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Differentiated Integration - from Theory to Practice. Determiners in the Integration Process of the Western Balkans: Ethnicity


  • Blaga, Daniela
  • Brie, Mircea


Most studies of differentiated integration are limited to the European Union, to the relations between the existing Member-States, and to the various institutional arrangements. The relationship between the European Union and the Western Balkans offers the support for testing the concept of differentiated integration on the dynamics recorded between the EU and a group of foreign states. Different Balkan states signed different contractual agreements with the European Union, with the expressed wish to consolidate their European perspective. The EU has a large range of initiatives, already implemented or in the process of implementation, for the Western Balkans. One such key initiative is the regional approach, which pushes the Western Balkan states toward forms of regional cooperation that need to be achieved if progress is sought in their contractual relations with the EU. This approach of the EU is salutary in theory, but in practice, the region of the Western Balkans is not uniform, it does not have any constants in the regional characteristics, in terms of identity, culture, and political and economic development. The Western Balkans space is synonymous with the geopolitics of violence, where drawing and redrawing borders and frontiers hide scars rooted in ethnicity, confession, religion and/or nationality, which are often translated into nationalism and desire for independence. Our work will attempt to tap into likely determiners in the integration process of the Western Balkans and to see if it is possible to establish an integrationist model open to dialogue. One of the starting premises is that ethnicity has been a determiner in the integration process (or the disintegration process, for that matter!), both in the case of Yugoslavia, and in the case of post-Yugoslavia evolution, including the process of European integration. Ethnic barriers have been passed by some countries with great difficulty, and the prospect of European integration does not entail a solution to all disagreements. Moreover, some states/nations are at an early stage of identity construction process, often involving claims or amendments to/from other countries.

Suggested Citation

  • Blaga, Daniela & Brie, Mircea, 2013. "Differentiated Integration - from Theory to Practice. Determiners in the Integration Process of the Western Balkans: Ethnicity," MPRA Paper 52528, University Library of Munich, Germany.
  • Handle: RePEc:pra:mprapa:52528

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    References listed on IDEAS

    1. Brie, Mircea, 2009. "Contemporary Ecumenism between the Theologians’ Discourse and the Reality of Inter-confessional Dialogue. Case Study: Bihor," MPRA Paper 44013, University Library of Munich, Germany.
    2. Stoica, Alina & Brie, Mircea, 2010. "The cultural Frontiers of Europe. Introductory Study," MPRA Paper 44119, University Library of Munich, Germany, revised 2010.
    3. Brie, Mircea, 2010. "European Culture between Diversity and Unity," MPRA Paper 44083, University Library of Munich, Germany, revised 2010.
    4. Brie, Mircea & Horga, Ioan, 2009. "The european union external border. an epistemological approach," MPRA Paper 44173, University Library of Munich, Germany, revised 2009.
    5. Brie, Mircea & Polgar, Istvan & Chirodea, Florentina, 2012. "Cultural Identity, Diversity and European Integration. Introductory Study," MPRA Paper 44067, University Library of Munich, Germany, revised 2012.
    6. Horga, Ioan & Brie, Mircea, 2009. "La coopération interuniversitaire aux frontières extérieures de l’Union Européenne et la contribution à la politique européenne de voisinage
      [Cooperation between Universities at External European U
      ," MPRA Paper 44144, University Library of Munich, Germany, revised 2009.
    7. Brie, Mircea, 2011. "Ethnicity, Religion and Intercultural Dialogue in the European Border Space," MPRA Paper 44087, University Library of Munich, Germany, revised 2011.
    8. Brie, Mircea & Horga, Ioan & Şipoş, Sorin, 2011. "Ethnicity, Confession and Intercultural Dialogue at the European Union’s East Border," MPRA Paper 44082, University Library of Munich, Germany, revised 2011.
    9. Brie, Mircea & Şipoş, Sorin & Horga, Ioan, 2011. "Ethno-Confessional Realities in the Romanian Area: Historical Perspectives (XVIII-XX centuries)," MPRA Paper 44026, University Library of Munich, Germany.
    10. Brie, Ioan & Brie, Mircea, 2008. "The Interreligious Dialogue in the Context of the New Europe: The European Ecumenical Movement," MPRA Paper 44118, University Library of Munich, Germany, revised 2008.
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    More about this item


    EU; Western Balkans; (differentiated) integration; ethnicity; cooperation; region; enlargement;

    JEL classification:

    • F5 - International Economics - - International Relations, National Security, and International Political Economy
    • J15 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Demographic Economics - - - Economics of Minorities, Races, Indigenous Peoples, and Immigrants; Non-labor Discrimination

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