Serbia: Marija's support of radicals worries EU

by Stella Floras 150 views

The European Union has expressed concern over the support shown by Eurovision Song Contest winner, Marija Serifovic, to eurosceptic, nationalist candidate of the Serbian Radical Party (SRS), Tomislav Nikolic. As Marija was recently appointed ambassadress for the European year of intercultural dialogue, the Commision is monitoring closely her actions to ensure that they are in accordance with the fundamental values supported by the initiative.

After her victory at the 2007 Eurovision Song Contest, Marija Serifovic was appointed as one of the fifteen ambassadors for the European year of intercultural dialogue, an EU initiative to promote mutual understanding, the spirit of living together despite the cultural differences and empower the Europeans' feeling of belonging in a big common area.

In the meantime, Marija participated actively in Mr Nikolic's campaign and was also present by his side during the celebrations following the Serbian Radical Party's victory in the first round of elections, last Sunday. Mr Nikolic has stirred uneasiness in the EU on numerous occasions with his views on the Kosovo issue as well as his anti European statements. Recently Mr Nicolic told French Le Monde that "Brussels does not respect us Serbia and we are therefore under the obligation to turn ourselves to Russia," adding that cutting ties with the EU would not be "a big loss" for Belgrade anyway, as "all we lose are European funds."

John Macdonald, a spokesman for the EU, stated: "The commission will examine whether there is evidence of Ms Serifovic making statements which run counter to the aims of the European year of intercultural dialogue in which case we have to review her further activities as an ambassador for the European year". "Her political affiliation and activities in no way express the political position of the EU in the context of the Serbian presidential elections which are a matter for the people of Serbia", he added.

Stella Floras

Thanks to Johnny Logan and Hold me now I fell in love with the Eurovision Song Contest, a love that's been going strong ever since with undiminished passion. My first memories date back to 1977 and the lyrics of Rock bottom, Dschinghis Khan and A ba ni bi are still engraved in my brain.

I joined in 2006 as a junior editor after being invited by Barry Viniker, I soon became Senior Editor and during the 2007 contest in Helsinki I was appointed Head of Communications. Today I hold the post of Head of Human Resources and I am proud to be working with the best editorial team in the world.