Masaryk university faculty of social studies



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MASARYK UNIVERSITY

FACULTY OF SOCIAL STUDIES



Department of International Relations and European Studies

Unwanted ally
Analysis of the official Serbian political elites’ positions in respect to Serbia’s possible membership in NATO
Master’s Thesis

Bc. Đorđe Paić

Supervisor: PhDr. Petr Suchý, Ph.D.

UČO: 17886

Study Field: Pl – EUP

Year of Enrolment: 2011 Brno, 2013

I, hereby, declare that this thesis is entirely my own work, and has not been taken from the work of others to the extent that such works have been cited, referenced and acknowledged within the text of my own work.


Date: 30.04.2013. Signature________________________



Abstract

Topic

Serbian political elites’ perception of Serbia’s eventual membership in NATO – analytical overview and discourse analysis



Outline
The main intention of this work is to present the official positions of Serbia political elites’ in respect to Serbia’s eventual accession to North Atlantic Treaty Alliance. In order to do that, this thesis aims to analyse programmes, strategies and other documents of all relevant political parties in Serbia, as well as the most important governmental documents and strategies in respect to Serbia’s eventual membership in NATO. By doing that it will try to acquaint the reader with the individual positions of every relevant political actor in Serbia and the arguments which support such position, so that it could create comprehensive view of Serbia’s position towards NATO. Furthermore, it also aims to highlight the biggest obstacles for the closer cooperation between Serbia and NATO and to present the positions, which Serbian political elites, take towards them. Finally, in more general terms, this thesis aspires to bring the reader closer to the problematic of relations between Serbian people and NATO, which reached its lowest points during the 1990s, but after the democratic changes in 2000, the relations have been re-established on new foundations and since then, although not without difficulties, they are constantly improving.


Table of contents:

INTRODUCTORY PART

  • Introduction to thesis.........................................................................................................................................1

  • Methods of analysis...........................................................................................................................................5

  • Yugoslavia, NATO and the Balkan Pact...........................................................................................................7

CHAPTER I: NATOs relations with Serbia: A chronological overview.......................................14

CHAPTER II: Public opinion in Serbia and NATO membership...................................................17

CHAPTER III: Elections and governments...............................................................................................20

CHAPTER IV: Political party programmes.............................................................................................24

  • Democratic Opposition of Serbia (DOS)........................................................................................................25

  • Democratic Party (DP)....................................................................................................................................26

  • Democratic Party of Serbia (DPS)................................................................................................................. 31

  • Socialist Party of Serbia (SPS).......................................................................................................................39

  • Serbian Radical Party (SRS).......................................................................................................................... 42

  • Serbian Renewal Movement (SRM).............................................................................................................. 46

  • G17 PLUS.......................................................................................................................................................49

CHAPTER V: Government documents and strategies.........................................................................52

  • Resolution of the National Assembly on the protection of Sovereignty, Territorial Integrity and Constitutional Order of the Republic of Serbia..............................................................................................53

  • National Security Strategy of the Republic of Serbia.................................................................................... 60

CHAPTER VI: Public Addresses...................................................................................................................65

  • Exposé of Goran Svilanović, Federal Minister of Foreign Affairs, in FRY Federal Parliament, Belgrade, October 24, 2001.............................................................................................................................................66

  • Exposé of Vuk Drašković, Minister of Foreign Affairs in National Assembly of Serbia and Montenegro in 2004, Belgrade, December 21, 2004...............................................................................................................72

  • Address Before the First Serbian Ambassadors’ Conference, by H.E. Mr. Vuk Jeremić, Minister of Foreign Affairs of the Republic of Serbia, Belgrade, December 16, 2007..................................................................77

Conclusions..............................................................................................................................................................81

Bibliography............................................................................................................................................................83

INTRODUCTORY PART

Introduction to thesis

Late 1980s and early 1990s were a period of great political changes in the world. After more than forty years bipolar world became history. The Cold War division between Eastern and Western bloc, Communism and Capitalism, The Union of Soviet Socialist Republics (USSR) and The United States of America (USA), was over. Both tangible symbols of this division, as The Berlin wall and abstract, as was the iron curtain, fell. USSR disappeared into history taking with it the Warsaw pact. NATO was searching its Raison d'être. Germany united. Czechoslovakia and Yugoslavia became a part of history. First one split in velvet divorce, second one was dissolved in a tragic five-year conflict. The Balkans once again justified its nickname “European powder keg”.

