MEMBERSHIP IN THE EU AND NATIONALISTIC DISCOURSE IN THE WESTERN BALKANS – LEGAL ASPECTS
The phenomenon of refurbished ethnic nationalism, which, in the republics of former Yugoslavia, had started already in the late eighties and early nineties, have undoubtedly had devastating consequences for numerous citizens of all successor states. The armed conflicts in the 90-ies have been fuelled by the discourse based on excessive self-victimisation, highly mediatised revival of frustrations originating from the First and the Second World and nationalistic myths. In spite of the fact that the last two decades have brought relatively peaceful coexistence, the global economic crisis and new vague of migrations from Middle East and Africa have caused the revival of the nationalistic discourse all over Europe, including the countries of former Yugoslavia. However, all ex-Yugoslav countries share an important legal, political and cultural heritage, while, during at least last twenty years, the perspective (or realization) of the membership in the EU have certainly had certain calming effects on inter-ethnic relations in the entire region now often referred to as the Western Balkans. One of the important vectors of influence that the EU has – both on its member states and on candidates for membership – is the process of harmonisation of national legislations with the EU acquis. Notwithstanding the fact that the effect of this process on nationalistic discourse and hatred that it generates are mainly meta-legal and indirect, it is beyond any doubt that the EU’s political agenda and its legal and economic system can give significant incentive to the reduction of interethnic tensions. The ambition of this article is to demonstrate the results in this process, the obstacles that are still on its way, as well as to propose some solutions.
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