VIDEO INTERVIEW | Zemon: It is unfortunate that nationalism is coming back to the stage, not only in Macedonia but also beyond

Rubin Zemon / Photo: Sloboden pechat / Metodij Zdravev

"It is unfortunate that nationalism is back on the scene, not only in Macedonia, but we also see an increase in the number of nationalist parties in the European elections. Liberalism is in crisis in Europe, so the same process can happen in America as a result of interest based on nationalism, chauvinism, ethnocentrism. In general, it is a negative process for society itself. Not to mention that we did not survive in the Balkans because of nationalism. Two or three years ago, there was an initiative in the Parliament to make identity cards with ethnic affiliation. "Now those same people are talking about pure Albanian voices," he said Rubin Zemon, professor and director of the Institute for Advanced Research in an interview with Free press in cooperation with Gradska.mk.

He added that it is unfortunate that the majority accepts that nationalist vocabulary and that there are not enough strong liberal currents that could oppose it.

"The knowledge that our people had 30 years ago and now that we have general knowledge, what is happening is catastrophic. We see the tests of international competitions in schools. Of course, we have exceptions, they come with rewards. The general picture is that our education is at a lower level. Books are also read a little. This lowers the level of tolerance and culture. When we have diversity and if we don't realize the cultural values ​​in our society, tension will appear in society", Zemon concluded.

He further clarified in the conversation that the Institute for Advanced Research in Hungary participates in a scientific research project on the European integration of the Western Balkans.

"I am on a four-month stay at the University of Kozik, Hungary, and there we are conducting a scientific research project on the European integration of the Western Balkans with the help of the experiences and knowledge of the countries of Central Europe. We are doing research in the field of literature, on the debates that have been happening in the last year, as well as on all the processes that are happening. We are also carrying out a research questionnaire, because we want the opinion of academic circles, activists from the non-governmental sector, and political figures, to see what we can use from the experiences in the countries of Central Europe, because we have a shared past," he said. Zemon.

He added that the research questionnaire is still ongoing and it is expected that the results will be available by the end of the month.

"We will draw conclusions. What concerns us as Macedonia is how the Czech Republic, Poland and Slovenia have dealt with corruption, one of the biggest problems that exists in our country. We also have problems with staff. There is also one question in the questionnaire, and that is whether the countries of the Western Balkans should strictly adhere to the Copenhagen criteria, i.e. special conditions. "Macedonia has the constitutional amendments, Serbia has the issue with Kosovo, Bosnia has to resolve the tensions", pointed out Zemon.
He concluded that Europe is fairly impervious to corruption and democratic society.

More from the interview with Rubin Zemon in the link below.

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