Professor Florian Bieber of the Center for Southeast European Studies, at the University of Graz, said on Nov. 14 that Serbia had been struggling with serious problems in the areas of corruption, freedom of the media and a lack of democracy, and that, as such, it would never be able to become part of the European Union (EU).
"(Serbian President Aleksandar) Vucic knows that very well, and he's aware that the way he rules contradicts European principles. The choice is his - will he reduce his influence and give up being 'omnipotent,' or continue to rule the same way," Bieber said in an interview with with the Nova.rs portal.
When asked if the West tolerates the lack of democracy, stifled media freedoms and enslaved institutions under Vucic, the professor said that it was very difficult to criticize a government if there was an objective fear that the government could distance itself from the West.
"It's a message that Vucic sends masterfully, when he says that if support from the West is not provided, Serbia will move even closer to China and Russia. Secondly, the West has long believed that the authorities in Serbia will make certain compromises regarding Kosovo, which is why it was prepared to offer support," Professor Bieber said, adding, though, that the EU had now realized that Vucic was not delivering.