During these turbulent times, which followed the break-up of the bloc division, Europe was focused on deepening of the integration processes. Meanwhile, former Yugoslav republics were preoccupied with the pursuit of independence and realization of their national projects. These pursuits ended in 1995 after the signing of Dayton peace accords, which finally put an end to the bloodshed. The results were: independent Slovenia, Croatia and Macedonia. Bosnia and Herzegovina was placed under protectorate of the international community and Serbia and Montenegro constituted so called “third” Yugoslavia or Federal Republic of Yugoslavia (FRY). Although at first appeared that the principle of inviolability of borders, agreed upon in Dayton Accords, guarantees integrity of the other Yugoslav republics’ borders, 1999, NATO intervention in FRY de facto created an independent state out of southern Serbian province of Kosovo and Metohija (Kosovo).

While in other former Yugoslav republics people were concentrated on building democratic societies and integrations in EU and NATO, citizens of FRY were preoccupied with internal upheavals as the Democratic Opposition of Serbia (DOS) attempted to overthrow the Milošević regime. They have finally managed to do it on October 5th 2000, which meant that building of democratic society could finally begin. This process, among others, demonstrated the fragility of Serb and Montenegrin federation. In following years the split became inevitable and finally in 2006, after popular referendum, Montenegro declared independency from Serbia. Two years after that, in 2008, Serbia’s south province of Kosovo declared independence, which marked the end of disintegration at the Balkans, at the same time justifying the popular term “balkanisation”.

All of these happenings took its toll on democratic reforms in Serbia as well as on hers integrations into EU and NATO. At the time when majority of central and south-east European countries already became integral members of European Union and NATO, or they were well on their way of becoming that, Serbia was wrapped up in her own problems. Democratic forces that overtook Milošević, have committed themselves to building of democracy and to EU integrations. However, building of democratic society has proven to be: “work in progress”, EU integrations “works on the road”, while Euro NATO integrations became “hot potato” topic.

If one looks at the other former socialist countries and their integration path to EU, he or she can notice that majority of them joined NATO prior to becoming a members of EU. However, that path was not viewed very favourably in Serbia. Main reasons for that are: the role that NATO had in the conflicts in Bosnia and Herzegovina, and more importantly the role alliance played in 1999 intervention in FRY, which left Serbia without control over its southern province of Kosovo.

Whenever a question of NATO membership is raised in Serbian society, burden of the recent past always appears, looming over every government and political party. All of Serbia’s neighbour countries are either in NATO or they have expressed desire of join NATO. Although it was several times implied, from the highest circles of NATO that the doors for closer cooperation with Serbia are open1, Serbian politicians hesitate. Primary reason behind this is the status of Kosovo, which is under NATO supervision, while Serbian authorities claim it to be an integral part of Serbia.

This master thesis is directed at analysis of the official position, first of FRY, than of The State Union of Serbia and Montenegro (Serbia and Montenegro) and finally Republic of Serbia’s towards NATO membership. More specifically, it aims to analyse political discourse of all relevant political actors in respect to potential membership in NATO. Main goal of the thesis is to present an overview of how Serbian political elites perceive NATO and Serbia’s membership in the alliance.

Research will try to cover programmes of all relevant political parties who participated in governments and therefore were directly involved in creation of FRYs, Serbia and Montenegro’s and finally Serbia’s foreign and defence policies in period between 2000 and 2012. Main focus of the research will be on respective parts of the programmes, documents and public addresses where NATO membership issues are openly discussed, as well as the matters directly connected with that, such is for instance, the issue of the status of Kosovo.

The analysis will be done in following four steps. Firstly, I will extract (chapters, sections, subsections, paragraphs or articles) from the particular text (programme, document, strategy, public address etc.). Secondly, I will overview those extracts separately, based on what they have to say in respect to Serbia’s membership in NATO and/or issues closely related to that. Thirdly, I will reflect those extracts to the other extracts from the same text, in order to find do they somehow match, in the sense of what they say, or omit to say, regarding Serbia’s membership in NATO. Fourthly and finally, I will put those extracts in the wider context of Serbia’s and the international political arena, observe in what way they are socially conditioned and try to answer why is that.

The analysis itself will try to provide answers to following questions:


  • How Serbian political elites perceive Serbia’s potential membership in NATO?




  • What do they see as main obstacles for Serbia’s membership?




