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Milan Marković, General Manager, Smurfit Kappa Belgrade

Returning Treated Water to the Danube

Here Milan Marković, General Manager of Smurfit Kappa Belgrade, shares his insights about the company’s legacy and innovative strides in environmental protection Founded in 1921...

Bogdan Gavrilović, Managing Director, WTO Serbia

Transport and Logistics Without Borders

World Transport Overseas is one of the fastest-growing logistics companies in Eastern Europe, with branches in Bulgaria, China, Croatia, Greece, Kosovo, North Macedonia, Serbia,...

Vesna Jovanović, Director, EurologSystem

Connecting Italy and Serbia by Rail

EurologSystem, which is set to commemorate two decades of successful operations in 2025, transports an average of 500,000 tons of goods annually, primarily agricultural...

Branko Milikić, Business Development Director at Halcom Serbia

Innovations in Digital Banking

Halcom is a leader in the domain of digital banking and banking solutions. This company has spent 30 years enabling the safe and efficient...

Dragana Ašić Ratkovac, Business Manager Consulting & Tax Advisor at Unija Consulting d.o.o. Beograd

Our View of the Tax World and What’s Important

The success of companies in today’s world depends, among other things, on the ability to adapt to constant amendments to tax laws. My experience...

Dr Vladimir Gligorov, Professor At The Vienna Institute For International Economic Studies

Frozen Interregnum

Frozen conflicts, which are potential sources of instability by their very nature, favour authoritarian rule. So it seems at this moment that the frozen interregnum, the state of stability alongside existing unresolved problems with neighbours, is sustainable and aligned with serbian interests. The basic problem, however, remains. The other parties will seek solutions.

Serbia’s policy over the last two decades has aimed at sustaining the current situation. The changes that have occurred in the meantime have all been a consequence of the decisions made by others. They were, again, dependent on international relations and, primarily, on the U.S. and the EU.

The influence of China and Russia has grown in the last few years, primarily for two reasons. One was Trump’s disinterest in Euro-Atlanticism, while the other is a mistaken plan for solving the Kosovo problem, based on the exchange of territories in which the EU placed certain hopes. The consequence of America’s withdrawal and the unachievable European policy is the increased influence of China and Russia. And for the first time since 2000 this made sustainable the policy of not resolving problems and an enduring interregnum.

This is also in line with the growing authoritarianism of Serbian politics. Frozen conflicts, which are potential sources of instability by their very nature, favour authoritarian rule. So it seems at this moment that the frozen interregnum, the state of stability alongside existing unresolved problems with neighbours, is sustainable and aligned with Serbian interests.

However, the basic problem remains. The other parties will seek solutions. And America’s return to Atlanticism is underway. Of course, much will depend on the European Union and its Balkan strategy. Regardless of how all that changes, the basic problem of Serbian politics remains: an unwillingness to solve problems, which will again result in decisions being made by others.

The erosion of the rule of law and additional arming cannot have a favourable impact on Serbia’s foreign policy position under the conditions of living with frozen conflicts

If we set aside the problems of stability and security, maintaining the status quo does not favour economic progress. European interests are to connect the economic space to the greatest possible extent, otherwise larger investments are unprofitable. This is at the core of all regional cooperation programmes that the EU has supported since 1999. Investments that aim at supplying the Serbian market or third markets will be limited due to the nature of things. That’s because the Serbian market is small, and there are more favourable locations when it comes to the world market. On the whole, American, Russian and Chinese investments don’t go towards the development of industry, so they cannot be a valid alternative.

Finally, successes in terms of vaccination are certainly useful regardless of how they are observed, but we shouldn’t lose sight of the fact that the damage to the public health of Serbia caused by the epidemic is very great. In terms of the number of infected and the number of deaths during the epidemic on the basis of population size, Serbia has done very poorly. Nor can it be said that this is justified by special economic successes, although that was what they strived towards. Indeed, many neighbouring countries have fared much worse, and they are unable to boast of either economic or vaccination success. This will certainly increase Serbia’s influence in the surrounding area. That is good for political stability in and of itself, and it also increases security. In contrast to that, however, the erosion of the rule of law and additional arming cannot have a favourable impact on Serbia’s foreign policy position under the conditions of living with frozen conflicts.

