Sunday, February 03, 2008

Serbia's Step In The Right Direction

Serbia's president Boris Tadic has been re-elected. The pro-western Mr Tadic beat his hardline opponent Tomislav Nikolic in a run-off election, having finished behind him in the first round of voting.

It's a result to be welcomed. Having flirted with the pro-Russia, anti-EU Mr Nikolic, an ally of the late Slobodan Milosevic, Serbian voters did the right thing in giving another term to Mr Tadic. The key to Serbia matching the growing prosperity of its eastern European neighbours is keeping alive the chance that it too will one day join the EU. Negotiations about entry have been difficult so far, not least because the two most wanted war crimes suspects from the 1992-1995 war remain on the run.

Mr Mikolic tried to capitalise on the frustration many Serbs feel about the slow nature of their progress towards the EU. He offered a future outside the EU, but close to Russia. While it obviously seemed attractive to many Serbs to cosy up to its newly confident old ally, it would have left Serbia divided from most of the rest of Europe, and without the investment, trade and other benefits of EU membership. The re-election of Mr Tadic shows most Serbians want to be part of Europe. While there's a lot to do before they can be welcomed into the club, it's a big step in the right direction.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Serbia has proven once again to be a broken and defeated country... it's also a shame that the votes of those who want to flee Serbia have made the difference. They want closer links to the EU to flee for Western Europe...