European Studies Program: ESAANZ & University of Sydney

The Istanbul Convention on Preventing and Combating Violence Against Women

Prof. Misa Djurkovic
Director, Institute of European Studies, Belgrade

European Studies Program & ESAANZ University of Sydney
26 October 2022, 4.30pm – 5.30pm
Rm 536 5th Floor Common Room


The Combating Violence against Women and Domestic Violence, better known as the Istanbul Convention (Istanbul May 2011) is considered the most important document and instrument recently promoted in Europe and now signed by 45 and ratified by 36 countries. It entered into force on August 1, 2014. However it has become an object of division and dispute in Europe among two main groups of feminists and populists. Some members of the Council of Europe have not signed the convention (Azerbaijan and Russia), and a dozen members have refused to ratify it. Turkey, the first to sign and ratify it in 2012, became the first to withdraw in 2021. Western European countries with the exception of the UK have ratified the convention with little controversy. Many Eastern European countries have refused, and where it has been ratified problems have arisen with implementation. The religious aspect has has also emerged with Western and Eastern churches taking very different positions.
In this lecture, we will discuss the Convention and the discusions between the Brussels administration and member countries in regard to ratification and implementation.

Serbia’s Foreign Policy after Kosovo’s Proclamation of Independence: Understanding Belgrade’s “sanctions standoff” with the EU

Jovica Pavlović
Institute of European Studies, Belgrade

European Studies Program & ESAANZ University of Sydney
Friday October 31, 2022, 3.30-4.30pm. Rm 536 5th Floor Common Room


Since Kosovo’s proclamation of independence in 2008, Serbia has sought to continue with the EU integration process which had begun in around 2000 after the overthrow of the Milošević regime. This was despite the fact that most EU member states recognized Kosovo as an independent country. At the same time, Serbia sought to stall further international recognition of Kosovo by strengthening its alliance with Russia, a permanent member of the UN Security Council. The prospect of achieving both objectives became unfeasible after the European Union implemented restrictive measures against Russia in 2022, in response to the invasion of Ukraine.

Yet, Serbia hasn’t officially given up on the goal of strengthening its political and economic ties to Russia, nor has it decided to formally terminate accession negotiations with the EU. Thus, it refuses to align its foreign policy with the EU, while remaining a candidate country. The aim of the presentation is to understand why Serbia chooses to maintain such a contradictory foreign policy by examining the internal and external factors at play. The speaker will identify key actors and their main political strategies, as well as the projected outcomes/benefits of those strategies. The hope is to provide the audience with a deeper understanding of Serbia’s geopolitical position, but also with a sufficient grasp of its domestic political landscape.