Rada pro mezinárodní vztahy PRACOVNÍ SEŠIT 2013

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1 Rada pro mezinárodní vztahy PRACOVNÍ SEŠIT 2013


3 Obsah Problematika Zahraniční rozvojové spolupráce, migrace a rozvojových zemí Prof. Darko Tanasković Turkey and the Balkans Prof. Predrag Simić Serbia: Continuity and Change after 2012 Elections Ivan Dobeš Montenegro in the Process of EU Integration Stanislav Stach Závěry konference O Balkánu Eva Petrlová Bosna a Hercegovina a její proces (ne)členství v Evropské unii Jozef Špánik Evropský rozvojový fond Jozef Špánik Finanční nástroje vnější spolupráce EU Stanislav Stach Valné shromáždění OSN o migraci a rozvoji Problematika Evropské unie Miloslav Had Kam spěje EU


5 Problematika Zahraniční rozvojové spolupráce, migrace a rozvojových zemí

6 Turkey and the Balkans Prof. Darko Tanasković The region of the Balkans is the third regional priority of Turkey according to the coordinates of the new strategic depth doctrine elaborated by its minister of foreign affairs Ahmet Davutoğlu, two others being the Middle East and the Caucasus. Although the world media and expert circles devote less attention to the active Turkish approach in the Balkans and to the region itself than is the case with the Middle East, or the Caucasian, the estimates that this region is in a certain sense the most important from the Neo-Ottomanist point of view can be heard with increasing frequency (see e.g. S. Constantinides, Turkey: The emergence of a new foreign policy the Neo-Ottoman model, Journal of Political and Military Sociology, 1, 1996, p. 3). This lessened interest for analytical monitoring of the Turkish approach to South Eastern Europe stems from several reasons. Firstly, there is a belief in the West that its ally Turkey, being a secular Muslim country with extensive experience in the region, can be a useful complementary factor to the EU and US involvement, with Turkey s comparative advantage being the existence of Muslim population in some Balkan countries. Despite the appearance and a certain influence of Arabian (Wahabi) and Iranian Islam in the Balkans during and after the wars in former Yugoslavia which cannot be disregarded, all serious and impartial expert estimates agree that, for Balkan Muslims, Turkey remains the Number one address in the Islamic world. The events of recent years confirm this beyond any doubt. It is indicative that at the end of 2009, Iran already started exhibiting certain nervousness in diplomatic contacts regarding prominent Turkish activism among Balkan Muslims. The USA now turning to other, global priorities, with only a limited and selective focus on the region of South Eastern Europe, find it convenient to leave the Balkans to the attention and control of Turkey, which they believe capable of organising the region in line with general American projections for the future. Washington still believes that Turkey s regional interests also fit within the framework of these projections. Since the overall security situation in the Balkans, unlike the Middle East or the Caucasus, and despite all unresolved contradictions and remaining uncertainties following the conflict in Kosovo and NATO intervention against Yugoslavia, is now relatively stable and no open conflict or a change of borders are expected, the relationship to all these factors, including the increasing Turkish activism, is perceived as a component of further stabilisation. Turkish diplomacy, naturally, strives to give this the appearance of truth. The benevolent stance to Turkish ambitions in the Balkans is also motivated by compensatory inclinations. Namely, it is considered that a more important role in the Balkans might be a kind of consolation prize for Turkey s unsuccessful efforts to integrate into the EU, and it would also strengthen Turkey s position as a regional leader in privileged partnership with EU, especially given that the road to Euro-integration for other countries in the region, with the exception of Croatia, might be of indefinite length. There has even been mention of the year 2020 as a deadline for Euro-integration. The fact that Turkey is a NATO member gives it additional regional credibility, since it is envisaged that the Pact will extend to include most countries in South Eastern Europe, and definitely those where Turkish policy is embraced most whole-heartedly (B-H, Albania, Macedonia). Unlike their dithering about the sustainability of their full partnership with Ankara in the Middle East and in the Caucasus, the US and their closest European allies still perceive Turkey as an ally and a useful contractor in the Balkans. This is why they have so far allowed Turkey to continue its activities in peace, without too much publicity, sheltered by unspoken political correctness, working through institutionalised forms and channels of regional cooperation. The fact that the subjects in international community whose judgement Turkey especially cares about consider Turkey a legitimate and reliable factor of peace, stability, and development in the Balkans (and we mustn t forget that the Balkans are a part of Europe) must be a strong motive for the foreign policy of this geographically mostly Asian country to feel the Balkan region as its practical and symbolic priority. To understand the Neo-Ottomanist perception of the Balkans, even more important than all the practical aspects is the need to understand what this region represents to the newly-awakened heirs of the Ottoman Empire in symbolic terms. If we fail to understand this, all the rational and logical conclusions drawn after observing the surface, monitoring events, and impartially considering all the facts, might miss their mark Neo-Ottomanism. The most important thing here is not the Balkan region itself, but the Turkish, or Neo-Ottomanist perception of the Balkans. And it is this perception which makes the region more important than both the Middle East and the Caucasus, since it gives the region the central position in the Neo-Ottomanist definition of modern Turks own identity as both legitimate heirs to the glory of an authentic Asian Muslim Empire and, not any less, indigenous Europeans. Both Kemalist and Islamist political and intellectual elites have long been equally fond of the idea of the Balkans, the Ottoman Rumelia, and not Anadolia, being the cornerstone of civilisational identity in Turkey which allows them to make the transition to universal modernity. Remote, mythical, Asian origins which lie at the foundations of the nationalist idea of Pan-Turkism and the abstract global Pan-Islamic 6

7 Community (Umma) haven t completely disappeared from the horizon of the collective definition of self of the polyvalent Turkish nation, but have been gradually pushed into the second position and have faded beside the perception of Rumelian roots to fully-fledged, albeit occasionally disputed Turkish European citizenship. The Balkan region, as the legacy of Ottoman Rumelia, is the key in the shaping of the concept and policy of Neo-Ottomanism. The Balkan region is not just one of the several which comprised the Ottoman Empire and which Turkey is now returning to in its foreign policy, but also a home, core region of the formation of the Neo-Ottomanist view of themselves and the world. Here is how economic historian and writer Mehmet Ali Kiliçbay expresses this in an essay entitled We are, indeed, Europeans about the Turkish position regarding the war in B-H: Turkey is to a greater extent the product of the Balkans than it is of Central Asia. [...] In our country today there are, of course, people whose ancestors came from Central Asia, but there are also those whose ancestors came from the Balkans. Which of these groups is the more numerous? No doubt, the latter. This is an unavoidable and undeniable second pillar of Turkish European identity. The Balkans left deep marks etched in the Turkish ethnic, cultural, and social being. [...] This is why Bosnia is important. We shouldn t fool ourselves! The drama in Bosnia is not the result of a Christian-Muslim conflict. Even if it were, Bosnia is not the only place where Muslim blood is being shed. Those who do not raise their voices in protest over the Iran-Iraq war, the civil war in Afghanistan and Algeria, the inter-armenian war, the bloodshed in Indonesia and in the Philippines... have no right to speak against the shedding of Muslim blood in Bosnia. The conflicts in Bosnia are also not a clash of civilisations. This is no wrestling match between the East and the West. Between the three nations, who eat the same food, sing and listen to the same songs, speak the same language, and intermarry, there are no civilisational and cultural differences. Different religions do not mean different civilisations. Those who remain unconvinced should be reminded that Croats and Serbs, who share the same religion, also kill each other. The war in Bosnia is an effort to throw Turkey out of Europe and to send it East, to banish it to the East to which it has never belonged and which it has always considered peripheral. It is a fateful war, waged against us by fascists to avenge themselves for Kosovo. We are from the Balkans, we are Europeans. Denying our own identity can bring no good to anyone (M. A. Kılıçbay, Biz Zaten Avrupalıyız, Istanbul, 1997, p ). This long quote can hardly put it any more eloquently! It is better than any involved argumentation, characteristic of the scientific method, to shed light on the position of the Balkans in the identity discourse of Neo- Ottomanism, and the attitude to the war in B-H which is derived from it, and which was the foundation and the guiding principle of the selective but consistent Turkish policy to the protagonists of the dramatic events in the region of former Yugoslavia. Davutoglu s doctrine of strategic depth is based on the same values and ideas. Davutoğlu himself also once said that The Ottoman Empire was primarily a Balkan country (see H. Çelik, Türkiye Balkanlar da yeniden oyun kurucu olmak istiyor, Posta, ). This is the logical sequence Neo-Ottomanists employ: The Ottoman Empire was a Balkan country. Turkey is the heir of the Ottoman Empire. Turkey is a Balkan country, the Balkan Peninsula is a part of Europe, and Turkey is a European country. Muslims in the Balkans are the pillar of Turkish European identity. Destroying the Balkan Muslims is aimed at destroying the European identity of Turkey. Turkey cannot just quietly watch and do nothing. There are millions of Muslims who originally came from the Balkans in Turkey, and they are clamouring that something be done. Turkey has both the responsibility and the obligation to get involved and it is doing so. The manner and means of Turkish action are adjusted according to the circumstances. But the goal does not change: to turn the Balkan region into a new, stable Rumelia. The new Rumelia is knocking at the gates of Europe, but is refused entrance. Outside the gates, Rumelia is left with/to Turkey. This seems like a simplified, even implausible scenario. It will most likely not be completely actualised, but it is quite certain that Neo-Ottomanism has quite deliberate and serious aspirations to making it happen. This creates an obligation for Neo-Ottomanism to be taken seriously, primarily in the Balkan countries, and preferably also in Europe, to which the Balkan region, unlike Turkey, definitely belongs. A critical approach to the Neo-Ottomanist perception, and especially its political operationalisation, of the fact that there have been several century-long and multiple connections between the Balkan nations and the Turks in history, should never question this fact. It is undeniable. By denying the real civilisational connections of the Balkans with the cultural heritage of the Ottoman Empire, a denial of Neo-Ottomanist ideological and political capitalising on these facts would just be unconvincing and transform into an equally untenable counter-ideology. And yet there have been such attempts among the Balkan critics of Neo-Ottomanism. These critics, among other things, criticised renowned Bulgaria scholar Marija Todorova for the theses expounded in her well-known study Imagining the Balkans (the following quotations have been taken from the foreword of the second edition of the translation into Serbian from 2006 and from the 2009 English edition of the book published by OUP). Todorova was especially criticised for believing that the Balkans is not just a Byzantine 7

