Милош Јовановић

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Generally speaking, Europeanization is defined as “a process in which states adopt EU rules”. As Serbia is getting closer to the EU, this process is gaining on the momentum, but running far from smoothly. Formal endeavors aimed at the change of the social status of the LGBT persons in Serbia are a case in point, as they are linked to the idea of Europeanization. In accordance with the EU conditions, a number of laws aimed at fighting discrimination of LGBTs were passed, programs with the same goal were implemented, and several Pride Parades took place without major incidents (as Belgrade was “besieged” by heavy police forces). At the same time, high state officials publicly manifest their reluctance toward non-heterosexuals, with the police practicing indirect resistance toward organizing the Pride.

The LGBT affirming actions were characterized by short time-span and superficiality, and this is what makes this case a paradigmatic one of the Serbian Government’s attitude to Europeanization: the formal obligations (as imposed) are fulfilled, while simultaneously enormous (informal) efforts are undertaken in order that no changes occur in society. The goal of this paper is to demonstrate the aforementioned. Attempts to diffuse EU rules and regulations seem to be of no avail if local adaptation, interpretation and appropriation of these norms and resistance which they spawn, is not taken into account.


LGBT, Serbia, Europeanization, Formal norms, Informal practices.

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