Home / Sezioni / globi / Serbia’s choice: EU membership or Eastern promises?

facebook-link twitter-link


Registrati alla newsletter di sbilanciamoci.info


Ultimi link in questa sezione

Turni di 12 ore e dormitori, l’Europa di Foxconn sembra la Cina
La vera tragedia europea è la Germania
Redistributing Work Hours
Institutions and Policies
A Finance Minister Fit for a Greek Tragedy?
I dannati di Calais
Are creditors pushing Greece deliberately into default?

Serbia’s choice: EU membership or Eastern promises?


Successive Serbian governments have been working towards their country’s EU membership since October 2005, when the negotiations with Brussels for the Stabilization and Association Agreement started. Four years later, on December 22, 2009, Serbia applied for membership to the European Union.

Though uneven and plagued with seemingly insurmountable obstacles, the negotiation process had inched forward and gathered pace over the past few years. Following lengthy and intense dialogue between the administrations in Belgrade and Brussels on the monitoring and implementation of the EU reform agenda, the accession process was formally initiated.

After signing the Interim Agreement on trade and trade related matters as part of the Stabilization and Association Process in 2008, a way had been paved for a June 2013 vote by the European Council (EC) to open accession negotiations with Serbia. Six months later, in December that same year, the EC adopted the negotiation framework. The convening of the first Intergovernmental Conference on January 21, 2014 had marked the formal start of Serbia’s EU membership negotiations.

What the EU wants


While the opening of negotiations provides for an optimistic view of Serbia’s future in the EU – something that Aleksandar Vučić’s government is all too happy to take credit for – there remain a myriad of serious structural, economic and political problems that need to be addressed by the administrations in Brussels and Belgrade. It should, however, be emphasized that some of those problems are not exclusive to Serbia but are an integral part of a shared legacy of authoritarianism, nationalism, and war that devastated the region in 1990s.


Even though Serbia, like its Western Balkan neighbours, has been engaging with the Europeanization model designed in Brussels for the last twenty years, it still remains a playground for a hybrid regime of a proto-democratic type. A multiparty parliamentary system with elections that often barely meet the threshold of regularity and fairness exists alongside informal networks of power, systemic corruption, a deeply polarized political environment, and a profitable union between political and business elites.

Read more