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Stabilocracy is not democracy

Kategorija: Demokratska stranka, Socijaldemokratija ; Datum: 04. 08. 2017. ; Autor: Miloš Đajić

Pisao sam za news letter  Objet: Serbia: Is stability more important than democracy in Europe?Foundation for European progressive studies  

Serbia has its 5th government in the last 5 years, 15th since introducing multi-party system in 1990. Since 2012 it has actually been one and the same government, led by the same man, destroying democracy, institutions and concentrating the power around himself.

For the first time in three decades a woman was elected as Prime Minister; Ana Brnabic, liberal oriented expert. Her election was greeted by all supporters of accelerated association to EU. That is a step forward and encouragement for all of us who expect that her life experience, certainly marked by her personal features, will contribute to her openness for democratic processes, preservation of freedom, respect for human rights, decrease of violence and the rule of law.

Unfortunately, handing the stenogram of her Bloomberg interview to the Russian ambassador in Belgrade, shows that she continues to lead the country through political campaign, obviously with approval by international factors.

By supporting such a leadership, EU is consciously “selling” the rule of law for Kosovo. In Serbia there is a problem of support to the rule of law because society doesn’t consider it important for development. Institutions are ruined; Prosecution has vanished; Court is politically abused; police and army do not function; parapolice forces secure the inauguration of the new president.

Savamala and other cases remain unsolved. President Aleksandar Vucic, despite the Constitution, didn’t resign from his position as President of SNS. In the last week, two women were killed in the premises of Center for Social Care. Violence is getting the scope of epidemics.

Weeks of protesting after the presidential elections, unequal treatment of candidates in the media, pressures to voters, doubts over regularity, show that Serbia took several steps back in terms of freedom of elections. Again it was shown that citizens are alienated from politics and they vote for personal, tangible benefits or out of fear.

The latest examples of charges of Vucic’s associates against independent media, breaking into apartment of KRIK’s journalist, media arguments between pro-governmental and suddenly independent tabloids, show that the authorities are suppressing the little media freedom that has left. This bothers no one; few days ago in Trieste, Johannes Hahn stated that “Media freedoms can be improved if we create media market and provide the media independency from financial aid.”

All this is a confirmation that no one in the EU bothers with return of autocracy or, as Montenegrin professor Srdja Pavlovic named it, “stabilitocracy” to this region. Few weeks ago British “Economist” wrote about this that “Western countries ignore local autocrats’ anti-democratic practices so long as they keep the peace.”

In her expose, new Prime Minister announced that new government’s economic policy will be identical to previous one and focused on savings. Democracy and media freedom were not even mentioned. Priorities are digitalization and education to provide that young people stay in the country. Serbia is facing the probably biggest brain-drain ever, like the one during the 90’s, which doesn’t surprise given that the country is led by the same governing majority as back then.

In terms of EU integrations, Serbia opened 10 out of 35 chapters, but the negotiations are still slow. What worries everyone dealing with European integrations, is the fact that in the White Paper of EU Commission in budget preparation for 2020-2027 there are no projected financial means for EU enlargement. EU integration process for Serbia is going through Brussels Agreement and Chapter 35, but what scares us is that so far agreed measures are not being applied and the process is delayed due to constant elections. As if delays suit to everyone because they know that there won’t be recent accession.

By giving legitimacy to such a state, the West creates antagonism towards self. In the long term, stabilitocracy threatens to become a recipe for instability because the basic EU values – human rights, the rule of law, openness of EU – are off the EU agenda. Thus, it is very important that, primarily MPs club of socialists and democrats, launch activities in the EU Parliament regarding the integration of Serbia and the entire region in the EU. “

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