Nikola Tomić at the Belgrade Security Forum
GLOBUS researcher Nikola Tomić was interviewed by the Serbian news agency TANJUG at the recent Belgrade Security Forum.
Belgrade Security Forum is an annual conference in the Serbian capital. This year's event gathered more than 120 speakers under the heading “The European Union as a Global Crisis Manager”. Nikola Tomić (UCD) presented a paper at the conference and was interviewed by the Serbian news agency TANJUG.
Tomić was asked about the EU-facilitated dialogue between Belgrade and Priština (Kosovo). He argued that the dialogue should be initiated "from below" – by ordinary people – and warned against an overly elite-driven process.
"The European Union, as I explained in my presentation, is learning from its moves. Sometimes these are good moves, sometimes these are bad moves, but the European Union is trying, and especially now, with Brexit and with crises within the European Union, to define itself as an actor in world politics. And often people equate the European Union with the European Parliament for instance and with some statements from the MEPs there, or with Germany, with France or England, and often it’s all put in one basket.
The European Union has a very dense bureaucracy, which often hinders the European Union from making decisions and coming to any concrete decisions. Now the dialogue was initiated by Catherine Ashton and was inherited by Mogherini. To them, this is a way to, through diplomatic means, lead to some form of dialogue between Serbia and the government of Kosovo. And as a matter of fact, they themselves have realised that the EULEX mission alone does not contribute to any further dialogue between Serbs and Albanians.
Concretely, regarding the dialogue, there was the question whether the fact that the dialogue is now conducted at the level of presidents, makes it of greater or lesser significance, and the main answer to that was that the dialogue should be initiated from below, bottom-up. Also, the technical dialogue is conducted behind closed doors. Quite a few of the interests presented there from both sides are not the interests of the citizens, but are the interests of bureaucrats, politicians. That is probably the reason why the implementation of these agreements is being stalled."