8 but also Ottoman legacy, and her statement that the Ottoman Empire cannot be defined as colonialist, in the manner of France or Great Britain, and that therefore the fight of the Balkan nations for liberation from the Ottomans cannot be defined as de-colonisation, has also been challenged. Needless to say, these and some other concepts in Balkanologist Marija Todorova s vision, keeping in mind the world-wide reputation of this scholar, were warmly welcomed by Turkish Neo-Ottomanists and their non Turkish sympathisers and taken as confirmation of their views. For example, a Mr. Atanas Vangelis, dubbed an informal leader of Macedonian anti-national youth, quoting Todorova, suggests in Skopje s Globus that we should no longer speak of the Ottoman legacy in the Balkans, but instead of the Ottoman legacy that is the Balkans (see Courrier, 1007, , p. 18). But if accepted without the burden of ideology, it is precisely these qualifications by Marija Todorova that provide the most convincing argumentation for forming a suitable and balanced view, both of the component of Ottoman legacy/heritage in the Balkan culture, and of the Neo-Ottomanist political aspirations justified through ideological instrumentalisation of the fact that such heritage/legacy exists. Marija Todorova also remarks that half a millennium of Ottoman power in the peninsula also brought it both its name and the longest period of political unity in its entire history (Imagining the Balkans, foreword to the Serbian edition p. 26), which is a most convenient statement for Neo-Ottomanists, given their idea that it would be in the best interests of the region to somehow recreate this unity in the present circumstances. The mention of the need to study the mechanism of the Ottoman legacy and its continuity in the sphere of politics, culture, society and economy, where it has proved to be quite persistent (Ibidem) also met with Neo- Ottomanist approval. The proponents of Neo-Ottomanism, just like the majority of its opponents, however, fail to note the pervasive line of reasoning in the analytical procedure Marija Todorova uses to examine the above-mentioned mechanism of the Ottoman legacy. Todorova focuses on the different ways this legacy is perceived, and this perception means on the one hand, an interaction between the past, continuously returning and accumulating, and the equally persistent and numerous perceptions held by the generations of people who redefine and re-evaluate this past, on the other hand. In other words, it is not a question of reconstructing the past, but of constructing the past through historiography, prose, newspaper articles, and everyday discourse, (Imagining the Balkans, foreword to Serbian edition, p. 27). This is, in fact, Todorova s perception, and a construction of ideas, which is something every one of us is fully entitled to, and not a reconstruction that Neo-Ottomanists aspire to achieve by political and other anti-historical means. After the period between 1912 and 1923, the common terminus post quem[...]the Ottoman period in the self-consciousness of the Balkan political elites became only a matter of historical reflection (Imagining the Balkans, p. 170 English edition), while thereafter it [The Ottoman legacy] was relegated to the realm of perception (Imagining the Balkans, p. 181, English edition). There followed an entire century during which The countries defined as Balkan (i.e., the ones that participated in the historical Ottoman sphere) have been moving steadily away from their Ottoman legacy, and with this also from their balkanness, a statement that is devoid of any evaluative element (Imagining the Balkans, p. 183, English edition). Balkan countries readily renounced any pretensions to the Ottoman past, and saw Turkey as its legitimate heir. Therefore, when dealing with Turkish nationalism, they often ascribe to it imperial, Ottoman ambitions. At the same time, despite the refutation of the Ottoman imperial past, the Turks still view themselves as its genuine successors. The present active Balkan policy of Turkey, which is articulating its geopolitical interests in the form of protection over Muslims, certainly does not help refute these perceptions (Imagining the Balkans, p. 178, English edition). There is simply no need to add anything to the above. A century ago history took a certain direction. Is there any logic in attempting to change its direction through political activity, and through a random ontologisation of our own subjective perceptions and interests, and not actual facts and relations? One should be careful when using certain terms and concepts, and serious books should be read in a careful and responsible manner. Marija Todorova s arguments are convincing in support of her conclusion that the Ottoman Empire was not a classic colonialist empire, and that thus the struggle of different nations to be free of it is not the same as the process of decolonisation. Nowhere in the book, however, does the Bulgarian scholar question the liberating character and outcome of that struggle. Looking back on the past in ideological terms, but looking towards the future in terms of interests, Turkish Neo-Ottomanist foreign policy in the Balkans began systematically to revise and change history since 1980s. A thorough discussion of Turkey s activities toward any individual Balkan country, or selectively, towards the ethnic and religious communities living in each, would go far beyond the scope of this general discussion of Neo-Ottomanism. We shall therefore add just a few general remarks in the pages to follow. But first, it would not be amiss to repeat a basic assumption that the Neo-Ottomanist policy in the Balkans systematically relies on the Muslim communities in the region, seeing its own chance to establish influence in the region, and beyond, in boosting their strength. Everything else is instrumentally aligned in relation to this pivotal premise 8

