Comment 19 Apr 17

Vucic’s Brand of “Stability” Will be Short-lived

The West will live to regret putting its faith in Aleksandar Vucic as the great ‘factor of stability’ in the Balkans. 

Jasmin Mujanovic
BIRN
Serbian Prime Minister Aleksandar Vucic. Photo: Darko Vojinovic/AP/Beta

Aleksandar Vucic is the new President of Serbia. But the extent to which this was a foregone conclusion, ahead of the recent election, is precisely the problem.

Vucic’s control over his Serbian Progressive Party, the media, and the public administration, was already decidedly “illiberal”. But with his only true competitor, Tomislav Nikolic, now fully out of the way, Vucic genuinely stands alone.

Brussels seems unconcerned. If anything, the EU is relieved that its man in Belgrade has cemented his rule, providing it with a credible lynchpin for its efforts to reign in the perpetually problematic Western Balkans.

The EU has hedged virtually its entire foreign policy muscle in the region since 2012 on Belgrade. To the Brussels establishment, Vucic is a determined reformer, a decisive leader and a man who can deliver results.    

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