Jadranka Kosor: On EU Before and After

Total Croatia News

As the old saying goes: “A wolf changes his hair, but never his temper.” A small wolf is also a wolf. Only, vučić (small wolf)

The United Kingdom has initiated the procedure for leaving the EU. A sobering and astounding moment for many politicians and citizens. Both in the EU and Great Britain. It was expected, but many did not believe it would really happen. Nothing will be as before and even the number of European stars will dwindle to 27, just as many as when Croatia entered the union of European nations and states.

The European Union is celebrating its 60th birthday with a process without a precedent which no one, and that’s the real truth, knows how it will actually end. They compare it to a divorce which brings fighting, anger and contempt, but Brexit can hardly be compared in such a way. As the divorcees never have to hear or see each other again, while the UK will always be a neighbour to the EU. Even when mutual commitments are resolved, a value of around 60 billion euro, many open issues will remain whose dimensions will depend on the people in power in both EU and UK. Will euro scepticism grow or weaken after Brexit, will the separation process be simply resolved, what unexpected circumstances may arise; no one can claim with certainty today.

The dissolution is the first in the 60 years of EU and time will tell if the Union will weaken or strengthen. And will the building losing one of its basic pillars remain stable to resist temptations. European Council President Donald Tusk has said: “There is no reason for us to pretend this is a happy day.” British Prime Minister May added: We are leaving the EU, but not Europe.” Then Tusk again: “We miss you already…”

Remaining EU members swear of unity, joining ranks and joint future. A future to be tested every day. As EU members are similar and yet so different in many ways. The unprecedented departure of UK has opened a new page in the functioning of a union of states and nations on the European continent whose climate will certainly affect ideas of enlargement.

And Serbia, which began EU negotiations relatively recently, was at the time of the ultimate initiation of Brexit in the final stage of Presidential elections. As a potential future EU member, whose star could again be number 28, it is important to analyse who won. The winner Vučić thanked Merkel, Putin and Šešelj. Putin and Merkel are leaders of great states and nations, while Šešelj is nothing, an instigator of evil in the past and now, a hater and Chetnik leader. He is ill remembered in Croatia and Bosnia-Herzegovina of the 1990s, but Vučić still greets him today and thanks him just like he greeted him in 1995 with an automatic rifle in hand on Serb positions above encircled Sarajevo where civilians, women, children and elderly died each day.

Vučić is remembered by Croats especially by a speech from the wartime 1995 when he, in the occupied Croatian town of Glina (an hour’s drive from Zagreb), spoke of that area never agin belonging to Croatia, supporting the occupation of an area of an internationally recognised Croatian state as a done deal. The same Aleksandar Vučić, student of the Chetnik leader Šešelj, is today the newly elected President of the Republic of Serbia and still the Prime Minister. Respected Serbian analyst A. Korać stated recently that Vučić is leading Serbia into a one-party system, while former Serbian President B. Tadić named Vučić as the most authoritative politician since S. Milošević. Many other renowned Serbs say the same.

Fact is that in the 1990s Vučić passionately promoted Greater Serbia policies that brought unmeasurable evil and human suffering to former Yugoslavia. Many issues in south-eastern Europe, including its instability and today consequential metastasis of such policies which compiled distrust and hate. True, Vučić’s party is today a member of the European People’s Party (EPP), the largest political family in the EU where the Croatian HDZ is also a member. And many in the EPP se Vučić as a reformer and promoter of European values.

It is understandable. The war is far away, and European politicians did not go to Vukovar or Sarajevo nor Srebrenica when people were dying.

This is probably why no one reacted to the presence of Veselin Šljivančanin at rallies of Vučić’s party, a former Yugoslav Army officer, responsible for the fate of defenders and civilians from the Vukovar hospital after the fall of Vukovar. He was sentenced in The Hague and today, as a free man, he supports Vučić as President of Serbia. But what Major Šljivančanin supported and did were not European values. Killing is not a European value so it is shocking to accept such support for the president of a potential future EU member.

But, people change and every man and politician should be allowed in good faith to accept a change of opinion and position. Yes, we want politicians to be better and learn from their mistakes. But, to trust those who were among those killing and occupying in wars, some remorse, apology and pardon must come first. As the old saying goes: “A wolf changes his hair, but never his temper.” A small wolf is also a wolf.” Only, vučić (small wolf).

For the original and more from Jadranka Kosor’s blog, click here.


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