9 and has no independent value of its own. In his extensive work Strategic Depth, Ahmet Davutoğlu provides a detailed and comprehensive explanation of this moral and geopolitical priority in Turkish foreign policy. Recalling that during the Post-Ottoman era there was systematic destruction of Ottoman cultural heritage and eradication of its spiritual legacy in the Balkans, which was something weak Turkey could not prevent at the time, Davutoğlu concludes that this process had gone the furthest in Greece and Bulgaria (p. 54). This is precisely why it is necessary to focus on the two traditional pillars of Ottoman-Turkish policy, the Bosniaks and the Albanians (p. 316). It was no accident that these two nations, which had become very influential during the times of greatest Ottoman power, were hit the hardest during the decline of the Empire and after its fall, remarks the architect of the Neo-Ottomanist revival. The future of Bosniaks and Albanians, both geo-culturally and geopolitically, has the status of the key to the Balkans (p. 317), and Turkey must therefore ensure that this future be as certain and bright as possible. This kind of effort is not just an unalienable responsibility and a burden for Turkey, it is also the most important means of establishing the zone of Turkish influence in the Balkans. A strong Albania and Bosnia, whose ranks Kosovo might now join, are of particular interest for Turkey, since they would be the only means to counter the Russian (through Serbs and Bulgarians) and German (through Croats and Slovenians) influence in the region (B. Devlen, Balkanlar ve Türk Dış Politikası, Balkan Strateji, 1, 4, 2010, p. 12). For Turkey, the crescent going South-West and stretching from Bihać, through Central and Eastern Bosnia, via Sanjak, Kosovo, Albania, Macedonia, the Karjali region, and all the way to Eastern Thrace is the geopolitical and geocultural jugular of the Balkans, says Davutoğlu explicitly. Since during the Bosnian war the Serbian intention was precisely to sever this line, everything that could possibly be done was to be done to hold it and lend it strength. It therefore follows that leaving almost the whole of Eastern Bosnia to the Serbs was, according to Davutoğlu, a dangerous thing, not just for the balance in Bosnia but for the entire region. If the connection between Sanjak, Kosovo, and Bosnia were completely severed, Bosniaks would be abandoned to the Croatian influence, and Sanjak and Kosovo (exclusively) to that of Serbia. It was of utmost importance, emphasizes the Turkish minister, to preserve at least the existing corridor near Goražde (p. 306). In harmony with this view of priorities in the region, Turkey steadfastly supported the Muslims in Bosnia- Herzegovina/Bosniaks during the Yugoslav crisis. This is a well-known fact and there is no need to present additional information or arguments to demonstrate it. Turkish authors and officials do not deny this obvious partiality, but they interpret it as a constructive stand in the circumstances when the regional balance was allegedly disturbed by an unequal war between Serbs and Bosniaks, and later between Serbs and Albanians in Kosovo. By recognising all newly-created states and consistently supporting their survival, it is claimed, Turkey strove for a peaceful resolution of disagreements, which was also the aim of its unsuccessful urging for a timely international intervention and putting an end to the bloodshed in B-H. To gain more insight into the essential continuity of Neo-Ottomanist logic of legitimising Turkey s approach to the events in the Balkans, it might be interesting to read the representative work entitled Identity and sovereignty in the Balkans (Istanbul, 2005) by political scientist Şule Kut, a scholar who has been working in this field for years, and, according to some established academic divisions, is of the so-called Pro-Western orientation. She not only searches for the root of Balkan trouble in the region s past (= historical depth ), but she even recognises a consistent link between Ataturk s principle of securing peace at home and in the world, on the one hand, and the unambiguously one-sided, self-serving, and interventionist position of Turkey during the Yugoslav crisis, on the other. Despite the appearance of radical Arab-style Islam of the Wahabi and Neo-Salafi type in the region of former Yugoslavia during the war in B-H and the efforts to consolidate its position in time of peace with ample financial support from Saudi Arabia and other Islamic centres, and regardless of Iran s unmistakable interest in Balkan Muslims coupled with its concrete organisational and propaganda efforts, most experts in Balkan Islam have no doubt about the dominant influence of Turkish official and unofficial factors on the trends inside the Muslim communities in the Balkans. For instance, French scholar Xavier Bougarel remarks that, while other Muslim countries see the Balkans in essentially symbolic terms, Turkish diplomacy defines its policy in the Balkans taking some very concrete elements as its point of departure. Moreover, Turkey has developed its own religious policy in the Balkans, by means of the Directorate of Religious Affairs (Diyanet İşleri Başkanlığı) which establishes a close cooperation with local Islamic communities, giving them significant logistic, expert, and human resources support, whether indirectly or through its foundation (Diyanet Vakfı). This is Turkey s attempt to maintain a certain level of control and influence on the trends in Balkan Islam and suppress influences from other parts of the Islamic world, to be specific, the Saudi/Arabian or Iranian influence. The establishment of (1995) the Eurasian Islamic Council comprising the Islamic communities from the Balkans, Caucasus, and Central Asia, on Turkish initiative, was Turkey s response to the establishment of the Islamic Council of Eastern Europe under the auspices of the Muslim World League (Rabita), supported by Saudi Arabia. Although Turkey has always acted within the general front of Islamic solidarity with its endangered brothers in the Balkans 9

10 declaratively and in propaganda terms, it has used all available means to keep the prominent status of the most reliable ally of Balkan Muslims, and with full understanding of the West, primarily the USA. When in 1996 Ankara organised an international conference to secure funding for training and arming the B-H Army, the only country not invited was Iran, although it had given open and ample assistance to the Muslims in Bosnia and Herzegovina during the war. However, what did cause scandal and was the reason the gathering partly failed was the unexplained absence of Saudi Arabia, which was almost routinely expected to be one of the biggest donors. In all likelihood, the palace in Riyyad did not feel like opening its purse and having Turkey take all the glory of the chief benefactor. In the end, only Turkey and the USA committed themselves to a certain amount of material assistance to B-H armed forces. Bougarel also points to the fact that the totality of Turkish religious osmosis with Balkan Muslims is realised to a greater degree through non-institutional and unofficial, but no less efficient channels, i.e. through contacts of religious organisations (e.g. Fethullah Gülen s groups), emissaries of Islamic and nationalist parties, and the intellectual circles of Neo-Ottomanist inspiration with the political and religious representatives of Balkan Muslims (X. Bougarel, Vecchio Islam e nuovo Islam nei Balcani contemporanei, Storia religiosa dell Islam nei Balcani, Milano, 2008, p. 477). Despite the change in its now calmer rhetoric, and its adjustment to the new circumstances in the region at the very end of XX century, especially after Slobodan Milošević was no longer in power in Serbia, Turkey s selective treatment of the protagonists of political events in the region of former Yugoslavia has remained unchanged. In order to continue the implementation of the same long-term strategy, however, the tactics had to be adjusted to the new regional and international situation, at which Neo-Ottomanists again proved their considerable skill. Just like Turkish President Süleyman Demirel once (1995) mediated in Split between Alija Izetbegović and Franjo Tuđman, and gave his contribution towards tying the war flags of Bosniaks and Croats to the same pole, nowadays Ahmet Davutoğlu, R. Tayyip Erdogan, and Abdullah Gül are taking over the intensive, multi-sided role of go-betweens with Serbian, Bosniak, and Croatian leaders, for the sake of stabilising the situation and prosperity in B-H, and all in the name of a common European future. And this would be a noble and praise-worthy effort if Turkey treated all the participants in this process equally, and was not objectively still a Bosniak ally, except now in the guise of peace-time advocate. Turkish officials do not even attempt to conceal this bias, even though they always add as justification that they have the welfare of the entire B-H, all B-H citizens, and the entire region at heart. Reporting on the articles from renowned Istanbul Hürriyet newspaper, Sarajevo Dnevni avaz newspaper ( ), carried the headline Turkey wishes to strengthen the Bosniak position, and wrote about the statements of the Turkish Ministry of Foreign Affairs, that the EUinitiated process is not taking into account the interests of the Bosnian Muslims well enough, which is why this is part of an action plan developed by the Turkish government to avoid a collapse of the nation-building process in Bosnia as well as strengthen the hand of the Bosnian Muslims. Completely in line with the demand to intensify and speed up the new foreign policy, Davutoğlu initiated a series of bilateral and trilateral meetings with his counterparts from Serbia and B-H, with the idea that at a later stage all four foreign ministers might visit Brussels, Moscow, and Washington together. This provoked a rapid response from commentators both in Belgrade and in Zagreb, who remarked that in that case Bosniaks would have two, and Serbia and Croatia one minister each representing them, and the issue of how far these ministers could represent the interests of B-H Serbs or Croats remained open. Since it is questionable how far their wishes and opinions might be represented by even by then the B-H Foreign Minister, Sven Alkalaj, most citizens of B-H would practically be rendered voiceless in these talks at the highest level, so important for their fate. According to the same source, Turkish diplomacy has further plans to form a group of friends of B-H, which might be comprised of both neighbouring countries and countries in the region, such as Croatia, Albania, Macedonia, Bulgaria, and Romania, and countries such as Norway, Slovenia, and Spain. There was no mention of Serbia or Greece. The same source added that Turkey would act as the voice of B-H in the NATO, and it is counted on Slovenia to assume that role in the EU. If the Turkish action plan is realised, Bosnia and Herzegovina will not lack for friends. The question is: what will B-H then be like? It would most certainly be the kind of B-H that Turkey and its Bosnian protégés desire, a unitary and functional B-H. It is a priority of the state (B-H) to create an efficient government structure. Attempts to undermine authorities in the central government will not bring any good to any ethnic group. Turkey wishes to see integration, not fragmentation, prevail in Bosnia-Herzegovina and that is the desire of the international community, Turkish President Abdullah Gül clearly stated in an interview prior to his visit to Belgrade (Danas, ). This impetus for Turkish diplomacy s Neo-Ottomanist activities in the Balkans, and the ready reception it was given by some high-ranking counterparts in the region of former Yugoslavia caused visible satisfaction in the Turkish public, and there are more and more frequent remarks 10

