News 09 Mar 12

Survey Reveals Nostalgia For Life in Old Yugoslavia

Many former Yugoslavs believe that life was better and jobs easier to get by in the old days - though Croats and Kosovo Albanians are not as nostalgic as Serbs and Bosniaks.

Marija Ristic
BIRN
Belgrade

A survey of attitudes towards the old Yugoslav state by the European Fund for the Balkans shows that many people - Serbs especially - look on the former socialist federation with a distinct feeling of nostalgia.

The survey included two generations of people, one group born in 1971 and the other born in 1991, as Yugoslavia fell apart.

Apart from the younger group in Croatia and Kosovo, most of the other younger people believe life for their parents was better than their lives are today. 

They also feel that there were better employment opportunities in the past than today.

In spite of this nostalgia for the former Yugoslavia, most members of both generations see the disintegration of Yugoslavia as inevitable, with the exception of the older generation of Serbs and Bosniaks.

Asked to choose between returning to the political system of the former Yugoslavia or joining the European Union, most Serbs prefer the old Yugoslavia option.

Bosniaks and Montenegrins viewed either community equally, while citizens of Kosovo said they would prefer life in the EU.

However, the younger group in all countries believe they will get better education within the EU than their parents got under communism.

Most members of both generations say EU membership will not influence their national identity while Kosovars, Albanians and Macedonians believe their identity will be strengthened within the EU.

Most people from both generations said contacts and good relationships with other former Yugoslav countries were important.

Levels of trust between nations, especially between those that participated in the wars of the 1990s, remain low.

People from Kosovo, Bosnia and Croatia have little trust in Serbs, while Serbs and Montenegrins least trust Albanians.

Over 4,000 people from Serbia, Croatia, Bosnia, Macedonia, Kosovo and Montenegro participated in the survey conducted in September and October 2011.

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