THE SERBIAN ORTHODOX CHURCH IN MONTENEGRO AND THE CONFLICT OF IDENTITIES IN 2019 – 2020
Etudes balkaniques (Sofia) 2021 N 4
Institute of Balkan Studies & Centre of Thracology
Bulgarian Academy of Sciences, Bulgaria
Abstract: “Тhe Law on Freedom of Religion or Beliefs and Legal Status of Religious Communities of 27 December 2019 is becoming a problem of “national survival”. The Serbian Orthodox Church (SOC) has not shared or accepted the efforts of the authorities in Podgorica to establish a Montenegrin identity. The authorities have qualified the attacks on the law as a challenge to Montenegro’s national, cultural and religious identity. The opposition claims that the Law is an offhand attempt to expropriate lucrative church properties. SOC has organized mass protests “in defense of the holy places against lawlessness”. Citizens are forced to choose among religious affiliation, national identity and affiliation to patronage networks. In 2020 the ruling party suffered its first electoral defeat in the past 30 years. The new government repealed the contentious provisions on church properties. Nevertheless, the dramatic “conflict of identities” in Montenegro remains unresolved.
Keywords: Protests in Montenegro, Serbian Orthodox Church in Montenegro, National identity, Situational Nationalism, Patronage Networks.
THE ALBANIAN COMMUNITY IN SOUTH SERBIA AND ITS LEADERS (2010-2014)
Institute of Balkan Studies & Centre of Thracology, (Bulgarian Academy of Sciences)
The political life of the Albanian minority in Serbia in the period 2010-2014 abounded in local level micro-conflicts motivated by numerous family, interpersonal and career confrontations. They reflected the differences existing among the three municipalities with considerable numbers of Albanian population usually referred to collectively as the “Preševo Valley”. The influence of the historical leader Riza Halimi was challenged by various powerful figures on a local scale and particularly by the faction of the former fighters from the Liberation Army of Preševo, Medveđa and Bujanovac. “Preševo” Albanians have alternated moments of cooperation with the Serbian government with moments of boycott, without ever discontinuing informal and behind-the-scene contacts. In 2012 the Albanian minority parties participated in the local, parliamentary and presidential elections, thereby ultimately fitting into the Serbian political system.
Keywords: Albanians in Serbia, Minorities in Serbia, Former Yugoslavia, Preševo, Bujanovac
SERBIA AND THE EUROPEAN COMMUNITY BEFORE 1989 – HISTORY FORGOTTEN
Institute of Balkan Studies & Centre of Thracologie
(Bulgarian Academy of Sciences)
Abstract: The future and the obstacles faced by the relations between Serbia and the European Union are subject of many studies. An interesting fact is that most of these studies lack analysis on the historic experience gained when Serbia was part of Yugoslavia. Even recent European publications and handbooks do not mention the longstanding cooperation with Yugoslavia before 1989. This silence is completely undeserved. Yugoslavia has a long and successful collaboration with the European Economic Community created in 1958. The relations between Serbia and the EEC follow and are synchronized with the process of integration with Western Europe. The relationship between the EEC and Yugoslavia can be divided into four phases. The first phase is from 1958 to 1968, the second phase is from 1968 to 1976, the third phase is from 1976 to 1989 and the last – after 1989. Concrete steps have been taken, but there was no historic time for Yugoslavia to join the European Community.
Keywords: EU Integration, Serbia, Yugoslavia, Gast-Arbeiters, Guest Workers