11 about how, in the role of big brother, Turkey is once again playing the game in Rumelia. Special delight was caused by the diplomatic response of Ahmet Davutoğlu to remarks of Western diplomatic circles in the Balkans that Turkey had dropped in, as if by parachute, onto the political scene in the region: We didn t drop in, we came to Bosnia on horseback, many centuries ago. And if need be, we will come again (see H. Çelik, Türkiye Balkanlar da yeniden oyun kurucu olmak istiyor, Posta, ). Just how carefully devised Turkish activities in the Balkans are, as one of the long-term foreign policy and civilisational priorities, can be testified to by the starting, in early 2010, of a bilingual Turkish-English Balkan Strategy (Balkan Strateji) publication of the Balkan Strategic Research Center (BASAM), where you can read everything about the Balkans. Davutoğlu suggests that in all activities in the Balkans balanced and coordinated attention should be paid to the existence of three concentric geopolitical circles, or rings. The inner ring comprises Kosovo (and thus of necessity Serbia), Albania, and Macedonia, the middle ring comprises Greece, Serbia, Bulgaria, Turkey, and Bosnia and Herzegovina, while the outer ring comprises Croatia, Hungary, and Romania, with the potential for influence on the middle ring (which is actualised in the case of Croatia). Croatia is important for B-H, and Hungary because of the Serbia s region Vojvodina. It is a priority for Turkey that Albania and the entire Albanian national corpus be strengthened and stabilised in all spheres, since an increased presence of Greece and Italy in this key country might be unfavourable for Turkey and its regional interests. Davutoğlu sees Albania as a kind of seismograph for Balkan trends and it is therefore imperative for Turkey to give it the closest possible attention in all respects. Davutoğlu is aware of the delicacy of Macedonian-Albanian relations, and the risk that their deterioration might pave the way for Greek, Serbian, and Bulgarian influence on the country which is practically divided on the inside. Therefore Turkey must, on the one hand, work persistently on the overall improvement of Macedonian-Albanian relations, and, on the other hand, influence Albanians in Macedonia to use their civil rights in the most efficient manner so that the Albanian half of the population would be able to preserve the integrity of Macedonia, which is under constant Serbian, Greek, and Bulgarian pressure (p. 320). As far as the tactics for the second ring of countries is concerned, the most important thing there is for Turkey to timely respond to any attempts to establish closer cooperation or sign agreements between these countries with an initiative to reach constructive counter-agreements, preventing the balance from swinging against Ankara and its regional protégés. In this sphere, it is essential to frustrate any moves towards the establishment of a Serbian-Greek-Bulgarian bloc, since according to Davutoğlu its establishment would naturally lead to an increase in the pressure against the inner (Kosovo-Albanian-Macedonian) strategic ring, which is of vital importance to Turkey. It is indicative that Davutoğlu does not question the existence of a Greek-Serbian axis for a minute, and recommends very active preventative efforts aimed at Bulgaria. These efforts would include establishing bilateral and multilateral ties between Bulgaria and Turkey, and creating a mechanism which would constantly feel its pulse, best done by means of a permanent joint commission. Considering the fact that prior to its accession to the EU Bulgaria had had to meet the condition of solving all outstanding issues with its neighbours (and there had been several with Turkey, which had taken several years to resolve), and owing to the fact that the Turkish minority party, Movement for Rights and Freedoms, led by astute Ahmet Doğan, managed to be the one to tip the scales in the coalition combinations of left and right-wing parties for several years in a row, Turkey has to a great extent managed to turn Bulgaria into a nonproblematic neighbour. All Bulgarian governments after the toppling of Todor Zhivkov and his immediate successors have mostly had a passive and cautious policy towards Turkey, although occasional sparks have flown, which was (and is, in future) only to be expected given the difficult historical legacy in the relations between the two countries. This refers especially to the effect of the so-called Revival process ( ), aimed at ethnic Bulgarisation and/or banishment of the members of the large Turkish minority (approximately 10% of the total population) in Bulgaria. The demands to correct the injustices against ethnic Turks, over 300,000 of who were then forced to emigrate to Turkey, were met with demands of the Bulgarian side for compensation for the property of 250,000 Bulgarians who had been forced to flee Turkish oppression in Eastern Turkey after the Balkan wars (1913). (An Agreement from 1925 which was to have corrected those had never been put in effect.) In general, a significant percentage of Bulgarian population perceives the constructive policy of Bulgarian government(s) in the relations with its powerful neighbour as unnecessary and potentially harmful pro-turkish orientation. For example, the extra-parliamentary nationalist Bulgarian National Movement party, heir to the IMRO party, even launched a national-wide campaign to collect signatures against Turkey s accession to the EU, aiming to gather enough support (500,000 signatures) to organise a referendum on this issue. On 3 rd March 2009, the Bulgarian National Alliance Ataka organised a series of events to mark 11

12 the anniversary of Bulgaria s liberation from five centuries under the Ottoman yoke. Although, realistically speaking, it is not very likely that these or any similar actions will have significant influence on the course that Bulgarian political establishment has adopted towards Turkey, for several reasons, we still should not overlook the possibility that the realisation of one of the Neo-Ottomanist policy priorities, reducing the problems with neighbours to zero, might meet with certain difficulties in the Bulgarian context. How many difficulties, how serious, and when, will depend on the changes in the macroregional, European, and international situation. The very fact that Boyko Borisov became Bulgarian Prime Minister in 2009 speaks for itself, and is not in contradiction with estimates that during the first decade of the third millennium there has been a visible increase of anti-turkish sentiment in the Bulgarian public. Borisov is a political fighter remembered for his statements that Roma, Turks, and pensioners are bad human material, and that the Turkish minority in Bulgaria are Bulgarian Muslims who live on Bulgarian territory (in an interview for German Spiegel, ). Near the end of 2009, Turkish Prime Minister Erdoğan openly warned his Bulgarian counterpart about this anti-turkish mood. What certainly attracts attention and provides food for thought is the fact that in his foreign policy doctrine, developed in great detail in over 500 pages of his manifest work Strategic Depth, a book in which all relevant factors are devoted adequate attention, there are only two Balkan countries towards which Ahmet Davutoğlu does not formulate any foreign policy principles for a deliberate approach namely Greece and Serbia. It is clear that in strategic terms these countries are still seen as factors against which, and not with which to implement regional Turkish policy, even when there is cooperation with the two countries, which is inevitable. Given that Greece is a member of both the EU and NATO, the relations and resolving the open and chronic issues with Greece are put in the absorbing context of activities inside these two big systems and trends within them, like a permanently problematic variable which can nonetheless be kept under control. This is especially true due to the passive Greek position in recent years, resulting from a number of reasons including serious internal difficulties. The Greek-Turkish Cooperation Council has existed since 1996, and during Prime Minister Erdoğan s visit to Greece (14 May 2010), which he again described as very important and historic, around two dozen bilateral Agreements in various spheres were signed. At this moment in their history, it is obvious that both the Neo-Hellenic and Neo-Ottomanist sides can find enough interest to be consistent in their defence of constructive neighbourly relations. Serbia is never mentioned as anything other than an inherent part of the Balkan puzzle in Davutoğlu s projection of new Turkish foreign policy based on the doctrine of strategic depth, and never appears in it as an important partner in its own right. This is in glaring disproportion to the attention devoted to Serbia in the operative sense, since Turkey is aware that the objectives Ankara aspires to in the Balkans cannot be fully realised without the constructive participation of Belgrade. Turkey has always understood this, had rational respect for the Serbian factor, and invested efforts, even at times of open opposition, not to sever all communication channels with Serbia. The only issue is how far Turkey is prepared to accept Serbia and the Serbs in an honest manner and with no hidden agenda, as truly equal partners, partners with whom, with respect for real interests of both sides, Turkey should work to build trust and the future of the Balkans, and as far as that proves to be feasible, the future of Europe. This kind of change of the trans-historical axis of Turkish relations with Serbs (and ultimately with Greeks, and to some extent Bulgarians), quite difficult to reconcile with the essence of Neo-Ottomanism, should still not be considered completely impossible. It certainly is not very likely at the moment. Russian geopolitical analyst Modest Kolerov remarks that Serbia is the one with the least to gain from Turkey s self-affirmation as a super-state in the Balkans, and that the peace-making capital of Turkey s working in the wake of the one-time Ottoman Empire is extremely suspect (see Аrena 92, 1, 17, , pp. 7 8). It is also important to note Kolerov s firm conviction that no great power is behind the new Turkish role in the Balkans, but that it has been assumed as a result of an independent decision of this country, whose policy in the Balkans will be increasingly more independent in the future. As we have already pointed out in several occasions, there is an economic dimension built into at the structural level. Turkey s activities are conducted with strength and conviction in the economic sphere, and it would not be an exaggeration to say that this economic component is what lends Ankara s dynamic policy the most respect and credibility, pushing the Neo-Ottomanist essence of this policy to the background so that it is overlooked or deliberately ignored for the sake of future profit in cooperation with this great country on the rise (some say that Turkey is number 17 in the world according to its economic power). We have already mentioned the extent of Turkish involvement in strategic energy supply and communications projects in the Caucasus and the Middle East, and the many bilateral agreements that Turkey has reached with neighbouring countries and 12