  • Which relevant political actors are in favour of Serbia’s membership in NATO, which against and which are advocates of military independency?

Therefore, in order for the thesis topic to be properly covered and methodologically processed, the thesis is divided into seven parts. Introductory part is followed by six chapters, which are conceived both to bring the reader closer to the topic as well as to conduct an analysis of the respective parts of the texts.

In that matter, parts are put in following order:

The introductory part is constructed of three sections: Introduction to thesis, methods of analysis and the outlook on relations between the Socialist Federal Republic of Yugoslavia (Yugoslavia) and NATO during the Cold War. Introductory part presents the topic, sets the objective of the research and the structure of the thesis by briefly describing each chapter. Furthermore, it presents analytical tools that will be used in the thesis. It also provides an outlook on relations between Yugoslavia and NATO, which reached their highest point in cooperation within the frameworks of the Balkan pact. Such historical overview is given in order to render the thesis text more accessible to the reader, by introducing him with the background and complexities of the relations between the Serbia and NATO.

Chapter I presents a brief chronological overview of relations between Serbia and NATO in period between 2000 and 2012. Its main goal is to acquaint the reader with most notable moments in Serbia’s (FRYs, Serbia and Montenegro’s) relations with NATO.

Chapter II is aimed to introduce reader with the general public perception of NATO in Serbia as well as the public view of Serbia’s potential membership in the organisation. Considering the importance of public opinion in democratic societies, this chapter serves to show the views of Serbia’s citizens regarding the NATO and country’s possible membership in the alliance, since those views directly influence parties and through them the official position of the state and her polices.

Chapter III presents electoral results between December 2000 and May 2012, a period in which the research takes place. Its main purpose is to inform the reader; which parties participated in the formation of the governments, who was president at the time and who held the office of the minister of foreign affairs. By doing that it introduces the reader with political actors in Serbia and provides him with the set of data necessary for basic orientation in Serbian politics of that period.

Chapter IV will deal with the analysis of relevant political party programmes. The criteria for selection of the parties are as follows: public support, participation in government and hold of Prime Minister and Minister of Foreign Affairs office. Understandably, the primary criterion is public support i.e. the elections results acquired on four elections between 2000 and 2012. However, since public support often does not necessarily imply a place in government, the second criterion is participation in government. Final criterion is hold of the Prime minister and Minister of Foreign Affair office. If we apply these criteria we can single out DP (Democratic Party), DPS (Democratic Party of Serbia), SPS (Socialist Party of Serbia), SRM (Serbian Renewal Movement) and G17 PLUS. The analysis also incorporates the major opposition party of this period – SRS (Serbian Radical Party).

Chapter V will deal with the government documents and strategies. The main criterion for selection of documents is their impact on presenting and shaping Serbia’s position in respect to cooperation with NATO and country’s possible membership in the organisation. Two documents will be considered: Resolution of the National Assembly on the protection of Sovereignty, Territorial Integrity and Constitutional Order of the Republic of Serbia and National Security Strategy of the Republic of Serbia.

Chapter VI considers three public addresses given by FRYs, Serbia and Montenegro’s and finally Serbia’s minister of foreign affairs. The main criterion for selection of these addresses was the fact that they served as main guidelines of the country’s foreign policy, in the absence of single national strategy documents. Documents that will be reviewed are: Exposé of Goran Svilanović, Federal Minister of Foreign Affairs, Exposé of Vuk Drašković, Minister of Foreign Affairs in National Assembly of Serbia and Montenegro and Address before the First Serbian Ambassadors’ Conference, by H.E. Mr. Vuk Jeremić, Minister of Foreign Affairs of the Republic of Serbia.

Methods of analysis

If politics are viewed in terms of struggle for power in order to put certain political, economic and social ideas into practice, than it can be noticed that it that process language plays a crucial role, as every political action is prepared, accompanied, influenced and played by language.2

An analytical approach on which I will rely for the purpose of this thesis is Critical Discourse Analysis (CDA). This approach comes from assumption that language is a socially conditioned process, hence that it is conditioned by other parts of society. Moreover, it holds view that society and language are not in external relationship but instead in internal and dialectical relationship, meaning that language is not only reflection of social process and practices but an integral part of them.3

For the needs of this thesis a discourse is perceived as a whole process of social interaction of which a text is just a part. The social interaction process includes process of production where text is a product, and process of interpretation of text where text is a resource. It in involves social conditions, which can be specified as social conditions of production and social conditions of interpretation. Social conditions of interpretation relate to social environment in which discourse occurs, the level of social institution which constitutes a wider matrix for the discourse and the level of society as a whole.4

Therefore by understanding language as social practice one does not analyses just texts and processes of production and interpretation but also the relationship between texts, processes and their social conditions, both immediate conditions of situational context, and the conditions of institutional and social structures.

