Serbia’s Democratic Crossroads: Navigating Protests, and EU Inaction

Deepanwita Dey News 14 December 2023 2 Mins Read
Serbia Democratic

The pro-Serbian dreams have been replaced by a sense of betrayal toward both their sliding autocratic government and the EU’s perceived inaction. (Source: US News) Predrag Vostinic, 48, turned democracy activist in response to rising authoritarianism, corruption, and organized crime in Serbia.

His grassroots movement in Kraljevo protested President Aleksandar Vucic’s government since May. Despite threats and workplace repercussions, Vostinic sees it as becoming a public voice for the people.

Hopes of the EU acting as a counterbalance to draw Serbia back to democracy have dimmed. Brussels, activists argue, held back as Serbia diverged from EU values. The EU’s enthusiasm for enlargement dwindled after Croatia’s 2013 accession, and Serbia’s deviation seemed undesirable for the budget.

Vucic faced a challenge to his authority after May’s tragic mass shootings, triggering protests against fear and intolerance fostered by the ruling elite. In response, Vucic called snap elections for various Serbian towns, including Belgrade. Protesters formed an electoral coalition, aspiring to dent Vucic’s authority by winning local councils.

Political activist Vostinic, defying pressure to lead protests, believes Serbia took a wrong turn, allowing those with ill intentions to rise. He criticizes the EU for prioritizing economic and geopolitical interests over defending its values.

Public disappointment grows, and supporters of European values feel uneasy. Opposition leader Djilas goes further, claiming EU politicians are largely allies of Vucic. His dream of Serbia in the EU now occasionally turns into a nightmare. As Serbia grapples with internal challenges, citizens question the EU’s commitment to democratic principles.

The nation’s journey toward a more democratic future faces complexities, reflecting the intricate dynamics between Serbia, its government, and the European Union.

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