Jovana Marovic, member of the Balkans Policy Advisory Group in Europe (BiEPAG) and former Deputy Prime Minister and former Minister of European Integration of Montenegro, does not yet know the reasons why she was banned from entry in Serbia, although some time has passed since then. the incident happened, according to what Ms. Marovic told the Albanian daily in an exclusive interview.
Marovic, a member of BiEPAG, was refused entry to Serbia on August 23, 2023, which she announced herself in a post on protection of the security of the Republic of Serbia and its citizens”.
In his reaction to the incident, the President of Montenegro, Jakov Milatovic, said that the ban on entry into Serbia of the former Deputy Prime Minister of the Montenegrin Government, Jovana Marovic, is contrary to the development of good relations. neighborhood and expressed his belief that it does not pose a threat to the security of Serbia.
“My commitment to strengthening democracy in the Western Balkans does not depend in any way on this ban,” Marovic said in the DNA interview.
Regarding the failure of EU-mediated talks between Kosovo Prime Minister Albin Kurti and Serbian President Aleksandar Vucic, the former top diplomat found it difficult to predict in which direction and with what dynamics the dialogue would continue . However, she considered that it was necessary to insist on the implementation of the agreement and on the search for a solution acceptable to both parties. “Any scenario that leads to further tensions would be detrimental to both Kosovo, Serbia and the entire region. »
Asked about the lack of a common approach to establishing a timetable for the enlargement of the World Bank within the EU, Marovic said that public disagreements among senior EU officials tell us that the The EU does not have a clear vision for the Western Balkans. “The approach announced by the President of the European Commission, Ursula von der Leyen, a few months ago, leads us to accession in stages, which calls into question whether accession is still an option, and one may wonder to what extent such an approach will lead to the strengthening of democracy,” she said.
Albanian daily news: First of all, thank you for this interview and let me start with an incident that happened not so long ago, in which you were refused entry to Serbia “in order to protect the security of the Republic of Serbia and its citizens”. » said a Belgrade official. Such an act has been widely condemned by political leaders and civil society in your country. Now, after some time, what could you tell DNA readers about this event?
Jovana Marovic, member of BiEPAG and former Deputy Prime Minister of Montenegro: The article of the law according to which a person may be prohibited from entering the country for reasons of protecting the security of the Republic of Serbia and its citizens is deliberately worded in such a way that it leaves no room nor need to justify this decision. and it can be selective and unfounded in the face of a real threat.
The reasons why I was banned from entering Serbia are not clear to me, but there is no need to look further for the context of the story. My commitment to strengthening democracy in the Western Balkans in no way depends on this ban.
-MS. Marovic, during negotiations on September 14 in Brussels under the auspices of the EU, the leaders of Kosovo and Serbia failed to reach an agreement to improve bilateral relations. What do you think will happen after this failure of the negotiations?
– It is difficult to predict in which direction and with what dynamics the dialogue will continue, but it is necessary to insist on the implementation of the Agreement and find a solution that is acceptable to both parties, because any scenario that would lead to New tensions will be detrimental to both Kosovo, Serbia and the region as a whole.
– Meanwhile, there appears to be confusion in the EU’s approach to the Western Balkans regarding enlargement, which became more evident after the European Commission immediately refuted the President’s recent call of the European Council, Charles Michel, that the EU is ready for the next “big” enlargement by 2030. As a keen follower of the World Bank enlargement process and European affairs, what is your opinion on this “hectic” situation?
– The message from the President of the European Council that 2030 should be seen as the year when the Union must be ready to welcome new members is an attempt to set a timetable for the enlargement process, as the current approach does not produces no results. However, since the European Commission immediately reacted the next day, such an announcement was not the result of consultations on how to speed up and break the deadlock in the enlargement process.
Public disagreements among senior EU officials show us that the EU does not have a clear vision for the Western Balkans. The approach announced by the President of the European Commission, Ursula von der Leyen, a few months ago, leads us to accession in stages, which calls into question whether accession is still an option, and one can ask in to what extent such an approach will lead to the strengthening of democracy.
– As announced, the Berlin Process Summit will be held in Tirana on October 16, 2023. Looking at the performance of this initiative over 10 years, do you think it has borne fruit and what should happen after its annual summit?
– Regional cooperation is important when it comes to integration in certain areas before EU accession, and the Berlin process as such was launched at the right time and brought certain benefits to citizens of the Western Balkans. However, results are limited, integration is slow and cooperation in these areas has not had a knock-on effect on democracy.
At the annual summit in Tirana, civil society recommendations will be presented and probably additional activities will be agreed within the framework of regional integration.
– As a follow-up, will Montenegro be represented at the Summit by a new government, a question closely linked to the progress of the efforts of the leader of the “Europe Now” party, Milojko Spajic, appointed by President Milatovi? as future Prime Minister?
– Negotiations on the new government in Montenegro are slow and it is not certain that the government will be formed before the summit. All this further complicates the implementation of reforms and the acceleration of the European path, so that the political crisis, which has lasted for too long, is only getting worse and the situation in the country is becoming more complicated.
–In conclusion, Ms. Marovic, what are your expectations for this year’s 78th session of the UNGA? – In times of crisis, the protection of universal values becomes even more important. Solidarity remains the key word.
Western Balkan leaders must more credibly honor their commitment to implement fundamental reforms and protect human rights.