We are facing a new escalation of nationalism and clerical interference in the political life of the countries in the region, conducted from the Belgrade political headquarters, which has been threatening the region for thirty years, preventing progress and democratization of society. The recent events in Cetinje require a decisive attitude and response, and a manifest resistance to fascist policies.

The policy of assimilation is pursued through the radicalized part of the Church of Serbia by Serbian and other foreign political and parapolitical formations. It manifested itself to the greatest extent in Montenegro through the open interference of the Church of Serbia in the one-year election campaign by organizing political processions (hypocritically called “religious processions”), which resulted in the victory of the pro-Serbian bloc in the parliamentary elections in August 2020. The newly elected government has become a puppet in the hands of the Serbian clergy by openly implementing the project of the “Serbian world.” This project was declared long ago by the infamous SANU Memorandum. It resulted in the spread of national, racial, and religious hatred, war destruction, crimes against humanity, genocide in Srebrenica, and other war crimes in Kosovo and Croatia.

The priest enthronement scenario in Cetinje is the same one that preceded the wars in Bosnia and Herzegovina, Croatia, and Kosovo, which resulted in millions of displaced people and tens of thousands of “missing,” or more precisely killed and buried in mass graves. This tragedy has clearly shown that the regressive forces would not stop and that many zealous nationalists would follow. Since Serbia is the largest in the region, its nationalism is the one that awakens, incites, and maintains all other nationalisms.  

It is our duty to point out this danger and the official Belgrade as the primary source of threat to stability and peace because it pursues a harmful sub-imperial policy towards the surrounding nations and states (while behaving as a poltroon to those in power). Therefore, we call on all progressive forces in Serbia to join this appeal because the citizens of Serbia are also suffering the consequences of such a policy and striving for domination. The government in Belgrade called on all Serbs in the region (and the world) to display national flags on September 15 without worrying about the consequences for the people themselves or other peoples' feelings. It is clear that with such a policy, Belgrade doses and encourages other nationalist policies, strengthens and maintains them. From such countries, young people want only one thing – to escape, as far as possible.

This nationalist homogenization and maintenance of such a policy should be replied with a resounding NO.  

  • We call on the governments and institutions of the countries in the region, the successors of Yugoslavia, to resist the provocations of official Belgrade and its nationalist policy and to advocate cooperation, peace, and equality of all its citizens; to renounce the spread of hatred and nationalism as a way of governing. At the same time, we express opposition to every kind of hegemony over each other, and we advocate mutual respect and the building of a peaceful political agenda.
  • We call on all progressive forces, citizens, and intellectuals in the region, in all successor states of Yugoslavia, to build a strong common counterpoint to this backward policy. Together and in unison, we have to oppose nationalism and fascism. Let our voice be heard: NO TO FASCIZATION AND CLERICALIZATION OF SOCIETY!  
  • We call on all citizens in the region to intensify cooperation, wherever they live, to see through and expose the policy of spreading mutual hatred and building mutual solidarity and friendship.
  • The region and the Balkans need peace, interfaith and interethnic respect, respect for international law, democracy, the rule of law, human and minority rights, cultural and economic partnership, and cooperation.

The world is moving forward. It will not wait for us. To remove the backward, warlike policies of domination and to build a policy of peace and cooperation is paving the way for our future and the future of future generations.

Signatories of the Regional Initiative of Intellectuals for Contribution to Peace and Stability:

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