13 others in the region. Both the Caucasus and the Middle East are inundated with Chinese and Turkish goods, but Turkish goods are considered to be better quality on average. In Turkey s approach in the Balkans, there is special emphasis on the economic dimension, since the countries in the region are mostly undergoing the ordeals of transition, and welcome any concrete economic support and investments from abroad. This is true both for Romania and Bulgaria as EU members, and for all countries in the Western Balkans created after the break-up of Yugoslavia, and it is completely true of Albania as well. Turkey is particularly interested in investments and joint projects and in the privatisation of companies in strategic industries, such as transport infrastructure. It can be noted that Turkey s engagement is focused on the horizontal east-west direction, in order to provide communication connections for territories with a large Muslim population (Bulgaria-Southern Serbia Macedonia Albania Kosovo Sanjak B-H...). Turkey has been most prominently present in the Balkans in the sphere of commerce, predominantly by exporting consumer goods, and at the level of small business cooperation, while larger-scale projects are still mostly only in the stage of announcements, plans, or promises, with political considerations that cannot be ignored. However, there is no doubt that Turkey will be more and more actively present in the Balkans with its economic potential, which is in the objective interest of Balkan economies, provided they can achieve favourable or at least equitable relations with their Turkish partners and avoid overdependency. All things considered, this economic initiative is both the most rational and the most positive dimension of the Neo-Ottomanist strategy of the Turkish state. As a rule, Turkish statesmen are accompanied by representative groups of entrepreneurs on their visits to Balkan capitals. This marked economic pragmatism, demonstrated by Turkish Prime Minister Erdoğan on his visit to Sarajevo ( ), where he spoke about the Alliance of Civilizations initiative at the Bosnian Institute, led a local commentator to conclude that Erdoğan demonstrates the very essence of capitalism, where everythings is either goods for the market or a means to conquer new markets (V. Bačanović, Ličnost u fokusu Recep Tayyip Erdoğan [A Person in Focus R. A. Erdogan], Dani, ). We have already mentioned the tendency of some analysts to see pragmatism, and not the ideological core of Neo-Ottomanism, as the main feature and impetus for the newly-revived foreign policy activism of Turkey. The Neo-Ottomanist vision of a desirable future Balkan region emerging now, which has already been defined as a vision with a universal and pervasive civilisational (and not just political) character also has an inherent cultural component. This cultural component is something that is insisted on in Neo-Ottomanist rhetoric, but also something to be no less diligently worked on in practice. Members of Balkan Muslim communities are educated or attend specialist studies in Turkey through various programmes, and a considerable number of Turkish citizens of Rumelian descent are engaged in diverse expert and intellectual work connected, in one way or another, with the Balkans. Neo-Ottomanists are especially skilled and successful in using specific human resources provided by the historical and geographic depth of their Ottoman legacy and the more recent migration trends stemming from the upheavals in the Balkan region. Turks of Balkan descent and Balkan Muslims educated in Turkey in the spheres of science, information, and culture via numerous foundations, institutes, centres, associations, and similar institutions for Balkan study are deliberately, and with long-term effects, turned into a human resource basis for the reaffirmation of Ottoman and Oriental legacy in the contemporary cultural identity and sensibility of Balkan people. They systematically work on the preservation and restoration of monuments from the Ottoman age, and also recommend a radical revision of the established, predominantly negative, historical image of Ottomans (which Neo-Ottomanists claim to be non-historical and distorted) in the Non-Muslim Balkan nations. This is aimed at the establishment of a common Balkan culture, which would be centred on a modernised hybrid modelled after Ottomanist syncretism, with a deep Islamic matrix. The creation of Islamic (cultural) centres in Balkan countries is supposed to serve this aim. And finally, let us quote Ahmet Davutoğlu once again: We should not forget that the fate of the Ottoman state was sealed in the Balkans. A Turkey unable to create zones of its influence in the Balkans would also be unable to influence international relations in general, or the balance in the region (Strategic Depth, p. 322). Turkey is determined, after a century, to change the blueprint in the Balkans. What is being prepared is a different, likeable stamp of a modern design. 13

14 Serbia: Continuity and Change after 2012 Elections Prof. Dr. Predrag Simić 1 Parliamentary and presidential elections held in Serbia in May 2012 brought about a change of government and terminated a long period in Serbian politics which lasted from fall 2000, when the opposition block called the Democratic Opposition of Serbia (DOS) won against Slobodan Milosević and his Socialist Party of Serbia (SPS). From late 2000 till mid 2012, Serbia was governed by coalitions gathered around the two leading parties of the DOS, namely the Democratic Party led by Zoran Đinđić (after 2003 Boris Tadić) and the Democratic Party of Serbia led by Vojislav Koštunica. Although the political programs of these two parties differ, 2 what they have in common is the fact that they were both formed in the early 1990s, 3 as parties in opposition to the regime of Slobodan Milošević and the remnants of the Communist apparatus which made Serbia one of the few countries that remained unaffected by the changes occurring at that time throughout Eastern Europe. However, the differences between these two parties, as well as among other parties of the DOS coalition, after they came to power, significantly deepened, mostly due to different views on issues such as Kosovo, the membership in the EU and NATO and other major issues of Serbian politics. The fall of Milošević has not, however, brought about a complete breakup with the past and the two leading parties of his regime, namely the Socialist Party of Serbia (SPS) and the Serbian Radical Party (SRS), although significantly weakened, continued to be actors at the Serbian political scene. Under the influence of younger leaders and the new party president Ivica Dačić, the SPS began to adjust itself to new circumstances and in 2004 provided parliamentary support to the minority government of Vojislav Koštunica and his Democratic Party of Serbia (DSS), while in 2008 it formed a coalition government together with the Democratic Party (DS). The SRS kept its political orientation from the 1990s, but in 2008 its Deputy President Tomislav Nikolić broke away from the SRS and founded the Serbian Progress Party (SNS) to which many of former senior SRS officials, members and voters defected. Once the Socialists and the former Radicals accepted the politics of reforms and European integration and obtained the support for their politics from the USA and the EU, the main differences which have been dividing the government and the opposition in Serbia during the late 1990s, have vanished. In short, the political U-turn in Serbia which happened at the elections in May 2012 brought back to power political forces which were ruling during the 1990s, before Milošević s overthrow in 2000; however, now they have continued policies of reforms and European integration inherited from previous post-2000 governments. What has brought about this U-turn in Serbian politics and why have the voters turned their back to parties which had led the opposition to the regime of Slobodan Milošević during the 1990s? We should try to find an answer to this question in political events in Serbia during the previous decade. The Rise and Fall of the Democratic Opposition of Serbia (DOS) The political parties which came on power in late 2000 were created at the time of crisis, disintegration and civil war in former Yugoslavia. Their political programs at that time mostly contained only basic ideas about reforms and directions of the country s development after stepping down of the Milošević regime. During the 1990s the opinion prevailed among the civic opposition that this regime was an anomaly in relation to other European post-communist countries and that as such, it cannot stay in power for long, so that, once Milošević steps down from power, the country would follow the same path trodden by other socialist countries after Briefly, it was expected that Serbia would also broach market-orientated economic reforms, democratic reforms based on the rule of law, while primary foreign-policy goals would be to obtain membership in the Council of Europe, in the NATO Program Partnership for Peace and finally, to become a member of the EU. Milošević s fall from power was expected to bring an end to Serbian exceptionalism in the post-cold War Eu- 1 Faculty of Political Sciences of the University of Belgrade 2 The Democratic Party is a party of social-democratic orientation, while the Democratic Party of Serbia is a party of conservativenational orientation. The programmatic differences, however, have become visible only after 2000 when the DS acceded the Socialist International and the DSS to the European People s Party, which in February 2012 it abandoned due to the political differences regarding Kosovo. It is interesting that the youth branch of the Democratic Party had been a member of the youth branch of the European People s Party until the party submitted an application to join the Socialist International in The Democratic Party of Serbia was founded in 1992 by Vojislav Koštunica and a group of intellectuals who politically defected from the Democratic Party. 14

