "RFE/RL Newsline," November 2, 2007). TV

In a letter made public on November 13, UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon nominated Belgian lawyer Serge Brammertz as the new chief prosecutor of the International Criminal Tribunal for the former Yugoslavia (ICTY) in The Hague. If Brammertz is indeed approved by the Security Council, he will succeed Carla Del Ponte, who has been named Swiss ambassador to Argentina and who will step down from the ICTY at the end of the year (see "RFE/RL Newsline," June 29, 2007). Brammertz, who currently heads the UN's investigation into the assassination of former Lebanese Prime Minister Rafiq Hariri, was widely expected to be named to the post, prompting senior ICTY lawyers to urge Ban to appoint Del Ponte's deputy, David Tolbert, instead. Many human rights groups also backed Tolbert. TV