(Essay by Jasmina Tešanović, photoshop by Oibibio)
Since December 20th, 2007, ever-smaller Serbia is
surrounded by the ever-larger European Union.
Nine countries have joined – bringing to 24 the number
of nations to have abolished internal passport
The latest wave of members includes eight former
communist states, and Malta.
Switzerland will become the 25th Schengen country when
it joins next year.
The enlarged free-travel area encompasses some 400
million people – 30 percent more than the population
of the U.S.
This wall is called Schengen, imposed against the
Others in the region who will not comply with the
standards emanating from Brussels. Every state
around Serbia has come to make its peace, more or
less, with the huge fact of European soft-power. Serbs
do not comply.
The negotiations in Vienna about the breakaway Serbian
province of Kosovo have clamorously failed, yet
again. The province is threatening to proclaim a
unilateral independence from Serbia, which will
likely be recognized by every state in the EU except
for Cyprus. Serbia is declaring that it will fight
to the bitter end for its ancient heritage, although
Kosovo is currently inhabited by a 90 percent Albanian
The Serbian president Boris Tadic just returned from
the US where he sought the understanding of
Condoleezza Rice. God knows why.
The Russians, with their newly assertive and deeply
nationalist policy, are busily buying up Serbia with
their boom in oil funds. Serbia as an economic and
diplomatic pawn within EU territory would be very
handy for Russian intrigues and wonderfully painful
for everyone else including Serbs.
With its own clamorous failure in the negations in
Vienna, the European Union timorously hands over a
European problem and a fractious chunk of European
territory, back to the planet's violently assertive
power players: Russia and the US.
European reluctance was symbolized last week in
Vicenza, Italy, where a big anti-NATO rally was held.
Vicenza holds a major airbase from which NATO, in
1999, launched the (mostly American) warplanes that
bombed a European state for the first time since 1945.
This holiday season, Serbia will observe the New
World Order's consumer rite of Christmas, then perform
the pagan ritual of New Year, when people hit the
streets, flinging firecrackers and firing weapons into
the sky in a storm of resolutions, wishes and kisses
before the Serbian Orthodox Christmas.
The upcoming presidential elections in January
20th 2008 will show supposedly what small Serbia
has decided for its own fate: to become European,
Russian or American. In reality, Serbia stands
decoratively armed as the banana republic of
Ruritania, a frozen-conflict in love with melodramatic
national notions from a historical pulp novel, with
its own rules and edicts, which it flings into the
teeth of a disbelieving world. The world does not
comply with Serbia.
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Previous essays by Jasmina Tešanović on BoingBoing:
– Jasmina Tešanović: Where Did Our History Go?
– Serbia Not Guilty of Genocide
– Carnival of Ruritania
– "Good Morning, Fascist Serbia!"
– Faking Bombings
– Dispatch from Amsterdam
– Where are your Americans now?
– Anna Politkovskaya Silenced
– Slaughter in the Monastery
– Mermaid's Trail
– A Burial in Srebenica
– Report from a concert by a Serbian war criminal
– To Hague, to Hague
Scorpions Trial, April 13
– The Muslim Women
– Belgrade: New Normality
– Serbia: An Underworld Journey
– Scorpions Trial, Day Three: March 15, 2006
– Scorpions Trial, Day Two: March 14, 2006
– Scorpions Trial, Day One: March 13, 2006
– The Long Goodbye
– Milosevic Arrives in Belgrade
– Slobodan Milosevic Died
– Milosevic Funeral