Re-Integrated: Slovenia and Croatia in Joint Framework of EU Values and Supranational Identity

The overall aim of the project is to create platform for cooperation of value based institutions involved in research, education and activism in area of promotion of peace-building, human rights and human security through reflection on different aspects of identities in Europe, their significance and change in context of emerging supranational identity. The specific aim of the project is to raise public debate and dialogue between Croatia and Slovenia regarding their common future in EU. Slovenia and Croatia already had 50 years of experience of joint supranational identity during Yugoslavia which was based on values imposed by communist government; this fact causes distance and caution towards new supranational identities, especially because during last 20 years process of value identification and building new national identities has been going on. Values of the EU are formally included in constitutions of both countries and mainstreamed through national legislation (due to process of implementation of Acquits) but citizens  are still not perceiving EU identity and values on which is based as  their own. Contribution to the specific objective will be achieved through project activities by which we will for the first time open broad space of interaction and common debate on EU values and EU identity with focus on values related to: Peace building, Human rights and Human security.

Project execution

– Preparation and implementation of the course on European identities “Supranational identities: people, state, borders” in 2011 (lecturers: Mitja Velikonja, Lev Kreft, Mojca Pajnik, Veronika Bajt, Gorazd Kovačič, Peter Klepec Kršić, Uršula Lipovec Čebron, Jelka Zorn, Mirjana Mikić Zeitoun and Lana Zdravković);- Preparation of web platform for distant learning;

– Study trip for Peace studies students from Croatia to Ljubljana, happened from 13th to 16th April 2011, we have visited: Faculty for Social Sciences and Anti-Fa Initiative, Slovenian Philanthropy, Rog Factory and representatives of the Invisible Workers of the World, Social Centre Rog and Civil Initiative of the Erased Activists, European Commission in Slovenia, Metelkova mesto and Anarcho Info-shop, and together with Lev Kreft walking the Ljubljana cultural memorials and monuments (including visit of the Slovenian Parliament), which has historically shaped Slovenian identity.

– Issuing the book Imagi_nation and the video-film ‘We Wanted Workers, We Got People’;

– Public forums Živeti ob meji / Živeti uz granice / Vivere al confine (Live Along the Border) took place in 2011 on 10th June in POU Buje, Croatia and on 11th June in MKSMC Koper, Slovenia in collaboration with the MIRamiDA Centre from Grožnjan, Croatia and DPZN Centre from Koper, Slovenia. Introductory remarks in Buje have been given by: Gordan Bosanac, Lorella Limoncin-Toth, Marko Brecelj and David Isakoski and in Koper by: Gordan Bosanac, Damir De Simone, Marko Brecelj and Leander Cunja. Moderator of both forums was Goran Božićević, programme manager from Grožnjan MIRamiDA Centre.

Recent so called “Croatian-Slovenian conflict” regarding the border is an example of how the issue of coexistence of the local residents in a given area can be elevated to the national level and presented as an interstate conflict. Border issues are still in the domain of “national policies” and in the process of creation of those, a little attention to the local problem-solving attempt is paid. This begs the question whether the border disputes can be resolved at the local level by agreeing on concrete problems faced by inhabitants of the very area where there are open issues. With the public forums in Koper and Buje we wanted to initiate a debate with inhabitants of north-west of Istria and with representatives of local authorities on how to work on the transformation and resolution of (local) conflicts without manipulation thereof by the “national instances.”

At the forums, we talked about life on and along the border. What are the specific problems of local people occurred by the existence of national borders and what are the chances that the problems can be resolved by agreement between the local population itself? Why do problems arise at all? How will the problems to be resolved with the entry of Croatia into the EU? Are there any mechanisms – from private relations to political channels at the local level, with which problems can be resolved? How can freely use for daily life necessary amenities (hospitals, shops, cultural events, public transport and so on) people who are “on the other side of the border”?


Centre for Peace Studies, Zagreb, Croatia (leader of the project)


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