Vucic in row with EU diplomats

Vucic in row with EU diplomats

Michael Davenport, head of European Union Delegation in Serbia acknowledged that prime minister Aleksandar Vucic had publicly claimed that he was “not interested” in what he thinks. Vucic said this at the event in EU Info Center in Belgrade.

“Mister Premier yesterday by us in EUICBG: I am not interested in Michael Davenport’s positions”, Davenport posted on Twitter.

Davenport, former United Kingdom’s ambassador in Serbia, and Vucic have a history of misunderstandings. The British diplomat is among the ambassadors frequently assaulted by pro-government media for alleged meddling in internal affairs.

Ombudsman Sasa Jankovic joined Twitter debate replying Davenport: “Ambassador, welcome to the club… There are many decent members”.

After meeting EU Enlargement Commissioner Johannes Hahn, Vucic said “there are many who would like Serbia to become civil society or nongovernmental organization”. “But it will never (become)… We will never behave like that”, he said.

Vucic added this was “a message” to both Davenport and Hahn.

“You are going to respect what Serbia is, what it can and what to do, otherwise… But don’t try to make out of us something we are not. I don’t want to be the part of the civil society ever”, the premier underlined.

Marija Obradovic, vice president of Vucic’s Serbian Progressive Party (SNS), said today that Davenport was “going beyond his framework”. She claimed that Hahn “had his own comment in that regard”, allegedly stressing that Brussels “really strictly supervise ambassador Davenport’s behaviour”.

Obradovic went on saying that some other “people” also go “beyond their jurisdictions”, but refrained from giving names. “It is not up to them to support some candidates although elections are not called yet”, she said.

The presidential elections are scheduled for the spring after incumbent Tomislav Nikolic mandate expires. PM Vucic reacted anxiously on possible nominations from opposition “congratulating” unofficial candidates. It is unclear whether Vucic would support Nikolic who expressed his will to rerun. Vucic earlier said he will not run himself.

Additionally, Vucic hinted that general elections may be called, less than a year after voting this April which gave SNS a wide majority in Parliament. During ongoing budget discussion in the parliament Vucic expressed hope that opposition parties would not pass the threshold if general elections are called./IBNA