Judy Dempsey:

Dug put Zapadnog Balkana prema Evropi

“Ne možete zamisliti koliko je postalo ozbiljno na Zapadnom Balkanu”, kaže Sonja Licht, neumorna predsjednica nezavisne organizacije Beogradskog fonda za političku izuzetnost. “Siromašni i ranjivi, od kojih su većina Romi, odlaze kako bi pobjegli od bijede i siromaštva”, izjavila je Lichtova za Carnegie Europe.

21.10.2015.

Judy Dempsey:

The Western Balkans’ Long March to Europe

“You can’t imagine how serious it has become in the Western Balkans,” said Sonja Licht, the indefatigable president of the Belgrade Fund for Political Excellence, an independent think tank. “The poor and the vulnerable, most of whom are Roma, are leaving in order to escape the abject poverty,” Licht told Carnegie Europe.

21.10.2015.

Nema mnogo dobrih vijesti na Zapadnom Balkanu. Ali ovo bi se moglo promijeniti nakon što su, 15. avgusta, Kosovo i Srbija potpisali značajan sporazum koji ova dva susjeda može približiti EU.

Ovaj sporazum, pod palicom Federice Mogherini, šefice za vanjsku politiku EU, ostao je u sjeni desetina hiljada izbjeglica koji bježe od ratova u Siriji i Iraku. Izbjeglice su iskoristile Zapadni Balkan – koji se sastoji od Albanije, Bosne i Hercegovine, Kosova, Makedonije, Crne Gore i Srbije – kao prolaz da stignu u zemlje EU, posebno Njemačku.

Azil u Evropi ne traže samo ljudi sa Bliskog istoka i dijelova Afrike, o čemu će lideri EU, uključujući njemačku kancelarku Angelu Merkel, razgovarati sa svojim kolegama sa Zapadnog Balkana na samitu u Beču, 27.avgusta. Njemačka vlada računa da 40 posto onih koji traže azil u zemlji dolaze iz Srbije ili Kosova. Četrdeset posto!

“Ne možete zamisliti koliko je postalo ozbiljno na Zapadnom Balkanu”, kaže Sonja Licht, neumorna predsjednica nezavisne organizacije Beogradskog fonda za političku izuzetnost. “Siromašni i ranjivi, od kojih su većina Romi, odlaze kako bi pobjegli od bijede i siromaštva”, izjavila je Lichtova za Carnegie Europe.

I ne samo to. “Takođe je i veliki odliv mozgova među mladima”, dodala je Lichtova. “Premalo je toga što ih ovdje može zadržati. Nezaposlenost mladih je oko 50 posto u Srbiji i preko 70 posto na Kosovu.”

Jedna od najvećih briga Lichtove je radikalizacija regiona što pothranjuje rast osjećaja protiv EU. Takav pesimističan scenario neće uraditi ništa da se iskorijeni rast korupcije ili ohrabre toliko potrebna strana ulaganja – a kamoli podstaknuti pokušaje da se uvedu ekonomske, političke i socijalne reforme, koje su zastale u cijelom regionu. Štaviše, izgled za pridruživanje u EU, čemu sve zemlje u regionu teže, će izblijediti, ometajući dugoročnu stabilnost i konsolidaciju demokratije u ovom dijelu Evrope.

To je razlog zašto samit u Beču, drugi ove vrste na inicijativu Njemačke, ne može ignorirati potencijalnu zapaljivost Zapadnog Balkana. Sastanak isto tako mora obnoviti evropsku perspektivu regiona umjesto da se usmjerava na migracionu krizu, koja dominira agendom u Beču.

Takva perspektiva je dobila poticaj 25.avgusta nakon sporazuma potpisanog u Briselu između srbijanskog premijera Aleksandra Vučića i njegovog kosovskog kolege Isa Mustafe. Sporazum će imati ogromne političke i psihološke implikacije za region. U biti, on pokreće Srbiju i Kosovo još jedan korak prema normalizaciji njihovih odnosa i, kao rezultat, za nadati se, bliže početku pregovora o priključenju u EU.

Za ova dva susjeda, koji su vodili krvavi rat 1998-1999, a koji je završen intervencijom NATO-a u Srbiji, važnost sporazuma se ne može precijeniti.

Srpska zajednica u sjevernom Kosovu, koja dugo bije bitku sa etničkom albanskom većinom na Kosovu, dobiće znatnu autonomiju u pitanjima sudstva i budžeta i moći će primati finansijsku pomoć iz Beograda. Zajednica će takođe imati svoje zvanične simbole kao što su grb ili zastava, potčinjeni kosovskom zakonu.

Za Kosovo u cjelini, koje je izglasalo nezavisnost 2008, ali koje Srbija i još nekoliko zemalja EU još moraju da priznaju, dobiće i svoj telefonski kod, što je veliki ustupak Srbije.

Ivan Knežević, zamjenik generalnog sekretara za EU Evropskog pokreta u Srbiji, nema sumnje da je privlačnost priključenja u EU jednog dana glavna pobuda za postizanje sporazuma. “Evropska perspektiva je važna i za Srbiju i za Kosovo”, rekao je Knežević za Carnegie Europe.

“Ovaj sporazum veoma ohrabruje. Doprinijeće normalizaciji odnosa. Nadam se da Brisel sada može otvoriti jedno od poglavlja s Beogradom”, dodao je, misleći na listu tema o kojima se pregovara između Evropske komisije i zemlje kandidata.

