ESU calls for a European integration of the Republic of Serbia
Over the past years, the countries of the Western Balkans have moved closer to the EU: certain progress in reforms was made and established criteria and conditions have been met. Important steps were taken in regional cooperation. Public opinion in the Western Balkans is largely favorable to EU integration. All governments have committed themselves to this objective and are, each according to their ability, implementing reforms. However, the Western Balkans are confronted with a number of challenges. It is in the interest of the European Union, and of Europe as a whole, that the region should go ahead as rapidly as possible with political and economic reform and reconciliation among people. It is also in the best interest of the EU that these countries develop strong cooperation among themselves in order to achieve progress towards the EU.
Stability of the region is only possible through a stable and prosperous Serbia fully integrated into the family of European peoples. Though the presidential elections held in February 2008 confirmed Serbia’s European aspirations, Serbia is currently facing strategic choices regarding its future, which depend on the results of today’s parliamentary elections. After 8 years of a difficult transition process and a lot of drawbacks along the European path of Serbia, the forces from the nineties are strengthening and endangering the whole region by possibly leading towards an isolation of Serbia.
Unfortunately, the overall political situation in the country is also widely reflecting on higher education reforms and the involvement and life of students and student organizations. Even though students have in the past shown strong dedication and ability to participate in higher education reforms, as much as in the societal reforms, nowadays they are facing strong political pressures and influences which are again appearing within the universities.
We, the students from across Europe, strongly support democratic and pro-European initiatives which aim at enabling the further European integration process of Serbia. Therefore, the European Students’ Union urges EU institutions and governments of Member States to enable mobility of Serbian citizens and to support initiatives that will lead Serbia to be a part of the EU. It is important now, more than ever, for Serbia to choose its road to Europe and to continue the building of a peaceful and stable Western Balkans.