Serbia’s Protests and the Growing Discontent With Western Priorities in the Balkans

Protesters hold a poster of Serbian President Aleksandar Vucic with a Pinocchio nose, Belgrade, Serbia, March 2, 2019 (AP photo by Darko Vojinovic).
Protesters hold a poster of Serbian President Aleksandar Vucic with a Pinocchio nose, Belgrade, Serbia, March 2, 2019 (AP photo by Darko Vojinovic).

Anti-government protests in Serbia that have brought tens of thousands of people into the streets, decrying what they see as increasingly authoritarian rule, are entering their third month. But there seems to be little sign that the demonstrators’ demands will be heeded. On Feb. 25, a European Union spokeswoman, Maja Kocijancic, told reporters that there would be no “Balkan spring,” referring to widening protests in Serbia, Montenegro and Albania—all countries that are hoping to join the EU. The statement, which riled protesters in all three countries, seemed to confirm for them what has been increasingly evident in recent years: The […]

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