Friday, October 31, 2014


Transmission

A Dialogue Without A Future

Borislav Stefanovic was a bassist with the punk band Generacija Bez Buducnosti (meaning "A Generation Without A Future") before becoming the political director of the Serbian Ministry of Foreign Affairs.
Borislav Stefanovic was a bassist with the punk band Generacija Bez Buducnosti (meaning "A Generation Without A Future") before becoming the political director of the Serbian Ministry of Foreign Affairs.
Borislav Stefanovic is back in Brussels this week to negotiate on behalf of Serbia in the complicated Belgrade-Pristina talks.

The EU-sponsored dialogue, which started a couple of months ago, is supposed to deal with unresolved technical questions that remain between Serbia and Kosovo.

Stefanovic and his Kosovar counterpart, Edita Tahiri, have already opened negotiations on areas such as civil registers, telecommunications, energy, customs seals, and freedom of movement, which are supposed to somewhat normalize relations between the two countries.

This week the pair are locking diplomatic horns for the fourth time, but no concrete results have yet emerged.

Sniping between the two negotiating teams has been reported, with diplomats from Kosovo remarking that there is nothing in the talks for Kosovo and that Serbia is only in it to please Brussels enough to win EU candidate status in the autumn.

The Kosovars are especially irritated over the Serbian tendency to drag the status of Kosovo into the talks

According to Pristina, this would make the dialogue political rather than technical.

The lack of results linked to the talks so far made one diplomat jokingly say that it is a “dialogue without a future.”

The phrase is a playful reference to Stefanovic's previous incarnation as a bassist with a punk-ska-rock band, long before he became the political director of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs in Serbia.

Known by the stage name of “Borko,” Stefanovic played with Generacije bez Buducnosti – "A Generation Without a Future."

The band, hailing from Serbia’s second city Novi Sad, enjoyed some prominence in the 1990s and usually vented their anger at Slobodan Milosevic, the controversial Serbian leader of that time.

Even though he is more of a diplomat than a rock star these days, he still managed a gig with the group last year.

His comeback did not cause quite the same fuss as his visit to Kosovo last week, which left 15 policeman injured after scores of anti-Serb protestors clashed with police.

-- Rikard Jozwiak
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Written by RFE/RL editors and correspondents, Transmission serves up news, comment, and the odd silly dictator story. While our primary concern is with foreign policy, Transmission is also a place for the ideas -- some serious, some irreverent -- that bubble up from our bureaus. The name recognizes RFE/RL's role as a surrogate broadcaster to places without free media. You can write us at transmission+rferl.org

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