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Europeism or EU, that is the question
   
 
 
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Europeism or EU, that is the question

 
Tuesday, 31 July 2012 10:50
 
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by Dragan Djokovic (EPOS)
EPOS Insights


In expectation of the right moment to leap closer to the European Union, countries of West Balkans are working on self-transformation, better organization of political societies, infrastructures, economic potentials and cultures. Croatia already by end of the road toward EU membership; Montenegro with the date set for the beginning EU negotiations; Macedonia, a years-long candidate still seeking solution for issues caused by insisting on its unfounded selection of the  country's name; Albania, currently the largest construction site in the region; Bosnia and Herzegovina, lead by the High Representative of the European Parliament, lingers on in hope for the solution for the whole region's integration with the EU.

On the other hand, Serbia is still persistently searching for its ideological determinants. Currently, Serbia's ideology is "Europeism", expressed loudly by all political parties from the new Parliament during the last round of elections, with exception of the right wing Democratic Party of Serbia lead by the former President and country's Prime Minister, Vojislav Kostunica. Ideology of the "European path" equally motivates leaders of all political parties and their entire membership in all aspects that concurrently include activities focused on Euro integrations and hardships of seeking solution for Kosovo. This kind of ideological unity of public policies in Serbia was impossible to achieve since the power of communism of the mid 20th century. Today, Europeism prevails as a discourse in internal and foreign policies, without alternative.

However, there is a lack of rules of engagement, having in mind that advancing "toward Europe, but with Kosovo" can be achieved even via Russia, with unavoidable USA support; or in any other way that implies an open cry for help for a country which is unable to solve its crucial internal problems. Neither Kosovo issue nor the issue of EU candidacy were main issues that caused the suffocation of Serbia. It was the seriously violated political system, enormous collapse of economy clenched by the claws of corruption, petty criminals in the government and huge social gaps. That is how Europeism became an ideological framework that exists outside of Belgrade and Serbia as a destination where everything is to be fixed and regulated once and for all. However, it is clear that this so called European path must be firstly forged in Belgrade. Those are the circumstances in which Serbia got its new President, new Government and a different Parliament.

President Tomislav Nikolic gave a promise to become a "President for all citizens of Serbia". This promise was fulfilled by the act of stepping down from the leading position in his own political party, which is the strongest party in Serbia – Serbian Progressive Party (SNS), as well as by his first official statements when he clearly expressed his commitment to the "Serbia's European path". But this failsafe path of Serbia is still under construction and there are many obstacles on the way. He is well aware of this situation and he knows that many issues and problems inherited by taking up the position of the leader now require huge-scale transformation of the whole country and himself.

The new Government, unquestionably burdened by the weight of the past and now headed by Ivica Dacic, once close associate of Slobodan Milosevic and, until recently, close associate of Boris Tadic, today heralds its stride toward the European Union, with all the uncertainties expected along the way. Dacic is determined to use this chance of holding the new Government. He promises concrete results and leadership easily understandable in minds of the common people. "Laws that prevent financial and other speculations should be passed. Money, capital and wealth must exist for the benefit of the society, instead of existing only for the benefit of certain individuals" - Dacic said in accordance with his party's program. But, resistance against the independence of Kosovo is especially troubling for the leader of the new Government of Serbia. That is also a huge problem for his coalition partners in SNS, as well as for the President himself. If they continue with the politics of the previous Government as it was dictated by the former President Tadic and resume negotiations with ambiguous attitudes, deeper fall into the vagueness of the "both EU and Kosovo" empty ideology will be a growing possibility. Path of failing dominated by political party and personal interests would certainly open doors for the return of compromised and defeated democrats to power.

Kosovo issue should not be solved by a compromise, because every compromise may turn this permanent conflict into a smoldering pile of embers, ready to burst in flame again. It must be solved clearly, maybe even unilaterally. Not by Serbia or Kosovo separately or both together. It must be solved by the EU, with the help of Russia and USA. Three such solutions are possible: overall recognition of Kosovo with ultimately strict control of policies in regard of minorities and the autonomy of Serbs living there; overall annulment of the independence of Kosovo followed by opening borders with Serbia and introduction of full control over the autonomy and policies in regard of Albanian minority in Serbia; third option is never ending war.

In the following period, Government in Serbia will be facing very concrete internal challenges, such as amendment of the Law on Public Procurement, introduction of strict control over administration and operation of public enterprises for the purpose of relentless struggle against corruption. Vigorous investigation in all suspicious government institutions and enterprises must be ordered at once, political parties' networks of power and financial embezzlement must be immediately unmasked. With this kind of approach, this Government could secure a broad public support for the change of political and economic system of the country. The example of Ivo Sanader's case in Croatia should be followed by several just as important and less important cases of corruption and embezzlement in Serbia. New leader of SNS, Aleksandar Vucic speaks about taking this kind of action and his speeches resonate with his take on the complete recovery of the whole country and the society. In this sense, he took up personal responsibility for the political division of power by putting himself in charge of the Ministry of Defense and in charge of the Council for struggle against organized crime and corruption.

All these ambitions and his moderate and patient approach to the process of building the framework of the new Government singled him out as one of the new leaders of Serbia, alongside Ivica Dacic and the most likely future leader of the Democratic Party, Dragan Djilas, current Mayor of Belgrade. Those are the three people who present the backbone of leadership in future Serbia. Moderate and considerate dose of mutual respect between those three is evident. They speak clearly and rigorously about addressing problems and emphasize citizens' interest above the interest of political parties.

Hence, in the process of constitution of the new Government, Vucic offered the post of the Minister of Foreign Affairs to a member of the Democratic Party, because of her past accomplishments in the sphere of Euro-Atlantic integrations. Contrary to his party's view on this offer, Djilas expressed his support for this proposition. This kind of approach is a complete novelty which now represents a glimmer of hope, at least, for a better future of Serbia.

Last modified on Tuesday, 31 July 2012 11:14
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