van-rompuy-serbiaEarlier this month, European Council President Herman Van Rompuy traveled to ‎Croatia‬, ‎Serbia‬ and ‎Kosovo‬ to  discuss EU enlargement in the Western Balkans. On 1 July, Croatia became the latest country to join the EU and, despite continuing problems of record-high EU unemployment and a struggling economy, membership talks for Serbia will begin at the latest by January 2014. The breakthrough for Serbia came following a historic agreement in April with its former province, Kosovo, to normalise diplomatic relations between the two neighbours.

As part of our series of debates with President Van Rompuy, we took some of your questions to him during his trip. We started with a question from John Patrick from Austria, who wanted to know if the recent accession of Croatia to the EU will persuade other countries to embark on democratic reforms:


Next, we took a question from Marta, a student from Serbia, who wanted to know when her country could expect to join the European Union.

Finally, we had a comment from Besnik, who believes that all Balkan countries, including Kosovo, should join the EU as soon as possible. He argues that this would help stabilise the region and provide economic benefits to all sides. How would Herman Van Rompuy respond?

Vote 2014

Voting is closed in our Debating Europe Vote 2014! The results are now in, so come and see what our readers thought!


120 comments Post a commentComment

What do YOU think? Do you think Serbia will join the EU? If so, when? And will the recent accession of Croatia to the EU help persuade other countries to carry out democratic reforms? Could EU membership help stabilise the Balkans and bring economic benefits to all sides? Or should Balkan countries rather wait until the economic crisis is over? Let us know your thoughts and comments in the form below, and we'll take them to policy-makers and experts for their reactions.

  1. Jose Rmp

    let them first improve their human rights policies, namely towards LGBTs and then we’ll thing about it………..

    • Bleach1443

      Ok that can’t be a requirement because o lot! Of current members don’t even have positive LGBT policies.

    • Philipp

      Though LGBT rights etc. are a problem that might be your point of interest, Serbia has far longer-standing, and more permanently damaging problems, that are slowing and halting its progress in many directions, firmly rooted over decades in the very social structure. Being left from seemingly long ago dismantled and couple of times changed social structure, yes, they play a part in LGBT policies too. Seeing only LGBT problems is like complaining about a hair in moldy bread.

  2. Eduardo Barroso

    I think that in therms of peace, starting to include the balkan countries would be one of the most beautiful acts, since they were in war so long…

  3. Eduardo Barroso

    Peace is a thing that a lot of europeans take as granted and do not know that is the main purpose of EU :)

    • Marcel

      Wrong. The main purpose of the EU is to eliminate national parliamentary democracy. Politicians want more unelected and mutually appointed jobs, and to make it virtually impossible for voters to influence anything.

      Hence the distaste for referendums.

      Peace was NATO’s job. Still is actually. It’s the EU (EEC) who told Milosevic to try and keep Yugoslavia together which he interpreted as support for his policies. Now that is the little secret most people do not know about.

  4. Ludovina Lopes Margarido

    As reformas são imprescindiveis. O mundo mudou. Fazer mais do mesmo não é resposta. Há que inovar, ouvir os cidadãos, dar respostas credíveis. O voto racional é a forma de ajudar na mudança.

  5. Christos Mouzeviris

    Right now I personally am more skeptical about the democratic deficits in EU itself rather the candidate countries… The EU has been transformed to a lobby that promotes the interests of the rich from the rich nations of Europe.. They strive to transform the continent according to their interests or ideology, while they take absolutely not in their consideration the sensitivities of the smaller nations.. They are acting like emperors.. If this project is to succeed, then Europe must become a bit more Greek, Serbian, Polish or Estonian in its mentality than strictly Franco-German or AngloSaxon.. Period!!

  6. Vaggelis Dimo

    yes of course…i strongly believe in the United States of Europe…the next country must be Albania.

    • Marcel

      Who’se gonna pay for that? You?

      More beggars coming here to steal our jobs, undercutting the locals? I think not.

  7. Sadettin Arslantaş

    gerekçem olarak ; Dubrovnik’te şu aylarda tatil yapmanızı tavsiye ederim Avrupa Birliğine B’ye girmesi için büyük sebep !! :) In reasoning, I would recommend you to vacation in Dubrovnik, over the following months to enter the European Union, a great reason to B! :)

    • Athina

      Huge steps are to be taken towards this direction and still this country will have a long way to go! Thus i forsee that it will take them at least a decade to enter the EU.

  8. Michiel Van de Peppel

    I think EU should carry out democratic reforms on itself. Starting with the instant democratization of the EC. Furthermore: profound reformings of the EP and total dismantling of all the bureaucratic, unwanted and useless EU-institutes. And please, stop the expansion with new member states in these times of growing anger and criticism on the EU. Are these “EU-leaders” deaf and blind for what’s going on in the real world?

    • Marcel

      There is no European/EU ‘demos’ therefore there is no European/EU democracy. Period.

      It really is that simple. No demos = no democracy. The Soviet Union had the same legitimacy problems.

  9. Emanuel Din Bajra

    it is inevitable that aspiring countries must undertake fundamental reforms in: judiciary, law & order, economics and social policy in order that they join the union in stronger foundations. Kosovo, Albania and Serbia should join the EU sooner rather than later.We need a proactive union, diverse and prosperous, without balkans this union will not flourish.

    • Nick

      For any country to join EU it’s people should aspire to do so in the first place and than they should be committed enough in order to be prepared to change some of their fundamentals. Some countries should go additional tests and adjustments. Albania, being a Muslim nation should be scrutinized for separation of religion and the state. Serbia, with recent wars and mistreatment of it’s neighbors, should be guided trough true reconciliation (signing borders agreements, recognition of it’s neighbors territorial integrity inclusive of Kosovo), should carry out intermediate referendums for EU now and if negative results whole process of integration should be put on hold and commitment to EU be tested by referendum again if they change their mind prior to reactivation of reintegration. Serbian people have to decide for themselves if they prefer Russia or EU. I do not think that Europe needs very possible, highly disagreeable partner in it’s institutions.
      I emigrated from Croatia 1972, live in Indonesia last eight years. I am Australian of Croatian birth. I am very happy in my residential country Indonesia. Of course I am Croat and European as well.
      I think that majority of the Serbs have too strong traditional Serbian identity and too strong devotion to Russian brotherhood as well. For majority of Serbian people it will take few generations to became Europeans then why rush, let the Serbians be happy with their brothers. I suppose Europe has many other things to do.

  10. John Smith

    Its funny the EU talks about peace now but 20 years ago they supported war. Now they can reap the results when all the immigrants go to their countries to exploit social benefits.

  11. Mario Micallef

    How about asking the Serbs themselves about how much offended they are with the same Union agreeing to bomb their capital with the benediction of the greater evil US? And then stealing 1/3 of their territory(Kosovo) to give it terrorists under their protection?

    • Rudi Špoljarec

      Serbs were military agressors to all the countries in the neighbourhood only 20 years ago. Their political and military leadership were in possesion of all the weapons cumulated in antidemocratic Yugoslavia for 45 years, and they used it against all other nations for their bloody purposes, it means against Croats , Bosnians , and Albanians from Kosovo. Serbs started to change the verbal mentality only a year or two ago , so they still must prove that they want to change the mentality definitely , saying and supporting excuses to all the nations arround. Then maybe it would be a good beginning of negotiations with EU. I’d give them 20 years period to enter the EU.

