He may have seemed arrogant at the time he said it, but many years ago Henry Kissinger unmistakably marked the weakest point of European unification into the later Union, saying – whose phone should I dial to see what the European Union thinks about something. Of course, the strength of the European Union is in nurturing diversity, but the old wolf of global real-politics has long recognized its weakness that will accompany it until today, and that is a slow and complicated decision-making process.
What does the European Union think about the upcoming elections in Serbia? Do we know the answer to this seemingly simple question? We do not need to disturb the 96-year-old Kissinger at the peace of his farmhouse in Connecticut to find the answer to these questions, on which, he himself had the dilemma in the early 1970s when the European Community formulated a framework for its common foreign policy.
We will know what the EU thinks about the June elections in Serbia when they are over, that is, on the evening of June 21, or the next day. At this moment, we can predict with a great deal of certainty that the EU will announce that it accepts the democratic decision of the citizens of Serbia and that it will continue to work hard with the future government in Belgrade to meet the criteria for Serbia’s full membership in the Union, where it should be.
This is not about any prophecy, nor about confidential information received from Brussels, but only about the interpretation of the relations between the EU and Serbia, which, unfortunately, have a longer history than both sides want. And if someone has the impression that Serbia has some problems with the EU, especially regarding the upcoming elections, let them seek the answer from Tanja Fajon, a former journalist, then a member of the European Parliament, former European envoy for visa liberalization for Kosovo, and recently, the head of the committee of that parliament for cooperation with Serbia. But, in the beginning, one warning and advice – if you have Tanja Fajon’s phone number, you don’t expect to know what the European Union thinks by calling her. Things are quite different.
Tanja Fajon is one of the hundreds of politicians from EU member states who have traced their careers in a fairly straightforward way, which has been quite successful so far. As a rule, they are politicians from small and marginal parties who, in their countries (where true influence and political power lies), have failed, and have tried their luck in the European Parliament elections, for which voters are much less interested, and have managed to reach Brussels. This is the biggest and most important step in their political careers, because from that moment, the system takes them under its wing and guarantees a long career of well-paid officials, without truly checking the effects of their work, and especially without examining their legitimacy. Today’s Tanja Fajon used to be called Jelko Kacin. He was the European Parliament’s rapporteur for Serbia and Montenegro for ten years, then only for Serbia, in order to continue his career as Slovenia’s representative in NATO. Apart from both being from Slovenia, a less important fact, what connects them is that they come from small, marginal political parties, with legitimacy that, except in Brussels, is valid nowhere else. Frankly, this is not their problem, but the problem of the representativeness of the European institutions, of which they have long been aware in the EU.
That is why it is important for Serbia to know that Tanja Fajon’s position should not have any influence on its democratic processes, including the elections, regardless of the mandate which she has from the European Parliament. Especially when she says something that contradicts not only the Constitution and laws of Serbia, which she should know. Her assessment that it would be “wise” to postpone the elections until the end of the year is not only biased, but speaks of the basic ignorance of the state, for which she was given the mandate of the European Parliament to observe it and help it on the European path. Elections in Serbia are regular, they are not “fast”, as Fajon calls them, Serbia has been waiting for four years, exactly as long as the Constitution prescribes. They have even been postponed for two months, by force of circumstances and there is no legal way for them to be postponed for some time longer. If Tanya Fajon thinks they can be delayed, she directly pushes Serbia to violate not only its own constitution but also the basic European values of democracy, such as the rule of law.
So forget about phoning Tanya Fajon, you won’t get her answer to the question of what the EU thinks about Serbia. Try to call Josep Borrell, the former head of Spanish diplomacy, and since last year the first EU diplomat. If you ask him about the elections in Serbia and he has already been asked, you will get the answer that a boycott is “not a realistic option” and that the EU invites everyone on the political scene to participate in the elections and represent the interests of its voters. Borrell is the address in Brussels to “ask” about relations with Serbia. His chair is among the three most important in the European administration, and more importantly in our case, his career so far suggests that he does not intend to go the way of Tanja Fajon and Jelko Kacin, scratching for lucrative bureaucratic sinecures. Borrell is a veteran of Spanish politics, he has been participating in it for 50 years, he has been a minister in the socialist governments several times, and he is well known in the European institutions in Brussels. Borrell is one of the politicians who will lead the EU through the transition to a more efficient and influential community in the coming years. There should be no place for political amateurs and hobbyists, like Tanja Fajon, and there will be room for Serbia. It is not at all easy for Aleksandar Vučić to maintain the pro-European course of Serbia, partly because of Tanja Fajon. Of course, not because of her political work and messages, but because of the fact that political losers, like her, turn into influential European factors overnight. It is difficult to keep Serbia’s policy toward EU membership, while people without legitimacy come forward on its behalf, advocating a violation of the Constitution and fundamental European values. Tanja Fajon, is one of the answers to the question they have been asking in Brussels for years, and the answer is – why is the support for their countries’ membership in the European Union weakened in the Balkans. That is why it is completely European and statesmanlike to do what Vučić is doing with the upcoming elections. They will be held within the constitutional deadline, according to the conditions that have been improved according to all the recommendations, which resulted from the round table talks, in which Tanja Fajon also participated. Despite Tanja Fajon, and with full respect for the European Union and its values.