Futuribles Journal n° 448

Institutions - Société, modes de vie

The Balkans and Europe: Convergence and Diversity


Following the publication of the article comparing Russians’ values with those expressed in Europe in the European Value Study (EVS) surveys, Futuribles rounds off this comparison of value-systems on the European continent by offering insight into the populations of the Balkan states. In the particularly tense geopolitical context prevailing as this issue goes to press (mid-March 2022), analysing and understanding how the values of Europeans are developing in different parts of the continent, seeing whether they are converging and supporting the democratic views predominant in the European Union, provide essential evidence for deciphering future developments and reactions to events.

Drawing on EVS data from the 2008-2010 and 2017-2020 waves collected in Albania, Bosnia, Macedonia, Montenegro and Serbia (Western Balkan countries involved in a process for integration into the European space), Max-Valentin Robert examines the views of their populations on the European Union and the notion of ‘Europeanness’ and their degree of adherence to democratic values. Though many values and criteria for membership of the general European family converge with the opinions found in EU states of long standing and in the Central and East European countries that joined in 2004, it also seems to be the case that adherence to the European democratic system is partly down to resentment (in reaction to the failures of their own institutions) and that it doesn’t exclude a benevolent attitude toward some more authoritarian alternatives. All in all, if the values of the Balkan populations show significant convergence with those of the populations of EU member states, the trend remains to be confirmed over the long term, as it is tested by current and future developments…

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