The misery of everyday political pragmatism

The misery of everyday political pragmatism

Slightly longer than two centuries of modern Serbias history, Serbia does not know who it will go with and where it will go. Serbia tried everything, ...

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Scholzing

5. Aug 2022 | COLUMNS

Macedonia was one of the six federal socialist republics of Titos Yugoslavia. Even back then, Todor Zhivkov’s Bulgaria had intentions to assimilate the identity of the Federal Republic of Macedonia and Macedonians, but Tito’s Yugoslavia proved incomparably better at protecting the integrity of Macedonia and Macedonians than today’s European Union. The Greeks wouldn’t even have dreamt of asking Tito to change the name of FR Macedonia to FR North Macedonia. On the whole, N...


Where the double game of government with European integration has brought us

13. Aug 2022 | ANALYSES

It is illusory to expect the government to lead a pro-European campaign at this moment to change the image of public opinion in Serbia, which, as shown by the June Demostat survey, is largely favorable to Russia. The current government, embodied in the Serbian Progressive Party and its leader Aleksandar Vucic, has for years played a double game when it comes to European integration, declaratively calling the EU the main foreign policy goal, while at the same time sending anti-European messages...


What Serbian history tells us - how public opinion is created

12. Aug 2022 | ANALYSES

We continue the series of articles in which we analyze the foreign policy orientations of Serbian citizens From 1944 until today, public opinion regarding foreign policy orientations in Yugoslavia and Serbia was created and changed by the ruling parties, according to their policies and interests. This is also shown by data on public opinion surveys, which are available from the 1960s to the present day. If the parties in power have an interest, by directing the media narratives in just a few ...


The misery of everyday political pragmatism

9. Aug 2022 | ANALYSES

Slightly longer than two centuries of modern Serbias history, Serbia does not know who it will go with and where it will go. Serbia tried everything, both these and those. Few ended without regrets. From Karadjordje (the founder of the Karadjordjevic dynasty) and his guardian of foreign affairs to todays Vucic and his minister. The exception, I believe, is the three decades of (Yugoslav) policy of non-alignment. Serbias foreign policy (except Yugoslav Serbia) was and is being led by its leaders...


How the war in Ukraine pushed Bulgaria out of Russias orbit

9. Aug 2022 | ANALYSES

At the end of June, the Bulgarian government announced that it would expel 70 Russian diplomats from Sofia on suspicion of working against Bulgarias interests. Russian Ambassador Eleonora Mitrofanova then warned that if the expulsion happened, Russia would close the embassy in Sofia, but the Bulgarian authorities ignored the ultimatum. After a few days, on July 3rd, two Russian government planes transferred the expelled diplomats and their families from Sofia to Moscow. Kiril Petkov/Foto: Pri...


Propaganda techniques are used to change public opinion

11. Aug 2022 | ANALYSES

We continue the series of articles in which we analyze the foreign policy orientations of Serbian citizens When the United States of America declared war on Germany in April 1917, President Woodrow Wilson faced a nation that did not want that war. Wilson, after all, had been re-elected only a year earlier with the slogan "He kept us out of war." To convince the Americans that the war in Europe was necessary, Wilson established the Committee on Public Information, with the task of changing t...


Can Vucic influence the change of public opinion in favor of the EU? Demostats interlocutors say - if he wants, he can

11. Aug 2022 | ANALYSES

Demostat chief researcher Srecko Mihailovic is convinced that the president of Serbia can change the orientation of citizens towards the EU to a large extent in a short period, noting that European Union officials were also hoping for that. Mihailovic explains his claim by the fact that research shows a strong attachment of a part of progressive supporters to Vucic. "He is the first man of Serbia, the kind of leader Serbia needs and they are ready to listen to him." This is evidenced by a see...


Spiral of Lies

4. Feb 2021 | COLUMNS

While the opposition exhausts itself in the search for a “platform”, initially for negotiations with itself, Vu?i? is in a furious campaign ranging from pushing vaccination to completing temples and unveiling monuments.  The ideal goal of mutually insincere negotiations between the government and the opposition over the conditions of elections would be for the citizens of Serbia to be able to choose different political options at least to the extent that they can choose differ...


Russian pragmatism and Serbian blindness

5. Feb 2020 | ANALYSES

There is the well-known statement by Winston Churchill that “Russia is a riddle wrapped in a mystery  inside an enigma, so I cannot forecast to you the action of Russia”. These thoughts were expressed by the British statesman on October 1st, 1939, at the very beginning of the World War II, in his radio speech. At the time he had not resumed the role of the Prime Minister yet (until May 10th 1940 this post was unsuccessfully “kept” by Neville Chamberlain), but he ha...


Timothy Less: Re-ordering The Balkans

23. Oct 2019 | ANALYSES

For centuries, the region was subsumed within the Ottoman and Hungarian Empires, except for a pocket of mountainous territory, Montenegro, which resisted conquest by the Turks. By the 1830s, two small, independent states had appeared, Greece and Serbia. In the 1870s, this number grew as Bulgaria and Romania gained independence from the declining Ottoman Empire, and Austria annexed Bosnia.  In the 1910s, Ottoman power fully collapsed, giving rise to Albania, while Serbia, Montenegro, Bulgar...


