Speaking at a panel at the World Economic Forum in Davos, Serbian President Aleksandar Vučić declared that his country is no longer enthusiastic about membership in the European Union. Vučić told attendees, “we are not as enthusiastic as we used to be, and in a way the EU is not full of enthusiasm when it comes to us either. These are the facts, and all the EU numbers show, and I follow the numbers in the region, that the popularity of the EU is declining in In North Macedonia and Serbia in particular, even in Montenegro."
Vučić told Serbian media that he was repeatedly questioned about Russia and President Vladimir Putin during the panel. He said that Serbia presented its position, policy, and views “in a concise and precise manner, insisting on the honoring of public international law.” The Serbian President lashed out at attendees accusing him of being Putin’s puppet, and argued that those calling Putin a lunatic are mistaken. He also alluded to the West’s hypocrisy on the issue of territorial integrity, stating that Belgrade is especially sensitive to this issue, adding "some major powers do not respect either the charter or Resolution 1244 UNSC when talking about Serbian territorial integrity."
Serbia made a formal application for EU membership in 2009, but the European Union’s insistence that every member follow its foreign policy and sanctions related to Russia have made not permitted any meaningful progress, especially as Belgrade opposes sanctions against Russia. Vučić admitted to being pessimistic about Serbia’s joining the EU anytime in the near future.
"My impression from Davos is that in these war conditions, almost everyone has to think the same about all issues, and I am, as some in Belgrade said, a ‘black sheep,’ because it is good to introduce a bit of pluralism and to think differently about some issues.” Vučić said after taking part in a World Economic Forum panel. A picture of Vučić sitting apart from other participants circulated widely on social media.
The Serbian Ministry of Foreign Affairs was clearly concerned about the impact of Vučić’s candid remarks. Soon after, they put out a tweet from Foreign Minister Ivica Dačić stating, “#Serbia remains fully committed to its reform process, #EU membership is our strategic goal.” Belgrade is clearly forced to walk a difficult path.