Monday

16th May 2022

Serbia apologises for Srebrenica massacre

  • The Serbian legislature apologised to the families of the Srebrenica victims (Photo: Konrad Zielinski)

The Serbian parliament on Tuesday (30 March) passed a landmark resolution condemning the 1995 Srebrenica massacre of Bosnian Muslims, ending years of denial about the killings, although it avoided using the term "genocide."

"The parliament of Serbia strongly condemns the crime committed against the Bosnian Muslim population of Srebrenica in July 1995, as determined by the International Court of Justice (ICJ) ruling," the text says.

Read and decide

Join EUobserver today

Become an expert on Europe

Get instant access to all articles — and 20 years of archives. 14-day free trial.

... or subscribe as a group

Proposed by the ruling coalition of pro-Western President Boris Tadic, the resolution was adopted by 127 of the 173 parliamentarians present in the room, after 13 hours of debate.

The lawmakers also expressed "their condolences and an apology to the families of the victims because not everything possible was done to prevent the tragedy."

"We are taking a civilised step of politically responsible people, based on political conviction, for the war crime that happened in Srebrenica," said Branko Ruzic, whose own Socialist party was at the time led by Serbian nationalist Slobodan Milosevic during the 1990s.

In 1995, Bosnian Serb troops led by General Ratko Mladic executed some 8,000 Muslim men and boys and buried the bodies in various mass graves around the town of Srebrenica.

The Hague-based court has termed the events a genocide and ruled that Serbia was responsible for not stopping the massacre, although it was not blamed for the actual executions.

Serbian deputies however avoided use of the term "genocide" in order to win the widest support possible.

"We wanted a completely different resolution but apparently that is not possible," said Cedomir Jovanovic, of the Liberal opposition, according to Reuters.

Other MPs criticised the bill for failing to condemn what they called similar crimes against Serbs carried out by neighbouring Croatia during the war.

Still at large and revered as a hero among Serb nationalists, Mr Mladic remains Belgrade's biggest hurdle in its efforts to catch up with other former Yugoslav countries on their way towards EU membership.

Catching and delivering him to the ICJ is a precondition for Serbia becoming an EU member.

EU lobbies Hungary to break oil sanctions deadlock

After the EU Commission president Ursula von der Leyen's Budapest trip, Hungary suggested it wants EU funds to offset the extra costs from receiving different oil sources, and the increased energy prices the planned Russian oil embargo entails.

Political groups shun far-right pro-Kremlin MEP

French MEP Thierry Mariani from the far-right Identity and Democracy Group is spearheading a report in the parliament's foreign affairs committee. The socialists are boycotting it.

Opinion

The EU Parliament Covid inquiry: the questions MEPs must ask

A basic lack of transparency around the EU's vaccines procurement negotiations has prevented effective public and parliamentary scrutiny. It has also made it impossible to answer some of the key questions we put forward here.

News in Brief

  1. German ruling party in regional election blow
  2. EU expanding arms-for-Ukraine programme
  3. Reports: EU drafts plans for Russia energy payments
  4. Pro-Russian hackers targeted Eurovision
  5. EU to donate extra €400m for Africa vaccines rollout
  6. Spain plans five-days 'menstrual leave' and to ease abortion rules
  7. MEPs reject proposal for stricter 2030 target on cars and vans
  8. Study: EU spent €341m on AI border technology

Stakeholders' Highlights

  1. Nordic Council of MinistersClear to proceed - green shipping corridors in the Nordic Region
  2. Nordic Council of MinistersNordic ministers agree on international climate commitments
  3. UNESDA - SOFT DRINKS EUROPEEfficient waste collection schemes, closed-loop recycling and access to recycled content are crucial to transition to a circular economy in Europe
  4. UiPathNo digital future for the EU without Intelligent Automation? Online briefing Link
  5. Nordic Council of MinistersHuge support for Ukraine
  6. EFBWW – EFBH – FETBBWorkers want EC to limit subcontracting chains in construction

Latest News

  1. Sweden to join Finland in applying for Nato
  2. Russia sanctions and energy dominate Next WEEK
  3. Will 'Putin's Nato' follow Warsaw Pact into obscurity?
  4. EU reaches deal on flagship cybersecurity law
  5. EU to help Ukraine export grain — amid food shortages fears
  6. Revealed: Big Oil shaped EU's gas-cutting strategy
  7. EU: Ukrainians hesitating to register for protection
  8. UK says 'no choice but to act' over post-Brexit trade rules

Join EUobserver

Support quality EU news

Join us