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tegrity. Nothing can guarantee that the disintegration has been ’posed to disintegration ones. The european trans- verse routes bypass it and it itself is turning into the grey zone outside economic interests and development proj- ects. This is the logic of post-communist europe, while Yu- goslavia is the best example of that historical process.30
it is a little-known fact that Yugoslavia had a chance to join the eeC on the most favorable terms on two occa- sions: in 1974, when Tito resolutely declined the offer, and in 1990, when this was done by Milošević and Tudjman. While Tito’s response to a special eeC envoy could be ex- plained by the Cold War logic and bloc division, in which Yugoslavia seemed to play a very favorable role, as well as Tudjman’s response in the spirit of ethnocentric populism and separatism, it is hard to understand the logic of Milo- šević’s rejection—“the creation of a strong federation.” at that time, the Soviet Union was already disintegrating, while Czechoslovakia disintegrated a little later. in Yugoslavia, the conditions for creating a “strong federation” were still less favorable, especially in the situation of being alone against all. it is highly unlikely that it was the question of Milošević’s ignorance. as a banker, he spent a lot of time in the United States. it is more likely that it was the question of the aforementioned interests of the partocratic oligarchy.
The self-reproducing and monopolistic class, whose half-century inviolable rule has indeed thrown Serbia back by one hundred years. Namely, about one century ago, Ser- bia ranked among the most modern countries in the re- gion as well as in europe. although it was a small agricul- tural country with a predominant patriarchal society, like the greatest part of contemporary europe to some extent, Serbia was one the first countries in europe and the rest of the world which introduced universal suffrage, initiated a land reform and had a relatively developed parliamentary system, in addition to significant non-governmental insti- tutions, foundations and other similar institutions. The University of Belgrade and the Serbian academy of Sci- ences and arts had a high degree of financial autonomy, since they were largely supported by charitable endow- ment funds. Struggling painfully to overcome its back- wardness and Ottoman legacy, small Serbia had a long way to go before approaching the civilizational achievements of modernization. The first Yugoslavia31 was faced with al-
30 a. Lynch, R. Lukić, Europe from the Balkans to the Urals : The Desintegration of Yugoslavia and the Soviet Union, Oxford Univer- sity Press, 1996, 436 pp. ; R. Lukić, L’agonie yougoslave (1986–2003). Les Etats-Unis et l’Europe face aux guerres balikaniques, Les Presses de l’Université Laval, 2003, pp. 43–144 ; P. de Bois, “L’Union euro- péenne et le naufrage de la Yougoslavie (1991–1995),” Relation inter- nationale 104, Genève 2000, pp. 477–480; Y. Brossard, j. Vidal, L’éclatement de la Yougoslavie de Tito (1980–1995), Désintégration d’une fédération et guerres interethniques, Paris 2001, pp. 43–50.
31 a. Mitrović, “Pitanje stvaranja jugoslovenske države kao me- djunarodni problem u ratu 1914–1918,” in: Stvaranje Jugoslovenske države 1918 godine, Belgrade 1989, pp. 21–22; Lj. Dimić, Srbi i Jugo- slavija, Belgrade 1998; id., Istorija srpske državnosti, Belgrade 2001;
The Battle of Kosovo and Kosovo Today— History and Memory
most insurmountable internal and external challenges, but still achieved significant success in its struggle against backwardness, not to mention land reform, economic growth, stable finance and education. it did not collapse from within,32 but was forcibly dismembered by the supe- rior external adversary, at the time when europe fell into the deepest abysses of its history, to the lowest point of its existence.
Over the centuries, the anniversary of the Battle of Ko- sovo of 1389 has been marked not as the celebration of the defeat, as this event is sometimes wrongly interpreted. On the contrary, it has been an incentive and inspiration for new exploits, creation, the struggle for victory over dis- honor, hope over hopelessness, faith over little faith, cour- age over apathy. This is how it has been experienced and understood, as an incentive and challenge of life and his- tory, peace and war, creation and destruction, whereby suc- cess can be achieved by overcoming a failure, until victory after defeat, until joy after grief, until resurrection that is not possible without death, until the change of mind and correction, which are impossible without repentance. There- fore, in the spirit of the original ethics and epic, Vuk Kara- džić could say in a concise way: “Work and sing at the same time; this way you will take the best revenge on your adver- saries and shame them.”
Kosovo has always been an indicator of Serbian history and time will show whether it will remain that in the future.
Reconciliation and Human Security Proceedings of the Fourth ECPD International Conference (eds. T. Togo, N. P. Ostojić), european Center for Peace and Development, Belgrade 2009, pp. 312–324
  Id., “Kuda i kako—Mitovi i znanja o istoriji jugoslavije,” in: The Shared History Myths and Stereotypes of the Nationalism and Communism in Ex Yugoslavia, Novi Sad 2008, p. 9–22.
32 V. Terzić, Slom Kraljevine Jugoslavije 1941, i-ii, Belgrade-Ljub- ljana-Titograd, 1982; B.S. Vukčević, Diverse Forces in Yugoslavia 1941–1945, Los angeles 1990; The Shared History The Second World War and National Question in Ex Yugoslavia, Novi Sad 2008.

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