The Balkans

This week in history: November 23-29

23 November 2020

On November 29, 1945, the Federal People’s Republic of Yugoslavia was proclaimed following the successful repulsion of Nazi Germany’s attempt to subjugate the country, and Germany’s defeat in World War II in May. The establishment of the republic involved the deposing of King Peter II and the end of the Karađorđević dynasty that he headed. It was the outcome of a mass partisan struggle against fascism.

Kosovo’s President Thaçi charged with war crimes

By Peter Schwarz, 7 November 2020

Thaçi and other KLA leaders face prosecution on hundreds of counts of murder, as well as persecution and torture carried out during the war with Serbia between 1998 and 1999.

The WSWS and the exposure of US imperialism’s crimes

By Bill Van Auken, 30 October 2020

The WSWS has worked tirelessly to expose the crimes of US imperialism, which have killed and maimed millions and destroyed entire societies.

Coronavirus spreads across the Balkans

By Markus Salzmann, 25 March 2020

The number of victims affected by the COVID-19 virus is rising rapidly in the countries of Southeast Europe.

Slovenian journalist Blaž Zgaga: If Assange is extradited “the same can happen to any of us”

By Oscar Grenfell, 29 February 2020

”If journalists cannot write about war crimes allegedly committed by Western armed forces, what is the legitimacy of these democratic countries?”

Nationalists win parliamentary elections in Kosovo

By Markus Salzmann, 14 October 2019

The turnout of just 44 percent shows that the majority of the population rejects the policies of the narrow layer that runs the country.

Returning to the scene of the crime

Ex-US President Clinton visits Kosovo to celebrate 20th anniversary of NATO bombardment of Serbia

By Jordan Shilton, 15 June 2019

The imperialist onslaught against Yugoslavia was launched by the Clinton administration under the hypocritical banner of “human rights.”

European powers fear loss of influence in Balkans after London summit failure

By Julie Hyland, 17 July 2018

The failure to integrate the west Balkan countries into the European Union has created opportunities for Europe's competitors.

German-US tensions grow over expansion of Nord Stream pipeline

By Clara Weiss, 12 April 2018

Potential US sanctions against the project could dramatically intensify the economic and political tensions between the United States and Germany.

Political tensions in Albania destabilise the Balkans

By Markus Salzmann, 22 May 2017

Two decades after the breakup of Yugoslavia by the US and Europe, warnings of a new war in the region are mounting.

Nationalists storm Macedonia's parliament

By Markus Salzmann, 1 May 2017

The long simmering political crisis in Macedonia intensified last week after followers of long-time Prime Minister Nikola Gruevski attacked the parliament building, injuring nearly 100 people

Threat of war increases in the western Balkans

By Markus Salzmann, 13 March 2017

The political and social crisis in the Balkans is exacerbating conflicts between the successor states of Yugoslavia, heightening the threat of another war in the region.

Cold weather kills hundreds in Eastern Europe and the Balkans

By Markus Salzmann, 24 January 2017

The situation in the refugee camps along the so-called Balkan route and in Greece is particularly dire, an indictment of the policy of the Syriza government in Athens.

Bosnian Serb referendum inflames tensions in the Balkans

By Paul Mitchell, 27 September 2016

The referendum went ahead despite the Bosnia and Herzegovina Constitutional Court ruling it illegal.

Macedonian police tear-gas refugees trying to cross Greek border

By Alex Lantier, 1 March 2016

Police fired stun grenades and tear gas at hundreds of desperate Syrian and Iraqi refugees seeking to travel through the Balkans towards Germany.

Thousands of refugees stuck on the Balkan route

By Martin Kreickenbaum, 24 November 2015

Under pressure from France and Germany, the Balkan countries are refusing to allow those deemed “economic migrants” to cross their borders, a violation of international law.

Refugees confront appalling conditions in the Balkans

By Martin Kreikenbaum, 18 August 2015

Refugees traveling the 4,000 kilometres between Syria and Germany, France and Sweden must endure a treacherous journey through Greece, Macedonia, Serbia and Hungary.

Macedonia conflict threatens to destabilise whole of Balkans

By Paul Mitchell, 21 May 2015

The South Stream gas pipeline was a major element in Russia’s attempt to reduce its reliance on Ukraine as a transit route for its gas supplies to Europe.

