Tuesday, April 12, 2005

EU and Serbia-Montenegro

It seems that Serbia-Montenegro has just increased its chances to join EU. It is nevertheless going to be a very slow process with plenty of unexpected complications.

But I doubt that Croatian media are going to pay much attention to this story. On the surface, this shows that Croatian chances of joining EU are very good –it is assumed that Croatia always had, still has and always will have great advantage over Serbia-Montenegro in all matters European.

On the other hand, this story shows that EU Croatia is going to join will, in a foreseeable future, also include Serbia. And that kind of EU is not EU many Croatians would like to live in.


Blogger Seesaw said...

Absolutely. I was following Croatian media today, short news, and rather late... What a shock this must be even for Prime minister Sanader... He did everything to be two steps in fron of that SCG... But did not manage...

11:20 PM  
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11:51 PM  
Anonymous Jussi Jalonen said...

FWIW, I'd suspect that the potential EU membership of Serbia and Montenegro will be subject to considerably tougher negotiations than the membership of the other Balkan states. Even the Romanian entry to the Union - although it _does_ seem fairly certain by now - has already caused a good deal of resentment within the EU hierarchy.

Some representatives of the Conservative group in the EU Parliament have expressed an opinion that Romania has failed to fulfill the requirements for a full membership, and that the entrance of the country in the EU should thus be postponed, in accordance to the decision made in last December. Assuming that there will be subsequent accusations of showing too much leniency towards Romania, this may well lead the EU to issue harsher terms on the other prospective member states in the future.

(Side note: personally, I can't comprehend the usual speculation on whether or not the potential new EU member states have had "enough experience in democratic government". Sheesh. When Greece and Spain were allowed to join the EEC, both countries still had a recent experience of dictatorship, and the old DDR was basically allowed to get in through the back door.)

But, to turn your comment the other way around: how many Serbs would really be interested in living in an EU that already included Croatia? :-)


4:07 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Hi Jussi,

To grossly oversimplify a complex relationship, Croats look down on Serbs, while Serbs resent Croats. Croatia has a constructed identity that involves being Catholic, more "Western", more "cultured" and "civilized", cleaner, safter, and more rational, while Serbia is distinguised as Orthodox, eastern, primitive, irrational, criminal, dirty, and violent.

Dragan's point, I think, is that many Croats will find it humiliating to be in an EU that raises such "inferior" nations as Serbia, Romania and Bulgaria to the level of Croatia. I'm not sure he's right -- Croatian Euroskepticism seems more about sullen resentment of European refusal to buy into Croatian nationalist mythology, than about Serbia in any way -- but I'm not sure he's wrong either.

Serbia, on the other hand, won't mind being part of an EU including Croatia, any more than Croatia would mind being part of an EU including Slovenia.

As to Romania: yah, it will be hard to stop now. I have very mixed feelings about this, but there it is.

(BTW, Dragan, I comment only occasionally but I visit all the time. Keep up the good work.)

Doug M.

10:10 AM  
Blogger oskar said...

Common prejudices about other peoples/nations in Europe go something like this: "people living south of you are slothful and dirty; people living north of you are cold and lack emotions; people living west of you are petit bourgeoisie; and people living east of you are simply not European"

Of course the borders of Europe always end just south and east of your own borders. So, Croatians believe they're European while, of course, the Bosnians and Serbs are not. Likewise the Hungarians are sure that they're tru Europeans while the Romanians and Serbs are not. And on it goes...

3:41 PM  
Blogger Marius Stanica said...

Ok, I think I am absolutely entitled to have a comment, as a Romanian, since my country is discussed in very low terms around here.

I noticed a Finnish person has a very low view.

"Dear" Jussi, it happens that I know very well what Nordic countries mean, since I worked for more than one year, in a good position in Norway. If Norway was a totally underdevelopped country before 1965-1970, when they discovered oil in the North Athlantic platform, Finland still is, because besides Nokia, there are only forrests, lakes and small wooden cottages there and nothing else. And winter 11 months per year. So, in such conditions, if I would have read such comments as yours', from a French, or from a German, or from a Brit, I would have said "Chappeau bas!", but in front of you, people from Northern Europe, I just say "Pfff...", with a lot of disgust in front of your non-motivated proud. At least Sweden developped an industry, I wonder why Finland is allowed to be within the EU, when even Belarus represents much more on the map of the old continent...

As for you, Doug, I can only say that many other European countries joined EU, when they had a much worse social and economical situation. I mean by this, Spain, Portugal or even Greece. So, I do not know how much you really know about my country, but I would not express myself, if I would not know anything about a country...

12:35 PM  

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