The Balkans was best known for minority problems. Today, the most bitter conflicts are between parties that appeal to majority ethnic communities. As recent turbulence in Macedonia shows, Eastern Europe could face new dangers if majority populism ends the current stigma against separatism for oppressed small groups.
On 11 July 2004, Boris Tadic was inaugurated as Serbia's first president since December 2002. Voters chose Tadic in the second round of the election, on 27 June, by a vote of 53 per cent over the ultra-nationalist Tomislav Nikolic of the Serbian Radical Party (SRS). Tadic's victory suggests that a slim majority of the electorate wants to see Serbia on a pro-European reform course.
Originally published in Today's Zaman
Serbia and Kosovo must build on a recent breakthrough in negotiations and extend dialogue to sensitive issues, especially northern Kosovo’s institutions, in order to keep their fragile relationship moving forward.
Marko Prelec, Crisis Group's Balkans Project Director, explains how to defuse tensions between Kosovo and Serbia in advance of Serbia's general elections.
The dispute about Kosovo’s sovereignty continues to fuel tensions and violent clashes in northern Kosovo, halting Kosovo’s and Serbia’s fragile dialogue and putting at risk Serbia’s EU candidacy.
Originally published in EUobserver