Critical Discourse Analysis is to be conducted in three stages. First stage is description, which concentrates on formal properties of the text. It focuses primarily on vocabulary i.e. choice of particular wording, grammatical features of the text and textual structures.5

Second stage is the interpretation of the text, where the relationship between text and interaction, that is, relationship between text as a product of a process of production, and text as a resource in the process of interpretation, is being discussed. Interpretations are generated by what is in the text – cues, and what is in interpreter, namely, his or hers background knowledge and common sense assumptions. It is divided on interpretation of text and interpretation of context.6

And finally, a third stage of analysis is concerned with explanation of the relationships between interaction and social context, namely, with the social determination of the process of production and interpretation and their social effects. Explanation is a process of seeing a discourse as a part of social struggle within a matrix of relations of power. There can be two dimensions of explanation, depending on whether the emphasis is on process of structure – upon process of struggle or upon process of relations of power.7



Yugoslavia, NATO and the Balkan Pact

At the end of World War II Europe stood in ruins of her former self. After defeating the common enemy, forced wartime alliance between United States, Great Britain and USSR was brought to conclusion due to the irreconcilable ideological differences. That breakup was a beginning of Europe’s division between the East and the West, between capitalism and communism.

Unlike communist regimes in other eastern European countries, which have been, ever since the war ended, gradually installed with strong support from USSR, Yugoslav communists perceived themselves as undeniable war winners and in accordance with that they had their own plans and aspirations, regardless of USSRs. One of such plans was related to the city of Trieste and its surroundings, which remained an open question between Italy and Yugoslavia, despite the war being officially over. Tito lead Yugoslav partisans were first to arrive in Trieste on May 1, 1945, after having defeated the German forces in the city. They took over the city and established military administration, which Italian side perceived as an occupation act, while the Yugoslav side viewed it as liberation. Analogous to that Yugoslavian side aspired to annex the city of Trieste and the region around it, but the Western allies objected such development, which eventually led to the agreement on June 12, 1945, by which the area was put under command of the Allied forces.8 In 1947, after Paris peace negotiations, the Free Territory of Trieste was founded and the Trieste area was divided between allies and Yugoslavia in two zones.9

The period that followed this agreement can be described as turbulent, putting it mildly. It was marked with constant incidents between Allied and Yugoslav forces, out of which the most serious ones occurred in August 1946, when Yugoslav army pilots shot down two American airplanes10, which used Yugoslavian air space flying from bases in Italy and Austria, despite constant protests from Belgrade. After those incidents Washington send a warning to Belgrade and Tito was forced to promise that there will be no shooting down of American airplanes in the future. Nevertheless, the Americans stopped with overflights after the incidents.11

On the south of the country Yugoslavia was actively supporting communists in Greek civil war, regardless of Stalin and Churchill’s gentleman’s agreement, according to whom Greece came within British sphere of influence.12 In parallel with that, Yugoslavs initiated negotiations with Bulgarians and Albanians about creation of Balkan federation. However, both USSR and the Western allies were against such federation. Stalin was against it, since he believed that the federation would undermine Soviet hegemony, while the Western allies believed that such federation would be a direct threat to Greece, Turkey and Italy, that is, the entire Mediterranean. The initiative for Balkan federation was eventually unsuccessful, but all of the above mentioned Yugoslav initiatives and actions caused Western allies to believe, that they stand very close to Soviet Union as one of its most important satellites.13

While the Western Europe was uniting, first in the form of the Treaty of Brussels, signed on 17th of March 1948 by Great Britain, France, the Netherlands, Belgium and Luxemburg which was an initial trigger for the foundation of NATO on 4th of April 1949, the first cracks begin to appear among the communist countries concentrated around Moscow. Yugoslav communists, although never questioning the primacy of Moscow were more interested in Yugoslavia then in complying with the interests of USSR, which eventually led to the excommunication of Yugoslav Communist Party from Comniform.14 This breakup is to be seized by Western allies, who have decided to support Yugoslavia in order to present it as an example to follow for other communist countries, but carefully maintaining it at a safe distance, since they believed that Yugoslavia as an open ally of the West would not be an attractive example for other Communist countries.15

