Serbia at the crossroads – from winter to spring

Posted on 09. January 2012

by Lidija Pejcinovic

Lidija PejcinovicUnfortunately, speaking on the national level, we arrived late again. We are late with making the decision, with acts, and with motives. It seems that people in Serbia are still puzzled with one original question – What kind of EU do we want?

This question shows just how badly informed the average Serbian citizen is and how poor advertising has been provided by the media with regard to the EU issue over the last 12 years.  The famous sentence – ‘The way to hell is paved with the best intentions’ is confirmed once again considering the fact that big funds that were given by EU Member State governments’ and NGO’s were misused simply by bad governing. I do not refer here to classical misuse but to the fact that poor work was done with huge donations. It could be defined as spontaneous misuse, and wasted money, if I dare to say it.

Nobody answers the question – Can we choose the EU or do we have to customize to meet their standards? The simplest example would be the following comparison: if you do not fulfill dress code standards you are not able to enter a party. So why are we not able to think as simply as that? Why do none of the politicians or the EU agencies established in Serbia succeed in reaching our public with simple words and simple comparisons? Where does the real problem lie?

While Serbian people are deciding whether they would like to let the EU to become a part of their lives, they are also going through enlightenment due to the lights of the pre-election campaign by domestic political parties. In the spring, besides the decision on the candidate status, the national elections are also to be held. Most of the national media are spreading a picture of the EU which generally sounds like this:

– The EU is an entity where internal clashes happen, where the crisis is long lasting and has no chance of getting better, where banks collapse, and where people are losing jobs and becoming desperate.

Such statements are usually followed by a master piece conclusion which is – Serbia has existed for 22 years, since the Balkans wars in the 1990’s, why do we need the EU if they do not want us?

Serbia did not obtain the title of EU ‘candidate’ in December 2011, but looks forward to the next year, even if it is under question whether candidate status might be given to Serbia in March 2012, when the next decision should be made by the EU institutions.

It is true that no matter what happens with the candidature Serbia will still be a country in which most of the citizens believe that after you cross some borders you are still on your own territory, a country where most of the citizens believe that the Serbian women are the most beautiful creatures on the globe, and where the mortality rate has risen more than the birthrate annually in recent years, it will still be the State with the most expensive petrol in the region and with the highest consumption of it, and for sure with many other specific things that I cannot even remember right now, but I recognize them in a glance as soon as they pop up in everyday life. Therefore, no matter what happens in the near future I am sure that Serbia will be a recognizable state, with D identity (D is not a mistake, but refers to the D-days and other Ds, and stands instead of the, since we are used to substitutes here, in the south) with or without EU.

As long as it concerns the EU or Serbia, I am sure that the spring will come to both destinations right at the same time, and that this will be the right time for the future to try to come into the present state of things, minds and hearts. Maybe then, with the sunrise of a new day, we would be able to think about the EU space at least as a space of common culture, new possibilities, where better chances for education are obtainable and the diversity of cuisine – foods, and drinks, is just an additional plus.

So, anyhow, cheers!