- Posted March 31, 2014 by
INTERVIEW : NEBOJSA KRSTIC
1. How close - or how far - is Serbia from joining the EU?
Closer than ever, but still – far away. There is saying, that becoming an EU accession candidate is the «point of no return» on the path to EU. But when it comes to Serbia, I don't think there is such a point, and each subsequent step requires a lot of effort, instead of wasting the time in continuous elections and the reconstructions of the government.
2. Many politicians in Serbia state the need of reforms, but no one states what those reforms are. What are 3 main and much needed reforms in Serbia?
It is easier to list the 30 needed, than to state only 3. In my opinion, the most important reform would be to have stabile government that rule seriously and responsibly, solving problems, accepting their job, rather than looking for excuses and blaming the predecessors for every failure.
3. What is the current state in Serbian media and press?
Very bad. Although, I can see that representatives of western democracies disagree with me, saying that the situation is solid. Maybe they know something I don't. Maybe they read newspaper unavailable for me, and watch TV channels that I do not catch.
4. Are journalists in Serbia free to work without any influences?
You should ask journalists. I could only answer the question of whether citizens of Serbia are free to follow the news without anyone's influence. But, with the existence of the Internet it becomes quite possible.
5. How to improve Serbian economy? Is there a "cure" for it?
It's easy. The government must be stable, accountable, transparent and pro-European. Must continue the fight against corruption and crime through the institutions of the system rather than through the media. Such Serbia is likely to attract investors, but with our maximum engagement and finding one Serbian additional value, the secret ingredient, why would investors come to us, and not in some other country like us. And our «secret ingredient» is the existence of a large number of educated people who speak the languages and can operate highly sophisticated jobs
6. How important is the cultural exchange between Serbia and other countries?
First of all, it is necessary to renew cultural ties with all countries, especially the countries of ex-Yugoslavia, with whom we share language, customs and memories. With them, surprisingly, we have less cultural co-operation and exchange than with some far-off countries in the East and the West. In this regard, in our Ministry of Culture, so far, nothing has been done and fundamentally new concept is required in that matter.
Also, a new concept of cultural conjunction with a Kosovo Albanians. In this regard, I would point out that it is necessary to intensify the cooperation between the Belgrade and Pristina in all other areas - the economy, science, sports, politics, etc. because only such cooperation can bring a better perspective of both nation and the long-term stabilization of the region.
7. How good are realtionships between USA and Serbia, in your opinion?
This cooperation has its ups and downs. Due to the events of the recent past, in 1999, these relations are very delicate and requires much tact and effort to constantly promoted. If more American companies invest in Serbia that would be mutually beneficial, that is why U.S. government should strongly encourage their business people to come and invest in Serbia. All U.S. companies that have opened their production in Serbia so far are satisfied with the results and it is a great indicator.