From Balkanization to Europeanization: The Politics of Memory in Croatia and Serbia, 1990-2015
This research project explores a neglected aspect of the wider debate about the EU enlargement and the role of the past in the EU; namely the relevance of “dealing with the past”. Enlargement has and continues to generate substantial theoretical and empirical research, yet, there is a gap in the knowledge and literature on the following questions: How (to what extent) the European integration process affects domestic politics of memory? How does this process occur, which mechanisms are in place, what type of change does occur and how important is “dealing with the past” for the outcome of EU candidacy? In order to give the answers to these questions, I observe in extenso and in comparative perspective, a new member state, Croatia, and a candidate country, Serbia. These two countries, where dividing and divisive historical narratives were at the centre of their armed conflict in the 1990s, protracted their reconciliation and regional “return to Europe” due to ethno-centric historical narratives. In the region, where national memories still contain a good repository of referents in which current partners were former existential antagonists, the process of EU integration is geared not only towards EU membership but more importantly towards dealing with the past.
Ana Milosevic is a PhD candidate at KU Leuven in Belgium. Her research interests cover dealing with the past, collective memory, identity and European Integration. Her MA in EU Studies, Politics and Government was awarded by the Université Libre de Bruxelles, where she graduated with distinction with a dissertation on Europeanization of collective historical memory. Before joining the KU Leuven, Ana Milosevic worked at Serbian Institute for Public Diplomacy in Brussels, German Institute for International Relations and Security and the European Parliament.