Thank you very much for your kind invitation to attend the second session of the 39th Congress of the Nonviolent Radical Party, Transnational and Transparty.
You know how much I admire and support the views and global campaigns of the Radical Party, such as the Universal Moratorium of the Death Penalty and a worldwide ban on Female Genital Mutilation. I also share your conviction, triggered by the events of the Arab Spring, that wider, international and global legal frameworks and jurisdictions must be established or put to use to protect and promote the Human Rights that continue to be violated at the national level even by so-called democratic regimes. In general, my views have always aspired to projects of a transnational and transparty nature that focuses in its work on the affirmation of national and international Rule of Law.
As much as it would be an honor and a privilege to attend your Congress in Rome, urgent and critical duties here in Serbia regrettably prevent me from doing so.
Allow me, in brief, to say a few words on the situation in Serbia and the Liberal Democratic Party’s efforts to bring about a “turnabout” in practically all the policies of the current government. On December 9, Serbia may or may not be granted the status of candidate nation by the Council of the European Union. The erroneous and shortsighted policies of the present government, especially as regards Kosovo, have brought Serbia to the brink of all its EU integration efforts since now there is a real possibility of not being granted even the candidate nations status (a date on the beginning of negotiations for EU accession is presently out of the question). This is all due to the misconceived and misguided actions of the Serbian government which has stubbornly insisted on a “double track policy”, namely pursuing (insincerely, if I may add) EU integration policy, side by side with a nationalistic policy towards Kosovo, regional relations and Euro-Atlantic integration, that has its roots all the way back to the Milosevic era and beyond (xenophobic and anti-European attitudes have been a mainstay of Serbia for the last 200 years). These two policies are incompatible and really present an oxymoron (as in the government, but also many opposition parties’, slogan: “Both Europe and Kosovo”).
In response to this double bind, we have formulated a new policy of “Turnabout”, asking for an about face in all the mainstay government policies towards EU integration itself, the Kosovo policy, regional policy (especially towards Bosnia, Montenegro and Croatia), implementation of EU approved legislation, the fight against corruption, etc. The Manifesto “Turnabout”, an English translation of which please find enclosed, has due to wide public acclaim and support, turned into a movement with three national parties signing (apart from LDP, the Serbian Renewal Movement of Vuk Draskovic and the Socialdemocratic Union of Zarko Korac), together with several ethnic minorities parties, the entire Serbian civil sector and NGO scene, as well as many prominent individuals from public life: authors, professors, artists and the technical intelligentsia. Let me stress that this is not an electoral coalition but a growing movement. At the same time, it has doubled our ratings.
The wave of this movement, whose expanding scope cannot as yet be determined, requires that I focus all my energy on present events in Serbia. So, once again, allow me to express my deepest regrets for not being able to attend your Congress whose topics I find so interesting. I hope that in the future, time will allow us to discuss the advanced policies of the Radical Party, Transnational and Transparty.