EU Transmigrants in Belgrade as Agents of Europeanisation from Below

In: Southeastern Europe
Author: Marija Brujić1
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  • 1 Department of Ethnology and Anthropology, Faculty of Philosophy, University of Belgrade, Belgrade, Serbia,
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Migration studies are usually concerned with involuntary or underprivileged migrants living in highly developed societies. In contrast, this article focuses on emigration from affluent to less developed countries, using the example of EU lifestyle women transmigrants living in Belgrade. Serbia is a Western Balkan EU candidate country with a high youth emigration rate. The aim of this study is to question whether EU migrants can be development actors in a Western Balkan country. The bulk of the ethnographic research was conducted in 2018 by way of a series of interviews. The findings show that by using their “transcultural capital” in Serbia, the interviewees have the development potential to act as agents of “Europeanisation from below” and avoid the negative public perception of Europeanisation as a tool of Western domination in the region. However, in order to fulfil their development roles, affluent migrants first need to be recognised in Serbian migration management policies and supported by the local authorities.

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