How well has Serbia adjusted? The COVID-19 crisis shed light on the fragile state of Serbian democracy, which became particularly visible when the authorities introduced a state of emergency and adopted stringent and out-of-proportion measures to fight the pandemic. To make matters worse, during this period the latest Freedom House Report came out, in which Serbia was no longer classified as a “semi-consolidated democracy”, but rather as a “hybrid regime”. As Serbia geared up for the June 2020 parliamentary elections, tensions grew even greater, especially as a large part of the opposition opted for the strategy of boycotting the election.
In order to better understand the challenges of the post-pandemic EU accession process, the European Policy Centre – CEP has discussed the current situation and the road ahead with prominent domestic and foreign stakeholders. On 13 May 2020, CEP hosted an online, closed-door discussion panel titled “Serbia’s COVID-19 diplomacy and the outcomes of the Zagreb Summit: Déja vu or crucial milestone on the path to EU accession?” The following represents an analysis of key elements brought up by discussants at the event.
Photo: Flickr/ EU2020HR