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Europeanism as the Identity of Development – Right or Privilege?

Antun Šundalić

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The transitions of European postsocialist countries have been
marked in the past decade by an orientation towards efficient
market economy and political democratisation. All of these
societies started new modernisation processes which have
rendered them new identity. However, what varies from state to
state is the gap between inherited values and patterns of social
life (inherited identity) on the one hand, and the targeted
orientation to market economy and democratisation of politics
(development identity) on the other. A greater or lesser
incompatibility of heritage and aims of development should not
become an insurmountable barrier to being included into the
European family. In as much as Europe opens up to particular
transitional societies, they are then described as promising or
not. It is quite another matter whether the promising prospects
of a society have to do with that very society and its readiness to
transform its identity, or how much this depends on the good will
of the European mentors and the transformation prescribed by
them. Furthermore, to be yet a part of Europe and not participate
in the European time of distribution of power and wealth, is
the fate of the European East, while the West of Europe has a
privileged position. With the former, Europeanism is still
understood as servitude, while for the latter, Europeanism means
being in the position of those who rule. Thus the overall effort of
joining the European integrations is for some a reserved right
and privilege, while to others it just represents the right to wish.
Antiglobalists would describe it as a new aspect of colonialism.


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