Serbs, Croats, Bosniaks and others in Bosnia and Herzegovina do not agree on anything else except one thing, and that is European Union. “European road of Bosnia and Herzegovina”, “map of the road” and all the others terms that we are used to listen over the media are passing right in front of our ears almost unnoticeable. We are so used to them that we take them for granted. Of course, once we enter the EU, all the social deviations like corruption, criminal and dishonesty will be gone. In one word, it is heaven on earth.
And really, who can say anything against the accession? Whoever goes out of the circus called Bosnia and Herzegovina, even out of each country of western Balkans in general, realize that we do not have any other choice but to unconditionally go for the membership in this supranational organization. The glow, the tradition, highway roads, exceptionally planed cities, idyllic villages, beautiful sea, green meadows, mountain peaks surrounded by snow, high living standard, culture, beautiful people, even more beautiful women, all that is gathered in the piece of blue canvas and circuit-centered yellow stars that are hovering over the vision of “united in diversity” ones.
At least this is how it used to be up to 2008.
And then, like a stroke from the sky, one after another pillars of glow, tradition, highway roads, exceptionally planed cities, idyllic villages, beautiful sea, green meadows, mountain peaks surrounded by snow, high living standard, culture, beautiful people and even more beautiful women started to fall.
Even this small blue and yellow flag stopped to fly proudly, somehow it curved in shame over that rusty holder as it got wet on heavy rain. And soon there were rumors about instability of euro, panic, save the Greece, bailout Spain, Portugal, and Ireland. Germany twisted the tap. France talks about bringing it customs and state border back to save itself from the next immigrant wave. Britain wants out. Czechs became skeptic. Scandinavians found themselves in agony. Italians got on their knees. Call summit upon the summit, spend the money of taxpayers to save the Eurozone. European dream must not fail. Raise taxes, whip the wealthy ones. Punish the successful ones to save the unsuccessful. Measure, cut and delete. Accept Croatia, free those war criminals Gotovina and Markac and shut the door. Consolidation, recapitulation. Even Eurosong is in danger.
Most of the Keynesian-Marxist economic analysts in their quest for the cause of financial collapse of Eurozone pointed their fingers towards the huge capital owners, stock speculators and other ones that are to be blamed by default. As it was during the Roosevelt’s era, they found their salvation in state – fresh money taken from the taxpayers wallets got redirected to bail out companies that would cease their existence in new, crisis-based circumstances. Stronger monetary control, uncontrolled print of the money bills without the real reserve and raise of taxes according to the cast criteria is something that is widely accepted. However, what distinguishes the current economic crisis and the Great Depression of the early thirties of the twentieth century was the fact that the latter is effectively ended in the outbreak of World War II by putting cobwebs wrapped American war industrial plants into operation, heavy overseas investment in the recovery, and strong economic growth of the post-war Western Europe. As nobody projects something similar to that today, it is likely that a contemporary crisis will be with us for some time. This means that the Eurozone will hardly get over this financial disease, and it is certain that prolonged lying in its sickbed leaves heavy consequences to the political project of the European Union.
According to the recent statements of the high European Union officials, if even one of the members is to be allowed to get out of the Eurozone, this will, and most certainly, lead to the breakup of EU. After all, it seems that basic pillars of EU, like European Coal and Steel Union of 1951, and European Economic Community of 1958, got heavily undermined by the fresh Brussels bureaucrats born in Maastricht in 1993, centralization of monetary politics and aggressive legislative activities of the European parliament, and that the road that leads to the consolidation will be a long and dangerous one. Sadly, no commissars, no directives, and even no Merkel’s, Barosso’s and Van Rompuy’s frozen smiles can be of help now.
So, where are we, Balkans mortals that are left in from of the doors of promised heaven, in all of this?
To be honest, to give straight answer to this question isn’t an easy task. That’s because we do not even know for what we are running for – is it for the membership of unearned high living standard, beautiful sea and beautiful women? If that is the answer, we might consider and turn around ourselves once more: Greeks had those same motives, and now they are faced with beggars of Acropolis, rusty chimneys of the de lux apartments and wood shops in Athens that are selling wood by kilos. Spaniards were having fun on their matadors and bull fights while their economy got drowned, and Italians were picking up on the sexual affiliations of their political elite members, while at the same time they relied on those fellows in Brussels which, instead of bringing them economic welfare, brought new government and prime minister. Because, you see, democracy and the elections are so passe. You have enjoyed, now it is time to suffer. We gave you European dream, now you have to get up in sweat.
But if our motives are at least somehow different, if we are seeking for that tradition, culture, rule of law and decent living standard at least, than we have established a cause that is worth take some sacrifice for. Because Europe is not a huge building made out of glass in center of Brussels, it is a five hundred million consumer market which is offering huge possibilities. And we can use all the benefits of that market like all the other pragmatic and stripped-off-the-unreal-visions nations like Switzerland. Or Norway.
We can develop entrepreneurship, we can cut taxes, we have to reform state funds, to turn to the development of information society, to open our market and we have to, finally, give up of protectionist policy against the logic of the free market. We have to organize judicial system properly, to revise and harden our criminal law statutes, and to strengthen our police force. We have to learn how not to rely on government at all the time, on politics and on politicians, we need to finally take control of our destiny. At least to see how valuable we are in today’s world.
We need to adopt European values and to readopt our forgotten institutes of market-based capitalism, at the same time keeping our tradition and bearing in mind our national values, as if millions of Germans, Frenchmen and Brits cannot wait to give us a hug, at the same time knowing that they have closed that door for us for at least twenty years.
Yes, we can do it. But, the question is, will we?