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Hungarian Minority Party Could Play Key Role in Serbia’s EU Accession Negotiations

Hungary Today 2023.12.07.

Early elections will be held in Serbia next Sunday. One of the key issues of the campaign is the country’s accession to the EU, a goal that has been long-awaited for more than ten years. According to the head of the Hungarian think thank, Nézőpont Institute, effective negotiations on accession will require stable leadership, and the Alliance of Vojvodina Hungarians (VMSZ) will have a major role to play in this.

Ágoston Sámuel Mráz said that Serbia is in a difficult geopolitical situation: they want to be part of the European Union, but at the same time they have close relations with Russia; the situation in Kosovo is unsettled and they are also affected by the migration crisis, which all lead to instability.

Moreover, Aleksandar Vučić’s party failed to win an absolute majority in the 2022 elections. The expert believes that

the Serbian Progressive Party (SNS) is not projected to achieve an absolute majority in the early elections on December 17, but that the VMSZ, in partnership with it, could be the “kingmaker” party.

The head of the Nézőpont Institute explained that national minority parties in Serbia have the advantage that they do not have to cross any thresholds to win seats. The VMSZ currently has five MPs in the legislature, he said, adding that much depends on how active Hungarians in Vojvodina are.

On EU accession, he said the EU had not offered Serbia “real accession negotiations.” He called it unfair that “the Brussels bureaucrats have fallen in love with Ukraine instead of Serbia.” He added that Hungary would do its utmost to move forward the EU talks with Serbia.

Ágoston Sámuel Mráz was also a guest on Kossuth Radio’s Good Morning, Hungary program, where he said that the VMSZ is clearly able to effectively represent Hungarian interests among Hungarians in Vojvodina.

From a Hungarian point of view, the most important stake in the Serbian elections is whether they can continue the alliance that has been formed between the VMSZ and the Serbian Progressive Party,”

he said.

He added that it was to the credit of István Pásztor, the recently deceased VMSZ president, that he recognized the political force capable of steering the country in a stable way, and thus established close cooperation.

Elvira Kovács, vice-president of the VMSZ, also spoke about the issue of EU accession on M1. She considers it unfair that Brussels does not recognize Serbia’s efforts to become a member of the EU, reports hirado.hu. The vice-president stressed that

the VMSZ has been pro-European since its foundation.

She explained that the EU decision-makers usually say that the Western Balkans are important and they are counting on them in the coming period, but “in the last two years there has been no new chapter opening.” They did not even show any sign of being delighted when Serbia amended the constitution or brought our laws into line with EU legislation, although, “the Serbian House of Representatives has done a lot in this field,” Kovács concluded.

Continuous Police Presence on the Serbian-Hungarian Border Necessary
Continuous Police Presence on the Serbian-Hungarian Border Necessary

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Via hirado.hu, MTI; Featured image: Pixabay

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