15 rope and make Serbia a normal European country sharing European values and goals, the interior and foreign policy of which would pursue the EU policy. The state of affairs regarding both internal affairs and the country s international position after the Democratic Opposition of Serbia came to power was, however, much more complicated. Even though during the election campaign in 2000 this political block put forward a political program which managed to define politics to be pursued after the fall of Milošević in much more precise terms than before, it failed to offer quite precise answers to many issues which faced Serbia at the time. Roughly, these issues could be divided into three groups. The first group of problems ensued from disintegration and ten-year war in former Yugoslavia. They crucial ones at the time included, firstly, the relationship between the two members of the then Federal Republic of Yugoslavia, namely Serbia and Montenegro, which were irretrievably damaged in the last years of the Milošević regime; secondly, the problem of the Serbian province of Kosovo which after NATO military intervention in 1999 was placed, in accordance with the UN Security Council Resolution no. 1244, under the protectorate of the United Nations; thirdly, the question of war crimes committed during the wars in the 1990s, that is, the arrest of persons suspected of war crimes and crimes against the humanity by the International Criminal Tribunal for War Crimes in The Hague (ICTY); and fourthly, the relations with neighboring countries, primarily the so-called new neighbors (that is, former Yugoslav Republics, namely Croatia, Bosnia and Herzegovina and Macedonia). The second group of problems concerned transition and reforms which were supposed to be broached without delay in conditions which, after ten years of civil war, were much more complicated than in most other post-communist countries. Already at the outset, the new authorities were faced with extremely difficult economic and social situation in which it was necessary to ensure a bare subsistence, energy, basic operation of utility and other services and other needs of the almost completely devastated economy. Although humanitarian assistance which Western countries, primarily EU member states, provided to FR Yugoslavia has enabled partial solving of these problems in , it was not enough in order to ensure the beginning of transition in normal circumstances. The capital that began flowing into the country at that time mostly originated from three types of sources. The first were FDI which culminated in 2006 (around 5 billion Euros were invested in the country that year), consisting mostly of brownfield investments and only very few greenfield investments. The second source of capital were domestic investors whose capital originated from murky business operations during the sanctions and wars or the capital which the Milošević regime had kept hidden in tax havens abroad during the 1990s and which was now returning to the country. The third source of capital was foreign loans which at that time were somewhat more favorable than after the outbreak of the world financial crisis in The economic policy of the country in that period mostly pursued the ruling neoliberal principles which, in addition to positive, have also produced some negative consequences. Thirdly, the new authorities also faced the task of securing a more favorable international standing, primarily rapprochement to European and Euro-Atlantic integration processes, as well as normalization of relations with the neighboring countries. Preoccupied with inherited social, economic and political situation, mutual differences and political in-fighting among those who were in power at the time, the new authorities have made the first insecure steps in that direction. The problem of the country s readmission to the United Nations was solved most expediently; already in October 2000 the new president of FR Yugoslavia, Vojislav Koštunica, abandoned the position of Slobodan Milošević that FRY, the legal successor to SFRY (one of the founders of the UN) had never been excluded from this organization 4 and submitted an application to become a member of the UN, which was promptly accepted the same month. The relations with the Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe (OSCE) were also soon normalized, despite reservations expressed by the government of Montenegro. France, which in the second half of 2000 held the Presidency of the Council of the European Union, put an end to initial dilemmas by the West concerning the nature of political changes in Serbia, by inviting the new president of Federal Republic of Yugoslavia, Vojislav Koštunica, to attend the EU summit in Biarritz, whereby the new authorities obtained the Union s recognition. Although admission to the Council of Europe and the European Union was high on the list of foreign-policy priorities of the Democratic Opposition of Serbia, the common working group of the Union and FR Yugoslavia was set up only in June 2001 at the 4 This was favored by an ambiguous formulation in the UNSC Resolution no. 757 of May 1992, according to which FRY, like other successor states of former Yugoslavia, was expected to re-apply for membership in the UN. Even though after 1992 Yugoslavia ceased to participate in the work of the General Assembly and other UN bodies, its delegation remained in the UN and during the 1990s, FRY regularly paid its membership fee to the world organization. 15

16 insistence of the then German Chancellor Gerhard Schroder. 5 Political divisions were much more pronounced regarding the country s progress in Euro-Atlantic integration processes, due to the still fresh memories of the NATO military campaign against Yugoslavia and its role in Kosovo. It was only in 2006 that the country joined the NATO Partnership for Peace Program. 6 The greatest threat for post-milošević Serbia at that time were remnants of the old regime, primarily paramilitary and criminal organizations which were created during the civil war and international isolation. By the end of the 1990s, they have amassed huge economic and towards the end of the Milošević regime also a measure of political influence. Their targets at the time were opposition leader Vuk Drašković (who survived two assassination attempts), former Serbian president Ivan Stambolić (who was kidnapped and assassinated) and established journalist Slavko Ćuruvija (assassinated) and other regime opponents. A part of these organizations sided with the opposition in October 2000 whereby, according to some analysts, the bloodshed was avoided, but the consequence was that these organizations have continued to operate even after the fall of Milošević and the new Serbian government soon faced the fact that at that time it did not command a reliable coercion apparatus to combat them. 7 The consequence was assassination of Prime Minister Zoran Đinđić on March 12, 2003, after which the state of emergency was proclaimed and large-scale police action was launched during which the assassins of the Prime Minister were apprehended and prosecuted, most of whom were members of a special police unit Red Berets. The Democratic Party elected Zoran Živković as successor Prime Minister and the party president. He led the party until February 2003, when Boris Tadić was elected the president of the Democratic Party. The disintegration of the Democratic Opposition and the murder of Zoran Đinđić signaled the end of the first stage in the politics of post-milošević Serbia. 8 The second stage began with extraordinary parliamentary elections in Serbia in which the parties of the former DOS competed separately. The new government of Prime Minister Vojislav Koštunica was formed, made up of representatives of the Democratic Party of Serbia, the Serbian Renewal Movement led by Vuk Drašković and G17+ led by Mlađan Dinkić and supported in the Parliament by the Socialist Party of Serbia, the representatives of which, however, did not enter the new government. After the presidential candidate of the Democratic Party, Boris Tadić, won presidential elections in June 2004, this stage was termed a period of cohabitation of the DS and the DSS, which lasted until mid In these four years some smaller parties disappeared, the rivalry between the DS and the DSS has somewhat subsided and Serbian politics entered a somewhat quieter phase, privatization was in full swing and FDI from 2004 to 2008 reached 11.6 billion Euros. Privatization in Serbia Tenders Auctions Number of privatized companies The challenges faced by the government of Vojislav Koštunica came from two sides. The International Criminal Tribunal for Former Yugoslavia, the EU and the USA exerted a strong pressure on the government which 5 The author of this paper served at the time as the foreign policy advisor of the new president of FR Yugoslavia and in that capacity attended the meeting between Vojislav Koštunica and Gerhard Schroder in early May 2001, at which the German Chancellor insisted that this group, the task of which was normalization of relations and beginning of rapprochement of FRY to the EU, be set up without delay. It should be noted that the leading parties of the Democratic Opposition of Serbia, preoccupied with increasing mutual differences, have not shown an initiative in that direction. At the time, the greatest pressure towards the beginning of the European integration processes was exerted in the country by NGOs, which in 2000 collectively joined the DOS. 6 Even though there are various opinions about the then stance of the leading parties of the Democratic Opposition of Serbia towards NATO membership, neither Vojislav Koštunica and the DSS nor Zoran Đinđić and the DS had any fully formed stance towards the issue at the time. In early 2001, the Swiss Center for the Democratic Control of the Armed Forces (DCAF) offered assistance in regulating civilian-military relations in FR Yugoslavia and first contacts with the NATO Partnership for Peace Program. On that occasion, together with Goran Svilanović, the then Minister of Foreign Affairs, I proposed that the FRY should accede to this Program, citing the experience of Switzerland, a neutral European country which has found its place in the new international security order as a member of this Program. However, at the time, neither Koštunica nor Đinđić, fearing negative public reactions, have made such a proposal when meeting the US President George Bush in See more in: Mile Novaković, Otmice Zemunskog klana (Abductions by the Zemun Clan), Novosti, Belgrade See more about the period in: Ognjen Pribićević, Rise and Fall of DOS Serbian Politics from 2000 to 2003, Stubovi kulture, Belgrade

