and desirability of political action (Greenberg 2007: 24–5) in a (nominally) democratising andEuropeanising Serbia.Here, I am specifically concerned with the (attempted) building of a democratic andEuropean Serbian nation, and my general method is the one of ‘studying through‘ – followingthe source of a policy (its discourses and prescriptions) through to those affected by it (Wedel
2005: 40–1). After establishing key features and functions of hegemonic media and policy discourses on ‘European Serbia’, I analyse how they are read, transformed and actedupon by the members of ‘civil society’. Proceeding to the case study of the 2010 BelgradePride Parade, I show how EU-promoted democratic principles such as LGBT rights can endup presented and approached as something foreign and driven by an ‘elitist’ alliance. Finally, Icontrast this with a different, ‘populist’ kind of advocacy of the same cause.
‘Europe has no alternative’: Hegemonic performative discourse and its effects
In Serbia today, the discourses of the media and the public and civil sectors seem to explodewith the word ‘Europe’ and its derivatives. On Serbia’s ‘path to Europe’, her citizens hear daily about ‘European values’ (
) and ‘European standards’ being, or failingto be, ‘promoted’, ‘introduced’, ‘accepted’ and ‘adopted’. RTS, the state TV, brands itself the‘public service of the European Serbia’.
daily publishes an EU-fundedsupplement whose subtitle reads
Serbia Next to Europe with Europe to Europe
. An EU-funded project entitled
(in imperative) trains civil and public servants ‘to strengthen[their] broad understanding of the values, standards and practices of the European Union’.
In the second round of his re-election in 2008, President Boris Tadi
ran under theslogan
Let’s win Europe together!
He subsequently led the winning coalition of the 2008Serbian parliamentary and local elections and Vojvodina parliamentary election called
For a European Serbia – Boris Tadi
One of the coalition’s billboards claimed that ‘Europe means jobs for 200,000 unemployed’. My interview and textual data indicate that in the nationalmemory, ‘Europe has no alternative’ (or ‘The EU has no alternative’) figures as the real
All translations from Serbian are mine.
‘About the Project’. Accessed athttp://www.govev.rs/index.php?action=about-the-projecton 22 Apr 2011.