Escalating tensions between Russia and the West over Balkan energy

By Paul Mitchell, 12 December 2014

Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov has warned against NATO expansion in the region, which is seen as a provocation against Russia.

Balkan states back US war in the Middle East

By Stefan Steinberg, 11 October 2014

Balkan countries that have joined the “coalition against IS” are whipping up anti-Islamist sentiment and introducing repressive legislation.

Jürgen Habermas—Germany's state philosopher turns 85

By Ulrich Rippert, 18 June 2014

The hymns of praise for Habermas resemble a swan song for the German system of social partnership and class collaboration.

The Balkan floods and the break-up of Yugoslavia

By Paul Mitchell, 20 May 2014

The severity of the floods has been compounded by the fall-out from the break-up of the former Yugoslavia, the Bosnian War (1991-95) and the NATO bombardment of Serbia in 1999.

The rightward gallop of the Bosnian pseudo-left

By Ognjen Markovic, 5 April 2014

The pseudo-left in Bosnia treat major historical issues with contempt and associate with forces with longstanding counterrevolutionary records.

US seeks to hijack Bosnia protests

By Ognjen Markovic and Paul Mitchell, 27 February 2014

Washington has grown increasingly dissatisfied with the intransigence of local politicians and the EU’s failure to resolve the quagmire.

Calls for expanded European Union intervention in Bosnia

By Ognjen Markovic and Paul Mitchell, 14 February 2014

Protests over the last week in Bosnia and Herzegovina have led to the resignation of four cantonal government heads and various other officials.

Tony Blair whitewashes imperialism’s role in the Middle East

By Jordan Shilton, 7 February 2014

The former Labour prime minister’s pronouncement that the roots of war lie in extremist religion is an attempt to obscure his own responsibility for sectarian tensions in the Middle East.

Croatian war criminals released after appeal by Western military chiefs

By Paul Mitchell, 11 December 2012

The International Criminal Tribunal for Yugoslavia Appeals Court overturned the convictions of Croatian general Ante Gotovina and Assistant Interior Minister Mladen Markac.

Protests against Slovenian government

By Markus Salzmann, 10 December 2012

On December 3, tens of thousands took to the streets in Slovenia to demonstrate against the austerity measures of Prime Minister Janez Janša’s right-wing government.

Protest against austerity measures in Slovenia

By Markus Salzmann, 27 November 2012

On November 17, 30,000 people protested in the Slovenian capital against austerity policies.

Slovenia: Government and opposition join ranks to impose austerity

By Markus Salzmann, 29 September 2012

Slovenia’s conservative government is working closely with the opposition Social Democrats and the trade unions to impose another austerity package.

Slovenia threatened with national bankruptcy

By Markus Salzmann, 10 September 2012

Although the country’s total debt is relatively low at 47 percent of GDP, the crisis gripping Slovenia’s three largest banks threatens to drag the country into the abyss.

Banking crisis intensifies in Slovenia

By Markus Salzmann, 6 August 2012

Slovenia is among the Eastern European countries hardest hit by the financial crisis.

New austerity package in Slovenia

By Markus Salzmann, 6 July 2012

With Slovenian banks heavily in debt, the right-wing government of Prime Minister Janez Jansa is acceding to demands for tougher austerity measures.

Escalating protests in Montenegro

By Ognjen Markovic, 24 March 2012

A large demonstration against declining living standards and corruption took place in the Montenegrin capital of Podgorica on March 18.

Montenegrin unions agree to pay and job cuts

By Ognjen Markovic, 26 January 2012

Unions in Montenegro have agreed to a cut in the number of public employees, pay reductions and a three-year ban on strikes.

Croatia: Referendum paves way for EU accession

By Markus Salzmann, 25 January 2012

Croatian voters approved the country’s joining the European Union in a referendum held on Sunday.

New Croatian government to implement big business measures

By Ante Dotto, 13 December 2011

The newly elected Social Democratic-led coalition in Croatia will step up the austerity measures demanded by the financial markets.

Slovenian election brings businessman to power, more cuts promised

By Markus Salzmann, 10 December 2011

The Positive Slovenia party won the early parliamentary election held in the Adriatic nation last Sunday with 29 percent of the vote.

European debt crisis threatens Balkan economies

By Antid Oto, 22 November 2011

The deepening European financial crisis and the ever-growing possibility of bankruptcy for countries like Greece and Italy pose huge dangers for the economies of the Balkan countries.

