The Common Denominator

I was reading this this morning (from here) and, to be quite honest, was a little surprised by the foreign minister’s straightforwardness. See bold font towards bottom:

Serbian Foreign Minister Vuk Jeremic said Wednesday that his country continues to reject Kosovo’s unilateral declaration of independence, even as the International Court of Justice prepares to rule on the matter.

“The UDI – the unilateral declaration of independence – is something that Serbia is not going to accept,” Mr. Jeremic told a small group of reporters at the Serbian Embassy.

“This is the truth – and it’s a truth that it is not going to change. We’re a democratic country, and our position on the UDI is based on our constitution, it’s based on the binding decisions of the Serbian national parliament, and it is supported by the vast majority of our citizens inside a democratic system,” he said.

The International Court of Justice could issue its advisory opinion as early as late July, and the Serbs, who requested the court’s involvement, have much riding on the outcome.

Since Kosovo divorced itself from Serbia in February 2008, after almost nine years under U.N. receivership, Mr. Jeremic and others have sought with limited success to convince the world that the breakaway province remains a rightful part of Serbia.

The Republic of Kosovo has gained recognition from 69 U.N. member states, including the U.S. and most other Western nations. But Serbia has enlisted support from countries with strong secessionist movements – such as Russia, China, and Spain – who fear that Kosovo could set a dangerous precedent.

With a population of 1.8 million, Kosovo is the seventh state to emerge from the rubble of the former Yugoslavia.

At the morning roundtable briefing, the 34-year-old foreign minister also chastised the European Union for his country’s stalled membership application.

“They say things like, ‘We don’t want another Cyprus in the European Union,’ and then they say, ‘We don’t another Bulgaria and Romania,’ because some people consider Romania and Bulgaria membership as somewhat premature, and they’re having problems as a result of that, and the latest ‘We don’t want another …’ thing refers to Greece because of the economic fallout,” said a visibly exercised Mr. Jeremic, whose party campaigned on a platform of European integration.

“What is the common denominator between the four [countries]?” he said, describing one theory gaining steam in Serbia. “They’re all Orthodox.”

But observers say the primary obstacle to EU membership is far simpler.

“You have to meet the requirements of the club you want to join, and the club you want to join has a requirement that you have ‘good neighborly relations,’ ” said Daniel Serwer, a former U.S. diplomatic official in the Balkans.

“The Serb elite understands perfectly well that it has to settle it soon – if it wants to get into the EU.”

5 thoughts on “The Common Denominator

  1. I do not believe that Serbia’s entry into the European Union has anything to do with a common denominator — that is, the four neighboring eastern European Orthodox countries that are having problems.

    The fact is that each country’s entry into the European Union is determined on a case-by-case basis. For example, Turkey is being denied entry until it gives up its control of the northern third of the island of Cyprus which it illegally usurped in 1974. Another example, FYROM — the Former Yugoslavian Republic of Macedonia — is being denied entry into the European Union until it changes its name, because Macedonia is a territory in northern Greece which FYROM borders. Greece demands that FYROM change its name, and will veto any attempt by FYROM of becoming a member of the European Union until it does so. FYROM did not become a country until 1991.

    Unfortunately, Serbia will most likely have to resolve its territorial dispute with Kosovo before Serbia will be allowed to join the European Union.

  2. Well Jeremic can pretend he’s Serbian, or even more laughably, ORTHODOX until the cows come home. Everyone knows his “Бабо” is a Muslim, and working with the likes of Vuk Branković, (((cough))) I mean, Boris Tadić tells me everything. He’s merely a talking head. With this sort of rhetoric he is appealing to the religious/nationalistic side of the Serbian people. Any conscious Orthodox Christian can see that the E.U. is an Illuminati-Demonic-Freemason-Zionist conspiracy which will inevitably provoke the reign of the Antichrist. God help us all, and for those of you who speak Serbian, I paste the following commentary someone posted after seeing Jeremić on “Bosnian” TV Hayat.

    Evo upravo gledam “TV STALA” pardon, TV HAYAT, tv kuca iz Sarajeva, vlasnistvo islamskih fundametalista, a emisija je Centralni dnevnik. (gdje svake subote vehabija i terorista senad hadzinesto huska bosnjacke pacenike, i siri fundametalisticku propagandu i mrznju prema svemu sto je srpsko. Poziv’o je i na rat taj vehabija senad prije par mjeseci, i pokazo kako su fino hrvati rijesili problem sa Srbima (oluja – najveci zlocin nakon 2. Svjetskog rata), kad se pricalo o izgradnji krsta na brdu iznad Sarajeva u cast svim srpskim civilima koji su ubijeni u zadnjem ratu od strane islamistickih fundametalista.) U toj emisiji je upravo gostovao Vuk Jeremic aka poturica. Osim sto je ***** guzicu ovom vehabiji i teroristi senadu, samo sto se nije izvinuo zato jer Republika Srpska postoji. Ispade prava senadova Kuja. Sa velikim K. Na kraju su ustanovili da je Vuk Jeremic zapravo musliman, sa muslimanskim korijenima, i da je njegova zemlja Federacija BiH. Vuk Jeremic samo sto dimije nije navuko. Vjerujem da bi da ga je ovaj vehabija ostavio jos par minuta u studiju. Snimak se moze pogledati na; , emisija “centrlani dnevnik” .

  3. Don’t leave out the Jews and the UN and the Illuminati (wait, are they Freemasons?) and bankers (wait, I already said Jews, right?).

    Sarcasm off, now.

  4. Nah, it’s because the Freemason, demonic powers that be truly, truly hate Orthodoxy– and anyone who clings to it!

  5. Well, that is a handy card to play, but I don’t think it is the reason. It isn’t Orthodoxy as a religion, but it may perhaps be Orthodoxy as a cipher for ‘a culture different than that of Western Europe’, which I don’t think anyone would disagree with. See Huntington’s Clash of Civilizations to see that he lists an ‘Orthodox’ sub-civilization to the ‘Western’ civilization, which may or may not fully diverge to become its own separate civilization. (He lists Latin America as another sub-civilization of the West that may or may not diverge yet further from the West, too.) It’s a good, pretty nuanced read – descriptive less than prescriptive.

    In practical terms, it’s quite obvious that much of eastern Europe is not really in the same place culturally, economically, politically, etc. as central and western Europe, for good or ill. They are different and it’s only faded memories of something like either ‘Christendom’ or Greco-Roman values (e.g., democracy, philosophy, art) that drives people to perhaps rashly and naively want such diverse nation-states in one ‘culture’ lashed together. The presence of institutions in eastern European countries like Poland, Czech Republic and the Baltics such as the Roman Catholic Church obviously help to bridge the cultural and psychological gap between them and ‘the West’ – institutions Romania, Bulgaria, Greece, etc. do not have and need not have. (Croatia and Slovenia have that institution, but they also don’t have ideal ‘relations’ with their neighbors – of course, the question for many is whether that is their own faults or the fault of ‘belligerent’ neighbors. Regardless, I don’t think western Europe wants to get too involved in the Balkans if they can help it, regardless of who’s right or wrong).

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