[Paleopsych] Thomas Jansen, ed.: Reflections on European Identity

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Reflections on European Identity
Edited by Thomas Jansen


The contents of this publication do not necessarily reflect the opinion or 
position of the European Commission.

Table of contents

Preface.... 5 by Jean-Claude Thébault

The dimensions of the historical and cultural core of a European identity 
.... 7 by Heinrich Schneider

Consciousness of European identity after 1945.... 21 by Gilbert Trausch

European Identity and /or the Identity of the European Union.... 27 by 
Thomas Jansen

A contribution from political psychology.... 37 by Tom Bryder

What is it ? Why do we need it ? Where do we find it ? .... 51 by Korthals 

European identity and political experience....57 by Mario Soares

How to define the European identity today and in the future? .... 63 by 
Ingmar Karlsson

European identity - A perspective from a Norwegian European, or a European 
Norwegian....73 by Truls Frogner

European identity - an anthropoligical approach.... 77 by Maryon McDonald

European identity and citizenship .... 81 by Massimo La Torre

From poetic citizenship to European citizenship .... 89 by Claire Lejeune

L'identité européenne comme engagement transnational dans la société.... 
99 by Rüdiger Stephan

Security and a common area.... 103 by Adriano Moreira

Neither Reich nor Nation - another future for the European Union.... 107 
by Roger De Weck

What does it mean to be a European ? Preliminary conclusions .... 111 by 
Jérôme Vignon

Annex:....115 A dialogue on unemployment between Truls Frogner and his 

List of contributors....119


The texts that have been gathered in the following pages were written or 
pronounced during the «Carrefour Européen des sciences et de la culture» 
which was held in 1996 in Coimbra. This event had been organised by the 
Forward Studies Unit in cooperation with the ancient University of Coimbra 
whose academic excellence made this small Portuguese town so famous.

The Carrefours Européens aim to provide a forum where personalities coming 
from the world of science or culture can discuss and exchange their views 
with Commission officials. Participants come from different European 
countries to propound ideas on issues that are particularly important for 
the future of our continent. Each of them brings different experience and 
sensibilities and thus contributes to the openness and the richness of the 

The debates that took place in Coimbra focused on understanding how the 
European identity expresses itself. Their richness is reflected in the 
following texts that are at long last submitted to our readers with the 
deep conviction that neither their relevance nor their actuality has been 

A characteristic of European identity is that it facilitates, fosters and 
stimulates variety in modes of expression, form, content and approach. And 
it is clear that this same principle can be applied to the definition of 
this identity itself: several paths may lead to the recognition and the 
assertion of an European identity which in itself is made of a plurality 
of ethnic, religious, cultural, national, or local identities.

Each of the discussions that took place in Coimbra have, in their own way, 
reflected this approach. Both the University's rector and Marcelino Oreja 
Aguirre (the Commissioner in charge of communication, information, culture 
and institutional questions at that time (1995-1999)) highlighted three 
constituent poles of European identity. First, Europe is steeped in 
humanism and all the values that make up its heritage today. The second is 
European diversity: even if the construction of the Community seems to be 
a harmonisation process, this harmonisation is just a necessary step 
towards the realisation of a European market-place which should allow 
underlying diversitiy to flourish. Diversity is truly Europe's richness. 
Finally, universalism is a European value and an obligation. At a time 
when Europe is sometimes tempted by the idea of becoming a "fortress 
Europe", this founding principle has to be constantly remembered and 

The debates gave further opportunities to put forward some key issues 
linked to identity, memory or nation. Thus, identity appears as two-sided: 
on the one hand memory, and heritage, and on the other hand voluntarism 
and a project to be achieved. Contrary to what is usually thought, 
identity seems to be constantly evolving and changeable. All these 
reflections ended in a discussion on the theme of "Europe and its role in 
the World", and of its contribution to the promotion of peace and 

Marcelino Oreja had expressed the initial interest in a meeting such as 
this and had encouraged the Forward Studies Unit to organise it. The 
Commissioner's active participation highly contributed to the intellectual 
and human success of the event.

We now offer our readers these collected thoughts, for which we most 
warmly thank the participants with the wish that they will cast light on a 
question that reaches right to the heart of the European political 

Jean-Claude Thebault Forward Studies Unit Director


The dimensions of the historical and cultural core of a european identity

Heinrich Schneider

Preliminary remarks

The topic "dimensions of the historical and cultural core of a European 
identity" may appear to be a historical and theoretical one. However, it 
is political in its nature. It stands in the context of a political 
discussion. Obviously, it is a contribution to the assessment of new 
political projects of the European Community : On the one hand, a 
discussion of the role of the cultural heritage, the historical traditions 
of Europe in the formation of a political identity which will and should]d 
necessarily arise if the projects of "deepening" are to be successful ; 
and, on the other hand, a discussion about the question : what is the 
significance of the common cultural and historical roots of those nations 
which belong to Europe, in view of the "widening" of the Community. 
Historical reflections, theoretical reasoning, and scholars' analyses can 
help with the orientation of opinion and decision-making processes, but 
they cannot replace decisions about political goals. What we are really 
dealing with is the political identity of a European Union. What it should 
be has to be decided politically.

