European Western Balkans
Belgrade-Pristina Dialogue

Support for the Dialogue falls in Serbia, can the “internal dialogue” change things?

Serbian flag; Photo: Tanjug / Sava Radovanović

BELGRADE – Majority of Serbian citizens believe that issues between Serbia and Kosovo need to be solved regardless the EU’s involvement, it is the result of the latest public survey, conducted by the Ministry of the European Integration of the Republic of Serbia.

The survey shows that 59% of Serbian citizens think that the dialogue with Kosovo is needed, regardless of the EU’s involvement.

However, the percentage of the citizens supporting Belgrade-Pristina dialogue has experienced certain fall. In December 2013, 70% of the citizens supported the dialogue. This could be explained by the fact that the First agreement of principles governing the normalization of relations, known as the Brussels Agreement was signed in 2013, which presents a milestone in the relations between Serbia and Kosovo.

The latest survey shows that the percentage of people who do not support the negotiations rose up to 30%. This, however, could be explained by the fact that the dialogue was in a stall for a long time.

The latest attempt to initiate the new phase of the dialogue was made by the HR/VP Federica Mogherini who organised the informal meeting between Serbian President Aleksandar Vučić and president of Kosovo Hashim Thaci in Brussels in the beginning of July, where they agreed to work on starting a new phase of the dialogue.

However, the support for the dialogue might rise again, since the Serbian President Aleksandar Vučić recently raised up a question of the internal dialogue, by announcing that Serbia needs to find the solution for Kosovo and that it is ready to find a compromise.

“I want to take a new path – for Serbia. I want us to have open and fair discussions about a solution for the Kosovo conflict. Although the Serbs are still not ready for it, I will not back down because the debate will have a healing effect for all of us, regardless of whether we achieve a good result or fail,” he told in an interview for the Swiss daily Blick.

It remains to be seen whether the support for the Belgrade – Pristina dialogue will increase again by raising the question of internal dialogue.

Publication of this article has been supported by the Balkan Trust for Democracy of the German Marshall Fund of the United States

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