You never know what the European Commissioner said beforehand! That's what said Serbian Deputy Prime Minister Vucic: "We will finish everything that depends on us, by 2018, and then we are not free to decide whether we will be in the EU by the 2020 year." He added that the focus of the talks "will be paid to the head of 35, dedicated to Kosovo." He clarified that “no one knows how exactly the head of 35 will look, some things may arise suddenly, and not everything will be easy.” This, Anna Filimonova writes (“The Fund of Strategic Culture”), somewhat resembles a formula that was common in the West at the end of 1990: “Specific conditions are not so important, the Serbs just have to cease to exist”.
Serbian Prime Minister I. Dacic was also quite frank. According to him, Brussels went to negotiations with Serbia "not because Serbia carried out some fantastic reforms, but because of the progress in relations with Pristina." Dacic warns that “if Serbia had not reached an agreement with Pristina, there would have been no negotiations with the EU, and if we only stumble on this path, both negotiations will be stopped - we must clearly understand this”.
Well, Mr. Füle, and you say - rights and freedoms ... Actually, later that day, apparently, in order not to seem demagogue, Füle said: "The key factor was the readiness of the Serbian authorities to normalize relations with Pristina." His words spread many media. The West seems to be playing openly now. Frankly behave and the statesmen of Serbia. Ivica Dacic stated at a press conference in Brussels in general: "I think that today is the most important day for Serbia since the end of the Second World War."
Anna Filimonova writes:
“The frankness of the Serbian prime minister leaves no room for interpretations: transferring the province of Kosovo and Metohija to the“ Republic of Kosovo ”, consent to the integration of the Serb-populated north of the region into the Pristina regime’s power system, the establishment of the state border that cut Cosmet from central Serbia - this is the price paid for the opportunity endlessly negotiate with Brussels, fulfilling one after another the humiliating, destructive for the country requirements of the EU. Negotiations, the outcome of which is likely to be that Serbia will never enter the European Union, since the European Union simply does not have the financial means required for this. Nevertheless, the West throws a bone to the Serbs, starting negotiations with them, and in exchange requires the victim to agree to a full, final, legally enforced rejection of part of the Serbian territory. One can hardly doubt that Western champions of democracy and human rights, having the opportunity to control the fate of the Serbian people, will not know mercy towards this Slavic alien to the West. ”
The sad experience of the countries of Eastern Europe shows that there are no advantages from joining the EU, and it is difficult to count the minuses, the analyst summarizes.
What does the EU offer Serbia, what kind of gingerbread lure? And how is the Serbian people disposed about this issue? And the deputies? Let's look through the media.
Alexey Kornilov, own correspondent "Parliamentary newspaper" in Belgrade, quoted by Vucic, spoken to those in Brussels. Mr Vucic called the results of the Serbian-EU intergovernmental conference a “good moment” on Belgrade’s path to the European Union and said: “Serbia is now seen as a reliable partner, and we must use this situation to ensure a better life for its citizens.”
Not all Serbian politicians agreed with this “good moment.” The fate of a “reliable partner” is not to the liking, for example, of Voislav Kostunica, the chairman of the opposition Democratic Party of Serbia.
He said that the decision to start negotiations with the EU is “irrational” and suggested holding a referendum on this issue. In his opinion, Serbia will receive only economic losses from European integration. There is no logical reason why Belgrade should continue its rapprochement with Brussels. The DPS leader emphasized that Serbia is facing “unpleasant” conditions for the EU with regard to the province of Kosovo and the next steps aimed at “erasing” the national identity of the Serbs.
The government is waiting for help from the EU - of course, economic. Simply put, money. And waiting for jobs for the Serbs. The country is characterized by massive unemployment - according to various sources, it has reached 30%. There are depressing data on young people - half of the able-bodied young people cannot find work. This information is hardly accurate, because many unemployed people are not registered. That is actually still worse. Finally, in Serbia, extremely low salaries - they are difficult to live on. The average salary does not reach Euro 400 per month. Of course, the EU countries (Western) look attractive and attract Serbs. Well, and other problems of Serbian macroeconomics: high inflation rates (more than eight percent a year, which the EU doesn’t welcome, but Serbia’s in the EU will not be tomorrow - well, if in six years), the growth of public debt, as well as accompanying it all total corruption: a swollen Serbian bureaucratic apparatus, which is mercilessly criticized in Brussels, steeped in theft. The difficult situation is accompanied by the legacy of socialism - state enterprises. They have no money for the development of production or for modernization. There is no need to talk about acceptable profitability. The media writes that Brussels is ready to allocate to Belgrade (in the case of joining the EU, of course) about 180 million euros in the form of funds for European integration. Such a small amount is unlikely to solve the crisis. In addition, corruption, corruption ...
