Western Balkans Overview June 10, 2024 – CWBS

Western Balkans Overview June 10, 2024 – CWBS
  • Serbia’s Sabor passes draft Declaration on Protection of Serbian People’s Rights

On June 8, the First All-Serbian Sabor (Assembly) in Belgrade adopted the draft Declaration on the Protection of the National and Political Rights of the Serbian People. The document was supported by the Serbian president and that of Republika Srpska, members of the Serbian and RS governments, chairs and members of the People’s Assembly of Serbia and People’s Assembly of Republika Srpska, “with the blessing” from the clergy of the Serbian Orthodox Church.

The declaration was adopted “in order to preserve peace, stability, national, cultural, and religious identity, as well as to strengthen and deepen cooperation and mutual protection.”

The document emphasizes that “Kosovo and Metohija are an integral part of the Republic of Serbia.” The All-Serbian Assembly noted that it “expects that the Republic of Serbia will continue to protect the rights and lives of its citizens in Kosovo and Metohija, applying all protection mechanisms provided for by domestic and international law.” It is emphasized that the implementation of the Brussels Agreement, the formation of the Association of Serbian Municipalities, and constant dialogue are the only viable ways to solve the issue.

The All-Serbian Sabor did not support the Resolution on Srebrenica of the UN General Assembly. “The said resolution was an attempt to collectively blame the entire Serbian people, which is unacceptable and cannot be implemented,” the Declaration emphasizes.

The All-Serbian Sabor believes that the general framework agreement on peace in BiH – the Dayton Peace Agreement – has been significantly violated, and calls for a return to respect for the “letter of Dayton”. The Declaration also pays much attention to the rights of Republika Srpska under the Dayton Agreement and points out the inexpediency of appointing a High Representative of the international community in Bosnia and Herzegovina.

The Declaration states that the Republic of Serbia and Republika Srpska “consider integration into the European Union as a strategic goal, which must be implemented through a partnership political and economic framework with full respect for national interests.” At the same time, the All-Serbian Sabor supported the policy of military neutrality of the Republic of Serbia, and noted that Republika Srpska, “which will fight for the preservation of military neutrality in Bosnia and Herzegovina, fully agrees with this political stance.” The All-Serbian Sabor also endorsed “cooperation between the security systems of the Republic of Serbia and Republika Srpska.”

The declaration is yet to be approved by the People’s Assembly of the Republic of Serbia and People’s Assembly of Republika Srpska within 90 days.


Representatives from Montenegro took part in events within the framework of the All-Serbian Sabor (Assembly) in Belgrade: Speaker of the Parliament of Montenegro and leader of the New Serbian Democracy Party Andrija Mandić, Chairman of the Democratic People’s Party, MP Milan Knežević, as well as other lawmakers, heads of local authorities, and managers of state-owned companies who are ethnic Serbs.

“I believe that our presence today will open new aspects of cooperation between Serbia and Montenegro. We intend to sign an interstate agreement on dual citizenship, we want special and spiritual ties with Serbia,” said Milan Knežević.

Andrija Mandić emphasized that in the future, the All-Serbian Sabor should rally more countries, not only Serbia and Republika Srpska.


The “All-Serbian Sabor” is a dangerous project orhestrated by Serbian President Aleksandar Vučić, which is directly related to Russia’s attempts to destabilize South-Eastern Europe and shift public focus away from Russian aggression against Ukraine, said the acting head of the Presidency (Presidium) of Bosnia and Herzegovina, Denis Bečirović.

In his opinion, “the creation and anti-Dayton activities of the All-Serbian Sabor” pose a threat to peaceful and equal cooperation between European nations.

“Such a scenario suits only Putin’s Russia, and therefore it is no coincidence that the highest Russian officials publicly supported the holding of the All-Serbian Assembly,” Bečirović said.

He emphasized that the setting up of the All-Serbian Sabor contradicts the practice of the democratic and civilized world, which respects international law, and “is an extremely dangerous step.” “No president of a country in modern Europe would think of organizing an ‘all-French’, ‘all-German’, ‘all-Italian’, ‘all-Polish’, or ‘all-Spanish’… assembly,” he said.

The Chairman of the BiH Presidency emphasized that the text of the Declaration, the draft of which was adopted by the All-Serbian Sabor, fails to respect international and domestic law, as well as the existence of the independent, sovereign, and indivisible state of Bosnia and Herzegovina.

“The President of the Republic of Serbia, advocating the implementation of the dark idea of ​​‘one people, one Sabor’, denies the international legal significance of the territorial principle as a basis for exercising sovereign power. He is attempting to establish an unprecedented practice of joint meetings and decision-making of the highest bodies of the Republic of Serbia and one administrative-territorial entity within the state of Bosnia and Herzegovina,” Bečirović emphasized.


BiH Presidency member Željko Komšic is positive that the declaration represents “an improved and more adapted – in line with the current geopolitical situation – political and religious platform, which should serve as a basis for gathering and plotting a new conflict.” “The declaration defines the goals as well as the preparation method,” he emphasized.