Croatia’s ruling party in crisis

By Markus Salzmann, 9 November 2011

One month before the forthcoming general election in Croatia, the ruling party, the Croatian Democratic Union (HDZ), is embroiled in a deep political crisis.

WikiLeaks documents expose disaster created by the US and EU in Bosnia

By Ante Dotto, 17 October 2011

The political deadlock in Bosnia and Herzegovina (BiH) represents the systemic failure of the entire official political framework in the region and a foreign policy disaster for the state's international backers, the US and EU.

Slovenian government ousted by vote of no confidence

By Markus Salzmann, 24 September 2011

After months of continual parliamentary crisis, the Slovenian minority government led by Premier Borut Pahor was ousted from office following a vote of no confidence on Tuesday.

Slovenia government on verge of collapse

By Markus Salzmann, 24 August 2011

The Slovenian government led by Premier Borut Pahor faces collapse following unpopular austerity measures and allegations of corruption.

Staggering levels of youth unemployment in the Balkans

By Ante Dotto, 23 August 2011

The record levels of unemployment across Europe are overshadowed by the figures available for the Balkans, where more than 50 percent of young people are without work.

Tensions remain high after clashes on Kosovo-Serbia border

By Ante Dotto, 9 August 2011

Tensions remain high after violent clashes broke out again at the end of last month on the Kosovo-Serbia border.

Hunger strikes spread in Montenegro

By Ante Dotto, 27 July 2011

Since the beginning of the year many people have gone on hunger strikes throughout Montenegro, the smallest of the states emerging after the breakup of Yugoslavia, with a population of around 620,000.

EU concludes negotiations over Croatia’s accession

By Markus Salzmann, 18 July 2011

The push by the Kosor government and Brussels for Croatia’s entry into the European Union is designed to make it a low-wage country for exploitation by major European businesses.

Montenegro: Five years after independence

By Ante Dotto, 28 June 2011

Five years after nominal independence, the social and political situation in Montenegro belies the claim that the break-up of Yugoslavia into “independent” states represented anything progressive.

Twenty years after the dissolution of Yugoslavia: Slovenia’s government in crisis

By Markus Salzmann, 27 June 2011

Slovenia’s conservative opposition parties are poised to oust the current government, in order to subject the country to the social devastation demanded by the EU and IMF.

Mladic extradited to the Hague

By Chris Marsden and Markus Salzmann, 1 June 2011

The former chief of staff of the Bosnian Serb Army in the Republica Srpska during the 1992-95 civil war was extradited to the Netherlands on Tuesday, where he will stand trial at the Hague for war crimes.

Croatian conviction casts light on US responsibility for war crimes

By Paul Mitchell, 22 April 2011

Last week, the International Criminal Tribunal for Yugoslavia in the Hague found two Croatian military leaders, General Ante Gotovina and Assistant Interior Minister Mladen Markac, guilty of war crimes and sentenced them to 24 years and 18 years imprisonment.

Rising social protests in the Balkans

By Markus Salzmann, 15 April 2011

Political and social unrest has increased in the Balkan region during the past weeks and months.

Protests continue in Croatia

By Markus Salzmann, 22 March 2011

The people of Croatia have launched a wave of protests against drastically deteriorating social conditions, a savage austerity programme and corruption on the part of top-ranking politicians.

Three killed in protests in Albania

By Markus Salzmann, 27 January 2011

The entire political establishment of Europe is terrified that the protests last week could spread beyond Albania’s borders to its highly politically unstable neighbours in the Balkans.

Former Nazi soldier appointed to Latvian parliamentary committee

By Markus Salzmann, 20 November 2010

A former member of the National Socialist Waffen SS has been elected chairman of a parliamentary committee of the Latvian government.

Elections in Latvia—austerity course to be continued

By Markus Salzmann, 2 October 2010

The elections in Latvia this weekend take place against the background of a deep economic, political and social crisis.

Twenty years since declaring independence from the USSR

Austerity in Latvia: a warning to the international working class

By Niall Green, 4 May 2010

Twenty years after declaring independence from the USSR, the Latvian government is carrying out savage austerity measures in collusion with international financial elite and their representatives in the IMF, the European Union, and the government in Riga.

