Contemporary Southeastern Europe
A Passage to Europe: Serbia and the Refugee Crisis
In this text, I approach Serbian experience of the refugee crisis by referring to three statements taken both as a reference and point of departure: first, Serbian Prime Minister Aleksandar Vučić’s claim that Serbia was “more European that some European states”; second, the former Croatian Prime Minister Zoran Milanović’s claim that Serbia ought to “spread it [the refugees] around a bit”; and, third, Angela Merkel’s statement that the closure of EU borders could cause another war in the Balkans. These three statements, it is argued, provide convenient access to the official’s claims regarding the refugee crisis in Serbia and its echo in the region and abroad. In addition, in order to identify the views held by common people in Serbia, in the last section I will also briefly discuss popular reactions in Serbia to the issue of refugees in the last several years.