"Croatia alone has no strength to block Serbia long-term"

Croatia does not have the strength to block Serbia even for a few months, let alone decades, "as some individuals have been announcing," says Dejan Jovic.

Source: B92
(B92)
(B92)

This professor at the Faculty of Political Sciences in Zagreb, Croatia, spoke for B92 TV's Kaziprst program on Wednesday.

However, a threat to Serbia's path toward EU membership could arise if other member-countries joined Croatia, he remarked.

According to Jovic, the reason for a blockade "can be any topic, even a situation where there is no specific reason" - something he said would be "difficult to sustain in the long run up, but possible under EU's current rules, that require agreement of all members."

This professor also thinks that "if there is an anti-expansion moon among a number of countries" Croatia could be tolerated in its actions, "even if it has no reason for them."

As an example, he mentioned Greece's blockade of Macedonia, ongoing for a number of years.

"The key there is not what Greece wants, but that there are other countries that have reservations towards enlargement that would include Macedonia," said Jovic.

According to him, Croatia has "overestimated its own real power" - something he considers "dangerous for a country to do."

"Then what happens is what happened to Slovenia against Croatia, and to Croatia twice in relation to Serbia - and that is humiliating retreat," said Jovic.

He told B92 that several figures "from the right-wing fringe" have appeared on Croatia's political scene, and that they "cure their personal frustrations in this way," and added:

"There are many reasons for the blocking, it is important to say that the process brings frustration, a candidate during the process at times feel frustrated, even humiliated. Croatia felt that way too, and Serbia will, or already does. It is not a process of negotiations, but of acceptance, and what's on offer is the 'take it or leave it' principle."

According to the professor, in its place - "Serbia would probably behave the same as Croatia."

"That's the nature of the political process, every country wants the power, to use that power, and to realize some of its interests," said Jovic.

He also thinks that the European Union is "making a big mistake" when it comes to its policy of enlargement, and the delays.

"It should expand to where it can, when it can, and there is now a mood for that here. The Balkans is currently not a problem, not in the security, not in the economic sense. The policy of letting in one by one country instead of as a group was also wrong. Thus, it's possible for the one that was admitted first to immediately block the next," said Jovic.

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