The transfer of the European educational discourse to particular nation-states is a complex process. The outcomes following this transfer are unclear. This article examines the transfer of the European educational discourse in the Balkans and proposes its richer description through the consideration of the processes of educational democratisation and modernisation over the last 40 years in this area. These processes have facilitated the transfer of the European discourse to each of the Balkan countries, which today is achieved largely through participation in European Union programmes, the voluntary signing of common declarations, and financial backing through European funding. At the same time, there seems to be the general impression that the spread of the European discourse has similar effects on the reform of all the Balkan educational systems. As research interest now focuses almost exclusively on the transfer of the European educational discourse to the Balkans, one can easily surmise from this that the reform of the educational systems of the various countries in the region has a common ideological foundation. However, taking into account the concept of discourse transformation, it is argued here that the European educational discourse is influenced by the implementation of the various national policies. In one way or another, the European standards and brand names have to be filtered through the existing economic, sociological, political and cultural structures of each of the Balkan countries.