A roundup of Yugoslavia-related news for the months of March and April 2021.

Yugoslavia Continues to Disintegrate

Border Disputes


  • “The ‘Phantom Papers’ That No One In The Western Balkans Will Own Up To Writing,” Radio Free Europe, 4/29/21 – “In recent weeks, there have been two so-called “non-papers” on sensitive political issues that have whipped up part of the Western Balkans into a state of frenzy. The first non-paper is the most striking one. It has been dubbed the “Slovenian non-paper” after a Bosnian news site earlier this month alleged that Slovenian Prime Minister Janez Jansa gave it to European Council President Charles Michel. Written without regard to the cautious diplomatic-speak of Brussels, it unashamedly proposes the redrawing of the borders of the former Yugoslavia, plus Albania, along ethnic lines. The paper has continued to live on in the media due to the failure of Jansa to deny its existence, even though he has vehemently stated that he didn’t write it or send it around, and by the inability of Michel’s office to confirm or deny that they have received it. The other non-paper, published in Kosovar-based media earlier this week, is slicker. Stating that it is a Franco-German non-paper, it outlines a future final settlement in the ongoing dialogue between Belgrade and Pristina. There aren’t too many new elements in it, apart from stating that a deal should be done by February 2022 and that a special regional district in the Serb-dominated north of Kosovo is envisaged.”
  • Bosnian Serbs Urge Talks on Country’s Potential ‘Disintegration’,” Balkan Insight 4/20/21 – After publishing videos on YouTube advocating the ‘peaceful break-up’ of Bosnia and Herzegovina, Bosnian Serb political leaders say they will launch an initiative to discuss the country’s future with Bosniaks and Croats.
  • “Slovenian Media published “Non-Paper”: Plan for Dissolution of BiH,” Sarajevo Times, 4/16/21 – “The Slovenian portal Uncensored published a “non-paper”, ie an unofficial diplomatic document that talks about the ideas for the dissolution of Bosnia and Herzegovina (BiH), the accession of the Republika Srpska (RS) to Serbia, and the unification of Kosovo with Albania. As of Monday, there has been speculation in Slovenia, Croatia, and BiH about whether Prime Minister Janez Jansa has indeed sent an unofficial diplomatic document (non-paper) to Brussels, on redrawing of borders in the former Yugoslavia.”
  • “Slovenian Website Releases Non-Paper Proposing Changes to W Balkan Borders,” Total Slovenia News, 4/15/21 – “The Slovenian online portal Necenzurirano has published a non-paper [ed. a discussion paper which is not to form part of formal business] proposing changes to borders in the Western Balkans that has been raising controversy in recent days. Its authorship remains unclear, however, information available to the portal suggests a part of the document has been written in Budapest.”
  • “Slovenian Leaders Deny Calling for ‘Dissolution’ of Bosnia,” Balkan Insight, 4/12/21 – “Slovenia’s President and Prime Minister have dismissed media claims that they advocate the dissolution of Bosnia, or the ‘redrawing of its borders’, with the President restating his wish for Bosnia’s inclusion in the European Union.

In Other News

  • “‘Tragic Period in Croatian History’ Commemorated at Jasenovac Camp,” Balkan Insight 4/22/21 – “Croatian officials, leaders of the country’s Serb, Roma and Jewish communities and anti-fascists commemorated victims of the Ustasa fascist-run World War II concentration camp at Jasenovac.”
  • Anti-Semitism Used as Tool in Balkan Disputes: Report,” Balkan Insight 4/15/21 – “Anti-Semitic rhetoric is being used as a political tool in Balkan countries in regional disputes related to World War II and the 1990s wars, says a new report from the US-based International Republican Institute. Although there is a “low presence of anti-Semitism” and only a few thousand Jews remaining in Western Balkan countries, the issue is being appropriated for use in ongoing regional political disputes…”
  • Intolerance, Hate Speech Persists Against Croatia’s Serbs: Report,” Balkan Insight 4/13/21 – “The Serbian National Council, which represents the Serb minority in Croatia, warned that threats, hate speech and violence against Serbs in the country persist, despite a lower number of cases being registered in 2020.”The Serbian National Council, SNV presented its annual report on Tuesday, registering 214 incidents of ethnic intolerance, historical revisionism, denial of historical facts, offences, threats, physical attacks and hate speech targeting Croatian Serbs last year.”The report, entitled ‘Historic Revisionism, Hate Speech and Violence Against Serbs in 2020’, said that last year was “in many ways specific” because of the coronavirus pandemic. A total of 400 incidents were registered by the SNV in its report for 2019, and 381 in 2018.”