If a real African lion is soon released from captivity in a cage near Gnjilan and returned to its natural habitat, it will be thanks to Viola von Cramon-Taubadel, a member of the German Greens in the European Parliament. She lost her temper a few months ago, not only because of the smuggling of wild animals and their keeping in captivity, but also because of the spending of European money, so she sent a parliamentary question to the European Commission why the EU money goes to those who abuse animals. Namely, the owner (smuggler) of the lion received a grant from the EU to make a cage for keeping animals through the IPA cross-border cooperation program between Kosovo and Northern Macedonia. He only did not mention, which MP Von Cramon investigated, and the Commission confirmed, that he does not intend to keep small game in that cage, but a real African lion, and a smuggled one.
Is there a better example that the EU, when it wants, can protect everyone in the Balkans, even an innocent animal, regardless of the fact that it does not belong to the European Union either by origin or place of detention? MP von Cramon will also show her power with this, because if it were not for her persistence and influence in Brussels, the poor king of animals would continue to shed and perish behind bars in the private Gjilan zoo. That will surely bring her points among voters in Germany, who are sensitive to animal rights. Much more than her engagement as the European Parliament’s rapporteur for Kosovo, and especially her views on Serbia, about which her voters probably know nothing, because they are simply not interested.
In her main parliamentary job, Viola von Cramon is well aware that she is out of sight of her voters, who are just as sensitive to manipulation and lies as to animal oppression, so she believes she can carelessly put her parliamentary duty in the service of Kosovo and its government. Especially when it comes to the fight against the “arch-enemy”, Serbia.
Viola von Cramon is not the first European rapporteur in the Balkans to forget where she comes from and who her employer is, but she passionately puts herself on one side in a conflict in which she should be an objective observer. She is not the first MEP to treat Serbia as a non-commissioned officer torturer, who is not interested in whether you will learn something during the training, but only that you suffer. But she may be the first European envoy who is much more interested in things outside her area and competence than the job for which she was given a mandate.
She wrote recently that in Serbia, government officials and state-owned media are the ones who spread misinformation and propaganda, and that there is no need for bots when you have your own televisions, radio stations and newspapers. A big problem, it can be said, unlike Kosovo, where the burning issue is that one lion was smuggled and that it lives in a cage made of European money. Probably, all other problems regarding democracy, economy, human rights and general security have already been resolved in Kosovo, so for the rapporteur not to get lazy, let her take a look at Serbia.
And there, according to Viola von Cramon, is hell. The state is like from Orwell’s “1984”, and as a confirmation for that, she gives a photo of a billboard, rented from “Informer” with a text of gratitude to the Chinese leader Xi Jinping. Of course, as a clear association (seen countless times) that the state decorates the streets of Belgrade with portraits of the Chinese leader and messages “Thank you, brother Si”, knowing full well that it is a private, not a state message, just like declaring a state-sponsored billboard a declaration of love from some Milan to some Jelena.
Viola von Cramon destroys the dignity of the European Parliament, she degrades the reputation of MEPs, because she turned her duty as rapporteur for Kosovo into an office for consulting and lobbying services to the government in Pristina. Specifically, she acts as if she is leasing her services and her influence to the Kosovo government in the process of its negotiations with Serbia.
It was “good news” for her when it became clear at the end of last year that Serbia would not open any negotiating chapters in 2020!? Can this be good news for any MEP, or anyone in the EU, if EU enlargement and encouraging candidates to become members of the Union is its long-term priority? Just as it was not good news for Serbia, it was not good for the EU either, because enlargement is a two-way street, not just a matter for Serbia. This could have been good news only for politicians in Pristina, Viola von Cramon and no one else.
Last summer, she asked Angela Merkel, Borrell and Varhelyi to “teach a lesson” to Aleksandar Vučić and say – That’s enough! Because, as she says, the Serbian police beat the peaceful protesters in front of the Assembly. They did not listen to her, because they knew very well that the police reacted in self-defense, preventing the intrusion of the mob into the parliament, while almost 200 policemen were injured by those “peaceful” demonstrators. She was biased and passionate even when she trivialized the Washington agreement, saying that its goal was not to bring stability to the Balkans, but only a PR move by Richard Grenell. It is the same now when she tweets about the state of Serbia and the state media (they have not existed for years, at the request of the EU) as generators of disinformation, manipulating private billboards as state ones.
Regarding the dialogue between Belgrade and Pristina, she recently said that she would have understood, if Kosovo set visa liberalization as a condition for the continuation of the dialogue!? It is the direct advice of a political consultant, which not only costs money, but also gives a guarantee that it can be realized, because it is brought by a politician with influence in Europe.
Viola von Cramon is an outraged opponent of the policy of Serbia and Aleksandar Vučić, she has the right to do so as a directly elected member of the European Parliament. She also has the right to be angry because there is no understanding in Brussels for her resentment towards Serbia and Vučić, on the contrary, there are incomparably more of those who see Serbia and its president as a partner and friend. What she has no right to do is to manipulate, deceive and use her high duty as a “side job” for private political operations. The lion from Gnjilan is not part of that story.