Main topic

CHALLENGES AND DILEMMAS OF CONTEMPORARY DEMOCRACY

EUROSCEPTICISM IN SERBIA – OLD CONCEPT IN THE NEW SUIT

Abstract

Euroscepticism is a heterogeneous and dynamic phenomenon. With
each new phase in the European Union development (former European
Communities), its main focus has been changed – from the attacks on the
idea of European citizenship to the opposition to the common currency and
immigration policy, and even to the critique of the overall idea of European
integration. Nationalism, cultural, political and economic reasons are
the main source of mistrust and reluctance towards the EU. It should be
emphasized that the experience and interpretation of the phenomenon is
different from the views of Member States and Candidate States, in the
first case, Euroscepticism is linked with the historical development of the
EU, in the second case, Euroscepticism is far more complex.
Euroscepticism in Serbia has many causes. First and most obvious
is Euroscepticism caused by a pre-accession strategy. Discontent in
Candidate States has been created due to long-term negotiations and
policy of conditionality. The gap between the high motivation of these
states wishing to become EU members and reality, contributes to
increasing euroscepticism. There is fear of the spread of the negative
consequences of liberalized trade, such as: the lack of competitiveness of
domestic companies, the loss of jobs. In addition, it is worth mentioning:
low standard of living, inability to participate in decision-making in the
EU and fear of losing national and cultural identity. In transition countries
that have recently become Member States (or are currently in the process
of negotiating such as Serbia), the problem did not originate from the
existence of one or two political parties that oppose the entrance into the
EU, but fostering so called popular Euroscepticism. Emphasized people’s
discontent with the situation in the country and the EUʼs pressure to
accelerate costly reforms is an additional element of uncertainty about
joining the EU. Messages coming from Brussels are perceived as
permanent conditioning, humiliation of Serbia, jeopardizing its identity.
One of the causes of negative attitudes about the EU is primarily that
citizens are either poorly informed or not informed at all. It is important
to take into account all sources of Euroscepticism in order to influence the
rational perception of the EU, which is possible only with the continuous
dissemination of information on the functioning of the EU.

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References

PERIODICS Srpska politička misao 2/2018 2/2018 УДК 316.64(497.11):32(4-672EU) 79-98
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