Deepening economic crisis in eastern Europe

By Markus Salzmann, 27 November 2009

Recent reports indicate that the economies of many central and eastern European states are headed for new shocks.

Bosnia faces collapse

By Paul Mitchell, 8 October 2009

A number of reports have pointed to the increasing threat of Bosnia and Herzegovina collapsing, and even about the possibility of war breaking out.

Balkan governments introduce harsh austerity measures

By Markus Salzmann, 19 August 2009

Irrespective of the political composition of the various Balkan state governments, they are uniformly reacting to the economic crisis by shifting the entire burden onto the backs of the broad masses of the population.

Bosnian Serb leader Karadzic claims US granted him immunity

By Paul Mitchell, 30 May 2009

Bosnian Serb leader Radovan Karadzic has alleged he was given an immunity deal by US diplomat Richard Holbrooke at the end of Bosnia-Herzegovina’s 1992-1995 war.

Biden in the Balkans: US asserts interests in shattered region

By Paul Mitchell, 21 May 2009

The US administration is moving to reassert its authority in the Balkans as a divided European Union fails to push through the measures that were agreed in the Dayton Accord for this key strategic region.

Latvia rocked by protests

By Stefan Steinberg, 16 January 2009

On January 13, Riga, the capital of the Baltic state of Latvia, was rocked by protests and demonstrations which left around 25 people injured following clashes with police. Police made an estimated 106 arrests.

Eastern European economies face bankruptcy

By Niall Green, 23 October 2008

The economies of central and eastern Europe are being rocked by the crisis of world capitalism, compounded by the corrupt and pro-big business policies of their local elites.

More claims that Western powers protected Radovan Karadzic

By Paul Mitchell, 21 August 2008

Earlier this month, former Bosnian Serb leader Radovan Karadzic appeared before the International Criminal Tribunal for the former Yugoslavia (ICTY) after 13 years in hiding. He was arrested in the Serbian capital of Belgrade disguised as Dragan Dabic, a doctor of alternative medicine.

The arrest of Radovan Karadzic and the complicity of the West in Bosnia’s civil war

By Paul Mitchell, 30 July 2008

The capture of Bosnian Serb leader Radovan Karadzic has unleashed a torrent of historical distortions echoing the propaganda used to justify US-NATO intervention in the former Yugoslavia and to obscure the role of the Western powers in the federation’s break-up.

Kosovo: The Hague acquits former PM Haradinaj of war crimes amid alleged witness intimidation

By Paul Mitchell, 16 April 2008

Kosovo’s former Prime Minister Ramush Haradinaj has been acquitted of all charges of war crimes committed whilst he was a top commander in the Kosovo Liberation Army (KLA). However, Haradinaj’s release has been accompanied by renewed allegations that witnesses were subjected to systematic harassment and intimidation and gruesome claims that the KLA “harvested” body organs from hundreds of Serbian prisoners before killing them.

Serbs protesting Kosovo independence attack US embassy in Belgrade

By Julie Hyland, 22 February 2008

Violence has flared once again in the former Yugoslavia, following Kosovo’s unilateral declaration of independence from Serbia on Sunday.

An exchange on the break-up of Yugoslavia

21 February 2008

Below we publish a letter from a reader on a recent WSWS article on the Serbian elections, followed by a reply by the article’s author, Paul Mitchell.

From the archive of the WSWS

After the Slaughter: Political Lessons of the Balkan War

By David North, 20 February 2008

In light of the recent developments surrounding the declaration of independence of Kosovo the World Socialist Web Siteis republishing the following article, which originally appeared on June 14, 1999.

The case of Kosovo: “Self-determination” as an instrument of imperialist policy

By Peter Schwarz, 20 February 2008

The support of the US and the major European powers for Kosovo’s unilateral secession from Serbia, in the face of fierce opposition from Serbia and Russia, as well as China, marks a turning point in international politics.

Deep divisions in Europe over Kosovo independence

By Stefan Steinberg, 19 February 2008

Deep divisions emerged at the European Union meeting in Brussels on Monday, with the assembled Foreign Ministers unable to arrive at a unified position with regard to the declaration of independence made by the Kosovan Prime Minister on Sunday.

Kosovo’s declaration of independence destabilises Europe

By Chris Marsden, 18 February 2008

Yesterday’s declaration of independence from Serbia by Kosovo’s parliament brings the world a step closer to another war on European soil. The move has been prepared and encouraged by the United States and the European powers in a deliberate attempt to stoke hostilities with Russia.

