Challenges

Image by Guillaume Périgois
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European level

The Western Balkans countries are EU member states (Slovenia and Croatia), candidate countries (Serbia and Montenegro), and potential candidates (Bosnia-Herzegovina, North Macedonia, Kosovo). Since the 2004 EU Eastern enlargement, a crucial feature of the EU integration process has included, alongside the economic integration and political unification, the European cultural integration. This means that all EU member states, candidate countries and potential candidates should recognize their own national guilts committed in the past. The current trends in the Western Balkans show that nationalism and historical revisionism represents the Arch-enemies of the EU democratic project for the region. Moreover, they represent also a powerful tool able to nurture new potential conflicts in a region that is notably crucial for the peace and stability of the whole Europe.

Global level

At the beginning of 21st century, political analysts have pointed out that the nature of human conflicts has profoundly changed. While the previous century was marked by inter-state conflicts (wars between states), by the 1990 the majority of armed conflicts were intra-states conflicts. For example, between 1989 and 1996, 95 of 101 armed conflicts were internal, and almost all of them were identity-driven conflicts. The vast majority of these identity conflicts were about the right interpretation of history (memory wars). The problem with the identity conflicts is that they are emotionally charged and therefore more intense, cruel, and brutal, with civilians as main targets. They can lead to mass expulsions,  ethnic cleansing, and genocide.
We-R aims at contributing to democratic integration of multicultural societies which remains one of the major global challenges not only as an objective, but also as a strategy.