In 1992 the Maastricht Treaty was signed, when twelve member states founded the European Union and took an important step towards the integration of Europe. But 1992 was also the year when the long and bloody war in Bosnia and Herzegovina started, the final blow to completely disintegrate Yugoslavia and bring the population to its knees. And yet, in other parts of the European continent people glimpsed, if only for an instant, a real possibility for a peaceful, prosperous and democratically free Europe. More than twenty years later these certainties are now probed and scrutinised – few hopes remain, and many, many dreams have been all but squashed.
Debating if there is a chance for a Europe, which could, united, at the same time preserve its municipality, are the philosopher Srećko Horvat, the writers Daša Drndić and Slavenka Drakulić, the publisher Vladimir Arsenijević, the author Ottó Tolnai, and many other distinguished intellectuals and thinkers from the region. In Belgrade, Serbia, which in many ways is still treated as a political pariah on the international political stage, we ask the question, “What is Europe, after all?” A continent, a political union, a vast playground for bureaucrats? Or just an exclusive club admitting only the rich and powerful?
German Academy for Language and Literature, S. Fischer Foundation, Allianz Cultural Foundation
Supported by the Minister of State for Culture and Media