Moving forward

2 important things happened in last 2 days, and both are moving Serbia forward, one way or another…

First is long waited abolishment of visas for Schengen zone for Serbia, Macedonia and Montenegro, or in other words all EU countries except UK. What this means for Serbian people cannot be translated in words, really…
Most of my readers probably don’t know that 20 years ago Serbian (well, Yugoslav at that time) famous “red passport” was among the most respected in the world. Yugoslav people could travel freely to most of the countries of the world etc.
Balkan wars and sanctions did the thing and in last 2 decades borders of most of the countries were closed for Serbs (in order to stop refugees and immigrants), and getting visa was for most countries so tough that we often felt really helpless…
I mean, when they ask you to bring confirmations that you are paying taxes regularly (along with the actual amounts), or to confirm that you don’t want to immigrate to this certain country by submitting proofs that you own real estate in Serbia and also salary slips of all family members, then you really feel small and pathetic… and you are not sure anymore if you want to go to this country or not…
Myself, I consider myself a very lucky person, because being an Internally Displaced Person (IDP) in such Serbia is definitely not an asset 🙂 However, I started working early (when I was 19) and could support myself for travelling quite a lot in last 10 years, and was really lucky to get proper support for visas when I needed them the most (and couldn’t really prove to consulates that I’m not a potential immigrant). Support from relevant individuals and institutions, that is…

All this resulted into almost 70% of people in Serbia not even having a passport! Can you imagine that?

Therefore, this abolishment of visas means much easier traveling for us. Not only that we don’t need visas, but also the prices are going down… Low cost airline companies are already announcing flights from Belgrade so for example a return ticket to Vienna is not anymore 300 EUR but around 100 EUR…

As soon as it was announced, people on twitter got crazy with planning the trips for new years and Christmas, so I think that only Slovenians will be in Belgrade on December 31st (traditionally there are thousands of tourists from Slovenia in Belgrade for new year eve) 🙂

There’s another joke already: “Last one that leaves Serbia on December 19th should turn off the light!” 🙂


Read more at:
EU scraps visas for three Balkan states
The EU has granted visa-free travel for citizens of three Balkan countries – Macedonia, Montenegro and Serbia.
From 19 December citizens of the three former Yugoslav republics who hold biometric passports will not need visas to enter the borderless Schengen area.
Read the rest here…

Second big thing happening is Kosovo case debate at International Court of Justice in The Hague.
Everyone basically knows the story – Kosovo unilateral proclaimed independence, Serbia rejects it, around 60 countries recognized it so far, and then Serbia managed to move this fight from political to legal/judicial arena, so Int. Court of Justice is supposed to give an opinion now.
This opinion is not something obligatory whatsoever but it is a big thing anyways.

Image Source: B92
Image Source: B92

If you are not convinced that it is a big thing, let me just tell you that 29 UN member countries are going to debate this topic for 10 days, including all Security Council members, and it is going to be the first time the China is giving an official opinion before this Court.

Regardless of the process and results, this is a big thing for Serbia and Serbs. It’s a step. We still don’t know in which direction, but it is a step forward!

Kosovo case debate at Intl. Court of Justice
1 December 2009 | 09:54 -> 13:31 | Source: B92, Beta, Tanjug
THE HAGUE — The debate on the legality of Kosovo’s unilateral proclamation of independence before the International Court of Justice (ICJ) in The Hague began today.

Read more here…

And then again – I am sure that both of these are taking us forward!
Have never been so sure, to be honest…


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