From your own correspondent: Pristina

Snow.
Which means wet feet, deadly cold, mud everywhere.

Apart from the white blanket of snow covering Pristina, I was touched also by the news reported on the most important Balkan newspapers.
Apparently, following the withdrawal of Serbs from the barricades in North Kosovo, the Council sent a clear positive message. A “carrot”, if you allow me this wording.

The importance of this carrot is huge: if by any chance Serbian expectations would be let down, I prospect an escalation of the situation in Kosovo. Even if the decisive support of the majors of Serbian municipalities de blocked a long deadlock, I cannot see substantive political ameliorations of the situations.

I will discuss the issue with some experts I had the chance to contact, here in Pristina.

 

 

My point is that the “carrot and stick” policy undertook by the EU since the beginning of the Kosovo barricade crisis allow a series of speculations which, in the end, won’t result in any good, nor for the pro-European Serbian government, nor for the far less pro-European Serbian society, nor for the wannabe Russians Kosovo Serbs.

First, a (still very possible!) negative decision of the Council against Serbian candidature will definitely undermine Tadic power, which will lead to his total defeat in next elections, most probably paving the way to nationalists parties success. So much for Merkel glorification of “multiculty” societies.

Secondly, even if the Council would grant Serbia with the candidate status (rather then frozen pseudo-idiotic half-effective semi-statuses, as Austria proposed…) , no effective steps towards the reconciliation with Kosovo have been made in last weeks. Au contraire the management of the crisis by Bruxelles (Berlin? Amsterdam? Vienna?) lead to an exacerbation of the conflict, which ultimately resulted in last hate speech made by several Serbian politicians.

Thirdly, and most importantly, the EU managed once more to pass for the “bad guy” at the eyes of Serbians. The way arguments in favor of the continuation of the Belgrade-Pristina negotiations, paired with the direct attacks led by several MS leaders to Serbian government managed (once more) to polarize the general impression of the EU, shifting it (if possible) towards a pro-Kosovar position. It does not matter if this is the case, if this is the real position of most EU countries. What matters is the way such position has been communicated to the public.
It seems that no one, nor the EU, nor Serbs, are learning from their past mistakes.

Which leads me to a conclusion: most probably change is guided more by ambition and blind will, then by wiseness.

Fourthly (an in the end), nothing changed in Northern Kosovo. Or, better to say, the IBM (the big “achievement” brought ahead by the Cooper) still remains on paper. I will try to move North, so to get some more informations on the matter.

Apart from everything, I have to communicate you all that the cappuccino in Pristina is extremely good. And when I say extremely, I mean that is the best I ever tasted in my life.

Should Serbia forget about EU? No, dear Kostunica. EU should re-think its values…

The first thing that I read this morning, while making my usual screening of world news, was this interesting confession by the father of the euro, Jacques Delors, affirming that the problems of the euro were born together with the common currency. Or, better to say, the roots, the seeds of the current crisis were already present in the moment the euro was created.

Curiously, former Serbian prime minister Vojslav Kostunica affirmed today  that Serbia should forget about EU and focus more on strengthen its internal policies to so stabilize itself as an independent state. “This new state policy [the agreement with Kosovo, supported by Tadic] and this new national goal that removes the issue of Serbia’s EU accession from the agenda is a natural consequence of the EU’s intention to snatch Kosovo away from Serbia”, these are Kostunica words.

The statement is has clear a election-campagne function. However, if my memory doesn’t fail me, the language used by Kostunica is peculiarly taken from Milosevic’s rhetoric of a strong, independent Serbia having a predominant role in the Balkans.
The huge clash of values going on between Serbian politicians is self-evident. Which is, more or less, of the same nature of the clash among pro-Europeans and Eurosceptics, going on in Brussels as well as in every and each of the 27 EU Member States.

Jacque Delors gave us the key  to solve both clashes: the euro system as such was born defected, handicapped. And since the EU, i.e. the pivotal argument around which both of the aforementioned clashes turn around is a rotten system from within, both Kostunica argument and Eurosceptics one are of no use.

Why? Conservative, nationalistic and protectionistics attempt to find a domestic solution to the European political and economical stalemate won’t lead to any effective solution, given the inter-dependence of EU political and economic future (so much for Adam Smith and its failed theories).

If it is true that the only possible future for Serbia is within the EU, it is also true that nowadays EU has a burden of historical mistakes that won’t make it possible to Serbia to join the Union without a disastrous cultural clash within its own society.

The only solution appears to reconstruct the European Union.
Recently, President Sarkozy took advantage of its position to propose a brave modification of the EU, down to its own roots: the EU founding treaties. I won’t comment on the measures proposed by Sarkozy, but I welcome the strong position of one of the major players within the EU arena.

If something has to change, this “something” cannot be anything else but the structure of the EU itself, so to make it more adherent to the real necessity of Europe, meant as the European continent.
This would be assure a sustainable new vision of the Union, which agrees with the geopolitical reality of the continent. This should be the common understanding over which our governors should re-build the EU system.

Rather then requesting societies which were integrated in Europe for centuries to torn, rape and dismantle their own cultural values (and I am referring to both Tadic and Merkel).

From your own correspondent: Novi Sad (Brussels in my mind).

Some might say, rightfully, that Novi Sad is the pearl of Serbia. It is indeed one of the most beautiful town I’ve ever had the pleasure to see. Counting on the fact that I will remain here for more then 2 weeks, I will be more than happy to update your touristic appetite at some point, when I’ll feel I have a better knowledge of the town. For the time being, have a look at some pics I’ve taken last night.

What makes me think at the moment is the news, delivered last night by several newspapers online, that the delegation of Serbia and the Kosovo representative reached an agreement on the “border”, on the base od the integrated border management (IBM) proposed by the EU.

First of all, it seems that saturday mornings here in Vojvodina are too quite and lazy, even for such a news. “Trafika” (newspaper and tobacco kiosks) are not crowded, as usual.

Secondly, and most importantly, the agreement has to be edited by Cooper (chief mediator for the European Union). Ergo, since the agreement was not signed yet, and we do not know the content of such agreement, there is room for a number of considerations.

The first comments concerns Serbian chances to be granted with the candidate status. If there is a single chance by Serbia to get the candidate status at this moment and time, this is due to the ongoing drafting agreement. Last week statements by EU leaders (Angela Merkel on top) led to no misunderstanding: Serbian path to the EU passes thought the normalization of relations with Kosovo. What remains unclear (or rather, what diplomatic languages left to Serbians hope and to the imagination of a blogger…) is the meaning of “normalization”. But I guess that both me and Serbians will be disappointed to know the answer, on Dec. 9th.

Aside from the Council decision, it will be fundamental to measure people’s unrest after the two bad news (no candidature and a fishy agreement with Pristina).

It is my conviction that Serbians are too tired to pick weapons up and solve the Kosovo issue “unilaterally” at this point.
Said that, those two bad news might surely arm Tadic chances to be re-elected as Prime Minister, favoring a nationalistic revival in the composition of next government. With a nationalistic government, unwilling to sit at the table together with Pristina, the chances for Serbians to join the EU are approximating zero.

If this will be the case, a huge responsibility will be played by those EU governments which are deliberately condemning the huge efforts made by Tadic government to modernize and reform Serbia. And at last, they will have a even greater responsibility in the (possible?) next breach to security on the European continent.

After sustainable growth, we should start talking about sustainable politics. EU foreign policy is still too much influenced by national interests to play any kind of political international role. Au detriment of the whole continent.
Once again.