U fokusu rada Instituta za evropske poslove je praćenje pregovora Srbije sa EU i jačanje kapaciteta svih uključenih u procesu. Imajući u vidu složenost i dugotrajnost ovog procesa, Institut okuplja veliki broj stručnih saradnika sa kojima organizuje treninge, debate i druga usavršavanja zato što želimo da svojim radom doprnesemo boljem razumevanju evroatlantskih integracija. Institut radi na organizovanju treninga i pružanju multiperspektivnih informacija kako bismo omogućili aktivno učešće stručne javnosti i građana u procese donošenja odluka. Institut aktivno zagovara i zalaže se za temeljne reforme u okviru pegovaračkog procesa i u saradnji sa partnerima jačamo kapacitete Srbije da se suoči sa izazovima u globalnom svetu kroz zajedničko delovanje, koje za krajnji cilj ima aktivno članstvo Srbije u evroatlantskim okvirima za dobrobit svih građana.

My Contribution to the Regional Reconciliation

One of the famous sayings about history is the following: “History is written by the winners”. This means that a certain war has its one generally accepted history which we learn and from which we draw lessons so that it may not repeat again. However, who can at all be said to be the winner in the wars during the ‘90s at the region of the Balkans when each country in this region has a different version about the same event. Whose history should be accepted? Is the above mentioned saying really literally understood at the Balkans since even after so many years there still exists a controversy about the facts who is the victim and who is the culprit, who won and who lost. The process of reconciliation has not started yet. Does this sort of attitude have the role of education or does it serve to create the prejudices and bigotry? It is necessary to spread a critical view towards the new history made during the ‘90s because by doing so we will also spread the idea of reconciliation, which is much needed in the region.

In order to participate in the YRA programme I provided myself with knowledge through education, media and the collective consciousness of the Serbian society. I expected that the lecturers would recognize the collective sacrifice of my people. However, the problem with all the participants was that everyone, having been influenced by their own education, had the same claim about the collective sacrifice of their own country and the absolute guilt of another country. How is that possible? Is the real truth about the war unknown to us so that everyone has their point of view about what really happened? Are we all the victims of the false history which has influenced generations to grow up with prejudices and bigotry towards other countries in the region? One of the lecturers on the YRA programme was Dr Dubravka Stojanovic who made us to reflect on the events during her talk about history changed at the beginning of the war in the ‘90s. Namely, during my education I never had a single lesson regarding the guilt of my country, not even the smallest possible guilt in the war. There was never a lesson that was about the confrontation with the past, nor about the reconciliation in the region. If we made a comparison of the history lessons before and after the ‘90s, we would find a different content. All the lessons about the spreading of the Yugoslavian spirit were changed with the lessons which indirectly justified the war conflicts. The result of this sort of history is unawareness of the real facts. According to the research related to the knowledge about history, some shocking assurances were revealed. Namely, regarding the siege of Sarajevo, many people did not know that it had been under siege for three years and some of them even denied that it had ever been under siege. Many citizens were certain that Dubrovnik was a part of the Serbian state in the Middle Ages but they were not aware of the information that it was bombed. Regarding the consciousness of the responsibility in the past, it can be concluded from the results of the research that the Serbs were not to be blamed for almost anything, that they still play the role of the victims and that their greatest villains through history were actually the Turks and the Croats. This sort of twisted past cannot certainly lead to any better relations in the future. In favour of this, there is a fact that there has not been any progress in the reconciliation since the end of the war. On the other side, there are some organizations which still propagate a milder ideology of the ‘90s. Namely, the imposing of history in which we are guilty of nothing, without the critical reconsideration of the role of our country, has resulted with the existence of greater nationalists and chauvinists in today’s generations than in the generations of the ‘90s. “The manipulations of the historical facts have for their goal the change of the system of values, which is their change into anti-antifascist order of things. And such flirting is very dangerous”, says Dubravka Stojanovic herself on the topic “Education in Serbia is in the function of politics and nation”. It is easier to be in the role of the victim because the victim has the right to defend itself and everything is forgiven to any of them. That is where we can find the justification for the current bad economic state and for all the debacles of the government. The burden of the past can always be placed on somebody else. And that is why we, and every other country, have the role of the victim and renounce our negative part.

The wars never solve any old question here. They simply introduce new topics and new problems that may “be resolved” by a new war. – Ivo Andrić.

When one of our most famous writers and the expert on mentality of the Balkans describes it like that, and when this thought is so true even after so many years, we must simply wonder if it is possible to change anything here. How can we come to the reconciliation in the circumstances like these, with this sort of consciousness and with the presented history?

Besides my acquaintance with all the participants, my positive attitude about the process of the reconciliation has also been influenced by the lecture of a psychologist Tamara Tomasevic. Namely, as much as we think that the power of an individual is small, we should not disregard it, nevertheless. Any system, no matter what it is, starts its change with an individual. The knowledge of one person can be positively spread onto a larger number of people. What sort of an effect it will have depends only on our wish and will. Besides education the most valuable thing is the acquaintance with all the participants. The goal of all of us is a better future. Having friends across the whole region and not wondering if you could go somewhere fearing the nationalism is certainly a better option. So many generations are the victims of the war of the ‘90s. They have been poisoned by hatred and this has not led to any prosperity. A constant return into the past and even worse the renunciation of any sort of guilt cannot bring us a better future. For the sake of all the young people who should not be the victims of the past, we should devote our attention to the process of reconciliation. A better future and a stable region are certainly something for which we should make every effort.


  1. http://www.e-novine.com/drustvo/75394-Obrazovanje-Srbiji-funkciji-politike-nacije.html
  2. http://cpi.hr/download/links/hr/7008.pdf
  3. http://www.e-novine.com/drustvo/42073-Novosti-prolosti.html

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