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Lidl Srbija

For A Better Tomorrow

Corporate social responsibility is an important part of the corporate philosophy of Lidl Srbija The company’s responsibility motto is “For a better tomorrow”, and it...

MK Group

More Than 5 Million Dinars For Newborn Babies In The MK Group

Even in a year that was marked by the Coronavirus Pandemic, the traditional action “Support to the Family” continued, within the scope of which...

Stevan Gadol, Director, Ferry Agent d.o.o.

Logistics Accomplishment

Ferry Agent is a road transport company that’s focused on the UK market, where it has been operating since its inception 15 years ago....

Stylianos Tsoktouridis, Director, Alumil YU Industry a.d.

Alumil Yu Is Expanding

Alumil YUI is the region’s absolute leader in the production and distribution of aluminium systems. As an intelligent, vertically integrated company, it can quickly...

Nenad Miščević, CEO, Nectar Group

Growth With A Purpose

Nectar Group, the largest producer of fruit juices and processor of fruits and vegetables in Southeast Europe, has strengthened its position as a regional...

Dr Marko Savković, Executive Director, Belgrade Fund For Political Excellence

In The Wrong Street

Without progress on key chapters, 23, 24 and 35, membership negotiations could grind to a halt. Making matters even worse, as a society we’ve become very “distanced” from the ideas of membership

Unfortunately, it is increasingly certain that Serbia will not open any new chapters in accession negotiations with the European Union this year. This is, by the way, the first year that’s happened since negotiations started in January 2014. There has been no progress in those key chapters, 23, 24 and 35 and, as is well known, without progress on these chapters membership negotiations can grind to a halt. At the same time, as Vlada Međak rightly noticed, we “imposed” additional criteria on ourselves: for example, how leading politicians communicate in public regarding the EU. Obviously badly, otherwise there would be no such criteria.

Making matters even worse, as a society we’ve become very “distanced” from the ideas of membership. Just look at that drop in support among young people, while Euroscepticism is completely mainstream as if we were a member state and not a candidate country, undermining the role and assistance that the EU provides… that’s why opening new chapters is so important. The continuity of the process is important, the impression that we’re moving towards something. However, closure is also important – I would remind you that, to date, we’ve provisionally closed only two chapters: 25 and 26 (education and science).

Kosovo has been used for too long as an excuse to strengthen authoritarian rule, render meaningless democratic institutions – above all the parliament – and weaken the role of oversight bodies

One can often hear that the EU is suffering from a crisis in the Western Balkans, in the form of a lack of credibility, and I believe Brussels is aware of that. That’s why its last strategic programme document from February 2018 was entitled “Towards a credible perspective on enlargement”. However, credibility is a two-way street. It is true that not much enthusiasm for further enlargement exists in the EU, especially in the context of the pandemic and post-pandemic period, when many will interpret this as an unnecessary cost in the context of economic recovery. The image of the Western Balkans isn’t great either: we can present peace and stability to each other as achievements, but during that same time some other parts of the world are developing rapidly, grabbing development opportunities, while people remain our most valuable “export product”. We have forgotten about democratisation, while hybrid regimes have strengthened their grip.

The negotiation process is a political process, but clear criteria are defined within it – you progress (both) according to your merits and there is no other excuse not to do that, except political interest. It is true that it takes too long and that there are too many opportunities for member states to slow down the process, due to various, often very political, reasons; but the successes of candidate countries in the field of reforms and critics undermine that argument. Just look at North Macedonia.

It is a fact that Serbia is in a specific situation with Kosovo – similar, but only similar, to the one in which Cyprus found itself on the eve of 2004. Of course, Belgrade’s refusal to continue the dialogue would also result in the suspension of accession negotiations (regardless of achievements on the other side, the “reform” side). But Kosovo has been used for too long as an excuse to strengthen authoritarian rule, render meaningless democratic institutions – above all the parliament – and weaken the role of oversight bodies. Hence the new criterion of “functioning democratic institutions” as a response to the situation in Serbia.

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The Glass Is Half-full

The largest ever drop in output in the Western Balkans is obviously bad news. Yet the readiness of foreign investors to continue investing and...

Comment

Dayton Blues

A Japanese and a Bosnian man discuss life priorities, with the Japanese man saying: ‘For me, Japan is in the first place, family is...

Boško Jakšić, Journalist

Pandemics Don’t Encourage Idealism

The battle for the “Hearts and souls” of the residents of the Western Balkans has never stopped, and Covid-19 is just another catalyst There’s no...

Marko Dašić, Assistant Professor At The University Of Belgrade – Faculty Of Political Science

Changes Will Be Negligible

It seems to me that, in the short term, the pandemic will lead to an adjustment in the current patterns of the management of...

News

Connectivity For A Higher Quality Of Life

“Where there’s a will, there’s a way.” Perhaps this was the motto of a group of friends from the Greek...

Why Are So Many Serbian Doctors Dying Of COVID-19?

Serbia’s total death toll from coronavirus is relatively low, around 3,600, but its rate of fatalities in the medical...

Serbia’s EMS Acquires 5% Of Shares Of Montenegrin Power Transmission System

Transmission system operator (TSO) Elektromreža Srbije acquired 5% of the shares of Montenegrin TSO Crnogorski Elektroprenosni Sistem (CGES) for...

Chairperson-In-Office Ann Linde Presents Sweden’s 2021 Priorities To Permanent Council

Over the coming year, the Swedish Chairpersonship will do its part to ensure that the OSCE can make a...

Tokyo’s Covid Outbreak Adds To Doubts Over Hosting Olympic Games

A dramatic rise in coronavirus cases in Tokyo has reignited speculation about the Olympic Games, which are due to open...

Connectivity For A Higher Quality Of Life

“Where there’s a will, there’s a way.” Perhaps this was the motto of a group of friends from the Greek...

Chairperson-In-Office Ann Linde Presents Sweden’s 2021 Priorities To Permanent Council

Over the coming year, the Swedish Chairpersonship will do its part to ensure that the OSCE can make a...

Tokyo’s Covid Outbreak Adds To Doubts Over Hosting Olympic Games

A dramatic rise in coronavirus cases in Tokyo has reignited speculation about the Olympic Games, which are due to open...

Environmental Protection – EU-Serbia Cooperation

The year behind us was certainly challenging in terms of health protection. Healthy environment was an essential aspect of...

EU Commission Concludes Exploratory Talks With Valneva To Secure A New Potential Vaccine

European Commission concluded exploratory talks with the pharmaceutical company Valneva with a view to purchasing its potential vaccine against...

Connectivity For A Higher Quality Of Life

“Where there’s a will, there’s a way.” Perhaps this was the motto of a group of friends from the Greek...

Chairperson-In-Office Ann Linde Presents Sweden’s 2021 Priorities To Permanent Council

Over the coming year, the Swedish Chairpersonship will do its part to ensure that the OSCE can make a...

Tokyo’s Covid Outbreak Adds To Doubts Over Hosting Olympic Games

A dramatic rise in coronavirus cases in Tokyo has reignited speculation about the Olympic Games, which are due to open...

Environmental Protection – EU-Serbia Cooperation

The year behind us was certainly challenging in terms of health protection. Healthy environment was an essential aspect of...

EU Commission Concludes Exploratory Talks With Valneva To Secure A New Potential Vaccine

European Commission concluded exploratory talks with the pharmaceutical company Valneva with a view to purchasing its potential vaccine against...