Interview with Jovan Palalić: the situation of Serbian patriots
A few weeks ahead of the general elections in Serbia on December 17, Jovan Palalić, Secretary General of the Serbian People’s Party (SNP), agreed to answer our questions. We spoke to him about the situation of the patriot movement in Serbia, the forthcoming elections, and the participation of the Identity and Democracy Foundation in the “Cross-Continental Conservative Congress” organized in Belgrade by the SNP.
In early November, the Cross-Continental Conservative Congress was held in Belgrade. Can you tell us what it was all about?
The Cross-Continental Conservative Congress, which took place in Belgrade on November 4, was originally conceived as a youth gathering of conservative parties from Europe and America. I had discussed it with their representatives during CPAC in Budapest. However, when the news broke, there was great interest within our conservative community, so the Belgrade gathering went beyond the original idea. Numerous national and European activists, conservative institutes and foundations and media representatives took part. It was a true conservative workshop and a sincere exchange of ideas and experiences among true friends sharing the same values and concern for the future of our civilization.
Why is it so important to bring conservatives and patriots together?
It’s important for us conservatives to get together because it’s not only an opportunity to talk about our ideas and the values we represent, but also to think about how to achieve unity of action and a stronger internal structure for our movement. Thanks to years of work, the Liberals, Leftists and Greens – our political opponents – have reached a level of organization that enables them to bring their programs closer to the people. I am convinced that we Conservatives have the best ideas for our nations, and that the time is coming when we will form governments. Such gatherings, like the one in Belgrade, strengthen our internal connection, our self-confidence, and our readiness to act together.
What did you think of the event? Was it a success? And what are your plans for the future?
In a serious and comprehensive way, during five very interesting panel discussions and four keynote speeches in the introductory part of the conference, we considered the most important issues facing Europe and the United States. We also presented clear positions on how conservatives would solve these problems, so that our civilization and societies renew themselves and once again become strong, rich and respected. The important issues we addressed were not only those of society and security: illegal migration, gender propaganda, the weakening of national consciousness, the declining role of religion in communities. We also discussed economic issues, new technologies and technological development, re-industrialization, all with a view to offering our citizens our conservative vision of economic development.
What do you think of the future of the conservative and patriotic movement in Europe?
I’m truly convinced that the time is coming for conservative parties, movements and policies. The first signs of this are the countries where our friends have formed governments: Italy, Hungary, Finland, Sweden, Slovakia. Led by the Rassemblement National in France, conservatives are the most important forces there, as well as in Poland and Austria, while in Spain, Belgium and Portugal they are among the most important forces. After a period of catastrophic politics, led by leftist and liberal governments, and a total failure to manage crises – the economic crisis of 2008, the migrant crisis of 2015, the Covid-19 crisis of 2020, and now the energy crisis – citizens, who for years have been subjected to propaganda to the effect that conservative forces are not capable of exercising power, now trust us more and more. It’s time for Conservatives to form governments.
You are the General Secretary of the Serbian People’s Party. Could you explain what this party is and what your values are?
The most important value of my party, the Serbian People’s Party, is the idea that a nation cannot develop economically or build stable societies if it is not free and independent when it comes to creating its own policies and interests. So, to project the future, we draw ideas and inspiration from the successes of the past. Our slogan is: ” FAITHFUL TO TRADITION, OPEN TO THE WORLD”. We stand by the ideas of Serbian independence, the nation’s Christian roots, and an unwavering defense of our right to decide our own historical direction. In building for the future, the measures we are taking are: technological development, strengthening the competitiveness of our economy, supporting the initiative of small and medium-sized enterprises, attracting new investment from the state, developing the education system which contributes not only to the competitiveness of individuals on the job market but also to the competitiveness of society. We defend family values from attacks by gender ideologies and remain committed to supporting Serbs in the region. We maintain a strong position that Kosovo is an inalienable part of Serbia, and we call for respect for international law not only in our case, but throughout the world.
What is the state of the conservative and patriotic movement in Serbia?
Given that our medieval and modern state was founded on the basis of connecting the past with the present and the future, Serbs are a deeply conservative nation. Christianity plays an important role in shaping values and behavior. Here, left-wing ideas only ruled when they led the communist revolution on tanks – using only repression – because there was no real support for them. However, there aren’t many conservative movements with clearly defined policies and programs in today’s circumstances. As a party, what we want to do is assert a genuine Serbian conservatism that has always existed but was lost during the period of communism and the first decades after democratic renewal.
The European Union is making Serbia’s membership conditional on recognition of Kosovo as an independent country. What do you think about this?
Such a position on the part of the European Union is profoundly mistaken and absolutely unacceptable to Serbia. The fact that the EU is forcing Serbia to recognize Kosovo’s false independence in order to become a member of the EU is a clear example not only of the injustice but also of the profound hypocrisy displayed by the left-liberal elite. I hope this elite doesn’t rule Europe for much longer. Look at a simple proof of this hypocrisy: Brussels supports the entire Ukrainian territory and demands that all countries not recognize the secession of Crimea or parts of Donbass, while at the same time asking the same European countries to recognize the secession of Kosovo. Is this difference between the two positions due to the fact that, in the case of Ukraine, the secession was brought about by a Russian attack and, in the case of Serbia, to the fact that the secession of Kosovo followed after the same EU had bombed us? The latest surveys in Serbia show that 85% of Serbs are against Serbia joining the EU if the condition is to recognize Kosovo.
In December, general elections will be held in Serbia. What is at stake in these elections, and what is your party’s strategy?
The key question for the December elections in Serbia is: will Serbia maintain its independent, neutral position and thus prolong its prosperous economic development? Or will there be a challenge from the extreme poles of the left and right, who are promoting Serbia’s position in the current conflict, which would result in the loss of freedom of decision? Thanks to our neutral position, we have succeeded in attracting a lot of foreign investment from all the countries of the West and East, building successful economic partnerships, as a small country and as far as possible. My party is part of a broad coalition that also won in the previous period. Now it firmly defends the orientation of an independent Serbian policy, because this is the meaning of our existence. It is not only in the spirit of our historic mission as a nation, it is also the only solid guarantee of our survival and prosperous development in the future.