    • Jovan Ivosevic

      Rudi you can repeat the same thing over and over again, it doesn’t change the fact that the ICJ ruled against Bosnia on its charge of aggression against Serbia and suit for compensation. Very few people in Serbia today will outright defend Milosevic’s policies towards the other Yugoslav Republics. On the other hand, It is conventional wisdom in Croatia that Tudjman and the HDZ were hetoes, that if Croatia invaded Bosnia it’s because they had no other choice, if they massacred and expelled 200,000+ serbian civilians from Croatia it’s because they deserved it, etc. To say anything different publicly would bran you a Serb sympathizer, a yugo nostalgic or a radical. Similarly, no one among Bosnia’s Muslims dares to say one very truthful thing, and that is that the Serbs and the Croats accepted the Cutliero plan for peace in a sovereign Bosnia, but Izetbegovic said no. The war began less than a month later, and Dayton didn’t give the Muslims half of what they had on the table before the war, and the Bosnian central government under Dayton is far more loose and confederate in nature.

      Secondly you are clearly not very knowledgeable about Yugoslavia’s history if you think that the Serbs concentrated power in Communist Yugoslavia. The First Royal Yugoslavia was much more Serb dominated, with the Communists having decentralized it several times away from Belgrade, the first time during the War time AVNOJ in 1943, when Yugoslavia stopped being a unitary state and was transformed into a federation of 6 Republics, and the most recent time in 1974 when more federal functions were moved to republic level capitals, including the decentralization of the League of Communists to 8 Republic and province level central committees, enhanced further by the adding of Serbia’s two autonomous provinces to the Federal Presidency and giving them Republic Status in all but name. The dissolution of Yugoslavia began when Milosevic tried to reverse the post-1974 changes first in Serbia’s autonomous provinces, then in Montenegro, but even had he succeeded the institutional arrangement would have been far more decentralized than the 1919-1939 Yugoslavia which essentially had a Serbian unelected monarch and a Parliament which was more or less irrelevant depending on the year in question.

  12. Ledion Zotaj

    maybe when they will accept all injustices made and recognize Kosovo’s universal and God given right of indipendence.

    • Sufian Alanovic

      You mean Kosovo whose lived off Serbia for years and then decided they wanna be alone? Without Serbia Kosovo would have been nothing. Kosovo would have faired so much better had it stayed with Serbia. Average salaries of $200, almost 50% unemployment and excessive corruption in the government. Actually yea, we don’t want Kosovo anymore, not with people like that living in it. Keep it.

  13. Europa Federalna

    Serbia’s place is in the European Union as a federal state. Kosovo should be back within the borders of Serbia as an autonomous region.

    • John Smith

      The whole Balkans place in Europe is as a federal state with all former Yugoslavia, Albania and Bulgaria as one federal republic. Otherwise how do they expect this United States of Europe to work, breaking up a country, encouraging ethnic tension and hatred and then all of a sudden lets all be united in the EU federation. But unfortunately it is one big fail which nobody wants and sooner or later it will end in the same way as the Soviet Union.

    • Rudi Špoljarec

      Either Europa federalna and John , you are telling nonsense . Kosovo will never be again a federal part of Serbia , but it will be an independent state of European union . Another thing which you don’t understand John : the breakage of Yugoslavia is not a separatism , it was natural way ( it was bloody unfortunately) which had to happen , because Yugoslavia was united as a result of “communist revolution “, and became a prison of nations, which have had it’s history for many years and centuries , I mean each of the nation separately. Communist leadership made various and countless crimes to keep the artificial piece , Tito was an antidemocratic leader absolutely. So to understand .

    • Jovan Ivosevic

      Rudi, you once again demonstrate your complete ignorance of the history of Yugoslavia (as well as Croatia for most of the 20th century), which only reinforces my earlier point that when it comes to having moved on beyond the historical myths created and strengthened by the war, Croatia is actually lagging behind the majority of the ex-Yu Republics.

      1) The first Yugoslav state was founded in Zagreb.
      2) The intellectual underpinning for Yugoslavia was founded by Croatia, Slovenian and Serbian intelligentsia who lived in the Hapsburg Empire and were used to cooperating among themselves against a common oppressor, which was either Austria or Hungary.
      3) In the early Fall of 1918, after the Battle of Carporetto when the Hapsburg military collapsed, present day Croatia, Slovenia and Bosnia and part of Montenegro (the Kotor Bay) proclaimed the State of Slovenes, Croats and Serbs (Drzava Slovenaca, Hrvata i Srba) in the Croatian parliament. Vojvodina opted not to join it and joined Serbia instead.
      4) Within weeks, this new State in Zagreb was occupied – its Dalmatia Coast by Italy, Slavonia by Hungary, and Styria was having civil unrest as far as whether to stay in austria or join this Slavic state
      5) The Allies in Versailles engaged in diplomacy to marry this new state with Serbia, who was able to protect it militarily and also unlike the ex-Habsburgs, did not have the diplomatic standing against the likes of Italy who was on the winning side of World War 1 to lay claim to these territories.
      6) The tragedy of Yugoslavia was indeed the different expectations the two largest nations entered with. The Serbs motivation for agreeing to Yugoslavia was to unite all Serbs within a single state, while the Croats initially expected to be the dominant ethnic group in a smaller Yugoslavia based in Zagreb, but had to agree to a larger one based in Belgrade where they were number 2 because the smaller one was not a viable state
      7) The Kingdom of Serbs, Croats and Slovenes continued to have problems from 1919 until 1939 because of this issue – the Serbs simply so no reason to share power with people who did not win a country of their own in a revolution, who did not fight on the winning side of the Great War, and who could not even keep one formed out of the ashes of the Hapsburgs the way the Poles, Czechs and Slovaks, and the Hungarians could. Meanwhile, the Croats saw themselves as unhappy because Belgrade and the Serbs had replaced Budapest and the Hungarians in the pre-WW1 era – as another distant capitol where they had no influence on policy.
      8) The issue was finally settled in 1939 when the Regency Council of Peter II who was young, and the president of the most popular Croatia party HSS reached the historic Cvetkovic-Macek Agreement which called for an autonomous Croatia region (or Banovina) within this Yugoslav state which by now had been called Yugoslavia for going on ten years. Macek became the deputy prime minister, joined the government, and the Parliament had become once the focus of policy, not the monarchy.
      9) The delicate ethnic balance was destroyed by World War 2, when the Germans installed the extremist Ustashe at the head of a puppet Independent State of Croatia which included Croatia minus Dalmatia, all of Bosnia, and parts of Serbia (western Vojvodina) There, they engaged in genocide against Serbs who lived on those territories.
      10) The principal factions from 1941 and 1942 who fought the German occupation was a mostly Serbian communist movement and an all Serbian royalist or Chetnik movement. However, the Chetniks were more timid in terms of engaging in large scale operations because of fear of reprisal against Serbian civilians by the Germans, which were constant. As a result, they were less effective. Tito and the Partisans by contrast had no such problems. In fact they believed that such reprisals only created more recruits of willing people who would fight the Germans. By the Tehran Conference, the Allies went with designating Tito as the main focal point of Yugoslav resistance and sent him all the military aid, while they stopped the Chetniks. This led the Chetnik resistance to then do what the Serbian puppet regime and their units had already been doing in Belgrade, which was to cooperate with the Germans to destroy the Communists. After the war, Chetniks and the Ustashe found themselves on the losing side and the Communists took over Yugoslavia. In addition, to bring Croats into the fight, Tito amnesties soldiers in the Croatian Home Guard (bot not the Ustashe paramilitaries) from charges of Treason if they switched sides for the Partisans. By end of 1944, the Partisan units operating in Croatia were about 60% ethnically Croatian.
      11) The Communists were indeed undemocratic but they were continually decentralizing the Yugoslav state away from the Serb-dominated center. not because they were anti-Serbian, but because no other ethnic group’s national movement could threaten to replace their regime. A prominent Macedonian Communist, Lazar Kolisevski had a saying: “The Weaker Serbia is, the Stronger Yugoslavia becomes”. They initially set up the state by spinning federal Yugoslav units out of Serbian terrotiry: Montenegro and Macedonia, and given Republic status. In addition, Bosnia was created out of 80% Serbian territory and 20% territory from the Croatian banovina.
      12) The only thing Serbia won was retaking western Vojvodina from Croatia’s Ustashe, but within a decade, Vojvodina was spun out as a “Serbian autonomous province” which received its own provincial administration and by the time the 1974 constitution came around, it was a de facto Republic with Belgrade having no say in its matters, it having a separate representative on the federal presidency, its own separate communist party with its own central committee and first secretary.
      13) Kosovo, which during the war had mostly been part of Mussolini’s puppet state of Albania (south of Mitrovica), also engaged in wholesale killing and ethnic cleansing of the Serbian population. After the war, Tito prevented those Serbian refugees from returning to Kosovo because he didn’t want to “upset the ethnic balance” there. As a result, most of those Serbs settled in central Serbia and Kosovo was given the same status as Vojvodina, first a Serbian autonomous province and by 1974 a de facto Republic.
      14) By the time the 1974 Constitution was voted in, Tito was dying and the Serbian intelligentsia was screaming mad. From the Serbs point of view, Serbia had been the nucleus for the common Yugoslav state, and Serbia’s diplomatic and military clout made the realization of the projects of the Croatian, Slovenian and Serbian intellectuals in Austria-Hungary possible. In addition, in terms of military and civilian casualties, the Serbs had borne the biggest burden in World War 2, yet the Serbs had less in the Second Yugoslavia then they did in the First, and after the 1974, which was seen as appeasement of Croatian nationalism in the 1971-72 Croatian Spring, they had even less than that. Almost as soon as it passed, a movement for its change began, within the context of a communist apparatus whose priority of free speech was not exactly high.
      15) The political opening for that movement was given by Slobodan Milosevic, who by that time had never been anything except a loyal Communist apparatchik. However, having attended the funeral of Aleksandar Rankovic, a Yugoslav police minister associated with Serbian nationalism, he realized what a mobilizing force it can be. He embraced their cause, beginning first with the grievances of the Kosovo Serbs, who had been forced out of Kosovo throughout the 70s and 80s through a combination of exclusion from state jobs by the Albanian dominated communist party there, lack of economic opportunity, intimidation and violence.
      16) This “anti-bureaucratic revolution” by Milosevic was opposed by Ivan Stambolic, the No. 1 man in Serbia (milosevic had been No. 2) on the same grounds that other communists and other republics would later oppose it – a) It was Tito’s constitution and Tito had willed it, and b) the balance of power between the republics and autonomous provinces would be upset by Serbia’s waking up, which would destroy Yugoslavia) Milosevic’s revolution removed Stambolic in Serbia, and then the installation of pro-Milosevic politicians in Vojvodina, Montenegro and later Kosovo. Suddenly, Milosevic controlled 4 out of 8 votes in the Federal Presidency, where Bosnia and Macedonia usually voted with Serbia on economic issues. The Croats and the Slovenes could not accept this.
      17) Slovenia was the first to stage an opposition to the Milosevic regime and it all came to the surface at the 1990 14th extraordinary Congress of the League of Communists of Yugoslavia where the Slovenes walked out. The Croatian delegation tried to broker a compromise, which in essence was telling the Serbs that there is no Yugoslavia without Slovenia, and if the Serbs don’t accept this, then the Croats would walk out as well which they did.
      18) Following the disbanding of the League of Communists of Yugoslavia, Milosevic began to concentrate on his power base in Serbia, which included stoking the flames of nationalism that brought him to power, and offering Serbs living in Bosnia and Croatia support for their plans to secede from those republics and join Serbia. Croatia elected its own nationalist leader, Franjo Tudjman, and that was essentially the beginning of the end of Yugoslavia.

