West Side Story in Serbia
Serbia is prepared to do all that is required to join the European Union. Almost. Recognising Kosovo is one thing it’s not prepared to do.
- Friday, 28 April 2017
At the beginning of March, the high representative of the European Union for foreign affairs and security policy, Federica Mogherini, travelled to the Western Balkans in an effort to encourage states in the region to follow the path of reform and to reinvigorate the EU enlargement process in this part of Europe. Her trip was not only a demanding political task but also in some moments a highly unpleasant and frustrating experience. She had to deal with a complex regional situation and unpredictable local actors. While addressing the Serbian parliament, Mogherini was booed by MPs from the farright, nationalistic and xenophobic Serbian Radical Party, who were banging on benches and chanting “Serbia, Russia, we don’t need the Union”. Mogherini’s experience in Belgrade was, no doubt, at the same time both exceptionally annoying and representative of the trip. It demonstrated the direction Serbia might take if the EU doesn’t proceed properly in the years to come.