Serbian government faces collapse following presidential election

By Paul Mitchell, 7 February 2008

On February 4, voters re-elected Boris Tadic president of Serbia in a second-round contest against Tomislav Nikolic of the extreme right-wing nationalist Serbian Radical Party (SRS). Only 120,000 votes separated the two candidates. Tadic, leader of the Democratic Party (DS), received 2.3 million votes, and Nikolic got 2.18 million in a turnout of nearly 68 percent of the electorate.

Right-wing nationalist leads in Serbian presidential elections

By Paul Mitchell, 30 January 2008

Tomislav Nikolic of the extreme right-wing nationalist Serbian Radical Party (SRS) won the first round of the voting in the January 20 Serbian presidential elections. The SRS, which formed a coalition with former president Slobodan Milosevic’s Socialist Party during the 1990s in the period leading up to the West’s dismemberment of Yugoslavia, is the largest party in the country. Its president, Vojislav Seselj, is presently being tried for war crimes at the International Criminal Tribunal for the former Yugoslavia (ICTY) at The Hague.

European Union sends “rule of law” mission to prepare for Kosovan independence

By Paul Mitchell, 24 December 2007

Last week, the European Union (EU), under pressure from the United States, sent a 1,800-strong “rule of law” mission—the largest in the bloc’s history—to replace the United Nations mission in Kosovo (UNMIK). The EU mission’s job is to reform the police, prisons and judiciary and pave the way for Kosovan independence, which the US wants the provincial government to declare early next year.

War danger grows after Kosovo status talks collapse

By Paul Mitchell, 12 December 2007

Last week, three mediators from the United States, the European Union and Russia announced their failure to bring about a negotiated solution between local ethnic Albanian and Serbian leaders, as well as Serbia, on Kosovo’s future status. Kosovo is presently a province of Serbia, but the dominant Albanian elite is pushing for independence.

Kosovo Assembly election result deepens crisis over independence

By Paul Mitchell, 22 November 2007

The result of Saturday’s Kosovo Assembly election has deepened the crisis over independence. The Democratic Party of Kosovo (PDK), political successors to the Kosovo Liberation Army (KLA), secured 34 percent (about 220,000 votes) as against 22 percent for the Democratic League of Kosovo (LDK), in power since the NATO intervention in 1998. The PDK does not have a majority and may be forced into a coalition with the LDK.

Montenegro: Independence vote completes dismemberment of Yugoslavia

By Paul Bond, 27 May 2006

The fracturing of the Balkans reached a new stage with the May 21 vote supporting Montenegro’s separation from Serbia. The tiny republic voted narrowly in a referendum to secede, bringing to six the number of countries formed from the former territory of Yugoslavia.

Kosovo “final status” talks break up without agreement

By Tony Robson, 22 May 2006

Ongoing talks over the future of Kosovo have once again highlighted the predatory character of the NATO-led war on Serbia in 1999. Having transformed Kosovo into a “UN Protectorate” under the guise of protecting ethnic Albanians, the major powers are now seeking to formalise its “final status” as an “independent” state subservient to their interests and demands.

Seven years after US-led war on Yugoslavia

Deadlocks continue at Kosovo final status talks

Part Two

By Tony Robson, 1 April 2006

This is the conclusion of a two-part article on Kosovo. Part One was published on March 31.

Seven years after US-led war on Yugoslavia

Deadlocks continue at Kosovo final status talks

Part One

By Tony Robson, 31 March 2006

This is the first of a two-part article on Kosovo. The conclusion will be published on April 1.

Mystery deepens over Milosevic’s death

Sordid end to “international justice” charade

By Bill Van Auken, 14 March 2006

The controversy surrounding the sudden death of former Yugoslav president Slobodan Milosevic in his jail cell at the Hague has only deepened with the autopsy performed in the Netherlands and the vague, self-serving statements made by officials of the UN war crimes tribunal.

Media lies and hypocrisy in wake of Milosevic’s death

By Bill Van Auken, 13 March 2006

The death of former Yugoslav President Slobodan Milosevic in his jail cell at the Hague on Saturday has unleashed a torrent of historical distortions and outright lies that echo the propaganda campaign waged more than seven years ago to justify the US-NATO war against the country.