This essentially meant that Yugoslavia is to get both economic and military support, primarily from United States, as well as from other Western allies. In mid May 1951, a Yugoslav delegation, led by chief of general staff General Konstantin Koča Popović and Yugoslav ambassador in United States Vladimir Popović, met with the Truman administration staff, led by Truman’s foreign policy advisor Averell Harriman. Main issues on the agenda were foreign policy situation on the Balkans, threats to Yugoslavia from Soviet Union and modalities of US military aid to Yugoslavia. The discussion regarding technical details of the US support went rather smoothly. However it was not the case with the talks regarding wider foreign policy concepts. Harriman stated that Washington cannot have the same relationship with Yugoslavia as with Great Britain and France, which are members of NATO. Ambasador Popović than explained that joining the NATO, would have negative effects on regional security and that non-aligned Yugoslavia contributes to world peace. Harriman responded that the American concept of defence in Europe is based on collective security and that, due to the military reasons, some form of collective contract should be made.16 On his way back to Yugoslavia on June 10, General Popović met in Paris with Dwight Eisenhower, at the time general secretary of NATO, to discuss agreed transfer of military equipment from Italy to Yugoslavia. After discussing the technicalities of the agreement, Eisenhower asked general Popović: “Would the Yugoslav army based on a communist order fight against the Soviet system alongside western capitalism?”17Popović responded that Yugoslavia’s friendly relations with Soviet Union were broken because of the imperialist nature of the Soviet Union and that Yugoslavs would fight with West-European soldiers, in case of the Soviet aggression. General Popović also dismissed the notion of coordinated military planning with the west before the outbreak of hostilities.18

This intrigued Eisenhower, who believed that the European security problem could be solved by creating the United States of Europe, among which he included aside from Western European countries: Western Germany, Spain, Yugoslavia and Greece.19

The Paris meeting between Eisenhower and Koča Popović was of particular importance due to the fact that that it was first time a possible alliance between Yugoslavian and NATO was mentioned. Genereral Popović however rejected any military cooperation prior to the outbreak of hostilities, which spurred the American diplomats to develop a special programme of cooperation with Yugoslavia. In the course of 1951 the US, Great Britain and France agreed upon percentages of economic assistance to Yugoslavia.20

Modalities of military assistance were considered during the visit of the US General Collins to Yugoslavia, during which main focus on three issues: Yugoslavia’s support to NATO defence plans, which particularly included protection of so called “Ljubljana gate”21, expansion of western assistance to Yugoslavia in the event of war and assistance to Yugoslavia in creating a respectable air force.22



The Agreement on military assistance between the Federal People’s Republic of Yugoslavia and the United States was finally signed on November 14, 1951 by Marshal Tito and the US ambassador to Yugoslavia George V. Allen.23

Balkan pact
Ever since 1949, both Greece and Turkey expressed their desire to join NATO, but the US as well as other NATO members were not prepared to accept their bids. The Western allies not only believed that they were not able to offer them a protection under NATOs umbrella, but they also were not willing to provoke the Soviet Union.24
Out of those two, Greece was more inclining towards regional cooperation, while Turkey was more pro NATO. However, after some persuasion from Greek side, during 1950s and 1951s Turks have decided to mutually push for further regional integrations. After signing few bilateral trade agreements they have jointly started to persuade Yugoslavia to go into further regional integrations. At the time Yugoslavia was not particularly interested in any alliances, as they have seen little sense in entering the sphere of Western domination after freeing themselves from Soviet one. During the following year, 1952, Greece and Turkey joined NATO, while at the same time Yugoslav and US generals searched for further appropriate modes of cooperation, especially suited for Yugoslavia. In spite of their accession to NATO, Greece and Turkey continued to work on improvement of relations with Yugoslavia, and after achieving considerable progress, United States decided to give support to this regional initiative.25
Such initiative from Turkish and Greek behalf, supported by United States resulted in signing of Ankara treaty26, that is, Treaty of Friendship and Collaboration between the Turkish Republic, The Kingdom of Greece, and the Federal People's Republic of Yugoslavia on February 28, 1953. Despite it seemed that the treaty was directed against Soviet expansionism, in its essence Ankara treaty was directed against Bulgaria, who was by all three signatories considered to be most dangerous soviet satellite.27 The treaty itself did not contain any military clauses, but after signing, the all three signatory’s countries became more interested in military cooperation, which proved to be a tricky issue for United States and the Western allies.
US, Great Britain and France coordinated their efforts and worked together on the text of the Balkan treaty. However their view of the treaty differed from the view of Greece and Turkey, as they wanted to maintain a safe distance from Yugoslavia, while Greece and Turkey had absolutely nothing to lose and much to gain from such cooperation with Yugoslavia. They have also pushed for NATO membership as well as for them, so as for Yugoslavia. All in all, the process of creating the text of the treaty was followed by many difficulties.28
Greece and Turkey had objective reasons for creating a regional military alliance. Turkey had a long border with USSR, while Greece was fresh out of the civil war, with still strong communist forces in the north of the country, who threatened to declare independence under name Macedonia and join Bulgaria counting on the support from USSR. By getting the Yugoslavia into the alliance Greece reckoned that this would reduce pressure on its northern border and that it would secure its left and right wing.29 Significance of Yugoslavia, for Greece and Turkey resided in the fact that it was a connection with the Western Europe.

