Deceptive Sun

Has something of critical importance just happened in the Western Balkans?

The Montenegrin elections and the latest relaunch of the Serbian-Kosovo Dialogue fill newspaper columns, but give little indication as to whether we’ve taken two steps back, are standing still, or are on the verge of a turnaround, and towards what – more or less democracy, more Russia or more Euro-Atlantic integration. Or just lots of newspaper soap operas

As summer wanes and gives way to autumn, at a juncture when it is still unclear how long our virtual escape from reality will last, two potentially important changes took place: after three decades at the helm, power was lost in Montenegro by the ruling party, the only one that didn’t experience a shift since the 1990s and the disintegration of the former Yugoslavia, while in Washington, D.C., on the eve of the U.S. elections, the Serbian-Kosovo dialogue was momentarily reestablished. Here our respondents attempt to assess the importance of these events.

Aleksandar Popov, Director Of The Centre For Regionalism

The Glass Is Half Empty

It would appear that in Montenegro, in the most desirable way possible, peacefully and democratically, an historical change of government occurred. It is still...

Milivoje Mihajlović, Journalist

The Glass Is Half Full

The Montenegrin “model” shows that autocratic authorities can be replaced peacefully, which could have repercussions on neighbouring countries, where the authorities have spent years...

Professor Florian Bieber, Centre For Southeast European Studies, University Of Graz

Small Storm In The Region

The election results in Montenegro are of regional significance, but it remains to be seen whether they will be just a brief signal rather...

Zoran Lutovac, President Of The Democratic Party

Indicator Of Great Change

Both events could be an indication of a substantial shift in focus from interethnic and identity issues to economic and social issues, on the...