Karadzic - finally!

posted by Julia on 2008/07/24 01:17

[ Serbia ]

"Karadzic - finally!" titles the "Süddeutsche Zeitung" - indeed, Radovan Karadzic could have been arrested earlier on several occasions (FAZ and ZEIT ), and it is no coincidence that the arrest happens now 2 weeks after the new Serbian pro-European government was sworn in. He could be transfered to the ICTY in the Hague as early as this week-end. Now only two accused are at large: R. Mladic and G. Hadzic. (... more...)


Karadzic' arrest does not only mean "one more step towards Europe" for Serbia, it also contributes to strengthening the (much criticised) ICTY and the international justice system. The ICTY press release reads: "This arrest may be considered another milestone in the development of international law and further fulfillment of the Tribunal's mandate to bring to justice the most senior persons alleged to be most responsible for war crimes in the Yugoslav conflicts."

Nevertheless, as V. Dzihic points out, the "ups and downs" of journalistic reporting on the Balkans should not deceive us: the good news of Karadzic' arrest cannot hide the numerous problems that Serbia is still fighting with. Indeed, if Karadzic could hide such a long time in the centre of Belgrade, this was due to numerous supporters. Several politicians openly expressed their disappointment and anger at his arrest.

In a recent editorial Sonia Biserko, NGO activist and  chairwoman of the Helsinki Committee for Human Rights in Serbia, criticises the EU's "appeasement policy" towards Serbia, but considers the EU as a key supporter of reform and democratization in Serbia. She advocates a more "focused" and "comprehensive" international strategy for Serbia concentrated on education/young people/students, media, and civil society.

According to Florian Bieber - who answers directly to Sonia Biserko's article - civil society is too weak to play a significant role: the EU should therefore focus on political elites and try to establish direct contacts with the citizens:

"Serbia and its elite needs the incentives to change and re-focus its political energy. Today, EU membership is simply too far away to accomplish this. As a result, the EU needs to reconsider its strategy and offer concrete and intermediate goalposts which re-energise Serbia's path to EU integration."



< previous Posting next >

<< previous Topic


This weblog is a forum for discussion on the political and social processes linked to EU integration in the Western Balkans. We would also like to use this space to create a virtual network of researchers on this topic. You are most welcome to contribute to this weblog with comments, postings, links, or photos. Please use the "add comment" function at the end of each posting!
All photos by the Photo Arts Collective of Kosovo. First photo by Burim Myftiu (Swimming olympiade in Klina). Second photo by Mimoza. Third photo by Dashmir Izairi.
> RSS Feed RSS 2.0 feed for Kakanien Revisited Blog SEE-EU