Creation of a Balkan Economic Union-Yes or No?

RUKOVANJE 2By: Nevena Šarenac

The question these days that gathers the attention of the public is whether a new, economic Yugoslavia in the Balkans is being created? Portal Radio Deutsche Welle said that joint sessions of the governments of countries in the former Yugoslavia are occurring more often, and that statements reveal that they could become the backbone of the development of the Western Balkans, given that the EU does not plan to expand until 2020.

Economic analyst Žarko Papić said that the new Yugoslavia is a ‘too strong’ expression, of a metaphorical nature, but that the strengthening of economic cooperation of the former republics of Yugoslavia, and now independent states would be good and important.

“Great effects could be achieved. I recall that in the former Yugoslavia a number of large technological systems were located in various parts in the former Yugoslavia. Lets says, it would not be bad if right now BiH, Croatia, Slovenia and Serbia start in the production of tanks as they had produced them during the 1980’s’’, said Žarko Papić for portal ‘Sarajevo Times’.

Noting that our country, as a Yugoslav republic, was export-oriented, Papić said that a serious re-industrialization of today’s BiH would have an excellent basis for a strong export expansion through transnational projects and cooperation with other former Yugoslav countries.

Papić said that it is necessary to prevent criminal privatization and corruption in order to fully utilize BiH potential for re-industrialization.

“This would be very good for BiH and its economy’’, said Papić.

He said it is obvious that BiH will wait for around 10 more years to become an EU member state.

“In that period, it would be useful to have some sort of regional connectivity, where Croatia could be a connector for all countries for the EU‘’, concludes Papić.

On the other hand, Professor at the Philosophy Faculty in Sarajevo and political analyst Enver Kazaz asserts that all ideas about the renewal of Yugoslavia in cultural, political or economic ways bypasses the political reality in the region.

“The process of the fall of Yugoslavia was definitely military, political and culturally closed. It is possible for post-Yugoslavian countries to integrate in the wider economic community only’’, said Kavaz for portal ‘Sarajevo Times’.

He thinks that the ideas on the compatibility of the economy of post-Yugoslav countries could exist as long as the countries did not implement the European type of neoliberal market economy.

He said that economy that characterizes the connectivity of former Yugoslav countries on one another is today definitely dead.

“It can be said that these countries are placed in a colonial or absurd economically dependent relationship of the great economy. Their capabilities to resist these economies is being opposed as competitive, or impossible’’, said Professor Kazaz.

According to him, this is especially seen in the examples of Croatia and Slovenia, in which the EU completed de-industrialization.

“The same fate awaits BiH, Serbia, Montenegro and Macedonia when they join the EU’’, concludes Kazaz.

He assessed it as impossible to create some kind of Balkan economic union or solid cooperation of underdeveloped countries of the Balkans, which would be competitive in the EU.

“The logic of multinational capital is transnational and crossborder. It wants to take away the economic and every other sovereignty of small national states that are victims of such capital. The fact that economic experts do not speak of such problems shows a covering up of one terrible economic ideology of neoliberalism’’, said Professor Kazaz.

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