Beginner’s guide to Serbia’s decline

klupa u parku

Photo: Predrag Trokicic

Somehow, we are already used to rolling in the mud of Vucic’s daily lies, scorn, bragging, and confusing predictions of what will happen to us. Vucic himself had to run the (staged) gauntlet, suffer through the harsh words of his haters, and barely survive mysterious “coups”. We also saw some great defenses from hostile neighbors who threatened to destroy us, at least according to the tabloids. Luckily, Putin was there, on the front pages of those same tabloids, determined to send us deadly weapons and troops that would defend Serbia from these monsters.

At the beginning of his reign, Vucic presented himself to the West as a guardian of the keys to the restless Balkans. He is the one who can untangle the Kosovo knot and solve the main problem of peace and stability in this part of the world. The solution of the Kosovo problem was already the primary condition for Serbia’s EU membership. He signed the Brussels Agreement, and since then, many dialogues and actions have happened with the goal of implementing it. Serbia got the date for opening the chapters in early 2014. Then came Brussels Agreement #2 and its implementation. The chapters were slowly opened, only a few of them, because the government did not make much of an effort. This was understandable in the context of the devastating destruction of democracy, the media, and institutions. All of Serbia is bound up in an iron vertical with Vucic at the top. Nothing can be allowed to stick out. Local governments complained the most and, therefore, received the biggest beating. Those who tried to defend their personal dignity, their property and their cities, by moving away from the vertical, didn’t avoid the punishment.

Society became dominated by schizophrenia and misery, and people gave up on everything and started looking towards distant lands. A lot of them, primarily the youth who don’t see their future in Serbia, are trying to go as far as possible. While we were taking a high speed train away from the EU and sinking to the bottom of Europe, at least it seemed that we were approaching a solution to the Kosovo problem at the same breakneck speed. At Vucic’s request, we also received some kind of vague promise that Serbia will be admitted to the EU in 2025 if it fulfills the conditions for membership. The signing of a binding agreement on the normalization of relations with Kosovo was implied and was already prepared. That part of the big deal was planned for the end of this year or early next year.

And then, we got one big Nothing. All agreements were sunk. We were looking for a new beginning, in order to get nowhere and cause the flood we are currently witnessing. There’s no solution for Kosovo and no EU, which many say we never needed to begin with. This turn into frozen wasn’t explained from the top. The professional liar in charge of this country for the last six years assigned Ana Brnabic to explain this demolition. She used Deutsche Welle to tell this truth to the citizens of Serbia in her own twisted language. She explained that “there is a possibility to sign a long-term contract on normalization with Pristina by 2025”, but that, most likely “by then, Serbia won’t be ready to join the EU.” So how does this work: there is a possibility for an agreement with Pristina, but Serbia won’t join the EU even then, because it’s not ready?

It seems to me that the possibility of any agreement ever being signed is extremely low, just like the possibility of Serbia joining the EU. Vucic’s entire hullaballoo came down to several “possibilities”, a couple of “maybes”, and a “long-term agreement” which possibly won’t even happen, according to Brnabic. But, also according to her, Serbia is dedicated to this. “This doesn’t depend solely on Serbia, but also on Pristina and our allies. So, I think we are moving towards the EU. For me, the most important thing is that we really implement the reforms, so that we, as a society, could be politically and economically ready for the EU.”

Instead of our previous formula “Both Kosovo and the EU”, we seem to have settled on “Neither Kosovo, nor the EU.” Brnabic’s incomprehensible words sound scary: “I think that, as much as it is in our interest to join the EU, I think the enlargement to cover the Balkans is also in the EU’s interest. I think, first and foremost, that the EU is a peace project, and a successful one, because, for the first time in history, we have long-term peace in Europe.” She continued: “Since a binding agreement on peaceful relations with Kosovo is one of the conditions for Serbia’s EU accession, 2025 is the earliest possible date for Serbia to join the EU.” And so, she thinks that “there is a possibility (emphasis mine) to actually sign a long-term agreement on normalization of relations with Pristina.”

When she used her incomprehensible language to say that Srebrenica wasn’t a genocide, but a horrible crime, and that she, Ana Brnabic, is “absolutely proud of the way Serbia has worked through its problems from the past,” I was overpowered by nausea. If you want and if your stomach allows, you can hear all about it at https://www.dw.com/sr/jo%C5%A1-nismo-spremni-za-eu/a-46290937

Translated by Marijana Simic

Peščanik.net, 26.11.2018.

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Vesna Pešić

Vesna Pešić, političarka, borkinja za ljudska prava i antiratna aktivistkinja, sociološkinja. Diplomirala na Filozofskom fakultetu u Beogradu, doktorirala na Pravnom, radila u Institutu za društvene nauke i Institutu za filozofiju i društvenu teoriju, bila profesorka sociologije. Od 70-ih pripada peticionaškom pokretu, 1982. bila zatvarana sa grupom disidenata. 1985. osnivačica Jugoslovenskog helsinškog komiteta. 1989. članica Udruženja za jugoslovensku demokratsku inicijativu. 1991. članica Evropskog pokreta u Jugoslaviji. 1991. osniva Centar za antiratnu akciju, prvu mirovnu organizaciju u Srbiji. 1992-1999. osnivačica i predsednica Građanskog saveza Srbije (GSS), nastalog ujedinjenjem Republikanskog kluba i Reformske stranke, sukcesora Saveza reformskih snaga Jugoslavije Ante Markovića. 1993-1997. jedna od vođa Koalicije Zajedno (sa Zoranom Đinđićem i Vukom Draškovićem). 2001-2005. ambasadorka SR Jugoslavije, pa SCG u Meksiku. Posle gašenja GSS 2007, njegovim prelaskom u Liberalno-demokratsku partiju (LDP), do 2011. predsednica Političkog saveta LDP-a, kada napušta ovu partiju. Narodna poslanica (1993-1997, 2007-2012).

Vesna Pešić

Vesna Pešić (Svi tekstovi)