Magazine article Europe-East

Eu/serbia : Serbia Will Turn Away from Europe, Says International Crisis Group

Magazine article Europe-East

Eu/serbia : Serbia Will Turn Away from Europe, Says International Crisis Group

Article excerpt

The new Serbian government's composition and the parliament's nationalist majority suggest, according to the International Crisis Group (ICG), that Serbia is going to choose an "isolationist path" rather than "move towards European integration".

The latest analysis by the ICG, published on 31 May, pours cold water on the EU's enthusiasm after the EU welcomed the formation of a new pro-European' Serbian government on 15 May. In sharp contrast to the EU's optimistic expectations as to the future direction of Serbia's foreign policy, the ICG suggests that the new government which "is deeply divided between pro-Western and nationalist forces" will abandon its pro-European orientation and turmore towards Russia.

The analysis of last months' political developments in Serbia leads the ICG to the conclusion that the pro-Western forces have suffered a "significant setback", the government is "vulnerable to manipulation by the security services and oligarchs", and the system of divided responsibility for the security services makes serious cooperation with the International Criminal Tribunal for the former Yugoslavia (ICTY) unlikely, especially the arrest of General Ratko Mladic. The ICG emphasises that the four-month government formation clearly revealed the "deep, anti-Western and ultra-nationalist nature of Prime Minister Kostunica's Democratic Party of Serbia (DSS)".

The EU had been closely monitoring the process of government formation in Serbia, hoping for the pro-European parties, namely President Boris Tadic's Democratic Party (DS) and the G17Plus, to obtain the most important ministerial posts. …

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