Perspectives Southeastern Europe #2: Bottom-up approaches fom the Balkans to the EU

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Approaches to understanding the meaning of accession to the European Union vary significantly among the post-Yugoslav countries, depending on the size and complexity of problems these countries encounter in their prolonged transition to democracy, free market economy, and rule of law.

While one of them – Slovenia – was at least partially prepared to take advantage of a broader market, freedom of trade and movement, and the available forms of support for economic development, for some others the process of accession to the EU, indeed the conditionality, which was part and parcel thereof, has been an important driving force for changes in their legal and institutional systems.

Furthermore, there are countries like Bosnia and Herzegovina and Macedonia, for which the relationship with the EU goes beyond legal adjustments and upgrading the institutional capacity, reaching all the way to the very constitution of the polity. In all these cases, accession to the EU (whether accomplished or not) could be seen, among other things, as a completion of the larger process called 'post-communist transition'.


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Date of Publication
November 2015
Heinrich-Böll-Stiftung Southeastern Europe
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Language of publication
Table of contents

Introductory note by Sđran Dvornik

EU and changes: with or against political elites

  • Yes to the EU, no to changing anything by Adnan Huskić
  • From a burden to an opportunity for a voice: the mising EU anchor in Macedonia by Simonida Kacarska

Public participation

  • BH and Europe in media focus: EU Integration as part of the problem or the solution for BH? by Lejla Turčilo
  • Attitudes among citizens and local self-government bodies towrds the process of Serbian accession to the EU by Vladimir Vuletić

Clashes of political cultures

  • Serbia between debalkanization and EU integration by Marija Brujić
  • Political and/or civic participation in BH Zlatiborka by Popov Momčinović

Asserting the society

  • "Make do and Mend". On the place of the civil society within the process of EU integration of Bosnia and Herzegovina by Saša Gavrić
  • Making way for a transformative human rights leadership: The European perspective of human rights protection in Bosnia and Herzegovina by Miroslav Živanović
  • Different coloured obituaries and the idea of a common future by Nedim Jahić
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