European Western Balkans

Swoboda: Belgrade and Pristina cannot reach agreement on their own

Hannes Swoboda; Photo: Wikipedia/Flickr: Europafestival

VIENNA – Belgrade and Pristina cannot reach an agreement on Kosovo on their own and should have the European Union as a partner, said Vienna Institute for International Economic Studies (WIIW) President Hannes Swoboda, N1 reported.

He said that would be very difficult which is why the EU should offer itself as a partner which could try to resolve the problem.

„We have to provide support and create links to the EU which is why I think that your problems have to be resolved before you become a part of the EU“, Swoboda said citing the example of North Ireland and the Republic of Ireland who experienced fresh tensions following the Brexit.

Swoboda told that young generations have to be called to do their part because they are more interested in friendship and liberty.

Asked why the EU is allowing attacks on journalists such as those by Serbian President Aleksandar Vučić against N1 TV, Swoboda told that the EU had failed on those issues.

„Statement from the EU are often groundless or without any power and it’s very bad that some commissioners in the past failed to explain that freedom of the media is an important element regardless of whether you join the EU or not“, he said.

According to Swoboda, capitalist groups from the West took over the media in Serbia and other countries which is against European principles but not opposed to European policies.

„The media are an issue which the EU has neglected for a long time, despite formal declarations“, he said.

Swoboda said that Vučić has to be told clearly that what he is doing is unacceptable, adding that the road to the EU is impossible with the autocratic system in place in Serbia.

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