Analysis 30 Jun 17

Balkan Rightists Tighten Links to European Allies

Once isolated nationalist parties in the Balkans are cooperating increasingly closely with each other - and with allies in Germany, Italy and elsewhere.

Maja Zivanovic
BIRN
Belgrade

Dveri and Ataka met in the Serbian parliament on June 22. Photo: Dveri

Several leading rightist, EU-sceptic, pro-Russian and anti-NATO parties from across the region held meetings in recent weeks, indicating a growing willingness to close ranks - much more than the divided and distrustful pro-EU forces in the Balkans.

The perspective of a more united front among Balkan rightists poses another potential problem for the EU enlargement process - and for the EU’s engagement in the region, which is increasingly perceived to be lacking understanding of escalating ethnic, political, economic and social tensions in the region.

In a sign of this new trend, representatives of the Serbian and Bulgarian rightist parties, Dveri and Ataka, met in the Serbian parliament on June 22.

“Both sides agreed on common goals regarding enhanced cooperation with Russia, and on a turn towards the family and traditional values,” the two parties said in a joint press release on the day of the meeting.

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