      So I have no idea what you had heard about the Yugoslav Communist state, but when it comes to this notion that Yugoslavia was somehow a Serbian “idea” or that the communists favored the Serbs over other ethnic groups, it is the biggest bold faced lie ever been told, and the sad part is that the majority of the Croatian population believes it.

  14. Jovan Ivosevic

    My hope is by the end of the next European Parliament, which is in the Spring of 2019. What the critics of the European Union don’t understand is that even if they are completely right, if Germany has way too much power, if the institutions in Brussels are not sufficiently accountable, etc. what difference does that make for a country like Serbia? If France and the UK can’t or don’t want to stand up to German dominance, we certainly don’t have the power to fight it. To the extent we have any input in European affairs, we will get it once we get some voting power in the Council of Ministers. We can also improve our geopolitical situation since foreign policy matters still require unanimity, which means we can leverage our vote to block in the Council certain things that Moscow or Beijing want and win favor that way. Furthermore, having access to investment credits, structural and regional funds is going to be enormously helpful for our agriculture, infrastructure and other sectors of the economy and the increase in foreign investment will be quite large.

    Wikipedia has a very good comparison in terms of the candidate countries progress on negotiations and compliance with EU laws and despite the fact that Montenegro is ahead on the negotiation track, substantively Serbia has less adoptation of its laws than any other candidate country, so I suspect that we will be able to complete negotiations within about 5-6 years. The only thing that could hamper it are political hurdles, like Kosovo, but Serbia won a lot of credit with this year’s Agreement and it’s pretty clear from the text of that agreement that neither the US or the European Union are willing to push the Albanians’ interests in Kosovo quite as hard as they did in 1999. Meanwhile, it is important prior to accession to come in with some diplomatic capitol from Beijing, energy infrastructure projects from Moscow, and the latest investments by the Arab Emirates in our national airline, food processing industry and some other sectors.

    • John Smith

      Moscow and Beijing individually are worse than Brussels, Berlin and Washington combined. Russia doesn’t care for Serbia, all it cares is to in-debt Serbia to the point that 100% (and more) of Serbia’s GDP is loans from Moscow, then Moscow can proceeds taking 100% (and more) of it along with all the agricultural business, the remains of the Auto business and any other business Serbia has, along with any potential mineral and oil resources. The EU is no better. Serbia should focus on coming to an agreement with Kosovo, normalizing relations with neighboring countries ending ethnic tension and conflicts, so the whole region (Balkans) can benefit and take care of itself and look after its own interests instead of licking some foreign power’s ass for the foreign power’s interests. Real reason Russia and China haven’t recognized Kosovo, they don’t want the same to happen in their countries because they both have problems with separatists.

    • Jovan Ivosevic

      John I never said that Russia and China are Serbia’s loyal friends. They have good relations with us now because it is in their interests. Just like it is in our interests to have good relations with them. Whether you want to call it ass licking or simply coexisting with states which are more powerful than us, Serbia has done very well when it had a good diplomatic cornerstone, like in the 19th century when it balanced things out between the Ottomans, the Austrians and the Russians, walking a fine line with all three of them. It did the same thing during most of the Cold War under Yugoslavia. The moment we decided to have delusions of grandeur and be the ones who would “stand up to America” and show them how we weren’t going to play along, well that was in a nutshell the Milosevic era and it was an unmitigated disaster. Even a country like the US cannot make it alone and without balancing off alliances between China, Europe and to some degree Russia. Serbia has absolutely no choice being surrounded by EU members and candidates than to acceede to it and work within the framework of EU’s institutions to achieve its goals there, aided of course by our partnerships with Moscow and Beijing.