17 until 2008 arrested and extradited most persons residing in Serbia who had been accused of war crimes during the civil war in former SFRY. Secondly, the relations between two Republics making up the State Union of Serbia and Montenegro were irretrievably damaged and in May 2006 the referendum was held in Montenegro at which a majority of voters voted in favor of independence of this Republic, which was proclaimed in June the same year. The greatest challenge concerned Kosovo, where in March 2004 a new wave of violence against Serbs was unleashed, hundreds of houses and churches were destroyed and torched, 17 persons lost their lives, while some 4,500 Serbs were expelled from their homes. This made the UN Security Council appoint in November 2005 a Special Envoy for Kosovo and Martti Ahtisaari, the former Finnish president, was appointed to this post. In March 2007, he submitted a report on the future status of Kosovo (the so-called Ahtisaari Plan). 9 Although Serbia has rejected this plan, in fall the same year negotiations between Belgrade and Prishtina were held in Vienna, but brought no results. 10 Kosovo declared independence in January the next year and the government of Vojislav Koštunica resigned. In May 2008, extraordinary parliamentary elections were held in Serbia. Foreign Direct Investment in Serbia (million ) Source: National Bank of Serbia The third political stage in post Milošević Serbia lasted from mid 2008 till mid At parliamentary elections in May 2008, the largest share of votes (38.42%) was won by the coalition For a European Serbia Boris Tadić (DS, SPO and G17+), which won 102 seats in the parliament, followed by the Serbian Radical Party of Vojislav Šešelj (29.46% votes and 78 parliamentary seats), the DSS led by Vojislav Koštunica, together with New Serbia led by Velimir Ilić came third (11.62% and 30 parliamentary seats) and on the fourth place was a coalition of the Socialist Party of Serbia (SPS) led by Ivica Dačić and A Party of United Pensioners of Serbia led by Milan Krkobabić, while the fifth place was occupied by the coalition gathered around the LDP (Liberal Democratic Party) led by Čedomir Jovanović (% and 13 parliamentary seats). The parliamentary seats were also won by a coalition of Hungarian parties led by Ištvan Pastor, a Bosniak list for a European Sandžak led by Sulejman Ugljanin and a coalition of Albanians from Preševo valley, because the Constitution of Serbia envisages lower election thresholds for parties of national minorities. The new government was made up of the coalition For a European Serbia Boris Tadić, the Socialist Party of Serbia, the Party of United Pensioners and parties of national minorities. In an attempt to strengthen the coalition with the Socialist Party of Serbia, Boris Tadić initiated a historical reconciliation between the DS and the SPS that was supposed to rehabilitate the newly reformed SPS and ensure its admission to membership of the Socialist International. This move has spawned contradictory reactions in the Serbian public opinion, especially among the DS liberal wing, and many consider that it has contributed to the electoral defeat of the DS in The dominant role in Serbia in was played by the Democratic Party, which led the ruling coalition, while its president Boris Tadić became the most influent politician in Serbia. Some analysts maintain that in this period Serbia approached a presidential system. The biggest effort and the most significant results accomplished by this government concerned the progress in the European integration process. To that end, 9 See more in: Martti Ahtisaari, Report of the Special Envoy of the Secretary.General on Kosovo Future Status, United Nations Office of the Special Envy for Kosovo, mart 28, See more in: James Ker-Lindsay, Kosovo: The Path to Contested Statehood in the Balkans, I.B. Tauris, London

18 both President Tadić and the government of Prime Minister Mirko Cvetković made huge steps towards normalization of relations with the so-called new neighbors (Croatia, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Montenegro and Macedonia). This situation was also enabled by the events in the EU itself, where in late 2009 the Lisbon Treaty was ratified, whereby institutional crisis which began in May 2005, when the proposed Draft Constitution of the EU was rejected at the referendum in France, finally ended. This has opened a window of opportunity for Serbia, which in December 2009 managed to be placed on the white Schengen list (i.e. to abolish the visa regime with the EU) and submit the application for EU membership. The last success of politics pursued by Boris Tadić and the DS was the decision by the European Council in February 2012 to accept Serbia s application for membership, despite reservations expressed by Germany and some other EU countries due to Belgrade s stance on Kosovo. On the negative side, the new government soon after taking office faced the crisis of the Euro zone which affected Serbia in 2009 and led to a decrease of exports, foreign investments and rates of economic growth, closure of numerous companies, increase of foreign debt and inflation, an increase of unemployment and poverty and deepening of the social gap. The second major problem was Kosovo, where crisis re-escalated in mid 2011 when Prishtina authorities resorted to the use of force to assume control over the last two crossings controlled by Serbs. The Serbs in northern Kosovo prevented this attempt and began blockading the crossings Jarinje and Brnjak until early Serbia after 2012 elections At the parliamentary elections in May 2012, the SNS won the largest share of votes (24.4%) and the greatest number of parliamentary seats (73), followed by the DS with 22.11% of votes and 67 parliamentary seats, with the SPS coming third with 14.53% of votes and 44 parliamentary seats. In the second round of presidential elections, the SNS candidate Tomislav Nikolić won against the DS candidate Boris Tadić, taking 49% of the votes. Soon after elections, Nikolić resigned as the president of the SNS, with an explanation that he wanted to be the president of all citizens of Serbia, rather than merely those who have voted for him and his party. The position of the president of the SNS was assumed by former party vice-president, Aleksandar Vučić. Although the Serbian public expected that the government would once again be formed by the DS and the SPS, the leader of the Socialists, Ivica Dačić, accepted the offer by the SNS to form a new government. The Democrats became an opposition. The new ruling coalition was made up of the SNS, the SPS and the party called the United Regions of Serbia (previously G17+) led by the economist Mlađan Dinkić, the only party of the former DOS that joined the current Serbian government. The regaining of power in Serbia by the parties of the former Milošević regime has not, however, brought a return to Milošević s policies. The new government continued to pursue the policy of European integration of Serbia and, to the surprise of many, went much further in resolving the issue of Kosovo than the previous government. The campaign against corruption and organized crime led by Vide Prime Minister and the new SNS president Aleksandar Vučić won public approval and since March 2013 the support to the SNS has soared to 35 41%, according to public opinion surveys in Serbia. 18

