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On 22 December, Serbia officially submitted its candidacy for membership of European Union. A long and arduous process of indefinite duration and whose conclusion will be settled on later, although prospects for this country are not very good, not being foreseen an early resolution. Some analysts believe that membership will not take place before 2018.

To reach the status of candidate country, Serbia has had to overcome a great deal of obstacles that have been solved under the premise of EU or the Nothingness. In this sense, the Balkan country has followed the lead of many other republics that emerged after that platform, more or less metallic, called Iron Curtain, and that is to please hungry populations, not only of food but of freedom and self-esteem, showing a horizon of glory and wealth, not only economic but of those intangible things known as “European standards” under a single blue flag with twelve stars.

On the way, European Commission, through periodic reports, tames wild beasts, reasonably giving out carrots and sticks, because that domestication is painful. Basically it is the biological process of turning worms into cocoons. In this metamorphosis candidates must do their homework and pass exams offered. It is a deceptive strategy. Candidate countries in order to meet those standards, modified regulations and internal structures and forgive and forgot old offences from eternal enemies (usually neighbours and candidates too or at the doors to be it) signing agreements of friendship and good neighbourhood.

Since the day after accession, it starts another process, more subtle but equally interesting: it is developed a sense of frustration, and the inhabitants of the new members wake up suddenly from a pleasant sleep and feel cheated, because basically to be European or not is only a stomach issue. Nobody is interested in achieving those kind of standards (human rights, rule of law, etc) but in Western living standards.

As for politicians, once achieved the goal of membership, they focus their attention to the usual problems. They revive the eternal reproaches against neighbouring countries, forgetting the commitments made during the path to EU.

Recall the case of Poland, that deserved the condemnation of European Parliament in 2007 of homophobic practices, although related human rights standards were in force in EU long before this country signed Act of Accession; or the recent one in Czech Republic, insofar as this country hindered the implementation of the Lisbon Treaty because of its old national minorities issues (German and Hungarian) battered by Benes decrees promulgated after the Second World War; or the escalation of tension between Hungary and Slovakia, typical of the 90s, through the adoption by the Slovak Parliament in 2009 of a new law on the protection of the national language, which requires using the Slovak language in public institutions, in spite of the large Hungarian minority of about 10% of the population and despite Slovakia signed, to join the EU, all necessary treaties,  among them, Framework Convention for the Protection of National Minorities.

Turning to Serbia, not before long, we will see as the Balkan country backed out of its intransigent positions. In fact we have already seen it in recent years. To unlock the milestones leading to the candidacy, Serbia has made significant concessions which were nonnegotiable a few years ago as far as those represented an affront to the national dignity. Thus, the extradition of Milosevic to International Criminal Tribunal for the Former Yugoslavia in The Hague, without being carried out in Yugoslavia the appropriate extradition proceeding, as was stated in the country’s criminal law, or the delivery in 2008 to the same court of Radovan Karadzic, former national hero.

Regarding the Kosovo issue, which is now considered intractable from the Serbia’s perspective, in the coming months we will see a relaxation of positions. The passage of time and the slow fading of the historical memory, will consolidate the current situation, with the prospect of a Europe without borders and of these desirable “European standards” which will make Serbia, like the other half of Europe that the Cold War showed us in the novels of Le Carré, is phagocytized irreparably.

Author :
EurActiv Network