EuroNews 02-2007, Letter from Serbia

EU and Serbia: Think positive
As many countries in the neighborhood, Serbia also dreams about becoming a member of EU. To achieve that, we must rely on our own strength, arrange situation in our country, and do our best to realize necessary conditions for joining EU, although we can offer few reliable things (wonderful culture, historical monuments, long tradition, many smart people in the mood for cooperation) we still need help.

There are many positive sides of being a member of EU – making connections with other countries, an opportunity to travel and attend school abroad, exchange of capital, cultural exchange, and possibility to make progress …

Opinions about this question are different among Serbian people. Due to these factors, for example, organization within state-companies in not on the required level, so functionality is minimal, and the middle class in the society (specially middle- class occupations, such are traders, clerks, or the so- called “products of communism” on the higher level) is being used to the sense of security that their jobs are offering, so they don’t pay much attention to other people, nor to future.
Some are afraid of possible entrance in EU, a lot of people are non-educated and simply afraid of changes of any kind. Integration in EU demands changes in society, improvements in standard, etc.

Foreigners who visited our country think that Serbs are very kind and hospitable people, although abroad we are confronting with prejudices about us- they see us as some kind of rebels( because of many wars our country took place in).

Situation in Serbia during the past 15 years affected on all of us, so many people think that our biggest defect is the fact that we are very worried, we laugh a little, life-spirit is killed in our nation, we are disappointed and bitterer, but I think there are a lot of young people who are ready to change these things.

The only negative aspect of the possible entrance into the EU would be that many people would probably leave the country, yet that fact is still relevant and a problem that can be discussed and found without the whole EU issue. If Serbia doesn’t become a member of EU soon, we certainly should cooperate with EU and harmonize our laws with EU laws, like Norway, for the common good.

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