From Isolation to Complete Reintegration
Europe and the World
Princess Katherine of Yugoslavia
country has the chance to achieve a new beginning in democracy after years
of isolation, sanctions and bombing. The people have suffered over the
last decade under a cunning and dangerous dictatorship. The west was
confused and tried in its own way to settle matters, but at times made
life worse for all citizens.
The beginning of our
reintegration into Europe and the world happened last year on the 5th
October. The peaceful revolution put end to 55 years of communism and the
last ten years of total madness.
However, today our social
services and health care are in crisis owing to years of conflict, abuse
of power, neglect and mismanagement. We are in the process of
restructuring and reorganizing social services using minimum and erratic
funding. It is painful for the citizens to endure the situation since the
economy has not recovered.
We need funds and the
interest of the international community particularly the European Union. I
must say that when it comes to military action nations have all the cash
available, but when it comes to pay for peace and a better future nations
have great difficulty funding a new beginning.
Our people desperately
need social and economic help and so does the whole of Eastern Europe. As
you can imagine rapid reform, social services funding and recovery
requires a comprehensive package. The delay of the donor conference will
disastrously undermine the entire external financing package — financing
gaps will not be closed — and will weaken the support for the
reform-orientated government in Belgrade. One cannot ransom a whole nation
owing to an individual who abused power. In any case our government must
be given a chance to get on with the reforms that include making our
judicial system into an independent one.
This conferences theme is “Tomorrow’s
Europe. Women in Action”. Unless we tackle efficiently the problems
of today’s Europe and particularly those in Eastern Europe we will have
men, women and children living in the “third world” of Europe aspiring
to immigrate to the “first world” of Europe. We as Europeans
must not accept a divided Europe consisting of a first class Europe and a
second class Europe. There must be European integration and enlargement
along the lines one Europe respecting each nation.
To guarantee success and
stability there must be a regional policy to help the whole region attain
prosperity and thus lasting peace. Without a coordinated regional policy
and program there will be further problems, deprivation and even internal
clashes and conflicts between neighbors. There has to be an end to the
suffering and shortages in the region. No one can deny that we are part of
Europe and aspire to be a member of the European Union so therefore we
need the European Union’s commitment to assist us to get on with our
reform program to guarantee a better future for all our citizens
regardless of ethnic origin or religion.
In expressing our
commitment to improvement I would like to share with you the four main
characteristics of our reform program to help people and also get
reintegration on track:
First, Our governments program is designed to avoid a sharp drop in
output and income, given that this has been the trend over the past ten
years and average wages are lower than US$50 per month. To take into
account the very strong social awareness the budget includes substantial
increases in provisions that will enable regular payments of pensions,
health care costs, and funds that will enhance the mobility of labor. For
example the cost to handle transition.
Second, Our government is
committed to transparency and the elimination of corruption.
The government, and particularly the economic team, is dedicated that
Yugoslavia will become a model corruption-free country in Eastern Europe.
Past abuses are being addressed. The government believes that our country
will hopefully be able to serve as an example to others in the region
within the next few years.
Third, Our government will
focus on measures to utilize existing human potential.
We believe that our country has a huge potential in terms of
human resources at home and abroad with skills that bode well for
competition in the international markets. We need to complement this human
capital with a better infrastructure, a modern and better functioning
regulatory framework, liberal price and trade and exchange policies, more
private ownership of major enterprises, and a stable macroeconomic
Fourth, Our government must
quickly show results to our citizens. This will encourage
a weary population that has suffered tremendous deprivation, poor social
services, poverty, over a decade of isolation, falling living standards
and diminishing income to persevere with the reforms and feel that the
European Union really cares.
For the success of this program, we need the
financial and technical support of the international community. This is not interfering in internal matters it is helping
fellow Europeans to succeed.
The European Union is lucky to have
high standards of living for its citizens. Consider the following facts
that show the urgent need to get the program and cooperation moving:
Two thirds of our National Health
System has equipment that is faulty, out of order, obsolete, or lacking
water and heating systems continue to be unreliable, affecting equipment,
patients and staff morale.
health care remains largely free, but patients must bring their own
consumables and, in some cases, drugs, severely affecting access to
services for the economically vulnerable who include a large proportion of
the resident population as well as 700.000 refugees and the internally
conclusion, I appeal to all of you the responsible citizens of Europe the
need to spread the word when you get back home that this is the time the
European people of Eastern Europe need the most help from the European
Union and the World to survive as a democracies.
Copyright © 1997 HRHCP Aleksandar II All Rights Reserved