The Balkan hosts were quite hesitant to described a visit of Prince Charles to the region as political, although it has been in many ways. Very “heavy” protocol ofprincely couple during the six-day staying in the Balkan was full of their meetings with humanitarian organizations, religious leaders, young and innovative people, but the policy, apparently, was just pushed aside.
However, this Balkan a tour of successor of the British crown, first after almost four decades, may in the near future to be remembered as the moment in which he made the most important political turning point in complicated Balkan mosaic. “There are few places in the world where you truly feel the burden of history as it is in the Balkans. Of course, no one should forget or ignore history, but, more importantly, no one can make its prisoner.” These are the words of Prince Charles spoken in the building of the Parliament of Serbia at the peak of his Balkan tour, addressed to all the four countries visited in those days.
Why these words were uttered, and why exactly in Belgrade, on the half tour? Obviously that the visit of Prince Charles visits the Balkan designed as a visit to one region, connect with the economic, cultural and historical ties, but at the same time severely burdened with conflict-ridden legacy. Although the countries in the region are at different administrative levels of Europe’s emancipation, they are in the sight of the EU, especially Britain, still as a unique cultural, historical, and economic and political space in order with their own strengths and resources, also with its chaotic recent history, which is still alive in mutual relations.
And therefore these message of Prince Charleswhich “touching off” the basic Balkan problem and seek its solution as a precondition for reconciliation and development. As he said, it’s “surplus of history”, which burdens common future. Choice of Belgrade for a place where these messages will be imposed also is not an random, for two reasons at least. First, Belgrade in the recent past has shown that it has the greatest power to destabilize the region, but now has the greatest potential to be a leader in its historical connection and building a common European future of the Balkans. Second, the government in Belgrade indicates for quite it is stable and leadership that made it clear that the stability of the Balkans is an absolute prerequisite for any progress of each of its individual countries. Today’s Serbia and Belgrade, in the eyes of Prince Charles, is the highest point in the Balkan, which will take the furthest to hear his voice.
Belgrade can be proud of this decision of the British Crown Prince, because it would certainly be different if Serbia has been managed by irresponsible, short-sighted leaders. Although Belgrade is not hosted a British Prime Minister since Margaret Thatcher in the last few years is more than obvious promotion of relations between Serbia and Great Britain. Four visits of Serbian Prime Minister Aleksandar Vucic to London for a year, a few visits of the Foreign Office chief Philip Hammond to Belgrade, are just small illustration of “warming” of mutual relations in the last four years.
Visits Prince Charles to Balkan, with Serbia in the center of the tour, therefore acting as an effective and efficient way for Britain to “turn game” in the region and to clearly point out for what kind of development is interested.
Orhan Dragaš PhD, CEO of International security institute