Although foreign media have been writing about the catastrophic state of democracy in Serbia, the ties between the criminal underworld and the state’s leadership, the suppression of media freedoms and the scandals shaking the government, it seems that the support the Western politicians are still supportive of the Serbian President Aleksandar Vučić.
Political expert Boško Jakšić says that the criticism that the Serbian authorities have received from the members of the European Parliament and EU embassies is a sign that the accumulated problems in the country will not be pushed under the carpet any longer by the EU authorities, even if that will not significantly affect Vučić’s relations with world leaders.
Jakšić also says the West has not turned its back on Serbia’s President Aleksandar Vučić, despite the obvious changes in relations:
“I think these are warning signs. Because of the public opinion in their respective countries, they (the European leaders) cannot tolerate such a situation and the authoritarian tendencies in Serbia, and that is why they have to react publicly. First of all, these are MEPs, who are under direct pressure from their own constituents. However, the warning and criticism does not affect the communication between Vučić and the European leaders, i.e. with Brussels.”
When asked why the West still treated Vučić as an important partner, Jakšić said the Kosovo issue as “the alpha and omega of everything.”
“Just as Kosovo is the alpha and omega of domestic and foreign policy in our country, so the same issue of the attitude of the Serbian authorities is still at the top of the EU’s agenda. However, now, the only difference is that not everything will be tolerated because of Kosovo. Vučić will receive support in solving the problem and he will receive even more support if he decides to reform the society,” says Jakšić.
The foreign media and the European institutions are becoming more serious about the situation in Serbia, as seen from the recent articles published in The New York Times, Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung and The Times, which this month, paid special attention to the state leadership’s ties with Veljko Belivuk and his criminal clan, the alleged wiretapping scandal involving Aleksandar Vučić, and the catastrophic state of democracy and media freedom in Serbia.
It should be mentioned that the European Parliament yesterday adopted a report on Serbia’s progress towards the European Union, which was presented to the MEPs by the Special Rapporteur of the European Parliament for Serbia, Vladimir Bilčik. Much has been said about the document in the previous period, mainly about the amendments submitted to this report, which concern the affairs associated with Jovanjica, Krusik, Telekom Serbia, as well as the suppression of media freedoms and persecution of NGOs and journalists.
The fact that the representatives of the European countries will no longer remain silent about the problems in Serbia is also corroborated when as many as 8 embassies of the EU countries, including the Quint countries, strongly condemned the attacks by government officials and pro-regime tabloids on the journalists of KRIK and CRTA. Such EU’s reaction is not usual and the criticism so far had been moderate.
Commenting on media headlines and reactions of EU institutions, Jakšić also said that it was obvious that Western countries were distancing themselves from the policy of stabilocracy in Serbia.
“Previously, they were only interested in the security of the region, in order to avoid any conflict between the Balkan countries. However, in the meantime, they realized that Russian and Chinese influence is spreading in the region and since then, they have sstarted to take a more serious approach to other dimensions of the region’s policies,” Jakšić concluded.
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