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Simon Taylor, HYCU, Inc. CEO

Providing Easy Ways To Protect Data

HYCU is a multinational company with offices around the world, but much of its European operation is located right here in Belgrade, an important...

Luštica Bay

Authentic Adriatic In Luštica Bay A Place To Belong

Authentic residences, The Chedi five-star hotel, beautiful beaches with a crystal blue sea, a unique gastronomic and shopping experience and an intense calendar of...

Vladimir Živanović, Director Of The Zlatibor Tourism Organisation

Foreigners Also Flock To Zlatibor

It is thanks to magical nature and the air spa status that Zlatibor has enjoyed for 129 years, coupled with major investments, excellent infrastructure...

Porto Montenegro

The Adventure Continues On The Adriatic

Summer is in full swing at Porto Montenegro, with yachts lining the marina, a range of new and well-loved shops and restaurants in the...

Bogdan Gavrilović, Sales Manager, World Transport Overseas (WTO)

Expanding Operations

World Transport Overseas (WTO), which is headquartered in Eastern Europe and has branches in Bulgaria, China, Croatia, Greece, North Macedonia, Serbia and Slovenia, was...

Nikola Burazer, Programme Director at The Centre For Contemporary Politics and Executive Editor at European Western Balkans

Serbia Needs To Do Much Better: Democracy And Rule Of Law Are Key

The critical tones of the european commission report make it unlikely that Serbia’s EU accession process will speed up substantially, though that represents a requirement for its successful completion by the end of the decade

This year’s European Commission report on Serbia can be considered as the most critical report in recent years. It assesses that Serbia has made only minimal progress when it comes to its readiness for EU membership and is particularly critical regarding the rule of law and the state of democracy, both of which are fundamental requirements for EU accession. These assessments do not come as a surprise, as there is now a broad consensus among researchers and international observers that democracy has deteriorated in Serbia over previous years. The June 2020 elections were especially criticised by the OSCE/ODIHR, Serbian civil society and the European Commission report itself.

The report comes after a period of Serbia’s very slow progress towards EU membership, precisely because of member states’ concern about the rule of law. Serbia opened only four chapters in the previous two years and didn’t open a single one in 2020. The overall result of 18 out of 35 chapters opened and only two closed is a poor result for a country that has declared EU membership as being its strategic goal.

There needs to be political will to strengthen democratic institutions, the rule of law and media freedom, as the most important factors determining the prospects of eu membership

The critical tones of the European Commission report make it unlikely that Serbia’s EU accession process will speed up substantially, though that represents a requirement for its successful completion by the end of the decade. Moreover, considering the positions of certain member states, it wouldn’t be unexpected to see Serbia fail to open any new chapters in 2020. The new enlargement methodology, adopted in March 2020, places an even greater emphasis on the rule of law and democratic institutions, precisely the areas where Serbia faces the greatest problems.

If Serbia aspires to achieve EU membership by 2025, as was envisaged in the European Commission’s 2018 Western Balkans Strategy, or by the end of the decade, as now seems more realistic, it needs to do much better. Most importantly, there needs to be political will to strengthen democratic institutions, the rule of law and media freedom, as the most important factors determining the prospects of EU membership. Other reforms also have to be accelerated substantially, with their timely implementation assured. Serbia certainly remains the key country in the Western Balkans, but it may well lose its “frontrunner” status. North Macedonia and Albania both expect to begin accession negotiations in the coming months, while Montenegro could make progress with the new government in position. Unless things improve drastically, Serbia could find itself ranked last among the four candidate countries.

Comment by Zoran Panović

Favourite Enemies

Of course, there has been no occurrence of the most normal possible thing for fixing relations, which would be for Serbian and Croatian presidents...

Aleksandar Radić, Military Analyst

Rearming Is A Long Process

It is obvious that we will see the re-forming of many of the battalions that were disbanded over the last couple of decades, when...

Marija Ignjatijević, Researcher, Belgrade Centre For Security Policy

The EU (Still) Lacks Sufficient Might To Form Autonomous Defence Capacities

The very fact that the EU repurposed its peace facility instrument to arm Ukraine has significant operative relevance, but also symbolic relevance. Member states...

Nikola Lunić, Executive Director Of The Council For Strategic Policy

Time To Create Dependable Alliances

Under the conditions of a taxing history and unstable relations, the Western Balkan region could easily become an instrument of major powers in the...

Ambassador Of Japan Attends Ceremony Of The First Toyo Tires Delivery Manufactured In Indjija

Ambassador of Japan H.E. Katsumata attended the ceremony organized by the company Toyo Tires Serbia on the occasion of...

Ambassador Christopher Hill: We Want Serbia As Friend And Ally

The Ambassador of the United States of America in Belgrade, H.E. Christopher Hill, answered the questions that citizens asked...

Swiss Army Airlifts Water To Thirsty Animals In Alpine Meadows

Swiss Army helicopters have been deployed to deliver water to thousands of thirsty farm animals during the hot summer. A...

Record Number Of Serbian Tourists Vacation In Croatia

This year the number of guests from Serbia spending their summer vacationing in Croatia is 60 percent higher than...

Ambassador Giorgos Diakofotakis: Greece is not changing its position, will not recognize Kosovo

Greece is not changing its position and will not recognize Kosovo, says Greek Ambassador to Serbia H.E. Giorgos Diakofotakis...

Ambassador Christopher Hill: We Want Serbia As Friend And Ally

The Ambassador of the United States of America in Belgrade, H.E. Christopher Hill, answered the questions that citizens asked...

Swiss Army Airlifts Water To Thirsty Animals In Alpine Meadows

Swiss Army helicopters have been deployed to deliver water to thousands of thirsty farm animals during the hot summer. A...

Record Number Of Serbian Tourists Vacation In Croatia

This year the number of guests from Serbia spending their summer vacationing in Croatia is 60 percent higher than...

Ambassador Giorgos Diakofotakis: Greece is not changing its position, will not recognize Kosovo

Greece is not changing its position and will not recognize Kosovo, says Greek Ambassador to Serbia H.E. Giorgos Diakofotakis...

Serbia Exported 30,000 Tons Of Ice Cream Worth 63.5 Million Euros

Last year, 30,000 tons of ice cream worth 63.5 million euros were exported from Serbia, mostly to countries in...

Ambassador Christopher Hill: We Want Serbia As Friend And Ally

The Ambassador of the United States of America in Belgrade, H.E. Christopher Hill, answered the questions that citizens asked...

Swiss Army Airlifts Water To Thirsty Animals In Alpine Meadows

Swiss Army helicopters have been deployed to deliver water to thousands of thirsty farm animals during the hot summer. A...

Record Number Of Serbian Tourists Vacation In Croatia

This year the number of guests from Serbia spending their summer vacationing in Croatia is 60 percent higher than...

Ambassador Giorgos Diakofotakis: Greece is not changing its position, will not recognize Kosovo

Greece is not changing its position and will not recognize Kosovo, says Greek Ambassador to Serbia H.E. Giorgos Diakofotakis...

Serbia Exported 30,000 Tons Of Ice Cream Worth 63.5 Million Euros

Last year, 30,000 tons of ice cream worth 63.5 million euros were exported from Serbia, mostly to countries in...
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