This time around we have also asked the representatives of the authorities, diplomatic corps, international institutions, business associations, media and many others to express their views on the possible re-arrangement of power in the world, the European and regional political scene, the influences on Serbia’s accession to the EU, economic development, investments in culture, and as an inevitable question this year, elections which are taking place in many countries, including Serbia. We talked to the Minister for EU Integration
We are witnessing numerous political and social turbulence that can cause political and social order to be modified not only globally but also in Serbia. To what extent can these developments slow or halt the EU integration process?
Global trends are called ‘global’ because they affect everyone; it is only a matter of scope and depth of change. We are on the threshold of major transformational changes at the global level, primarily in the domain of new forms of socio-economic development that also require a corresponding change in political action. This change needs to be global and orderly so that everybody can be potential winners. The reform process carried out by this and the previous Government, in synergy with the President of Serbia, Aleksandar Vučić, has demonstrated in an up-to-date and far-reaching way, that we realized what has been ‘brewing’ on a global scale, and quickly prepared ourselves, mostly through the axis of the European integration process in order to be successful participants in that great change so that our citizens can benefit. These demanding reforms were a good test of the maturity of Serbian citizens, and even though they have been implemented always and everywhere in Serbia and have been rather unpopular and not easy, citizen support for a development platform formulated by the Government and the ruling party in synergy with the Serbian President, Aleksandar Vučić has been consistently good and even growing. Therefore, with the active consolidation of the EU as our most important partner, and the defined enlargement policy, which is a pillar of effective transformation in the EU and boosting its competitiveness, I believe that Serbia’s path to the EU accession, as a leading framework for our development, will continue for the benefit of all – Serbia, the EU, Member States, our and the EU citizens.
Parliamentary elections will take place soon, with a part of the opposition announcing an election boycott. Is such an approach a mitigating or aggravating circumstance for the governing structure?
Elections are an instrument and test of democracy in which everyone has their responsibilities, to vote and to be elected. Some parts of the opposition, but most importantly not the major part, have decided to deny themselves the right to be elected i.e. the right for some citizens to maybe choose them. This is an irresponsible and essentially undemocratic policy. The ruling party, the Serbian Progressive Party (SNS), has shown that it is ready for dialogue with anyone from the Serbian political spectrum who actually wanted to engage in dialogue. Several rounds of dialogue on improving electoral conditions took place under the auspices of the EP and many things were harmonized and implemented, as a result. Undoubtedly, the electoral conditions in this election cycle are now better than ever. Besides, the SNS’ initiative to reduce the electoral threshold from 5 to 3 per cent, shows to what extent we are aware that the welfare economics, which we, as in the SNS, and the Government have managed to implement for the benefit of citizens, obliges us to expand the horizontal of participation of all relevant representatives of different political ideas and interests. I expect the citizens to recognize that and to support the inclusive, democratic and prosperous policies that the SNS, as the backbone of the Government, and President Vučić lead and offer to the citizens of Serbia.