"Europeanization" in Istria: differences between official and private discourse
(Institute for Anthropological Research)
Paper short abstract:
Process of becoming a member of the European Union is followed by the processes of building a supranational, European identity in Croatia. This paper deals with an analysis of differences between private and public discourses in Istria, one of the Croatian regions,concerning these processes.
Paper long abstract:
Since 1970s the idea of the "European identity" has become one of the most important concerns for the politicians and bureaucrats of the European Community. But the European Union (EU) policy makers are not the only ones involved in the processes of the European identity construction. Since the membership in EU the is achieved by a process of inclusion/integration, there are still enough "excluded" countries like Croatia, who are almost desperately trying to enter EU. Throughout the various discourses that emerged on the Croatian political scene and in the Croatian media (TV, radio, newspapers, internet sites) in the last two decades, the aspiration to enter to EU has been presented as the Croatian national goal. One of the strategies Croatia is employing in this process is public discourse about "belonging to Europe" and "being Europe". In Istria County, the Croatian region bordering Slovenia and Italy, the official discourses of Europeism are parallel with the strong regionalism. In this Istrian "Europeanization process" the discourses of multiculturalism (similar to the European motto: "Unity in diversity") and of co-existence have important roles. But, this co-existence is perceived mainly in relation to the Croats and Italians. There are numerous "other", rather "new" minorities (Bosinans, Albanians etc.) who are, although nominally included, often excluded from these discourses. In this paper, based on the field research carried out in Istria in May 2007 (as a part of LINEE project), I try to show the variety of attitudes toward contemporary processes of Europeanization in Istria.