- May 12, 2020
On May 12, 2020, the Aspen Institute Germany hosted an online discussion on the topic “Political Developments in Serbia and Their Implications” with Vukosava Crnjanski, Founder and Director, Centre for Research, Transparency and Accountability (CRTA), Sonja Licht, President, Belgrade Fund for Political Excellence (BFPE), Srđan Majstorović, Chairman of the Governing Board, European Policy Centre (CEP), and Sabine Stöhr, Head of Division 209 Western Balkans, German Federal Foreign Office. The online discussion focused on the latest political developments in Serbia. Despite a state of emergency and the strictest lockdown measures in the region, Serbia was hit harder by the COVID-19 pandemic than neighboring states. At the same time, criticism has been getting louder that President Aleksandar Vučić is using the crisis to further undermine the Serbian democracy and strengthen his rule and that he is even turning his back on the EU relying more and more on China. The discussion therefore reviewed the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on the Serbian democracy, the role of the civil society and the influence of Russia and China. Another topic that was also discussed was the Serbian parliamentary elections which had to be postponed due to the pandemic as well as the current developments with regard to the EU accession process of Serbia and the dialog with Kosovo. The event was moderated by Valeska Esch, Deputy Executive Director and Program Director Europe at Aspen Institute Germany.