Is additional conditionality preventing EU accession? Serbian democratic 'step back'

Milenković, Miloš and Milenković, Marko (2013) Is additional conditionality preventing EU accession? Serbian democratic 'step back'. Sociološki pregled, 47 (2). pp. 189-210. ISSN 0085-6320 eISSN 2560-4880

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European Union integration of Western Balkan countries in conditioned on the fulfilment on the set of criteria aimed at profound societal change. However, there is a number of additional criteria within the EU enlargement policy for the Western Balkans and Serbia in particular. We have already designated this process as 'culturalization' of accession criteria. It comprises of alterations of criteria from initial, identity-neutral and technical issues to coming to terms with the legacy of identity conflicts in the Balkan region. These conditions pose a significant challenge to political institutions in a not yet consolidated democracy. In this article we analyze how, as a result of additional conditioning, the EU accession, instead of enjoying social consensus, has reopened identity issues, divided the society and boosted discourses on 'sovereignty', 'double standards of international community' and 'injustice' perpetrated to Serbia at the time of disintegration of Yugoslavia. Serbia is in a paradoxical situation we refer to as democratic deadlock - it is in need of consolidated democracy in order to achieve political stability and stable government capable to implement EU reforms, while the instability itself is a result of additional criteria for EU accession (and reactions to it). It is a theoretically intriguing case of additional criteria preventing fulfilment of the basic accession requirements. It is further analyzed how this observed tendency can be redirected through slight alteration of beneficiaries of EU incentives aimed at facilitating cultural change. In order to viably change the political community, external assistance process needs to be as inclusive as possible. It is argued that external assistance should not only cover main political, economic and legal actors, but also include cultural actors, especially culturally legitimate elites.

Item Type: Article
Uncontrolled Keywords: Serbia, democratization, additional conditionality, europeanization, cultural change, Srbija, demokratizacija, dopunska kondicionalnost, evropeizacija, kulturna promena.
Institutional centre: Centre for legal research
Depositing User: Vesna Jovanović
Date Deposited: 04 Feb 2022 20:00
Last Modified: 04 Feb 2022 20:00

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