      Russia has bought out NIS but it has also given us regional security for energy, our friendship with Russia is the ONLY reason why the EU backed off forcing us to sign the Agreement with Kosovo with zero guarantees for the Kosovo Serbian population in the north. Only after we accepted observer status in the CSTO did the EU realize that Russian troops could one day be on the Danube and agreed to leave the North with Serbian police forces and courts. Lastly, it would appear that when the South Stream project gets built, Serbia will get significant revenues for royalties for the gas passing through its territory and we are slated to be the only ones who will have a depo outside of Russia which will bring in further revenue. The Chinese are building highways and bridges at half the cost, and even Arabs are bringing in some investment. Because I know that Serbia is only as interesting as these countries want to profit off it, I simply want Serbia to profit off them as well. Trade and investment is not a zero sum game. But to sit in isolation from Europe while all of our neighbors have a comparative advantage placing their goods and services on our biggest export market, that is absolutely the worst thing to do.

    • John Smith

      Yes it is in their interests but is it your interest to keep taking out more and more loans from them, you do realize they are LOANS not friendly donations. Loans only have one purpose and that is to in-debt someone and have them paying back the loan with interest, in other words paying back the loan 5 times, for the rest of their existence. It is ass-licking when you do whatever a more powerful state tells you to do even if it is something which you definitely don’t like doing such as licking someone else’s ass. Bulgaria, Croatia and Albania are the biggest ass-lickers and they don’t have to be if they have good relations with Serbia and each other. The EU is close to collapse, nobody wants to be in it not the UK, not Germany, not France, not Hungary nor Greece, nor did Croatia want to join. Serbia won’t be isolated for long.

      Now the pipelines, the bridges, the highways, the shopping malls, the skyscrapers built by the Chinese, Arabs and Russian you do realize that one day you will have to pay it all back with interest, and you don’t want to end up like Greece and Spain doing well for a few years and then having a catastrophic crash.

  15. Limbidis Adrian

    Haha WHY would Serbia join the same bloc that bombed it into the stone age? The same bloc that actively worked to DISMANTLE that country.
    “The state” of kosovo, what a joke. Leading in crimes, drugs, prostitution and sex trafficking that’s what kosovo is.
    And all for what? Greater Albania? Hah !

    Serbia would be much better outside of the bloc which harmed them.

    • John Smith

      Its not for Greater Albania but more for smaller and more divided Balkans, keep people preoccupied with ethnic territorial BS conflicts like Kosovo, Republika Srpska and FYROM, while they are all too stuck in fighting for their villages instead of realizing they are getting poorer and poorer and are constantly being exploited by corrupt politicians, corporations and mafia. Its time everyone wakes up, puts the past in the past, gets over their differences, comes to an agreement and kicks them out of the Balkans.

  16. Alex Semiserios

    I’m from Romania, a country which the EU still hasn’t managed to “swallow” after 6 years of membership. Meanwhile, a whole generation in countries like Greece and Spain is being pushed further into poverty by the EU’s current policies. This doesn’t look like the time for further expansion, considering that countries like the UK are already reconsidering their future membership of the EU.

    • Marcel

      Exactly. Better to push the EU into the dustbin of history where it belongs. Right next to the Soviet Union, a similar undemocratic top-down structure imposed on people.

    • John Smith

      Couldn’t agree with Marcel even more. Romania and Bulgaria should also leave as the EU has done nothing but push them further into poverty and them discriminate against them because they are poor while at the same time preventing them from moving up from their current situation.

    • Limbidis Adrian

      Let’s be fair here.Romania’s problems come more from the political class and general corruption at almost any level rather than the “boogie man EU”.

  17. Jovan Ivosevic

    How will the five EU members who don’t recognize Kosovo’s independence (6 if Serbia is a member by then) ratify Kosovo’s accession to the EU?

  18. Ledion Zotaj

    they will recognize Kosovo’s indipendence as they do with human rights…it’s something ment to be done centuries ago.

  19. Christos Mouzeviris

    I think that now that Serbia itself has softened its stance on Kosovo and agreed to cooperate, then there is no need for the 5 EU member states to hesitate in recognising the state.. In other words yes it should when the time is right and when Serbia becomes a member as well…

    • John Smith

      The 5 EU member states don’t recognize Kosovo not because they care about Serbia’s territorial integrity nor because they are very close allies of Serbia, it is because they care about their OWN territorial integrity. Spain doesn’t want to recognize Kosovo because it doesn’t want an independent Catalonia and Basque state. Romania doesn’t want to recognize it because of Hungarians in Transylvania and Greece doesn’t recognize it in support of Cyprus. If Serbia and Kosovo come to a formal agreement and both recognize each other then they will recognize Kosovo to make sure the same doesn’t happen to them.

  20. Lazaros Kalaitzidis

    Is EU expansion a fetish or something? Souldn’t it mean something? In Kosovo the minorities are living in enclaves heavily guarded by KFOR troops so that they can be safe. Is this Europe? Same goes for Serbia concerning LGBT rights etc. There’s no need to rush to expand, if we are to expand we should do it in a way that european values are restected.

  21. eusebio manuel vestias pecurto

    Dentro de uma nação o estado só é legitimo quando o exercicio do poder democratico assegurar que há igualdades de direitos e oportunidades de acesso aos bens sociaise a sociedade civil da Sérvia têm todo o direito ao exigir ao poder do estado a sua liberdade de direitos sociais na minha opinião a Sérvia e alguns paises dos balcãs devem melhorar as suas politicas de direitos humanos hoje os paises das nações Europeias têm a sua liberdade de direitos de cidadania mais moderno do mundo

  22. Jovan Ivosevic

    Slovakia, Spain, Cyprus, Greece, those guys don’t recognize Kosovo because they are longstanding friends of Serbia. They do so because it is in their interests, i.e. preventing separatist and irredentism movements within their own borders. I don’t think Serbia normalizing relations with Kosovo, but stopping short of recognition, will lead the other five members to soften their stance.

  23. Christos Mouzeviris

    What is your opinion on Kosovo Jovan? Should it be allowed to go its own way or should it remain within Serbia though more autonomous? I personally do not see any point to the constant fragmentation of the former Yugoslav republics. Not because I side with Serbia, or as a Greek I feel threatened by separatist movements within Greece.. Rather I do not see the point of constant fragmentation, only to be reunited under the EU umbrella and lose their sovereignty again.. If Yugoslavia has remained united, but in a more lose federation with more autonomy, like Spain or the UK are becoming, then they would have joined all together already. their economy and living standards were much better of that of Greece, Portugal and Ireland when they joined EEC. Instead of that we are having to deal with the rising nationalism in the region that spills in other countries as well (Albania, Greece) and create an ever increasing number of issues to be resolved in order to see Western Balkans in the EU.. Of course I respect the wishes of the people of former Yugoslavia, so I do not object to their independence bid.. But how can Kosovo survive on its own if it is not a part of Serbia, the EU or become a tax haven like Liechtenstein for example?

    • John Smith

      Kosovo a tax haven? Who in their right mind would invest their money there? You can’t compare Kosovo with Liechtenstein, Luxembourg or Monaco, let’s be serious now. The plan for Kosovo was to be part of Albania not for it to be on its own, but of course the EU supports it to be on its own weak, powerless and exploited just like the rest of the Balkan states.

  24. Nikolai Holmov

    As soon as it reaches the standards of all 31 chapters of the acquis communautaire one would imagine.

    That is a matter of political will within Serbia itself – as quite obviously the EU door does not need kicking down for Serbia to be accepted when it comes to the internal politics of the EU.

    Ergo, the answer to when Serbia will join the EU depends upon Serbia rather than the EU.