Ovaj proboj govori mnogo o opredijeljenosti Mogherini i njene prethodnice Catherine Ashton, da dođe do približavanja između Beograda i Prištine. Obje su uložile mnogo vremena za poboljšanje tih veza. Naravno, Brisel ima veliki interes za zatvaranje ovog dugog poglavlja nasilja i neprijateljstava. Samo sa zaključivanjem i bitnim reformama strani ulagači će se vratiti u region i porasti izgled za pridruživanje u EU.

Merkel je to naglasila prije godinu dana na samitu sa liderima Zapadnog Balkana u Berlinu i ponovo kad je u julu 2015. posjetila Beograd. “Posjeta Merkelove Beogradu bila je ključna. Njemačka podrška približavanju između Srbije i Kosova i integracija regiona u EU je isto toliko važna”, rekla je Lichtova.

Nadati se da će Evropska komisija početi razgovore sa Srbijom o pristupanju. “Nije slučajno što je sporazum potpisan baš uoči samita u Beču”, rekao je István Gyarmati, predsjednik Međunarodnog centra za demokratsku tranziciju. “To šalje jasnu poruku liderima o političkoj volji Srbije i Kosova da normaliziraju odnose. EU treba da otvori nekoliko poglavlja sa Srbijom.”

Sada će to biti dobre vijesti.

Good news is in short supply in the Western Balkans. But this could change after Kosovo and Serbia signed a landmark accord on August 25 that could bring these two neighbors closer to the EU.

The accord, shepherded by Federica Mogherini, the EU’s foreign policy chief, was overshadowed by the tens of thousands of refugees fleeing the wars in Syria and Iraq. The refugees have made the Western Balkans—which consist of Albania, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Kosovo, Macedonia, Montenegro, and Serbia—into a conduit to reach EU countries, especially Germany.

It is not only people from the Middle East and parts of Africa who are seeking asylum in Europe, as EU leaders, including German Chancellor Angela Merkel, will discuss with their counterparts from the Western Balkans during their summit in Vienna on August 27.

The German government reckons that 40 percent of those applying for asylum in the country come from Serbia or Kosovo. Forty percent!

“You can’t imagine how serious it has become in the Western Balkans,” said Sonja Licht, the indefatigable president of the Belgrade Fund for Political Excellence, an independent think tank. “The poor and the vulnerable, most of whom are Roma, are leaving in order to escape the abject poverty,” Licht told Carnegie Europe.

Not only that. “There is also a brain drain taking place among the youth,” added Licht. “There’s little to keep them here. Youth unemployment is around 50 percent in Serbia and over 70 percent in Kosovo.”

One of Licht’s biggest worries is the radicalization of the region that will feed growing anti-EU sentiments. Such a pessimistic scenario will do nothing to stem growing corruption or encourage much-needed foreign investment—let alone spur attempts to introduce economic, political, and social reforms, which have all but stopped across the region.

Moreover, prospects for joining the EU, to which all countries in the region aspire, would fade, hampering long-term stability and the consolidation of democracy in this part of Europe.

That is why the summit in Vienna, the second of its kind at the initiative of Germany, cannot ignore the potential combustibility of the Western Balkans. The meeting must also revive the region’s European perspective instead of just concentrating on the migration crisis, which is dominating the Vienna agenda.

Such a perspective received a fillip on August 25 after the accord signed in Brussels between AleksandarVučić, the prime minister of Serbia, and Isa Mustafa, his counterpart from Kosovo. The accord will have immense political and psychological implications for the region. In essence, it moves Serbia and Kosovo another step toward normalizing their relations and, as a result, it is hoped, closer to beginning EU accession negotiations.

For the two neighbors, which were plunged into a bloody war in 1998–1999 that ended with the intervention of NATO against Serbia, the importance of the agreement cannot be overestimated.

The Serb community in northern Kosovo, long at loggerheads with Kosovo’s ethnic Albanian majority, will be granted considerable autonomy over judicial and budgetary affairs and will be able to receive financial assistance from Belgrade. The community will also have its own official symbols such as a coat of arms or a flag, subject to Kosovar law.

As for Kosovo as a whole, which declared its independence in 2008 but which Serbia and several EU countries have yet to recognize, it will get its own telephone country code, a big concession by Serbia.

Ivan Knežević, deputy secretary general of the pro-EU European Movement in Serbia, has no doubt that the attraction of joining the EU one day was the main incentive for reaching some an accord. “The European perspective is just so important to Serbia and Kosovo,” Knežević told Carnegie Europe.

“This accord is very encouraging. It will contribute to the normalization of relations. I hope that Brussels can now open one of the chapters with Belgrade,” he added, referring to the list of topics that are negotiated between the European Commission and a candidate country.

The breakthrough says much too about the commitment by Mogherini and her predecessor, Catherine Ashton, to establishing a rapprochement between Belgrade and Prishtina. Both have invested much time in mending those ties. Of course, Brussels has a big interest in closing this long chapter of violence and animosity. Only with closure and substantial reforms will foreign investors return to the region and prospects for joining the EU will rise.

Merkel made those points a year ago during a summit with Western Balkan leaders in Berlin and again when she visited Belgrade in July 2015. “Merkel’s visit to Belgrade was crucial. Germany’s support for supporting the rapprochement between Serbia and Kosovo and the region’s integration to the EU is just so important,” Licht said.

The hope now is that the European Commission will begin accession talks with Serbia.

“The signing of the accord just before the Vienna summit is no coincidence,” said IstvánGyarmati, president of the International Center for Democratic Transition. “It sends a clear message to the leaders there about the political will of Serbia and Kosovo to normalize relations. The EU should open a few chapters with Serbia.”

Now that would be good news.

Carnegie Europe

Carnegie Europe

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Prevod: Dijalog BiH2.0

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