Overall, Serbia’s policy of a frozen interregnum is risky, which is clear from the experience of the last thirty years. It would be necessary to have a policy of problem solving, however that is not visible on the horizon.

By Emmanuel B. Nyirinkindi, IFC's Vice President of Cross-Cutting Solutions

Public-Private Partnerships Key to Serbia’s Green Future

Five years ago, dark, polluted water with a foul smell trickled down from the Vinča landfill, sending toxic pollutants into the Danube. The landfill,...

Comment by Zoran Panovic

Growth Plan

Late April saw the European Parliament give the green light to the Growth Plan for the Western Balkans, with the Council of the European...

Dr Aleksandar Mitić, Institute for International Politics and Economy

Cooperation with China Raised to the Highest Level in Europe

Both Germany and France desire close cooperation with China, so any criticism of Serbia’s close relations with China is an example of double standards I...

Slobodan Zečević Ph.D, Institute for European Studies

Delicate Seesaw

France and Germany have contrasting views on cooperation with China, but the internal reasons for such views don’t automatically relate to their stance regarding...

Medtronic to Launch Operations in Serbia with Strategic Bio4 Campus Partnership

American medical technology giant Medtronic is set to establish operations in Serbia following a memorandum of understanding signed with...

Mickoski Proposes New Government for North Macedonia

Hristijan Mickoski, leader of VMRO-DPMNE and the designated Prime Minister of North Macedonia, has formally submitted his proposed cabinet...

King Frederick X Inaugurates First Section of Undersea Tunnel Connecting Denmark and Germany

King Frederick X of Denmark has inaugurated the first segment of the ambitious 18-kilometre Fehmarn Belt tunnel beneath the...

Belgrade Hotel Union Sold for €6.2 Million

Hotel Union, a historic landmark in Belgrade, has been sold for 727 million dinars (€6.2 million) at a public...

French Firms Suez and Vinci to Oversee Wastewater Treatment in Belgrade

The Serbian government has enlisted French companies Suez International SAS and Vinci Construction Grands Projets for the design, construction,...

Medtronic to Launch Operations in Serbia with Strategic Bio4 Campus Partnership

American medical technology giant Medtronic is set to establish operations in Serbia following a memorandum of understanding signed with...

Mickoski Proposes New Government for North Macedonia

Hristijan Mickoski, leader of VMRO-DPMNE and the designated Prime Minister of North Macedonia, has formally submitted his proposed cabinet...

King Frederick X Inaugurates First Section of Undersea Tunnel Connecting Denmark and Germany

King Frederick X of Denmark has inaugurated the first segment of the ambitious 18-kilometre Fehmarn Belt tunnel beneath the...

Belgrade Hotel Union Sold for €6.2 Million

Hotel Union, a historic landmark in Belgrade, has been sold for 727 million dinars (€6.2 million) at a public...

Public-Private Partnerships Key to Serbia’s Green Future

Five years ago, dark, polluted water with a foul smell trickled down from the Vinča landfill, sending toxic pollutants...

Medtronic to Launch Operations in Serbia with Strategic Bio4 Campus Partnership

American medical technology giant Medtronic is set to establish operations in Serbia following a memorandum of understanding signed with...

Mickoski Proposes New Government for North Macedonia

Hristijan Mickoski, leader of VMRO-DPMNE and the designated Prime Minister of North Macedonia, has formally submitted his proposed cabinet...

King Frederick X Inaugurates First Section of Undersea Tunnel Connecting Denmark and Germany

King Frederick X of Denmark has inaugurated the first segment of the ambitious 18-kilometre Fehmarn Belt tunnel beneath the...

Belgrade Hotel Union Sold for €6.2 Million

Hotel Union, a historic landmark in Belgrade, has been sold for 727 million dinars (€6.2 million) at a public...

Public-Private Partnerships Key to Serbia’s Green Future

Five years ago, dark, polluted water with a foul smell trickled down from the Vinča landfill, sending toxic pollutants...
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