Civil society in Serbia puts forward progressive foreign policy initiative

Tirana Times
By Tirana Times February 27, 2019 11:16

Civil society in Serbia puts forward progressive foreign policy initiative

The most influential civil society organizations and think tanks in Serbia have put forward an ambitious and forward thinking initiative regarding the main pillars of Serbian foreign policy. The initiative was signed by 18 organizations including well-known names such as European Movement Serbia, Belgrade Center for Political Excellence and Serbian Helsinki Committee among others.

It calls for four main comprehensive objectives which are strategic for the future of Serbia and the entire region, as well as for the process of European integration in particular. The initiative strongly encourages and supports dialogue and consensus for the normalization of relations between Belgrade and Prishtina, asserting that the lack of a solution can bring Serbia to an isolated and “extremely unfavorable position.”

Furthermore European integration is reestablished as a major national goal, which will be key in modernizing the society. The initiative demands enhanced action regarding integration despite acknowledging the difficulties that the EU’s internal dynamics pose now for aspiring countries. Thirdly, the initiative puts forward the imperative priority of cooperation with neighbors and final resolution of border issues with Bosnia and Herzegovina, Croatia and Montenegro.

Finally in an act of civic responsibility, the organizations call for the stop of negative media campaigns against NATO, stressing that “partnership with NATO is of a vital interest for Serbia.” Most interestingly, the organizations bring the example of other Western Balkan countries various achievements, saying that “none of them succeeded in achieving its national strategic interests without the full cooperation and partnership with NATO.”

At a time when the dialogue process between Serbia and Kosovo has stalled due to the imposing of the tariff of 100 percent on Serbian goods and most importantly there are multiple scenarios being discussed about a potential final resolution of the situation between the two countries, this initiative is impressive in its progressiveness and vision.

Furthermore, it does not shy away from mentioning boldly the need to improve and deepen collaboration with NATO, still considered a taboo in many segments of Serbian politics and society.

This public initiative from civil society also comes at a time when Belgrade has been experiencing some of the largest popular protest against President Alexander Vucic.

 

Tirana Times
By Tirana Times February 27, 2019 11:16