Interpreting the past was one of the important elements of the media and political war in Yugoslavia in the 1980s. Individual Yugoslav nations used the past to justify their nationalism, which it was hoped would lead to national states. Polemics about the past led to a bloody war and the disintegration of Yugoslavia. Yugoslav historiography became a mere agglomeration of national historiographies, historians fought among themselves and professional ethics became largely subjugated to national interests. In the European Union the attitude to the past is similarly complex: some countries use or abuse history to achieve their national or ideological goals.