However, the Serbian government has no other ideas about a “bright European future” besides joining the EU. It is difficult to argue about whether it is bad or good to move towards Brussels when the country drowned in a crisis swamp and grabs any straw, just to cling to something, to remain on the surface. Kosovo is no longer a pity here - you are drowning yourself. Therefore, accession to the EU has become for the Serbian people a kind of “American dream”.
Yes, the Serbs are not at all against the road to Brussels, as other media submit, reprinting statements by some politicians about Serbia’s almost joining the Customs Union. Well, what a Customs Union, if there is no common border with Russia? We must still judge objectively and sometimes glance at the map. Besides, Serbia and Montenegro today have free trade zone with the Customs Union.
Since 2009, Serbs have the right to enter the EU Schengen zone without a visa. And this is a big plus for those who want to work in Europe. Many for this reason alone support the idea of Serbia joining the EU.
Recently, the Serbian magazine “Nova srpska politicka Misao” (“New Serbian Political Thought”) published the results of a population survey conducted from December 24 2013 to January 5 2014. True, the author of the journal, George Vukadinovich, called these results "schizoid," notes IA "REX".
54,4% of Serbians support the Serbian accession project. So, more than half. But at the same time, 66,2% support the “union with Russia”. There was a questionnaire and clarifying the direct question of the choice between the EU and Russia. The Serbs answered this way: 30,0% - for Russia, 17,4% - for the EU, for “equally good relations with the EU and with Russia” - 44,2%. The latter is a bit like Ukraine, isn't it?
Well, about Kosovo. The recognition of independence by the Serbian authorities in the spring of 2013 rejected as a condition for the beginning of the Serbian accession process to the EU 67,7% is rejected, only 22,4% agree with this condition.
To this we must add that the EU does not at all claim that Serbia should immediately recognize the independence of Kosovo. So here the will of the Serbian people seems to be not violated. And yet everyone understands where the West is headed ...
As for the opinion of the Serbian people, the new poll only confirmed the desire of a fairly large part of the Serbian people (the majority) to integrate with the EU. Last fall, the same magazine conducted a survey, the results of which almost coincided with the results of the winter survey.
November 22 on RIA News" a note was published by the correspondent Nikolai Sokolov, in which he cited the results of a sociological survey conducted by the political science journal New Serbian Political Thought.
67,5% of respondents were in favor of an alliance with Russia, 18,2% were against - 14,3% found it difficult to answer. Entry into the EU was supported by 53,7% of the surveyed Serbian citizens, against 31,1%. Another 15,2% found it difficult to answer. During the study, conducted from 1 to October 15, 1,1 thousand people were surveyed in various areas of Serbia, except Kosovo.
There are, however, other polls, the participants of which spoke in favor of Serbia joining the EU more clearly. One of these polls is indicated by a Serbian resource. "Serbia.info".
More than 67% of Serbian citizens approve of the country's possible accession to the European Union - this is evidenced by the results of a survey conducted by the influential sociological agency "Scan" from the city of Novi Sad in the period from November 24 to December 3 (1700 adult citizens were polled).
The study also showed that NATO has a negative image in the minds of 75% of respondents, and only 4% of survey participants speak positively of the Alliance.
At the same time, it turned out that the Serbian Orthodox Church enjoys the greatest degree of trust among various institutions of society, while the parliament and the government have the least confidence. The Serbs have criticized the legislative and executive authorities for their slowness in decision-making, lack of organization, and inefficiency.
It must be assumed that the Serbian government, which has intensified its negotiations with the EU in the autumn and winter, is doing everything possible so that it is not thought of as sluggish and ineffective. State officials are in a hurry.
As reported by 21 January correspondent RIA "News" Nikolay SokolovSerbian Prime Minister Ivica Dacic made a statement in which he said that Serbia asks European partners not to put up “false obstacles” to impede the negotiation process.
“We are ready for difficult negotiations and will even be surprised if it will be easy for us. We do not expect any privileges or benefits. But we hope that we will not be exposed to false obstacles and any moving targets or conditions that will change every year, ”said Dacic in Brussels.
Dacic also noted that Serbia is ready to continue the process of normalizing relations with Kosovo. According to him, at the talks in Brussels no one asked the Serbian authorities to recognize Kosovo: this topic was not discussed at all.
As transmits "Euronews", Ivica Dacic expressed the hope that the negotiation process, which usually takes years for a candidate country before 10, will be completed by the year of 2020.
As for the "moving targets or conditions," those, of course, will be. For the next six years, Kosovo will become the “moving target”. Something will happen there, as a result of which Brussels will recommend Belgrade to recognize the independence of the region. Someone, and Dachich should understand about Kosovo. He is, after all, a native of Kosovo ...
Observed and commented on Oleg Chuvakin
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