On the other hand, Yugoslavia’s motives were manifold. Most important one was protection against invasion of USSR and its satellites. Moreover, closer relations with regional partners gave more significance to the entire region, thus to Yugoslavia as well. In addition to that such partnership would give Yugoslavia a stronger position in negotiations with Italy over Trieste. And finally, regional military alliance provided better cooperation with the west without becoming a NATO member.30

United States essentially were against creation of the Balkan Pact. The main reason behind such position was the Trieste question, since they have considered Italy as more important ally than Yugoslavia.31 At first, United States were suggesting that Italy should join the pact, as they believed that that would present a good platform for the resolution of the Trieste question. In the beginning Greece was against such proposition, as that would undermine her importance. After resolution of the Trieste question in 1954, Greece changed its position, but this time Yugoslavia was against.32

The very contents of the agreement also presented a problem. Both NATO and Yugoslavia had different views that required harmonisation. At the beginning Yugoslav side required guarantees that every party will be automatically involved in case any of the signatory countries was attacked. NATO was naturally against such proposition, since that would mean that it has to be involved if USSR attacks Yugoslavia – a not a member of the alliance. Other reason is that if Yugoslavia comes into conflict with Italy over Trieste, it would cause inter NATO conflict between Greece and Turkey on one side and Italy on the other. Negotiations finally ended with agreement that NATO members can form separate alliances so Balkan pact was made possible.33

However, a formulation was implemented in the text of the Balkan pact, which says that in case of any aggression against a country to which, one or more countries have agreements on mutual assistance, a special procedure is to be applied, namely, special consultations regarding the respective situation would be held in Security Council of NATO.34 This formulation was inserted to prevent the escalation of conflict between member states. Also, aggression on some country other than Greece and Turkey would not oblige Yugoslavia to military assistance. Like that pact became defensive and independent of NATO.35

Treaty of Alliance, Political Cooperation, and Mutual Assistance between the Turkish Republic, the Kingdom of Greece, and the Federal People's Republic of Yugoslavia i.e. Balkan pact was signed on 9th of August 1954.


As Vujačić36 suggests there are two paragraphs of the agreement that deserve closer attention. First one is article II:

The Contracting Parties agree that any armed aggression against one or more of them in any part of their territories shall be considered an aggression against all the Contracting Parties, who, consequently, in the exercise of the right of individual or collective self-defense recognized in Article 51 of the Charter of the United Nations, shall jointly and severally go to the assistance of the Party or Parties attacked by taking immediately and by common accord any measures, including the use of armed force, which they deem necessary for effective defense.



The Contracting Parties undertake, without prejudice to Article VII of the present Treaty, not to conclude peace or any other arrangement with the aggressor in the absence of a prior mutual agreement between the Parties.”37

As he notices the article II of the Balkan Pact is similar to article V38 of the NATO treaty. To this article an article X was added, which reads:

The provisions of the present Treaty do not affect and shall not be interpreted as affecting in any way the rights and obligations of Greece and Turkey resulting from the North Atlantic Treaty of April 4, 1949.39

The article X was inserted on the insistence of the US side, who wanted to limit the scope of the treaty. The main intention of this article was to prevent the possibility of conflict between USSR and NATO in case of Soviet attack on Yugoslavia.40