Who, Really, Are the Eurospectics?

4. Jun 2019 | ANALYSES

In some cases this term is used in a negative meaning, as a label for the sovereignist forces, which grow stronger in numerous EU countries. In this sense, the following determiners are, as a rule,  used for the definition of these forces, for the pejorative purpose: populists, far-right, extremists. In some cases, by the way, it is the appropriate definition, whereas in many instances it is inappropriate. But, it is not the topic of this op-ed.  Let us go back to the coin phrase &ldq...


Northern Ireland - Lesson for Kosovo

24. Jan 2019 | ANALYSES

Ireland pressed for independence at the start of the twentieth century which, after a struggle, London eventually accepted. However, this was fiercely resisted by the predominantly Protestant population in the north (mainly descendants of emigrants from Scotland) who wanted to remain part of the United Kingdom. London’s solution was to partition the island of Ireland, retaining the north and ceding the rest. This worked for a while but did not resolve matters because the decision to parti...


Zoran Panovic, Editor-in-Chief of iSerbia: Living in time of hypertrophic identities

19. Oct 2018 | IN FOCUS

Do you think that a pact, of sort, was created between the EU and stabilocracies such as Serbia and Montenegro where workers’ rights are not upheld, where there is very little freedom of information and where judicial independence is quite low, all in order to keep these countries on the pro-European path? With its populist rhetoric, stabilocracy sounds attractive when talked about in the media, but, in sociological terms, stabilocratic regimes have authoritarian tendencies with one dom...


Serbia and Britain in the Great War and a hundred years later

21. May 2018 | IN FOCUS

During the Great War, Serbia and Britain became unlikely allies. Unlikely because Britain had no intention to join the conflict on the continent, but was pulled in by the German invasion of Belgium. In addition, events around the regicide in Belgrade in 1903 have had an adverse effect on the mutual relationship, leading all the way to it being formally severed for three years. In spite of unfavourable tradition, a significant turn in mutual relations happened during the Great War. Serbia’...


USAID HELPS SMALL AND MEDIUM ENTERPRISES IN SOUTH AND SOUTHWEST SERBIA

28. Mar 2018 | IN FOCUS

PSD was a $4 million activity that helped businesses and entrepreneurs in south and southwest Serbia develop and grow. The project was a direct partnership between USAID and the Development Agency of Serbia. “Our partnership with USAID resulted in a significant improvement in the economies of the targeted regions, the growth of small- and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs), and new business-to-business connections,” said Mr. Radoš Gazdi?, Acting Director of the Development Agenc...


Reality and prejudice in Serbian-British relations

30. Mar 2018 | ANALYSES

In some way, Serbs and Britons entered the history of the modern-era Balkans in a grand manner at the same time. The restoration of the Serbian statehood in the territory of today’s Serbia began in the early 19th century, and Serbs were no longer a people without a home, as they had been for several centuries. Over the same period, Britain’s influence and presence in this part of Europe started strengthening. It wasn’t longer after that Belgrade and London established diplomati...


The evacuation of Pranjani

30. Nov 2017 | IN FOCUS

During the Second World War, the Allied forces have been using the sky above Yugoslavia as an air corridor for bombing strategic targets, above all the German Wehrmachts oil plants around Ploesti in Romania. According to historical sources from the US, 350 Allied bombers were brought down by August 1944. A large number of pilots downed by the Nazis ended up in the village of Pranjani, in a region held by the Chetniks, under the command of General Dragoljub Draza Mihailovic. The American pilots, ...


The Air Bridge

28. Nov 2017 | IN FOCUS

The United States Air Force Orchestra runs the "God of Justice" anthem. The American ambassador speaks in a fairly good Serbian language to Serbian countrymen wearing traditional hats and listening to him carefully, smiling. Later, while awarding them the plaques, he kissed some of them three times. "Americans and Serbs fought alongside for freedom", Kyle Scott will say at one point, and continue in the same tone: "The people of this region are true heroes. I feel humbled when I refer to the vic...


Kyle Scott: A reminder of a strong friendship between the two countries

28. Nov 2017 | IN FOCUS

Operation Halyard in 1944 was the largest rescue operation of American and Allied air force in history. More than 500 US pilots were rescued, along with those from other countries, almost in front of the Germans, with most of the actions carried out in the light of the day. Thousands of brave Serb men and women risked their lives to save and protect our soldiers. They are the true heroes of this operation. They treated the wounded pilots and shared the last crumb of their already modest food to...


Bridge to the new Serbian-American alliance

28. Nov 2017 | IN FOCUS

In the internal, and thus in the foreign policy too, the interests and alliances based on them are in the foreground. However, the pragmatic words of the great US President shouldn’t be understood so that they completely exclude friendly relations. They only need to be brought into a more realistic context. They truly can be a catalyst and a ground for versatile relations based on interest. Serbs and Americans, as a rule though, treated each other thus through history. Things should not ...


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