Regional and European Aspects of the Integrational Prosesses in Serbia: civilisational assumptions, reality and prospects of future (2006 – 2010)

Duration of project: 2006-2010

Funded by: Republic of Serbia, Ministry for science and technological development

Project number:  149031

Project manager:  dr Stjepan Gredelj

Project Manager Assistant: dr Predrag Milidrag


The subject of the research includes the processes of integration in Serbia, and their three main aspects of manifestation in particular.

The internal aspect of these processes comprises the reintegration (normalization and reconstruction) of Serbian society after the period of its devastation in the 1990s, on the grounds of market economy and establishing and enforcing democratic institutions.

Regional aspects are concerned with processes of integration within the West Balkan region, its influence on Serbia and the position of Serbia in it, while European aspects are concerned with processes and activities in Serbia, those which are directed at its European Union’s membership. On the other hand, harmonization and complementariness of mentioned aspects and processes within are precondition of harmonious development towards future integrations.

The subject of research will be surveyed from the two complementary standpoints: 1) From the standpoint of social and civilization assumptions which include the analysis of social and historical preconditions which determine possible modes of integration, those which enable the processes of integration, as well as those which stem as potential obstructions and constraints; the critical analysis of the fundamentals of the idea of Europe as community of the nations, that is, its theoretical political, economic and the most broad social preconditions; the survey of ideas, conflicts and controversies in modern theories of society on supranational integration; the explication of ideological treatment of the idea of European and regional integration (cosmopolitanism vs. nationalism); the survey of the impact of European ideas on our social theory, above all on discussions and disputes (even conflicts) regarding conservative and liberal concepts of the integration (homogenization and inclusion vs. adaptation and exclusion); the survey of the elements of national and traditional dimension in European integrations and their relationships to dimension of citizenry (civic and state vs. cultural and ethnical comprehension); citical reexamination of the possibilities of application of first or the second set of ideas to social reality of Serbia; the relationship to recent or distant past in the light of internal reintegration and regional association in the domain of cultural production; the impact of unresolved status of Kosovo and Metohija to internal reintegration of the society in Serbia and its democratization concerning symbolical, cultural, economic, and political relevance of Kosovo and Metohija; the influence of the questionable future of state union of Serbia and Montenegro, i. e. the possibility of Serbia’s becoming an independent country and the potential outcomes of that possibility; the relationship of state sovereignity, universal rights and processes of integration (sovereignity, internationalism and interventionism); ethical, cultural and anthropological dimension of political and technological processes of integration as a moments of globalization; comparative analysis of the state of particular domains of the society in Serbia, in region and European Union; the analysis of the state  of regional cooperation in the processes of European integrations. 2) From the standpoint of analysis and interpretation of actual state of the processes of realisation of European standards in cultural, political, legal, economic and ecological spheres.  The research of the potentials, willingness, and the ability of various social strata and groups for endorsement of the integration; the state of the members of minority communities, national, confessional, gender and other; legal frameworks and the reality of the state of human rights in Serbia; the problems of gender equality; destruction, reconstruction and “forming” of elites (personal and cultural mode); the position, role and function of the university and science as main actors in the processes of social develompent and cultural integrations; the results of former social desintegrations as aggravating factor of reconstruction and normalization of the society; main actors of antiintegrational revindications, their ideology and influence; resolving the problems of refugees and displaced persons as precondition for regional integration. Two meaning of the processes of integration, “active” and “passive”, have direct consequences to internal processes in the state and they are conditio sine qua non of the transformation of all segments of the society in Serbia, that is, the test of the preparedness for adoption and adaptation of wider, more and more universal standards which are valid in European union, especially because relevant segments of narrower, West Balkan ambience already are “European” ambience of Serbia or are on the treshold to become part of European Union, which is still Serbia’s long term aim. Therefore, the precisely noticed capacities for association to those regional integration, which is ipso facto European by its character, will be a distinctive indicator of (un)willingness to accelerate “social learning” in the state which is, in considerable amount, late in fundamental processes of transitions and social transformations, and which, on the path to its strategical goal of integration, should rapidly proceed along all intermediary stages. The goal of the research is contribution to formulation of social strategy of association to Eurpoean Union, in line with the role and position of Serbia in the region and Serbia’s internal potentials and needs. Concerned aims imply several intemediary stages: – the formation of scientific and comparative basis for continuity of the processes of intergration, concerning requests of forthcoming Stabilisation  and Association Agreement with the European Union – research of the experiences and consequences of European intergation in the milleu of potentiality of expansion of cooperation; the prescriptions of solutions for alleviated internal integration of the society, that is, the overcoming of social tensions.

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