Death of Joseph Stalin, in 1953, had immense influence on Balkan politics. His successors took a rapprochement towards all three signatories of the Balkan pact and they were reassuring them that there is no immediate danger of war. As a result of this change in attitude of USSR towards Greece, Turkey and Yugoslavia, these countries begin to believe that there is no further need for such close cooperation, which the framework of the Balkan pact provided. A definite end of the pact was the outbreak of animosities between Greece and Turkey, after the bombing of Turkish consulate in Thessaloniki and reopening of the Cyprus question in 1955. This ended cooperation between Turkey and Greece, hence eventually leading the pact to become a dead letter.41

The Balkan Pact ended when it was no longer in the primary interests of signatory countries to keep it. On more positive note it presented an example of how the regional animosities can be overcome when a mutual problem occurs.42 Taking into consideration all what has been said it is important to point out that, the cooperation in the frameworks of Balkan Pact, presented a closest form of cooperation of Yugoslavia and NATO and a peak in their relations.



CHAPTER I:

NATO relations with Serbia: A chronological overview43
1999

NATO begins with air strikes on FRY.

After a 78-day air campaign Military Technical Agreement was signed at Kumanovo (FYROM) between The Kosovo Force (KFOR), FRY and Serbian government. It regulated terms for termination of hostilities, withdrawal of FRY forces, deployment of KFOR and the establishing of Air Safety Zone (ASZ) and Ground Safety Zone (GSZ).

2001
FRY’s armed forces have returned to the Ground Safety Zone after successful cooperation between newly elected FRY’s authorities and NATO in crisis-management operations in southern Serbia.
Delegation of NATO parliamentary assembly visits FRY for the first time. The main topics of discussion were military reforms and democratic control of armed forces. FRY expressed desire to join PfP programme.

2002
UK embassy in Belgrade was named NATO Contact Embassy.
Minister of foreign affairs Goran Svilanović informed general secretary of NATO that the government of FRY has decided to start with the PfP accession procedure.
FRY gets observer status.


2003

Belgrade formally applied for PfP membership.

FRY was replaced by a looser state union of Serbia and Montenegro (S&M).

NATO initiates Special Tailored Cooperation Programme for S&M.



General Secretary of NATO George Robertson visits Belgrade for the first time after the end of the bombing campaign.

2004
Ambassador Branislav Milinković was named a special envoy of S&M to NATO.
Interdepartmental Group for Coordinating S&M preparations to join the PfP was adopted.  
Joint exercises with Romanian and Italian forces were conducted.
17. NATO Summit was held in Istanbul, attended by the S&M delegation.
The Kingdom of Norway assumed the function of the contact country.

2005
S&M takes the chair over the NATO SEEGROUP initiative.
The draft of the new S&M/NATO Cooperation Plan for the year 2005 was completed. During this visit NATO Secretary General Jap de Hop Sheferand S&M Foreign Affairs Minister Vuk Drašković signed S&M and NATO Agreement on opening the ground communication channels.

2006
State Union of Serbia and Montenegro was dissolved.
Serbia joins the Partnership for Peace programme at the NATO Summit in Riga.
NATO opens a Military Liaison Office (MLO) in Belgrade.

2007
Republic of Italy assumed the function of contact point country.
Serbia joins the Partnership for Peace (PfP) Planning and Review Process (PARP).
Trilateral exercise Danube guard ‘07’ with Bulgaria and Romania was held.
Serbia submits its PfP Presentation Document to NATO.
National assembly of Serbia adopted Resolution on the Protection of Sovereignty, Territorial Integrity and Constitutional Order of the Republic of Serbia which declares the neutral status of the Republic of Serbia towards effective military alliances.

2008
On NATO summit in Bucharest Serbia was invited to sign Individual Partnership Programme (IPAP).
An agreement on exchange of information with NATO is signed.

2009
Serbia agrees its first Individual Partnership Programme with NATO.

2010
NATO Secretary Anders Fogh Rasmussen and Serbian President Boris Tadić meet in New York.
Serbia opens its mission in NATO.

2011
The North Atlantic Council approves Serbia’s request to undertake an Individual Partnership Action Plan (IPAP) with NATO.
Serbia hosts the Allied Command Transformation Strategic Military Partners Conference, one of the largest NATO partnership events.
CHAPTER II:

Public opinion in Serbia and NATO membership

Figure 1: Should Serbia become a member of NATO? (%). Public opinion polls conducted from

2003-2007 and 2009-2012.

