Serbia Relationship with Croatia and Bosnia-Herzegovina
According to zipcodesexplorer, Serbia is a country located in Southern Europe In relation to Serbia’s neighbors, the then President Tadić had taken several initiatives for historical reconciliation from 2010, with regard to Croatia in cooperation with the then President Ivo Josipović, but also in Bosnia. On the other hand, there were regular, persistent tensions arising from conflicts over the legal processing of the most recent wars and an increasingly active “diaspora” policy towards the Serbs in neighboring countries pursued by the Belgrade government since 2010.
After 2012, under the Vučić government, there was a further improvement in regional relations. In particular, in the context of the so-called Berlin Process initiated by German Chancellor Merkel and Albanian Prime Minister Edi Rama in 2014, the relationship between the governments of the region has improved significantly and various regional infrastructure projects supported by the EU have been initiated. In addition, a regional youth organization (RYCO) was founded based on the model of the Franco-German youth organization.
Tensions in relation to neighboring Croatia briefly arose in autumn 2015 in connection with the refugee crisis and again in early 2016 when the new conservative Croatian government temporarily blocked the opening of judicial chapters 23 and 24 of the EU accession process. This blockade could only be overcome after strong political pressure from other EU member states, including Germany. Tensions flared up again in the summer when Croatian and Serbian politicians publicly exchanged nationalist accusations in the heated atmosphere leading up to the parliamentary elections in Croatia on September 11th. The disputes also led to an exchange of letters between Serbian Prime Minister Vučić and EU Commission President Jean-Claude Juncker.
In February 2018, President Vučić’s state visit to Zagreb raised hopes that the bilateral relationship would ease. The meeting with President Grabar-Kitarović was the first official meeting between the heads of state of Serbia and Croatia. The political thaw, however, was short-lived. In mid-April, an incident in the Serbian parliament created new tensions between the neighbors. Vojislav Šešelj, Serbian MP, chairman of the extreme nationalist Serbian Radical Party (SRS) and convicted by the UN war crimes tribunal for crimes in the war in Croatia, racially insulted a delegation from the Croatian parliament in the Serbian parliament. As a result, there was a verbal escalation between the two governments, and then the entry ban for the Serbian Defense Minister to Croatia, to which the Serbian government responded with the appropriate countermeasures.
Tensions also arose between Serbia and Bosnia-Herzegovina in autumn 2016 as a result of a referendum organized in the Bosnian entity, the Republika Srpska (RS), which is largely inhabited by Serbs, on September 25th and was forbidden as unconstitutional before the constitutional court BiH. The Serbian government was urged by Western partners to persuade the initiator of the referendum, RS President Milorad Dodik, to renounce the referendum. At a meeting with leading Serbian politicians from BiH, Vučić and President Nikolić chose a middle course in order not to alienate their nationalist party and voter base: they distanced themselves from the referendum, but avoided speaking out against it. This led to tension and open threats of war between Bosniak politicians from Sarajevo and representatives of the Serbian government. As Prime Minister of Serbia, Vučić initially pursued a policy towards Bosnia-Herzegovina that differed significantly from that of his predecessors in terms of a relatively distant relationship to the regime in the Republika Srpska and the emphasis on good bilateral relations with Bosnia and its state institutions Serbian President has clearly sought nationalist alliance with the RS in recent years. As a result of the Brussels negotiations on a comprehensive final agreement between Serbia and Kosovo and the unsuccessful efforts of President Vučić from summer 2018 to enforce an exchange of territory between the two countries, and additionally fueled by the decision of the Kosovar government in November to impose punitive tariffs on Serbia and Bosnia. To introduce Herzegovina,
The adoption of Serbia’s new defense and national security strategy at the end of 2019 led to renewed tension. For the first time, the defense of the Republika Srpska in Bosnia-Herzegovina was established as a national defense priority in a state document. Although the strategy maintained respect for the territorial integrity and sovereignty of the neighboring state, it also insisted that Serbia was a “guarantor” of the Dayton Peace Treaty of 1995 – a deliberate political misinterpretation that was criticized primarily by Bosniak politicians.