Serbia: Does arrest of Karadzic mean embrace of Europe?

Serbia's new government arrested Radovan Karadzic after less than a month in power. It may have been motivated more by a desire to join the European Union than by concerns for justice.

Serbia is making a play to rejoin the “civilized world,” said Ireland’s Irish Examiner in an editorial. Some 13 years after Radovan Karadzic became an international pariah, Serbia last week finally arrested him so he could face justice. As head of the breakaway Bosnian Serb republic during the 1992–95 Bosnian war, Karadzic ordered “the worst acts of brutality Europe has endured since the Nazi campaigns,” including the siege of Sarajevo and the slaughter of 8,000 Muslim men and boys in Srebrenica. He hid in Serbia for more than a decade to evade international war-crimes charges. Successive Serbian governments claimed they couldn’t find him—but that now seems unlikely, given that the current, pro-Western coalition was able to make the arrest after less than a month in power. But even the current government seems motivated more by pragmatism than by morality—it wants Serbia to join the E.U., which has long insisted that it turn over indicted war criminals.

Don’t underestimate how politically risky it was for the Serbian government to make the arrest, said Misha Glenny in Britain’s The Times. Indeed, it took great courage for “the new, pro-European forces” to arrest Karadzic. “Serbia recently had to swallow the humiliation of the U.S. and most E.U. states recognizing Kosovo,” the Serbian province with an ethnic-Albanian majority that broke off to become an independent country earlier this year. Many ordinary Serbs see the E.U. as the entity that supported truncating their country, so it is hard to convince them “that pursuing a pro-European policy is in their

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