Note: The author could not find data for 2008.

This graph presents results obtained in public opinion polls conducted from 2003 until 2012. It presents a combination of polls conducted on the topic by several research agencies and it is comprised in that way, in order to display citizen opinion towards NATO membership more faithfully.44

As we can see from the graph, support for NATO membership never exceeded 40%, while biggest opposition to NATO membership was around 66%. A tendency of decline in support can also be noticed, as in the year 2012 support reached its lowest point of just 14%. There are several reasons for this downward spiral. Most important one is definitely recognition of Kosovo independence and the NATOs member states role in the process. In addition to that, a tenth year anniversary of NATO operation in FRY has refreshed Serbia citizens’ memories of that period. Those memories were further strengthened and illuminated by NATOs intervention in Libya, since they generally saw much more similarities than differences between these two operations.45

Citizens of Serbia have predominantly one-sided view of NATO; 38,5% considers NATO to be just an instrument in USA’s hands, for 22,3% alliance is a protector of rich states interests while only 5,7% sees NATO as defence alliance. Majority of them connects NATO with 1999 intervention in FRY and they do not see a connection between their present or future security and NATO, the same as between NATO and economic prosperity.46

On the other hand when the country was joining PfP programme, 72, 8% of its citizens supported that. This can probably be explained by the fact that majority of European states took part in this programme. A difference between support for NATO and support for PfP indicates that there is significant potential for rise in support of NATO.47

Other positive indicator of potential support for NATO membership are examinees answers to more concrete questions regarding benefits of NATO membership; 31, 3% of examinees consider that NATO membership would increase national security of Serbia, 29, 9% beliefs that joining NATO would benefit Serbian military industry and 38% believe that membership in NATO would modernise Serbian armed forces.48

Furthermore majority of Serbian citizens believe that in order for NATO to improve relations with Serbia; it has to pay war reparations 47%, while 16% believes that it has to apologise for the bombings in 1999. If Serbia is becomes a member NATO that would be seen as; a sign of political amnesia 20, 9%, selling out, 20, 2% and betrayal of ancestors and history 16, 1%.

It is also important to mention that the majority of citizens support present security policy towards Kosovo, who they see as a biggest threat to the security of Serbia; 36% of examinees believe that Kosovo’s declaration of independence presents a threat to security of Serbia and 38% believe that that is a threat to national identity of Serbian people.49

As it can be seen from this, at least until political elites of Serbia carry out policies as military neutrality and Kosovo as integral part of Serbia, which majority of citizens support, it is hard to expect significant changes in support of Serbian citizens to NATO membership.



CHAPTER III:

Elections and governments

Table1: Parliamentary elections held in December 200050

Party

Percentage of votes

Seats 250

Government

DOS51

64,8%

176

yes

SPS52

13,76%

37

no

SRS53

8,59%

23

no

PSU 54

5,33%

14

no

On first parliamentary elections in FRY after the overthrow of Milošević, Democratic Opposition of Serbia recorded a conclusive victory. Having von 64,8% it formed the government which was presided by Prime Minister Zoran Đinđić from DP. Vojislav Koštunica in front of DOS won on the presidential elections. Goran Svilanović from CSS was appointed minister of foreign affairs.


This government lasted from 2000 until 2003 and it was dismissed after the assassination of Prime Minister Zoran Đinđić. Most important events, besides tragic death of Prime Minister Đinđić, were FRYs return to international organizations, extradition of the former President Slobodan Milošević’s to Hague, formal Belgrade application for PfP membership and FRYs replacing with the State Union of Serbia and Montenegro.
After Đinđić’s death National Assembly elected Zoran Živković from DP as a caretaker Prime Minister until new elections were held in December 2003. This government will be mostly be remembered by starting The Operation Sabre (Operacija Sablja), which came as a reaction for the murder of Prime Minister Đinđić and it was directed at breaking down crime groups held responsible for the murder.55 It is also important to notice that during its mandate Serbia and Montenegro was admitted to the Council of Europe.

Table 2: Parliamentary elections held in December 200356

Party

Percentage of votes

Seats 250

Government

SRS

27,61%

82

no

DPS57

17,72%

53

yes

DP58

12,58%

37

yes

G17PLUS59

11,46%

34

yes

SRO60-NS61

7,66%

22

yes

SPS

7,61%

22

no


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