G17 Plus vice-president Ivana Dulić Marković believes that the second round of provincial elections will be decisive in constitution of the republican government. In her interview for www.autonomija.info she said that post-election programs should respect the will of citizens of Vojvodina which is “pro-European beyond any doubt”.
– If Vojvodina once again confirms its position it has already confirmed three times in order – when it didn’t accept the new Constitution of Serbia, when it voted for Boris Tadić as president and when on May 11th it opted for the European Serbia – and if on May 25th it confirms the option for the European Vojvodina this will be the key step to constitute also an European government in Belgrade, – said Ivana Dulić Marković.
What would it mean for Serbia if having opposed political blocks at different levels of government?
– I believe that everything is possible in Serbia, because decisions brought by Serbia were mostly irrational. Besides, often the individual interests were decisive and not the general interest of citizens. Therefore it is possible that even now, at different levels of government, we get different coalitions. However, I can say with confidence that G17 Plus will not take part in any government, either in Vojvodina or in Serbia, if some corrupt compromises or deals are being agreed with the Socialists (SPS), the Radicals (SRS) and Democratic Party of Serbia (DSS) at the level of Belgrade. I think that it would be very very bad for Vojvodina if cards are to be distributed in this way. Because in such case, the question is what Vojvodina can do in the future if at the central level rules the coalition made of the Radicals, the Populists and the Socialists. On one side we would be bound by Constitution and the budget and on the other side we may expect strengthening of wishes for a higher decentralization and autonomy of Vojvodina. I think that such dualism would lead to an absolute disharmony in functioning of everyday life because every decision would turn into the subject of political quarrels and spites.
Does it mean that G17 Plus would refuse, in case that the Belgrade city government is formed with the Serbian Radical Party (SRS), the Democratic Party of Serbia (DSS) and the Socialist Party of Serbia (SPS), entering the republic government with the Socialists? What would in such case happen with the provincial coalition?
– In Vojvodina, the Socialists can not decide on the post-election agreements. If otherwise, our attitude not to participate in the government under no circumstance if bad compromises are made would also include the provincial level. The Socialist Party of Serbia must decide whether it will, with other parties, take part in building the European future of Serbia or it wants at every level adapt the coalition agreements to party interests. The Socialist Party of Serbia can not sit on two chairs and can not at one level form government with the Radicals and the Democratic Party of Serbia and on another with the Democrats. For G17 Plus this is unacceptable.
What can Vojvodina really expect to achieve when it is question of regional cooperation with EU countries and also when competing for the European funds?
– Vojvodina has a great advantage because in difference to other parts of Serbia it fulfills all regional criteria according to the European standards. In fact, Serbia has no law on regional development and the regionalization and decentralization are conditions that must be fulfilled in order to compete for the European funds. Vojvodina, however, has established the regional institutions and therefore it can without problems draw money from the funds available to Serbia if the country is given the status of EU candidate by the end of year, which will be possible only if it has a pro-European government. The capacity of the provincial management has only to be upgraded so as to be able to implement the European programs and projects. In this sense, it is necessary to institute an agency for the development of Vojvodina as well as the provincial project fund and the payment agency in order to be able to draw resources from the IPA Fund intended for the development of agriculture and for rural development. For all above the condition is co-financing, which is already fulfilled by establishing the Fund for Capital Investments with mechanisms to co-finance projects competing for IPA funds. Until Serbia builds its own institutions, actually until fully regionalized, Vojvodina can without problems draw these resources already in the first, the second and the third year. Thus Serbia would not face the problems as happened to some other EU candidate countries i.e. to have no capacities to use the European funds in the first two to three years after having acquired the status of candidate. I think that political will to build these institutions exists in Serbia but this should be done as soon as possible.
Does the current inter-party support present among the pro-European parties on the eve of the second round announces some wider pro-European coalition in Vojvodina or is it possible that some potential partners drop out if their mandates proved to be non-decisive in forming the majority in the APV Assembly?
– G17 Plus will absolutely support the widest possible circle of partners in the new Vojvodina’s government. By this I think that this government, apart from our list For European Vojvodina also includes the Hungarian Coalition and the list Together for Vojvodina. Every unconstrained government is bad government. Only with participation of all pro-European parties Vojvodina’s government would be able to lead Vojvodina efficiently towards Europe.
Have you hold within the coalition For European Vojvodina any negotiations about distribution of ministries in the regional government?
– I am not interested for the republican government. My interest is limited to Vojvodina and to my profession. However, I will think about that when I see the final distribution of power and what will make the political majority in the provincial government i.e. how much space there will be available for reforms.