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Appears in Collections:History and Politics Journal Articles
Peer Review Status: Refereed
Title: Palubna diplomacija i funkcionalna suradnja: hrvatsko-srpski bilateralni odnosi na pocetku mandata Ive Josipovica
Other Titles: The Shipboard Diplomacy and Functional Cooperation: Serb-Croat Relations in the first days of Ivo Josipovic's Presidency
Author(s): Jovic, Dejan
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Keywords: Serbia
Ivo Josipovic
Boris Tadic
Issue Date: Aug-2010
Citation: Jovic D (2010) Palubna diplomacija i funkcionalna suradnja: hrvatsko-srpski bilateralni odnosi na pocetku mandata Ive Josipovica, Izazovi Evropskih Integracija, 11, pp. 27-42.
Abstract: Bilateral relations between Serbia and Croatia entered a new, more productive phase following the outcome of last year’s presidential elections in Croatia, which had been decisevely won by Ivo Josipović. The first few bilateral meetings between President Josipović and his Serbian counterpart, Boris Tadić, were held in the atmosphere of optimism and hope. The immediate objective was to place ad acta some of the most difficult problems in Serb-Croat relationship, such as the lawsuits that each of the countries raised against the other in front of the International Court of Justice with regard to crimes committed in previous wars and conflicts. The second objective was to initiate joint rhetoric and action in Southeast Europe – especially with regard to EU enlargement in that region. The joint initiatives by a Serbian and a Croatian president are part of the new development. It involves a new discourse towards recent past, and thus facilitates reconciliation. The two presidents have also promoted cooperation in and stabilisation of Bosnia-Herzegovina. When it comes to regional cooperation in general, they are led by functionalist approach, and emphasise importance of cooperation in areas such as security. However, the circumestances are not entirely favourable for such a change. The two presidents face obstacles in domestic political arenas – which is especially the case with regard to contemporary Croatian politics. President Josipović operates in a situation of cohabitation with the government which is led by a party (CDU/HDZ) that is somewhat sceptical towards closer cooperation with Belgrade and Sarajevo. In addition, financial crisis as well as the crisis of legitimacy influence the EU’s view of the Balkans. Faced with Greek, Bulgarian and Romanian problems (the Balkan triangle), some in the EU begin to doubt about the prospect of further enlargement in Southeast Europe. Hence, the success of the new initiatives by Presidents Josipović and Tadić depend not only on what they wish to do – or even on what they actually do – but also on future trends in their respective domestic politics and in
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