Serbia’s conservative government bets for inclusion

New Prime Minister, Ana Brnabic, gives strength to the EU inclusion process

Ana Brnabic

Ana Brnabic was recently named Serbia’s Prime Minister. For the first time in this country, a woman and an openly homosexual person has held such an important role. This move forward is intriguing but not unexpected since the conservative administration of President Aleksandar Vucic is trying to include the nation into the European Union.

This political strategy responds to the willingness of the Serbian government to become part of the European Union. The profile of Ana Brnabic as Prime Minister sends a message to the international community about how the country’s policies are evolving towards a more open and inclusive society. According to the European Union Treaty, some of the conditions for a country to be adhered to the community, like the Copenhagen criteria, consists of: recognize and protect the principles of the rule of law, freedom, democracy, protection of human rights, minorities, and civil rights.

This is not the first time that the Serbian government takes a move to please the European community. Due to international pressure, the Balkan country has taken several actions in order to meet the EU requirements.  The nation’s strategy for inclusion has been active since 2003 with the arrest and trial of Slobodan Milosevic and several other authorities for war crimes during the Yugoslav war of 1991. More recently, the normalization of relations with Kosovo and the recognition of its sovereignty was needed in order to move towards Serbia’s goal.

The new political environment generated by Ana Brnabic’s role has important repercussions over the violence and discrimination that the LGBT community has suffered in a conservative society with strong orthodox believes. Since 2009, the Belgrade Pride Parade was prohibited, and even canceled on several occasions, because of the treats and violent acts of religious and far right extremists according to Amnesty International.

Therefore, the political situation in Serbia and other European countries who want to become members of the EU exhibit a tendency for international integration and globalization. On the other hand, experts affirm that nationalist policies like the ones promoted by Donald Trump and British Prime Minister Theresa May are becoming less frequent and might lead to the isolation in politics and economic matters of these countries.

 

Latin American Post | Diana Cárdenas

Copy edited by Susana Cicchetto

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