EuroNews 02-2007, TO BEU OR NOT TO BEU?

Or what it takes for Serbia to enter the EU?

Seeing through the eyes of a Serbian citizen, one would find it difficult to explain where Serbia is going. “Quo vadis” is posed to everybody, yet no one knows what is going to happen but the fact remains: Serbia is still far away from EU.

Many EEC countries, especially those in the region of South West Balkans have accomplished many necessary criteria for entering EU: Croatia has a status of a candidate country since June 2004, Albania has managed to achieve the beginning of negotiations (since January 2003), and Macedonia has requested to be considered as a potential member in March 2004. And Serbia?

Serbia was 15 years backward due to communistic politics, one party political system and because it is avoiding its responsibility to the Hague tribunal. In the 2005, Serbia and Montenegro have decided to make their first move: they have achieved a positive mark from the EU Commission (AVIS). The problem is that Serbia still has a lot to do in order to satisfy the necessary criteria for entering the EU, established in Copenhagen in the 1993, which refer to the stability of the institutions. This implies that all institutions within one state should guarantee democracy, human rights and good economical background. But does Serbia have that?

Although Serbia has significant improvements in the areas of political and economical reforms, the full cooperation with other EEC states is required. This step can be realized in the political frames, but when in comes to communication and mutual respect among the citizens of the Former Republic of Yugoslavia, problems do occur because those countries were in the civil war during the nineties. According to those factors, the conclusion would be that the states of the South West Balkans are still standing far away from the potential EU membership. The reasons for that are various: war conflicts in the region, the communistic inheritance and the poor dialogue between EEC countries. In the 2007 Serbia should pay attention to reforms in the security sector because that represents the main conditional for full economical transformation of the society and transfer to liberal- capitalistic form of industry. The Partnership for Peace (PfP) that Serbia has already signed may open our door to the process of Euro- Atlantic integration.

Only then Serbia will be ready to play its role in the EU politics together with its neighbors. Hopefully that day will come.

Author: Ivana Marinkovic

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