Problems of clarifying the terms o what is constituting identity ?

Every now and then, politicians have talked about "European Identity, but 
mostly without ever trying to explain its meaning1 ! The term "identity" 
is used in the context of discussions on European identity as 
psychologists, sociologists, and students of civilisation apply it o not 
in the sense philosophers deal with the concept "identity" in logics or 
metaphysics. Primarily, one talks about the identity, or the formation of 
identity, or an individual. Can we construct a concept of collective 
identity just as well ? Perhaps as an analogy. But we must be careful in 
doing so. For all that : one does speak of the identity of social groups, 
and there is also the concept of the identity of larger social or 
historical units, for instance nations. However, we cannot possibly 
construct the concept of "European identity" in the same fashion as we 
perceive group identity of Boy Scouts or national identity. These models 
are not adequate and thus we have to search for a more general definition.

Anyone in search of her or his identity will pose the question : "Who am 
I" ?. With regard to collective identity the questions are : "Who are we ? 
Where do we come

Cf., for instance, the "Document on European Identity, adopted by the 
Ministers of Foreign Affairs of the member states of the European 
Community in Copenhagen, 14 December 1973

from ? Where do we go ? What do we expect ? What will expect us ?"2. But 
these questions really serve to clarify another, more fundamental one : 
Why and how can we (or must we) talk in the first person plural ? There 
are two common answers ; one of them sounds as follows : "Because we want 
it that way !. The other one refers to certain things that we have in 
common : a common history, common views about our present situation, 
common projects for our future and the tasks that are facing us there...

In the lingo of sociologists, this means : it is the common "definition of 
a situation" which serves as a mutual link and creates solidarity.3 
Identity is thus founded on "spiritual ties", it can be grasped in a "core 
of shared meanings"4 in sharing consensually a common universe of symbols 
and relevancies.5 We do not only speak a common language ; we also agree 
about the things that must be talked about as well as the things that are 
important without words. This sharing of common values is not hanging 
somewhere in mid-air over our actual everyday life. Normally there are 
common societal conditions of life as well. Therefore, we also have to 
deal with the "sociological dimension" of European common cause.

Our common "world of meanings" ("knowing about life") is one thing that we 
need in order to find our collective identity. Another one is the 
delimitation as an element of identity. Knowing about myself also implies 
that I distinguish myself from others ; identity is always based on 
negations, as Niklas Luhmann shows.6 Collective identity as well needs the 
distinction between "Us" and "Them". Nothing leads more effectively to the 
formation of group identity than a common enemy, according to those who do 
research on small groups. An analysis of nationalism shows that national 
identity is mostly defined through relating to "counter identities".7

A third element is needed to constitute collective identity in the full 
sense of the word : the ability to act and to be responsible for one's 
action. Personal identity includes the capacity of independent action. 
Collective identity calls for, and implies, authorisation, which enables 
the collectivity to conduct collective action.8

2 This, by the way, is how Ernst Bloch begins his book "Des Prinzip 
Hoffnung", Vol. 1, Berlin 1954, p. 13.

3 In this context, the present situation has also a historical 
depth-dimension, and there is a perspective into the future

4 Cf. Talcott Parsons, Politics and Social Structure, New York 1969, p. 
292ff. This concept of collective identity is in accordance to Parson's 
concept of individual identity being "the core system of meanings of an 
individual personality ; cf. Talcott Parsons, The Position of Identity in 
the General Theory of Action, in : Chad Gordon and Kenneth J. Gergen 
(eds.), The Self in Social Interaction, New York 1968, p. 14.

5 Cf. Peter L Berger and Thomas Luckmann, The Social Construction of 
Reality. A treatise in the sociology of knowledge, Garden City and New 
York : Doubreday 1967

6 "Alle Identität konstituiert sich über Negationen"; cf. Niklas Luhmann, 
Sinn als Grundbegriff der Soziologie, in : Jürgen Habermas and Nikias 
Luhmann, Theorie der Gesellschaft oder Sozialtechnologie, Frankfurt am 
Main : Suhrkamp 1971, p. 60.

7 Cf. Orest Ranum, Counter-identities of Western European Nations in the 
Early-Modern Period. Definitions and Points of Departure, ~n : Peter 
Boerner (ed.).

8 Cf. Burkart Holzoer and Roland Robertson, Identity and Authority. A 
Problem Analysis of Processes of Identification and Authorisation, ~n : 
Roland Robertson and Burkart Holzner (eds.), Identity and Authority, 
Oxford : Blackwell 1980, pp. 5ff., 10f., 18f., 22ff.

