European Western Balkans

Jović: Croatian blockade is weak without allies

Dejan Jović

TANJUG_maliZAGREB/BELGRADE – One country that blocks another country (in the EU path) is “almost like none”, especially if it is among those that are not too powerful, or that – as Croatia – maybe harbour some specific animosity towards the object of their policies, in this case towards Serbia.

This comment made Dejan Jović, professor at the Faculty of Political Sciences in Zagreb, for Tanjug News agency, assessing Croatia’s blockade to Chapter 26 on Monday  in Brussels.

“Croatia only used advantage given by the system under which each member country, according to current regulations, can – for a reason or even for no reason – block the entry of any candidate country for the European Union,” said Jović.

However, he says, in reality blockade is weak when it is performed by a single country, and Croatia, he adds, if it wants to block the negotiations, must find at least one more ally.

“As far as I am informed, Croatia tried that this time. If, in addition to Croatia, any other member country of the EU joined the blockade, it would be a serious problem for Serbia”, notes Jović.

He recalls that Croatia knows how important it is that behind the request for blockade gathers a larger number of countries, because Croatia was faced with the blockade of Great Britain because of “Gotovina case”. This has led them to the political struggle to stop any other nation-state to join Britain in this endeavor.

Jović, however, points to the fact that if the EU does not have the will to continue with enlargement, “tacit support” could be given to the country that is blocking the process.

“Everything depends on the relations within the EU, and not so much about the politics of candidate country,” says professor and adds that entry into the EU is a political issue, not a legal or a technical procedure of completing or meeting the criteria.

Because, he repeats, each country must give its consent. “Therefore, countries must make political decisions,” he says.

At the same time Serbia, if it wants to increase the number of friends and reduce the number of opponents in the Union must decisively deal with requests and pleas that  come from member countries of the EU, considers Jović.

He said that he personally remembers that the issue of textbooks for children who want to attend school under a special program, was raised in the talks between President Josipović and Tadić, five years ago.

“If this issue isnt resolved thus far, it shows the slowness and inefficiency of multiple government in Serbia. Relying on America or someone else may help – but only if the homework is fully done, especially in matters that are really easy solvable,” said Jović.

He argues that the simplest solution would be if all of Balkan countries were to jointly enter the EU, which would remove present situation of creating new frustrations and tensions.

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