  25. Mr.Srdjan Vasiljevic

    West is very difficult to understand the soul of Serbian farmers, common man who cares for his children and family. It is surrounded by hatred of the West, the West is uncertain sincerely wants to lend a hand of friendship, the soul is torn between the memories of the war and not verujeda going to be better in the EU. No farmer in the EU that will offer sincere help BEEN WHAT, anywhere from Serbian peasants. Nowhere have such hospitality and sincerity of heart as well as in Serbia. It does not hurt every Serb Kosovo as you think, it hurts those who have lost their land, or where a family member, whose graves are still there. Young people in Serbia are very talented and they want the EU and I believe that they deserve the EU more than the older generation, which is a natural thing. I do not believe that Serbia’s interest to become a member because it is in the arms of the Russian bear and the west is not doing much to steal from Serbia this (let’s call it) friendly zagraljaja that can strangle young Serbia. I am a Serb and my suspicion is the fear that a bunch of years in each of us in Serbia, the fear that the result of damaged trust in the unknown, in this case it is the EU. Did you know that the first thing they will ask Serbian peasant follows: “Can I at home and continue to make my brandy and preparing meat of pigs as it is now, if I could sell his wares in the market as it is now? If I can, I have nothing against the EU yours! ” :-)
    Yes Serbia will the member of the EU after 4-5 year because we are the european nation, we are i the Europe and we deserve that !

    • John Smith

      Yes you will join the EU just because your European even if the organization is near collapse. Like saying I will jump off a cliff because my neighbors did so naturally I do what my neighbors and everyone else does. Lets face it the EU has a severely tarnished reputation no matter what you do from now on you cannot make people want or trust it, unless you have a complete transformation where you might as well change its name to European Free Trade Organization or something, the name EU has developed a bad connotation. Same with Yugoslavia, no matter how good it may have been during Tito’s years it has a severely damaged reputation and you cannot make people want it because when you say Yugoslavia what people think of is war, ethnic cleansing, genocide etc, but if you say Balkan Federation or Union within the EU its a different story.

  26. Sunny Cvitkovic Anderson

    Christos Mouzeviris, Yugoslavia was TOTALITARIAN COMMUNIST country, when would you people STOP believing in propaganda. How could EU except undemocratic totalitarian communist state with jails filled with political arrestees!!!???? LEARN SOMETHING before you act like you know and write bunch of nonsense!

    • John Smith

      You are the one who is believing in propaganda and he didn’t say it would be accepted as a dictatorship it would have to have had reforms. What you said is basically like saying how could EU accept Poland because it was a communist state with political arrestees.

    • Rudi Špoljarec

      That’s right Mr Sunny , that is the point.

  27. Sunny Cvitkovic Anderson

    I would say that serbia doesn’t belong in EU, in any way. If EU makes that mistake, all of us will pay dearly! Kosovo, yes, they should take a long road to EU. They are hard working people and they do deserve a chance!

    • Optimus Prime

      This is a classic discrimination of one nation. Mr. Sunny, it is obvious that you, allow me to say, “hate” Serbia and Serbs, and here, on public forum you are trying to change people’s opinion of Serbia. Here is the situation, Serbia will enter the EU only with kosovo in its borders. My opinion is that Serbia will only face the crash of its economy, and will not benefit in EU neither. We have a problem here in Serbia for which our politicians are responsible for. The problem is that every minority here in Serbia want their own specific rights. For example, muslims in the town of Novi Pazar (which is mainly populated with muslim people), don’t want to attend the Serbian language classes in school, and they want some made up “bosniak” language to be recognized and established as their main and supreme language there and to form their own republic of “sandzak”. I mean, come on people, in US everyone is American, no matter if they are from India, China, Russia, Mexico,etc. but here in Serbia, everyone is what they want to be. So they act as separatists, and the country has to take the counter measures to protect it legacy and culture. Albanians are building the monument to honor the fallen terrorists (Kosovo Liberation Army) in the middle of Serbia in Presevo (Town Presevo is outside of kosovo and metohija )! The same terrorists that killed our sons and stole our land. Just imagine Al-kaida to build a monument in Texas to their fallen “heroes” that fought against the Americans. I bet that America would delete the whole muslim population of Texas in order to protect itself. Don’t get me wrong, we don’t hate nobody, we’ve done some bad things in the past as every country did, and we are ready to talk and forgive, but first we will get back what is ours (kosovo and metohija) and than we can talk with Albanians. But if they continue to destabilize the whole region (Macedonia, Southern Serbia, Greece and Montenegro), in the near future, we will only face war until Albania is kept to a minimum size country, and all other countries are satisfied (as it was with Germany and Allied Countries in WW2).
      As far as Croatia is concerned, I think that you people need to stop hating Serbs and Serbia. You still have the remains of fascist mentality (we saw it by football player SImunic, and your fans) and for that you should be ashamed of. About 90% of our tourists that went to Croatia have been tortured and humiliated. And here in Belgrade, every day I see a minimum of 30 Croatian licence plates and no one touches your car and your people, and yet you say that we aren’t civilized? Come on, you can do better than that! War in Yugoslavia was not all black-white as you think. Everybody say that Serbs are the bad guys and yet we suffered the most for your Serbophobia (read about it on wiki).
      Stop with this type of discrimination, and be a human beings for once in your whole history.

      Best regards to all good people who respect others but protect their own things.

  28. Kushtrim Shala

    I totally agree to Sunny’s opinion.. Kosovo deserves a chance because it is already demonstrating EU standards in politics and public administration, more then Serbia.. Furthermore Kosovar’s people belongs organically to Europe, since 14 century, from the Scanderbeg’s revolution..

    • Optimus Prime

      With all due respect, Kosovo and Metohija was a Serbian province, from 11th century when the territory where Albania is right now was called Epirus. Your country at that time was located somewhere near today’s Georgia. You have no right on Kosovo and Metohija, even if you violently settled there during WW2 while you were Italian puppet state and during WW1 when Serbs retreated to Greece. Remember Mr. Kushtrim, Kosovo and Metohija (as part of Serbia) only, not Kosovo (as part of Albania or Kosovo itself), will exist in future, and be a part of EU.

      Best regards Mr. Kushtrim

  29. Christos Mouzeviris

    I did not say otherwise Sunny..But perhaps instead of total collapse and disintegration, a democratic reform would be the solution?

  30. Andrea Tuswald

    kosovo is anyway already a colony of the EU,like bosnia (the police forces are not stationed there because they just want to create a safe and and democrativ kosovo). so maybe this dictatorship gets even worse when joining. but this is anyway far from reality.

  31. Christos Mouzeviris

    John Smith that was just a hypothesis.. Not a real argument.. Kosovo can not survive on its own, without being in EU, Serbia, or Albania if you like (though that will end up badly, or in another war if Kosovo is cut off from Serbia and given to Albania).. I was just trying to point out that Kosovo will be weak on its own…

  32. Kris Babůrek

    Democratic reforms? Croatia? 68 years are the same people in power serving foreign interests in Croatia.

    • Rudi Špoljarec

      Kris Baburek , what do you mean “Croatia ,same people in power serving foreign interests in Croatia”???? Whose interests ?? . Croatia was full of political prisoners for 55 years , because of a communist dictatorship of yu – communists , so it’s realy not clear what do you mean ? According to that the only power serving could have happen in favour and together with communist’s friends.

  33. Kris Babůrek

    Because of Albanian people or foreign interests?

    Will they have to surrender everything just as Croats and then just 29% of all voters will say yes on referendum – this is society just got in and democratic standards EU accepts as well as political and economic communism in the hands of never richer communists in power for 68 years?

  34. Sunny Cvitkovic Anderson

    Christos Mouzeviris, why? Where is the problem in one nation having a state? Whatever is made by force and politically, and Yugoslavia was, will NEVER survive and thrive. Open your mind and stop repeating the same propaganda. For the sake of all people in that region!

    • John Smith

      The problem is that nation states like Serbia, Albania, Bulgaria are not powerful enough to resist the non-nation state giants like Russia, USA and China, also this region borders a very powerful state which has shown that it has chauvinistic and irredentist views towards the Balkans. Look at the state of all these Balkan countries can you honestly say that any of the people have a good standard of living and want to remain in their countries, let alone asking if any of the countries are rich. If they go on the way they are it won’t belong before non of them exist and there is a new Ottoman Empire.

