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EU Local Imprints

The Case of South Central Europe

Edited By Josef Langer and Goran Vlasic

This book is about the impact of the EU on local issues, particularly in the pre-accession phase. It analyses and discusses contending interests and aspirations in culture, education, communication and tourism in parts of former Yugoslavia. Various contributions create a joint story of EU interactions with accession states, having both positive and negative impacts. The Authors provide perspectives on the bearing of EU accession on culture, primarily in terms of risk perception, on education as key facilitator of knowledge, on the media, which serve as a basis for creating public opinion, and tourism as an industry that has strongly transformed as a result of EU enlargements. All contributions together provide an overview of what is and what might be as a result of EU requirements. In contrast to elites on both sides, who usually paint EU membership in the brightest colours, the closer look reveals more ambiguous processes and attitudes.

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Introduction

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This volume is the result of fruitful discussions on the ideas of integration. Given the continuing interest in political, economic, monetary, and other types of integration, the question this volume focuses on is this: how do these “traditional forms of integration” influence integrating mechanisms in more subtle areas of culture, communication and tourism? In the case of the European Union (EU) “membership presents an aspiration for a country in the process of accession”. As such, it implies conflicts from, at least, two perspectives. First, on the part of the country that is being accepted for membership, there is a discrepancy between how things are expected to be done and local customs, which maintain old “undesirable” patterns. While, on the one side, there are such conflicts, at the same time clashes happen in the pursuit of the business interests of emerging market (EM) members who seek to benefit from the greater growth rates of accession countries. Therefore, some positive practices, though sought by an accession country, are supported only in theory, thus requiring that country's resourcefulness in solving these conflicting situations. Contributions in this volume can be read individually, but jointly create a description of the interaction between the EU and accession states: both through positive and negative impacts. Authors provide perspectives on the impact of EU accession on culture, primarily in terms of risk perception, which was long viewed as highly undesirable in non-western countries; on education systems as important carriers of knowledge and culture; on communication and media, which...

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