19 The results of parliamentary elections in Serbia held on May 6, 2012 (Only parties which crossed the election threshold) Name of election list Minority party % of votes won Let s Move Serbia Tomislav Nikolić Choice/Election for a Better Life Boris Tadić Ivica Dačić SPS, PUPS, JS Democratic Party of Serbia Vojislav Koštunica Čedomir Jovanović Turnover Number of parliamen-tary seats Difference in relation to 2008 elections 24.04% % % 21 = 6.53% United Regions of Serbia Mlađan Dinkić 5.51% Alliance of Vojvodina Hungarians Ištvan Pastor Party of Democratic Action of Sandžak Sulejman Ugljanin All Together BDZ, GSM, DZH, DZVM, Slovak Party Emir Elfić* M 1.75% 5 +1 M = M 0.64% None of the above ** M 0.59% Coalition of Albanians of Preševo Valley M 0.34% 1 = Source: Parliamentary elections May 6, 2012, Republic Institute for Statistics of Serbia and Republic Electoral Commission, Belgrade * BDZ Bosniak Democratic Community, GSM Civic Alliance of Hungarians, ZGH Democratic Community of Croatians, DZVM Democratic Community of Vojvodina Hungarians. ** Name of a political party By contrast, the opposition has not managed by early 2013 to recover from the electoral defeat in May At the helm of the largest opposition party the Democratic Party the mayor of Belgrade Dragan Đilas replaced Boris Tadić. After that, numerous influential members left the party or were excluded. 11 Some of them have announced the establishment of their own parliamentary caucuses and setting up new parties, which would split the previous constituency of the DS. The public support to the party declined in March 2013 to %, so that it currently shares the second place with the SPS in the Serbian party competition. The fourth place is occupied by the DSS led by Vojislav Koštunica, and around 7% of the public opinion supports this party, while others enjoy much smaller support and are not able to cross the 5% election threshold. The DSS is the only parliamentary party in Serbia which has retained a Euro-skeptic attitude, which is one of the reasons why the coalition between this and other parliamentary opposition parties is impossible. Such balance of powers on the Serbian political scene has left a room for the current government to go further than the previous one in terms of the Kosovo policy, in an attempt to obtain a date for negotiations on Serbia s membership in the European Union. The reasons for such a huge change in the mood of Serbian voters are interpreted by the government and the opposition in divergent ways. The ruling party in Serbia the Serbian Progress Party perceives the reasons for this state of affairs in the social and economic consequences of transition, especially corruption and crime which accompanied privatization in Serbia during the previous decade. Even though in the period from 2001 to 2011 foreign direct investment (FDI) in Serbia equaled around 17 billion Euros (15 billion gross), around 40% of which was invested in economic and financial sectors, it was not enough for a visible recovery of the economy, especially industry, because around 35% of the total inflow of FDI was directed into the sectors of nonexchangeable goods and services and only around 15% of the total FDI were the so-called greenfield investments. 12 The consequences of speedy and insufficiently legally regulated privatization were a steep increase of unemployment and poverty, 11 The most famous among them are former DS vice presidents Zoran Živković and Dušan Petrović as well as former Serbian Foreign Minister and the current Chairman of the UN General Assembly Vuk Jeremić. 12 Foreign Direct Investments in Serbia , Pregled Republic of Serbia, No. 1/2012. Available frrom: d=1471&id=36863&name=strane+direktne+investicije+u+ SRBIJI March 25,

20 growing social divisions, de-industrialization of the country as well as spreading of corruption and crime. According to a wide-spread opinion among the Serbian public, the emergence of a small number of transition winners ( tycoons ) was the consequence of illegal and, frequently, criminal privatizations rather than the result of investment, production growth or export. The analysis of the privatization process in Serbia made by the EU Commission has ascertained a large number of irregularities in privatization of major state-owned companies and numerous corruption affairs. 13 On the basis of this analysis, the new president of the SNS, Aleksandar Vučić, initiated a large number of investigations the target of which were some leading businessmen in Serbia, some of which have been arrested, 14 which commanded public approval and increased popularity of this party. The Democratic Party, however, perceives this as a sign of populism of the new government and as persecution of members and supporters of the Democratic Party. Although it admits that it has made some mistakes while in power, it perceives the causes of the heavy economic and social situation in Serbia somewhere else. According to its opinion, the main cause of the crisis and huge social dissatisfaction in the country is the global financial crisis and especially, the crisis of the Euro zone. It has severely hit Serbia in two waves in 2009 and 2012, decreasing the GDP rate of Serbia from around 5% in the mid 2000s to zero or even negative growth rates. 15 The immediate consequences were the decrease of FDI, the reduction of industrial production and foreign trade, 16 the loss of a great number of jobs, the deterioration of balance-of-trade and balance-of-payment deficit of the country and an inflation of over 10%. Secondly, due to the war in former Yugoslavia, Serbia has begun its transition ten years after most other Eastern European countries so the world financial crisis has hit at the moment when its market-oriented economic sector was still emerging. In other words, Serbia after 2009 had to face both the price of transition (de-industrialization, increase of unemployment) and the world financial crisis (loss of the market, decrease of FDI etc). Political analysts point out to other possible causes of the political U-turn in Serbia in On the one hand, they see it in the increase of Euro-skepticism given that public support to Serbia s membership in the EU, which after 2003 totaled 73%, in early 2013, fell to 41%. 17 They attribute this, among other things, to unfulfilled expectations of the general public that after 2000, post-milošević Serbia would soon be admitted to the EU, to the EU stance towards the problem of Kosovo and to the consequences of the Euro zone crisis, especially in Greece which for most Serbs is a model of a successful membership of a Balkan country in the EU. On the other hand, analysts also point out to the wrong election strategy of the Democratic Party which led it to call extraordinary presidential elections and strengthening of the SNS and the SPS. According to this opinion, the DS has in vain tried to introduce a two-party system in Serbia. To that end it encouraged the division of the SRS and the creation of the SNS. However, during the election campaign, seeing the potential strength of the new party, it accused the SNS that it would once again lead Serbia to war; the negative campaign against this party and its presidential candidate Tomislav Nikolić made some DS voters to boycott elections. 18 The conviction that with its policy in the period Boris Tadić and the DS have contributed to a difficult economic situation in the country has made many intellectuals to deny them support. For example, Vesna Pešić, the former president of the Civic Alliance of Serbia, one of the leaders of the Democratic Opposition of Serbia and a person with huge public influence, has openly called on voters on the eve of elections to vote for Tomislav Nikolić and 13 Unlike other former Communist countries like Poland, Serbia has failed to introduce the control of the buyers and the source of the capital appearing at tenders to privatize state-owned companies. As a consequence, the Privatization Agency cancelled 629 out of a total of 2,281 concluded agreements on privatization of state-owned companies, leaving tens of thousands of workers unemployed. In addition to buying companies in order to subsequently close them in order to use the grounds as cheap construction sites, the bargain sale of companies capital and so on, privatization in Serbia was also used for purposes of laundering the money of criminal origin. In June 2010 the EU demanded that Serbia investigate 20 cases of privatizations suspected of having included high-level corruption or failing to fulfill the rules of privatization. It allocated a grant to Serbia to do so, totalling 2.2 million euros. See more in: Stevan Dojčinović, Serbian Privatisation: Criminals Still Cashing In, Balkan Insight, http./www./balkaninsight.com/en/article/serbian-privatisation-criminals-still-cahing-in. March 25, Some of the most famous cases are Agrobanka from Belgrade and the Developmental Bank of Vojvodina from Novi Sad. The greatest public reaction ensued after the arrest of Miroslav Mišković, the owner of DELTA Holding from Belgrade, one of the largest companies in Serbia and Southeastern Europe. 15 The data on the GDP growth in Serbia during the 2000s should be taken with a grain of salt due to the fact that the country had been under UN sanctions for the larger part of the 1990s, which has had huge consequences for its economy. 16 As much as 60% of Serbia s foreign trade is with EU member states, especially Germany, Italy and Austria. It has the most favorable balanceof-trade with four members of the Central European Free Trade Agreement (CEFTA), namely Bosnia and Herzegovina, Montenegro, Macedonia and Kosovo. Except EU and CEFTA members, Russia is also its important trade partner, primarily as a country exporting oil and gas. Serbia also has a free trade agreement with Russia. 17 Cited in: Lidija Valtner, Nikada manja podrška ulasku Srbije u EU, Danas, January 28, manja_podrska_ulasku_srbije_u_eu.56.html?news_id= mart See more in: Ognjen Pribićević, Defeat of Boris Tadić and the First Transitional Change at the Elections in Serbia 2012, Europejski Przeglad Prawa i Stosunkow Miedzynorodowych, Vol. 7, No. 4, Warszawa, pp

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