      How do you know the people didn’t want Yugoslavia, were you alive at the time, and I am talking about Yugoslavia before Milosevic ****** everything up.

      You are right that forcing political ideas on people who don’t want them, is not sustainable, Capitalism is one of those ideas nobody wants it, the fact that they didn’t want dictatorship Communism doesn’t mean they want wild Capitalism which benefits two, three families max and the majority of the population live in desperate poverty, which is why Capitalism is failing.

  35. Christos Mouzeviris

    Absolutely nothing wrong Sunny… Seriously chill a bit… I am not saying that is a bad thing as long it is done the right way and the people want it.. But there are break ups and then there are break ups… Look at Slovakia and Czech Republic and their break up and then look at the former Yugoslavia.. What a mess it was.. And still a lot of issues are nor resolved..

  36. Christos Mouzeviris

    that’s ok Sunny..Politics is an emotional topic to discuss so everyone loses the plot every now and again and becomes aggressive.. I understand you are upset about what happened.. But to me it is better to have them in the EU or keep them under the negotiation procedures, so that the EU can keep them under control… If they do not join or they are not trying to join, then nothing will change..It is not to reward them from what they have done, rather to bring them under the closer influence of Brussels and the other European states.. If they do not join, Russia will always have them under their influence..This has to change and bring them closer to Europe..I repeat that will NOT be to reward them from what they did.. Ok?

    • John Smith

      To keep them under the influence of Brussels you actually have to help them bring peace and help them develop their countries otherwise they will stay as second-class EU citizens which nobody will want and they don’t what that position and before you know it EU has collapsed and they are back under Russia influence.

      And I don’t know why people call Serbs Russians, their language is completely different and Russians are a lot whiter than Serbs.

  37. Vulnet Jakupi

    the Eu standard is only to say “Yes Sir” to the german leadership, nothing else is needed.

  38. bring it on.

    Croatian movement towards European Union began in mid 2004. So it took Croatia some time, but for Serbia…I thing it should become a member of European Union before 2020…

  39. ALBANEES IN HART EN NIEREN

    Brain Gain Albania

  40. Tarquin Farquhar

    The Balkan nations should only join the EU if their respective national EQs are on a par with those of the Northern Europeans.

    The Balkan states wage war and are aggressive much like say the UK or France or Germany.

    BUT the Balkan nations have contributed very little to the advancement of mankind whether legal, scientific, artistic or commercial.

    It is their underwhelming cultural performance and lack of positive advancement [often, implausible as it may seem defended to the hilt] that marks Serbia down [as is the case with ALL Balkan states] as being ineligible for EU member status.

    • John Smith

      The problem with the Balkans is that they are the same people who speak different dialects of the same language (except the Albanians) and they wage stupid wars against each other, or more accurately against their own people because one group pronounces Ch softer than the other, instead of working together and forgetting their differences. It’s as if England wages war against Scotland and Wales even though they are better off united.

      If this region is to prosper it needs to unite and end the childish territorial ethnic conflicts. However the EU doesn’t seem to want to end them instead it seems to want to keep them in conflict such as in BiH and Kosovo. Which reminds me what was the principle which kept the Roman Empire going for so long … divide and conquer, get the people to fight stupid wars against each other, side with one side against the other which keeps the side you are siding with your loyal servant and preoccupied with its BS conflict and the side you are against is too weak to resist anyway.

      You are slightly wrong about the Balkans having no contributions, notable people from the Balkans have made valuable contributions to society (e.g. Nikola Tesla) but the problems is the Balkans has always been caught in war that these people only made their contributions outside the Balkans (e.g. America) and once they made their contributions they were too ashamed to associate with the Balkans, everyone who succeeds from the Balkans is too ashamed and tries to forget it exists instead of going back and fixing things.

    • Ksenia

      Got one name for you,bro:Nikola Tesla
      A Serbian inventor,polyglot and a vegetarian(!) whose efforts in the field of science benefited the human kind immensely.
      DCpower?Induction motor?Tesla’s coil?Are you kidding me?Everything that has an on -off button on it that you and the rest of the humanity take for granted would not exist today if Nikola Tesla did not “pritisnuo na vesla I otisao u Ameriku da izmisli elektriku”

  41. miki

    i am from Serbia,and i hope never,we do not need eu,long live Serbia and china-Asia!!!

  42. Johan Grehulj

    Jovan, hmm … the main concern i have about Serbia is that they always seem to go around in circles, they once again elect a Pro Nationalistic leader Tomislav Nikolic from the Slobodan Milosevic era, how does Serbia hope to join the EU by 2020 with this kind of mentality. Nikolic brings concern to any educated individual from the EU Bloc. If its like you say and you want to be integrated into the EU bloc, why for heavens sake choose a Radical leader. My guess is that Serbia will join when they build structure to their government, when the prime minister is not elected by drug dealers to solely benefit them and the prime minister himself. A lot of hard work to go Jovan for Serbia before they can even start talks with the EU. And please for heavens sake don’t assassinate another prime minister this time, only if you’re going to bring back Tadic that actually worked towards Serbia joining the EU, only if it’s Nikolic.

  43. John Kensington

    Johan, very interesting topic who have brought up, the fact that most people believe that countries such as Serbia actually have a structured government. Not the same Nikolic that’s been used at Serbian elections throughout the last 5-10 years, first he’s a Radical leader, then a Democratic leader, when no one believes in that, he turns Radical once again. The fact of the matter remains Serbian drug dealers want the high life with Nikolic to cover their corrupted affairs, and in the same time sell themselves to Europe. Nikolic is a washed out politician whose spent a long time in Serbian politics. It’s all corrupt the people at the election are corrupt, what they present to the west is staged, probably on the best cocaine. Serbia will never join .

  44. Jimmyessexuk

    Hi all, I’m Albanian and I can tell you that all the Balkans will join in before 2020 that’s for sure. The only country that can’t join is turkey! All the rest will.

    P.S John Smith who are you? You seem to have put yourself in charge here?? LOL

  45. Bleach1443

    Ummm an exact date is hard to say because it depends on what happens and how fast they can reform and if they stay on the right track maybe 2019-2020. Hopefully as soon as possible :)

    • John Smith

      Why is it that Europeans want Serbia in as soon as possible. Most people want to leave the EU as soon as possible.

  46. hxdgjncxgn

    After 2020 probably:))))))

  47. Grieg mills

    Yeah Grieg says that Turkey would be a valuable asset to the Eu. However it is a controversial issue.Abdul says thekurdish people are scared.

    • John Smith

      Turkey doesn’t want to join the EU anymore.

  48. Ari Rusila

    From my point of view Serbia should think if joining to EU is worth of time, money and bureaucracy it demands. Visa arrangements, free trade and some EU programs are possible also for non-members. However I think that at this moment it would be good idea to continue EU process but not because of fulfilling EU needs. The motivation should be the needs of the beneficiaries aka Serbs not EU elite in Brussels. Also from my point of view Serbia should not put all eggs in the same basket; economical cooperation with Russia and other BRIC countries can create real development on the ground instead slow development on the EU’s negotiation tables.

    More e.g. in my post Serbia’s EU association is not a Must (http://arirusila.wordpress.com/2011/04/25/serbias-eu-association-is-not-a-must/ )

    • Minkov

      I hope he does, then we will leave this satatnic union.

  49. miki

    I am from Serbia and i hope never,Serbia place is in Asia union with China and Russia,also eu have many problems!!!

  50. Luke Skywalker

    Serbian people are just different than others nations on Balkan. They more love freedom than anyone else, very simple. Most of other Balkan countries are working better under supervision of EU, USA,,etc, etc.

