Dragan Djilas said in a recent interview to Press that the European Union did not represent the meaning of life for Serbia, but was simply a guarantee of a better life for its citizens. Where does this sudden stepping away from the EU by the Democratic Party (DS) come from? Until yesterday, Serbia’s mere survival depended on its being able to gain candidate status and even the date for the beginning of negotiations was deemed to be crucial. Up to now, this posture has been virtually the only card in the deck being played by the DS. It spread optimism at every step, as if we were already standing before the EU gates. Suddenly, we discover that the EU is no longer the meaning of life”. “Should Djilas’s latest statements be taken to mean that Tadic is now disappointed in the EU? Let us analyze what Djilas complained about, what he didn’t say, and what Rasim Ljajic did say, and let us see what Tadic wanted to convey and to whom.
“Djilas appears to be angry with the EU, and it seems with legitimate reasons. He says that the EU is treating us like we are the worst pupils in the school; it is constantly lecturing us and acting unfairly. It asks us questions about material that is not included in the school programme and that cannot be found in textbooks. The EU is unjust since it applies double standards and discriminates against Serbia. It makes us hold gay parades, while many of the EU members have never organized one. It requires us to give the Roma apartments and jobs only because they are Roma, while not a single EU member does this. It is even more ludicrous that Croatian Prime Minister Jadranka Kosor cold-heartedly salutes generals Gotovina and Markac during the commemoration of Storm, even though The Hague Tribunal has convicted them of war crimes. He (Djilas) also added that we should not be grateful to the EU for liberating our visa regime. Freedom of movement between countries should belong to us by default, since we too are Europeans. This last comment makes one wonder, however. Up to now, the DS has bragged the most about its great achievement of obtaining visa liberalization.
“Djilas said all this quite nicely, in his well-known, well-composed engineer style, being very consistent with the way of thinking of our people. From what he said, a normal person would be led to believe that those in the EU have gone completely mad. However, it should be obvious that our treatment of the Roma was not Djilas’s target. It is also difficult to believe that Serbia would jeopardize its relations with the EU because of the gay parade and the Roma issues.
If we are to understand the thorn in the side of the DS, we must listen to another spokesman of Tadic. A couple of days ago, Ljajic could be heard philosophizing about matters of the ICTY and Kosovo. He said that it is now clear that the ICTY has only been a stepping stone for the EU to demand Kosovo from Serbia as a condition for entering the Union and to even be considered for candidate status. Instead of being rewarded for handing over Radovan Karadzic, Ljajic complained that they turned a blind eye and gave us nothing. Then, in order to obtain candidate status, we surrendered Ratko Mladic and Goran Hadzic, and what became of that? No applause was forthcoming, only a pat on the back. After Mladic, they immediately demanded Hadzic, and after Hadzic they said that we have to resolve the Kosovo matter, since the borders of the Balkans are now permanently set and cannot be changed.
“It is now clear that the new posture of the DC pertains to Kosovo, and has nothing at all to do with the gay parade and the Roma. The message conveyed to the EU is that we too will pull in our reins a little. All things considered, the situation is really serious. Tadic is facing a major problem, since nothing has come of his promises. It seems that they are not giving us either Europe or Kosovo – neither the crumbs of a better life, nor a piece of Kosovo.
In these difficult times, another crisis wave is rolling in. They say that as early as this autumn, another 190,000 people will lose their jobs. Whether there will or will not be a new crisis wave worldwide is still not certain, but it will definitely arrive on our shores. The overwhelming impression is that the DS is in a state of panic. “In reality, the panic broke out because German Chancellor Angela Merkel is coming to Serbia with the intention of pressuring us to have the remaining problems in Kosovo peacefully resolved. An offer is in the making to allocate to the north a special status. Merkel’s visit is important because the Germans are now pulling the strings. They are the only ones who are still focused on resolving these matters. All the others have become submerged in their own problems and have neither the will nor the time for Balkan matters. Our greatest allies – Greece, Italy and Spain – are destitute or are on the brink of disaster. It looks like Tadic is intending to intimidate Merkel, and try to explain once again that the EU and the Germans should calm down over Kosovo. If they do not, then the old anti-European forces will prevail again, causing much more damage than ever because of the holy land. He cannot survive another crisis wave without the candidate status and without Kosovo. Something has got to give, and they have to give him something.
“There you have it, that’s the story, but only that part of it which pertains to the consequences of Tadic’s policy. The story of how Tadic and Serbia arrived at this dead end is a long one. “The great powers have decided to close the matter of Northern Kosovo in a peaceful way. They will not allow the Albanians to take power by force, but they will also not allow the Serbs to annex the north of Kosovo to Serbia by force. Recent events show that the Germans and the Allies have decided to settle the matter of Northern Kosovo and drive the idea of division out of Tadic’s head, since Europe will not agree to any new division of borders. Most probably, the offer that will be placed on the negotiating table will be for the north of Kosovo to receive a special status and in this way fulfill Ahtisaari’s plan. If Tadic accepts this, and it would be wise of him to do so, Serbia will not miss out on virtually the last offer and the only possible gain it might receive (let us remember the Z-4 plan for the autonomy of the Serbs in Croatia in 1995).
“It is now necessary to start tolling all the bells about this story and break through the media blockade. We must offer the frightened Tadic our fullhearted support to accept this last chance we will have. We must put aside the current impotent strategy of threatening through Djilas and
Ljajic that entrance to the EU is not Serbia’s meaning of life and that Europe is cheating us and discriminating against us! All things considered, if we apply the same logic used to reject the Z-4 plan in Croatia, Tadic will not dare to bite the bullet and accept the offer. This is because acceptance of the special status for Northern Kosovo would mean the recognition of Kosovo.
Despite the inevitable cost, it seems that Tadic is determined to continue to threaten the EU and prevent the resolution of affairs in Kosovo. If this is so, we will most likely not be able to avoid paying the total bill of the permanently foolish Serbian policy. We will neither gain EU membership, nor get anything at all from Kosovo. Then all that will be left for us to do is to wail”.
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).