Gordana Jankovic was working for the Open Society Foundation in Belgrade and trying to set up an association of local media. A meeting in Kragujevac brought together representatives of media from around the country. But many of the participants were hesitant.
The disintegration of Yugoslavia was a triumph of nationalist passions over political interests. If the latter had prevailed, the process would at least have proceeded peacefully, as was the case with Czechoslovakia. Instead, three wars took place one after the other.
After dark, around 200 gay Serbians marched through the streets of central Belgrade in protest of the banning of this year's official pride parade. Night was the only time when local gays felt safe enough to express their revolt. Otherwise, they would have been targets for anti-gay mobs.
In contrast to the famous Yeats poem, the center indeed holds in East-Central Europe, and perhaps holds too much. Budapest, for instance, dominates Hungary. The Czech Republic is similarly centralized around Prague.
In April, Serbia and Kosovo signed a landmark normalization treaty. The deal, in what might seem a paradoxical quid pro quo, gives Kosovo authority over the Serbian pocket in the north and greater autonomy to the Serbs living in that region.
"This government is composed of the people who were involved in the destruction of the country. But we, each citizen of this country together with those of us who were opposed, in some way allowed that. So this is a bigger question of responsibility. How could we have stopped them?"
In American politics, the rigorous subjecting of political statements to fact-checking is a relatively recent phenomenon. Promoting accountability is never an easy task, particularly in countries just emerging from authoritarianism.
Many Serbs are not truly interested in the political fate of Kosovo, instead seeing themselves as hostages of Kosovo's drama for decades. It is arguable that these new pressures provoke old wounds and revive dormant traumas.