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Human Rights on the Losing end of EU Enlargement: The Case of Serbia

Academic & Research
The CEU Campus
Friday, November 4, 2016, 3:30 pm – 5:00 pm

The present article analyses the EU’s rule transfer to Serbia by scrutinising the effectiveness of EU human rights conditionality through the case of Serbia’s media reform. It will be argued that Serbia has pursued the strategy of introducing some legal and institutional measures that are just not enough for reaching the intended effect of these reforms, thus falling short of implementation. The study aims to demonstrate that the inconsistency of the EU’s conditionality policy partially explains this under-performance. Yet, Serbian authorities also lacked the incentives for compliance, as free and pluralistic media would make it much harder for the government to continue its power concentration efforts. While Serbia was willing to compromise on its perceived national interests concerning international war crimes prosecution and Kosovo, both of high significance from the aspect of national identity, the real threat to the authorities now are well functioning independent institutions and free media which can put constraints on their power.