    Unfortunately for them they will rather die for freedom then serve someone else even in better standard. They just love freedom! I’ve been all around former Yugoslavia and I realized that Serbs regular day subject are not other republics and nations, but in every other everything about Serbia is a news. I don’t know why is like that, but it is a fact.
    Biggest difference on Balkan can be presented by simple thing Hitler had a loyal allies in Croatia, Slovenia, Bosnian Muslims, Albania, Romania, Hungary but not Serbia….. i think this is a main difference. Serbs just don’t like to be ruled…..

    • Jj

      Very good insight and all true what you write Luke!
      It is the same in diaspora in media. Croatian media in diaspora is obsessed with Serbian politics but Serbian media never mention Croatian politics.
      And it is always negative about Serbs like it was the Serbs who were with Hitler and not Croats that’s how negative.

  51. Together-We-Stand

    Yes to Serbia joining the EU. It is good negotiations are starting in January.

    The fate of Kosovo is a different tale indeed. With time will come the answers.

  52. JD

    Dear Europeans, We want to remember that the EU primary task is to stop a continental war from ever happening again. After WW2, WW1 and do not forget the the French madness with the Nepolean’s wars ! Is the EU run by Corpratists? Yes. Is Russia run by oligarchs headed by Putin? Yes. Has Russia avoided or started wars with in ancient European borders like Georgia? No. Has EU started any wars within the continent of Europe? No. The wars between Serbia and its nieghbours was not started by Russia or the EU. If Serbia wants peace then its best chance is either going it alone although Serbia then has to worry about large powers bulling it, like Belarus and Georgia have been bullied and risk war or it can go with the EU and the worst that can happen is that if years latter Serbia gets sick of the EU it can leave peacefully. Corpratism and the thieving banking criminals are a cancer through tout the world not just the EU. Just because Serbia dose not join the EU will not mean Serbia will not end up run by Corpratist banking thieves. Look at Iceland who were not in the EU and their corpratised banks broke the Icelandic economy during the GFC and these Icelandic thieves triggered The Soverign Debt Crisis in Europe because they owed billions to the Bank Of Scotland and other Ducth banks! If there is a GFC in EU there will be no war. If there is GFC in Russian Custom Union there will be war. This is the difference. If you do not believe me look at history. The France economy was collapsing when the France revolution happened bringing the dictator Napolean to power, the Austrian-Hungarian economy was collapsing when the fight over Serbia triggered the First World War, Russia’s economy was broken by WW1 and brought revolution and Lenin that started a war right across the Russian Empire and finally economic collapse in Germany gave us the dictator Hitler and WW2. In all but Russia’s civil war between the Whites and the Reds Serbia has suffered war this time Serbia gets to choose its future. Choose wisely.

  53. Mark

    I am from Croatia and I support the idea of Serbia joining EU. There is still some tension between our countries, but if we want to move forward we have to let go of bad history and look to the future. Besides, EU will be incomplete without Serbia who is very important for the stability of the whole region.

  54. branko

    Im from Serbia and I think we should join EU asap though support here is in decline, ex Yugoslavia countries were far better prepared in many ways than Romania and Bulgaria their accession was geo-political decision not by criteria fullfilment. If there was no bloody war ex Yugoslavia would be prosperous part of the EU. I think western Balkan should join soon as possible, as they have let Bulgaria and Romania in unready and then there should be a big stop! And consolidation. For 50 years! Just finish the puzzle and develop it. I think some other countries islamic or far eastern would make lots of cultural problems and there should be a big concensus over weather they belong here.
    And dont forget the ammount of lives Serbian ppl sacrificed during WW2 to free Europe! Otherwise alone I dont think Serbia we’ll be able to make necessary reforms and we’ll get STUCK in limbo. For Bosnia and Kosovo further efforts are needed.

  55. branko

    I think they wanted to put the border to Russian influence also

  56. Milun

    i am from Serbia and 80% people here do not want join eu,i think Serbia,s place is in euroasian union with rich Asia and friendly normal people

  57. FU EU

    Please EU, we (Serbs) do not want to become part of EU …maybe part of Russia or Asia… but EU…..(the immortal words of Taylor Swift) never ever ever getting back together… NEVER!!!

  58. JD

    If you think ASIA is better then you are fooling yourself. We here in Oceania have been watching ASIA since WW11 and the only thing ASIA is getting ready for is a regional war. China wants to take control of the seas and is ready to go to war to get it. ASEAN countries, Japan, Korea and India are building large navies, armies, air forces for the war to come with China. Serbia is better of with Russia or EU.

  59. Milan Serb

    We serbs dont want your EU stay away from us ok our brothers from RUSSIA is the way to GO.

  60. Milan Serb

    Serbia does not need the Animals that used to bombard our civilian trains Tv stations civilian buildings and killing our children so i say NO to The Evil EU thats sponsored by satanic US

  61. John Smith

    Yes they shouldn’t have attacked the Albanians nor the Bosnians nor the Croats, they now made them victims and made themselves the ultimate evil. They sabotaged any chance of ever uniting the region again, where as Belarus, the Ukraine, Russia and Kazakhstan are hinting at reuniting whereas 20 years they couldn’t stand each other.

    I agree they should all work on normalizing relations if they wish to survive and prosper.

  62. John Smith

    The only problem is its not in “Europe’s” interest to have this region united, and by Europe I mean Germany, France and the UK. In fact it is in no one’s interest not Russia’s, nor America’s, nor China’s, nor Turkey’s. Think back to the 90s after the fall of the Berlin Wall, everyone (except Germany of course) protested against the reunification of East and West Germany. A united Balkans is a threat to greedy European interests which is why they will do everything to keep it divided to keep the same people: Serbs, Croats and Bosnians, Bulgarians and Macedonians fighting and hating each other for no reason. Hence the EU will not unify the Balkans, the Balkans cannot expect someone else to solve their problems they must all work together and put in some effort to move on from the past.

    You can compare Turkey with Yugoslavia. Yugoslavia was a prosperous country but only while its leader Tito was still alive, when he died there was no one to replace him and the county spiraled into chaos and resulted with the mess we have today. Until the conflicts end and the region starts working together to the benefit of the entire region, and not for some nationalistic greater Serbia, Albania, FYROM fantasy. Until that happens it will be poor and dysfunctional and will not develop nor prosper.

  63. Jovan Ivosevic

    John the notion that ex-Yugoslav republics could work together in peace and harmony if only the foreigners got out of the way is a fantasy. I posted a pretty exhaustive comment about on how Yugoslavia came to be, and the tragedy of errors which led to both its inception as well as disintegration. The fact is that absolutely no one, from Skopje to Ljubljana would want that as this point. Yugoslavia in a cultural and economic sphere will always exist because we share the same language, watch the same TV shows, vacation in the same places. etc. But the political conditions need to be met in order to make sure economic cooperation can flourish and culture sharing doesn’t give way to the next war. The framework of Yugoslavia cannot possibly provide this, only a wider European Union within which we are not the only but peripheral players.

    As far as other Balkan countries who weren’t part of Yugoslavia uniting with those who were, I couldn’t imagine a bigger burden for either side. Serbia and Albania existing in a single state is a true fantasy, not the fantasy you outline. I have no idea why Bulgaria would want ethno nationalist and territorial disputes to cloud its politics any more than Bosnians and Serbs want Bulgaria’s endemic corruption and fragility to the point where an electricity hike can bring down a government. Romania has always been rivals with Bulgarians and friends with the Serbs, but what possible use do they have being in some sort of Balkan Union when they are clearly focused on functioning within the EU itself, that I have no clue.