Komšic believes that the authors of the declaration “are ready to wait for years until some new geopolitical circumstances allow them to start the project’s violent implementation.”

  • Croats break record for lowest turnout in EU elections

Citizens of Croatia elected their representatives to the European Parliament in the June 9 election. A total of 12 MEPs were elected – HDZ sealed six mandates, SDP and partners – four, and Domovinski pokret (Motherland movement) and Mošemo!, whose representatives are making their way into the European Parliament for the first time, gained one mandate each.

The voting outcome brought no surprises, turning out to be quite expected. The actual surprise came as citizens showed very low interest in the European elections.

Voter turnout in Croatia was the lowest across Europe. Only 21.34 percent of voters cast their ballots on Sunday, down significantly from 29.85 percent recorded in the previous election.

In general across the EU, voter turnout was around 51 percent, slightly higher than in the previous election in 2019, when 50.66 percent cat their ballots.

  • Fredi Beleri, ethnic Greek from Albania, elected as European Parliament Member from Greece’s ruling New Democracy Party list

Alfred (Fredi) Beleri, an ethnic Greek candidate from the opposition coalition “Together We Win” for the mayoral post in the resort town of Himara in the Albanian municipality of Vlora, won the election last May before being arrested two days later on charges of “active corruption” — bribing voters.

Beleri was sentenced to two years in prison in March 2024.

The Greek side challenged the fairness of the trial and warned that the sentence jeopardizes Albania’s European integration.

Elected as Member of the European Parliament, Beleri brings the dispute between the two neighboring countries to the EU level, which is expected to complicate Albania’s European integration path.

  • Slovenia, Romania, Poland ignore BiH government’s ban on allowing citizens to vote in EU election

Citizens of Slovenia, Romania, and Poland residing in BiH voted in the June 9 European Parliament election at polling stations set up in their respective embassies in Sarajevo, although the BiH Council of Ministers never approved the opening of such polling stations.

The authorization was blocked by three Serbian ministers over these countries’ support for the Srebrenica Genocide Resolution at the UN last month.

This is the first case where the authorities of Bosnia and Herzegovina chose not to grant permission to foreign citizens to vote on their country’s territory.

However, the embassies of Romania, Slovenia, and Poland in Bosnia and Herzegovina organized the elections in Sarajevo in accordance with the Vienna Convention on Diplomatic Relations. According to the Convention, citizens shall have free access to their countries’ diplomatic missions.

  • Serbian Deputy Prime Minister Aleksandar Vulin on visit to Russia

On June 10, Deputy Prime Minister of Serbia, Aleksandar Vulin, met in Moscow with the Russian Deputy Minister of Foreign Affairs Aleksandr Grushko, emphasizing Serbia’s high praise for ​​Russia’s principled and consistent support for preserving the territorial integrity of Serbia and its national interests. He also asked to express gratitude to Minister Sergei Lavrov for supporting Serbia in the UN General Assembly and voting against the “shameful resolution on Srebrenica”.

According to reports, Aleksandr Grushko and Aleksandar Vulin discussed the current situation in the Balkans. “Key aspects of bilateral relations, the situation of the Balkans, first of all, the Kosovo settlement and the situation around Republika Srpska (Bosnia and Herzegovina) were on the agenda,” MFA Russia noted. “Mutual readiness of the parties to develop multifaceted cooperation has been reiterated,” the ministry added.


Deputy Prime Minister of Serbia, Aleksandar Vulin, held a meeting with the Secretary of Russia’s Security Council, Sergei Shoigu.

Shoigu noted that the relations between Belgrade and Moscow, as well as their common goals, “have long been known and understood.” “We have many issues that one way or another emphasize the level of our cooperation, our relations. For years, Russia has traditionally supported Belgrade’s course on all difficult issues, we will continue to do so,” he said.

According to Shoigu, the plans that have been drawn over the past years will be implemented. “This applies not only to military, military-technical cooperation, but also to many other areas,” said the secretary of the Russian Security Council.

Vulin expressed his willingness to improve relations between Russia and Serbia, and thanked Russia for its huge contribution in the fight against the resolution on Srebrenica.


Vulin’s visit is a demonstration of a change of Belgrade’s course towards building closer cooperation with Moscow.

  • Dodik meets with Putin

Russia is not changing its position on the Dayton Agreement, and we believe that Dayton is the basis for preserving the situation in Bosnia and Herzegovina, as well as for developing and strengthening it, Vladimir Putin said at a meeting with the President of Republika Srpska, Milorad Dodik, in St. Petersburg.

Moscow supports Republika Srpska’s efforts to comply with the letter of the Dayton Agreement, Dodik stated after meeting with Putin in St. Petersburg on the sidelines of the St. Petersburg International Economic Forum.

Dodik’s next meeting with Putin is proof that the authorities of Republika Srpska have been coordinating their moves with the Kremlin.