An exchange of letters on the Balkans

5 July 2005

The following exchange was in response to the article, “International Commission calls for Kosovo independence” by Paul Mitchell, 24 May 2005.

International Commission calls for Kosovo independence

By Paul Mitchell, 24 May 2005

The International Commission on the Balkans has published a report that calls for a “shift” in Western policy towards supporting independence for Kosovo. The Report, The Balkans in Europe’s Future, also calls for a referendum on the future of the State Union of Serbia and Montenegro and a revised federal structure in Bosnia-Hercegovina.

Kosovo prime minister charged with war crimes

US-backed ex-militia leader on trial

By Paul Mitchell, 16 March 2005

Kosovo’s former Prime Minister Ramush Haradinaj is on trial at the United Nations tribunal at The Hague, charged with 37 counts of war crimes. He faces 17 counts of crimes against humanity for murder, rape, persecution, inhumane acts, unlawful detention, deportation or forcible transfer of civilians and 20 counts of violations of the laws or customs of war for cruel treatment, murder and rape.

British MI6 agents named in Balkans

By Paul Mitchell, 27 October 2004

Over the last few weeks newspapers in Croatia, Serbia and Bosnia-Herzegovina have exposed the identities of several British MI6 intelligence agents operating in the Balkans.

Defence witnesses at Milosevic trial refuse to testify

By Paul Mitchell, 6 October 2004

Defence witnesses have refused to testify at the trial of Slobodan Milosevic, halting the trial for at least another four weeks. The witnesses, who include international bourgeois political figures, are protesting at the removal of the right of the former President of Yugoslavia to conduct his own defence.

The Balkans continue to fracture

Part 2

By Paul Mitchell, 1 October 2004

This is the conclusion of a two-part series analysing growing instability and tensions in the Balkans. Part 1 was posted September 29.

The Balkans continues to fracture

Part 1

By Paul Mitchell, 29 September 2004

This is the first of a two-part series analysing growing instability and tensions in the Balkans.

Kosovo protectorate “on point of near collapse” after March riots

By Paul Mitchell, 15 September 2004

A leaked internal United Nations report says the administration in the UN protectorate of Kosovo was on “the point of near collapse” after riots engulfed the province in March.

Hague tribunal stops Milosevic defending himself

By Paul Mitchell, 8 September 2004

Judges have stopped Slobodan Milosevic from conducting his own defence at the war crimes tribunal in The Hague and imposed a defence counsel on the former Yugoslav president. They also ordered the first defence witnesses to appear at the trial on September 7.

Judges call for “radical review” of Milosevic trial

By Paul Mitchell, 10 July 2004

Judges trying former Yugoslav President Slobodan Milosevic are calling for a “radical review” of the proceedings.

Right-wing comes to power in Greece

By Lena Sokoll, 13 March 2004

In parliamentary elections in Greece last Sunday the right-wing Partei Nea Dimokratia (New Democracy Party—ND) recorded a clear victory over the reigning Pan-Hellenic Socialist Movement (PASOK).

Dutch leaders involved in NATO bombing of Yugoslavia testify at The Hague

By Paul Mitchell, 12 February 2004

The first Western leaders involved in the NATO bombing of Yugoslavia in 1999 have appeared before The Hague District Court in Holland. This is the first time since the Second World War that Western politicians have testified in a national court about their alleged crimes against humanity.

Correspondence on the failure of nationalism in Yugoslavia

9 February 2004

Regarding your article, “Milosevic trial sets precedent: US granted right to censor evidence” (31 December 2003):

Milosevic trial sets precedent: US granted right to censor evidence

By Paul Mitchell, 31 December 2003

Earlier this month the US government demanded and received the right to censor testimony at the International Criminal Tribunal for the former Yugoslavia (ICTY).

The Milosevic Trial: Last prime minister of Yugoslavia breaks 12-year silence

By Paul Mitchell, 11 November 2003

The last prime minister of Yugoslavia has broken his 12-year long silence to speak in public about events during the breakup of his country in the 1990s.

A major step for European militarism

EU takes over NATO’s mission in Macedonia

By Paul Stuart, 10 April 2003

On March 31 the European Union (EU) took command of the NATO mission in the former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia (FYROM). During a military ceremony at the NATO headquarters in the capital Skopje, Lord Robertson, secretary general of NATO, handed the NATO mission over to EU command Operation Concordia.