    It doesn’t really matter whether the EU was a good idea or not, or how it functions, or what it does. Those big defining questions are for the Germanys and Britains of Europe to decide, because they have the power to do so. For economically weaker and politically dwarfed nations of all stripes, including the Balkans, setting continental policy has always and will always be out of reach. For them, the EU is a reality and will continue to be as long as the big boys say so. The challenge is how to exist within that reality to prosper, make the region peaceful, prosperous, how to attract investment and create jobs. The EU has avenues to do all of those, through receipt of regional and structural funds, through joining to improve its bond rating, for attracting higher caliber investors, etc. If you don’t believe that, you can ask Nokia why they put their factory in Romania’s Cluj as opposed to Serbia’s Zrenjanin right over the border. That is what the average citizen of any Balkan country whether in our out of the EU will care about – having a job, food on the table, roof over their head, and last but not least the freedom to speak their minds without going to prison.

  64. John Smith

    I didn’t say if only the foreigners get out of the way, I said if the Balkan countries put in some effort instead of focussing on nationalistic fantasies like “We are cleanse that [fill in the blank] village from the [fill in the blank] scum across the [fill in the blank] border”, mentalities like that are counter productive and what you are saying is no problem lets continue that mentality nothing wrong with it well then it explains why the Balkans are now almost behind Africa.

    Yes Serbia and Albania existing in a single state is indeed a fantasy but solving the Kosovo conflict is an even bigger fantasy, and I don’t see how the EU can solve it either than keeping it in an eternal state of conflict, not a true country but not part of Serbia, of course nobody wants that and Serbia isn’t just gonna recognize Kosovo because EU says so. As for uniting the Balkans, they have to prepare for unifications and not just throw all countries together no matter what problems they have, only the EU does that by rapidly absorbing countries for political reasons without caring about their problems (Bulgaria and Romania) and hence we have an EU which is close to collapse.

    But hey its not my problem, if the Balkans wants to be a politically and economically dwarfed region, which is ruled by foreign powers which keep it in a state of poverty, and if they want to be low-class EU citizens cleaning toilets, for the rest of its existence that’s fine by me. I know that the EU will do a lot of good for the Balkan region politically and economically like it did for Bulgaria, Romania, Greece, Spain, Portugal and Italy.

  65. Jovan Ivosevic

    The EU is the reason Serbs and Albanians signed the agreement to normalize relations in Kosovo. Romania and Bulgaria haven’t ethnically cleaned anyone in almost a century. For better of worse, the ethnic borders in the ex-YU are now fixed, both internationally and within Bosnia itself. The only remaining question are the Albanians, who have significant portions of their own people outside of Albania and national aspirations to unite Kosovo, and portion of central Serbia, Macedonia and Montenegro. The US told them not to even think about Albania annexing Kosovo, and given that the US brokered the Ohrid Agreement in 2001, Macedonia is off limits as well. Montenegro is quiet for now but who knows if that will last if Djukanovic falls and an opposition traditionally not friendly to US interests comes to power. My understanding is that the Montenegrin opposition has now reached an understanding with Washington and that in turn this will protect their coming to power from any ethnic instability by way of the US encouraging uprisings in areas in Montenegro which border Kosovo and Albania. The EU has similarly made a move by letting the Albanians know they no longer have unrestrained support, specifically when Lady Ashton revised the Kosovo Agreement in favor of the Serbs to allow for local police and courts in the North and stopping short of Serbia recognizing Kosovo’s sovereignty. SO either way, the Balkans are now quiet and will only stay quiet through integration with the west. Alongside the other socioeconomic benefits I mentioned.

  66. John Smith

    Basically what you described is the Roman divide and conquer principle, the Balkans has basically been divided, conquered and exploited by the world powers. In order for this to work the people have to be idiots enough to allow it to work and unfortunately they are idiots just like the people in Africa and as you can see no one benefits and the region is very poor, backward and corrupt just like Africa. This new Balkan reality can continue for now but if the Balkan people want to stop immigrating to become toilet cleaners and construction workers in more prosperous EU countries, they are going to have to change their mentality and start moving on from this medieval nationalism.

  67. John Smith

    Finally someone else gets it, the more people in the Balkans realize their mistakes and the implications of their mistakes the better, and I am sure they will lets just hope it won’t be too late by then. However Erdogan is currently struggling to rule Turkey, as you can see his people do not support him, so I doubt he will rule the Balkans, Turkey maybe but Erdogan no.

    I don’t see Turkey as a future EU member, the EU has a failed economy with mosts of its states in recession and drowning in debt. In fact I don’t see any future which has EU in it. Turkey however has a strong growing economy and they realized that the EU will only be a burden to them. Erdogan has shown he has lost interest in the EU by introducing new Islamic policies, like banning alcohol (even though Turks do not support these policies hence the reason for protests), and giving up on Secularism. The western powers and Russia indeed have a lot of faults in this, each of them regardless of their different interests have always agreed on something the Balkans needs to always be divided or they will lose power over the region, whether it is Stalin or Hitler they have always made sure the “different” and sometimes even the “same” Balkan people are fighting against each other for no reason.

  68. John Smith

    You left out Albania. However they shouldn’t join the EU, and how you see there being an EU (at least the EU we have now) in 2020. All disputes should be resolved and you need to focus on economic prosperity in the Balkans without the EU dictatorship fueling conflict to divide people and keep them in poverty, and yes you REALLY need to stop the wars, but the good news is the different ethnic groups in Bosnia are teaming up to protest against their corrupt government.

  69. John Smith

    If the Balkan people want to survive and don’t want to disappear off the face of the Earth like the ancient Egyptians, they have to unite, doesn’t even have to be a federation just a union. The fact that something happened in the past, or they have always hated each other in the past does not have to define the future. if countries are so ashamed of being Balkan instead of trying to make themselves look like fools by distancing themselves they should do something to fix the region, its as if Ethiopians saying they are not Africans because they are ashamed of Africa instead of doing something to make Africa a better place. That is the problem with the Balkans they are stuck in some medieval past, which defines there present day actions, and there is no activity, they expect to just magically get better, the EU must magically solve all their problems but they themselves are doing absolutely nothing, but the problem is Europe does not care.

    I don’t consider Romania Balkan, it is not in the peninsula and is not related to the Balkan people at all. Greece is more mediterranean and they have a completely different language and culture from the Balkans and as for Cyprus I didn’t know and island just off Turkey and Syria was considered Balkan.

    As for Turkey everyone wants them to join even Bulgaria but Turkey no longer wants to join because of the bloc’s instability, economic collapse and uncertain future, its like jumping of a cliff and hoping there is a boat with an airbag to cushion your fall. Why do you think all of a sudden Erdogan reverted to Islamic policies.

  70. John Smith

    Its all dependent on the people, if the people want it then their is little the strong powers can do such as in the case with unifying East and West Germany. The reason it all failed is due to nationalism (which of course was supported by the great powers) which was deeply ingrained in the people hence people chose nationalism and they still choose nationalism. I am glad someone agrees that it would have been a good idea, instead of simply dismissing it.

  71. Tarquin Farquhar

    I think if such a Balkan Federation existed it would be a stretch to call it a European superpower – although one can never tell given such a hypothetical scenario.

  72. John Smith

    You should mend your relations with Greece and Serbia.

  73. John Smith

    WHat an idiotic comment, if Serbia recognizes Kosovo it’s gone for good. First of all if Serbia joins the EU it and its people will be brought down to their knees just like the Romanians and Bulgarians, second of all Serbian will have no sovereignty what so ever and hence will have no veto power, all it will take the EU is to pull their ears like they pull the other form Eastern Bloc member state’s ears and Serbia will withdraw the veto or on the other hand if Serbia does actually veto Kosovo, Albania and Kosovo would just give up joining the EU and will instead join in a pact with Turkey or Saudi Arabia or some other middle eastern country.

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