Aristotle already knew that, by the way : The identity of a Pólis is 
primarily a constitutional identity, the "politeía", through which a 
community becomes a political subject, so to speak. It is founded on the 
"koinonía" of knowing about right and wrong (the "díkaion") as well as 
about what is beneficial or not (the "sýmpheron"). It rests on the 
solidarity ("philía") of people, and its political manifestation is a 
general consensus, "homónoia" as "philía politiké".9 Therefore, collective 
identity in the full sense of the concept implies a political dimension : 
Collective identity formation tends towards the establishment of a polity.

Only against the background of this differentiation between the 
requirements and dimensions of collective identity, it does make sense 
posing more exact and detailed questions to find out what European 
Identity is, what it can be, and what the possible impact of historical, 
cultural, and sociological components looks like. Some theses and problems 
have to be introduced and considerable aspects in our context are to be 
pointed out.

The primacy of politics

The first task we have to deal with is to find out whether "the European 
Community will be able to build up a 'European identity'"., namely, under 
the present "new circumstances, now that the 'old' historical frontiers of 
the continent are reappearing". This language sounds clear enough ; but 
the matter itself is rather complicated.

The "reappearance" of the "old historical frontiers of the continent".--do 
we know what we are talking about ? To quote Oskar Köhler "Neither in a 
geographical sense nor in a historical view, there is a static' definition 
of Europe".10 A lot has been said about the validity of that formula, 
"Europe goes from the Atlantic to the Urals". But Willem van Eekelen, the 
Secretary General of the Western European Union, has recently stated that 
"the whole of Europe ..." ("Gesamteuropa") reaches "... from Vladivostok 
to San Francisco", and he is not the only one to say that.11 Statements of 
this kind do sound as if inspired by the experience of the CSCE process. 
But the most famous German XIXth century historiograph on European 
politics, Leopold von Ranke, has already pointed out that America belongs 
to Europe ; "indeed do New York and Lima concern us much more than Kiev 
and Smolensk''12 o and we must bear in mind that Ranke, of course, saw the 
Russian Empire as part of the European system. Other authors took the same 
attitude ; there is for example the definition of the European system of 
states as "the connection and interdependence of all European states and 
empires ... including the independent states that have arisen from the 
colonies of Europeans in America".13

9 Aristotle, Politics, book I chapter 2 and book III chap. 3.

10 This is the introductory sentence of Oskar Köhler's article "Europa", 
in : Josef Hofer and Karl Rahner (eds.), Lexikon für Theologie und Kirche, 
2nd ed., 2nd printing, Freiburg/Br. 1986, colt 1187.

11 Ambassador Henri Fromont Meurice did join him in sharing this opinion, 
cf. "Europa im Aufbruch. Auf dem Wege zu einer neuen Friedensordnung", 
Protokoll des 91. Bergedorfer Gesprächskreises 199
 , p. 29 and p. 34.

12 Leopold von Ranke, Geschichte der germanischen und romanischen Völker 
(1824), p. XXXIX, cf. Heinz Gollwitzer, Europabild und Europagedanke, 
München : Beck 1951, p. 279

13 Karl Heinrich Pölitz, Die Staatswissenschaften im Lichte unserer Zeit 
(1824) cf. Gollwitzer, op. cit., p. 443

On the other hand, there are much narrower definitions. When Winston 
Churchill held his famous speech at the University of Zurich in 1946, in 
which he called for the creation of a kind of United States of Europe, he 
entertained no doubts that Great Britain must naturally be a friend and 
supporter of this new political entity, but of course not a member. And 
the author of a well-known book about "The limits and Divisions of 
European History stated that usually the eastern border of the European 
community today, both in earlier times and today has always been the 
Western frontier of Russia".14 This, of course, refers to modern times ; 
in the Middle Ages, Europe's eastern borderlines were located much further 
westward. Where do we find those "reappearing 'old' frontiers of the 
continent ?"

The controversy on how Europe is to be defined geographically is, 
nowadays, hardly touched by the question whether America ought to be 
included in the European identity ; however, there is dissent whether 
Europe coincides with the occidental part of the continent, that is, 
whether the border between Latin and Byzantine civilisation can serve to 
delimit it, or should do so.

Now we have a whole series of problems : It cannot be denied that the 
schism between "East" and "West Rome" appears to be a symbol for a 
cultural demarcation. In the West, there was the struggle for supremacy 
between political and religious authorities, and in the dead corner 
between both of them the freedoms of the estates and urban autonomy could 
be developed. As a consequence, the "civil society" had more of a chance 
to spread out than in the East, where church government was integrated in 
the Empire, thus perpetuating ecclesiastical rule in the political order, 
respectively Caesaropapism. This had further outcomes ; but there also had 
been other preconditions that did contribute to the different course of 
social and societal history, like small-scale geography and the 
harbourly-structured landscapes of many of the regions of Western 
Europe15, as against massive geographical structures of the East, and 

v Surely, there was the great schism ; but there was also suffering that 
arose from a common consciousness of a fundamental unity--up to the 
Ecumenical Movement of our days.

v Even in the days of Peter the Great, Russians reached out for Europe. 
Were the East European Westerners of his days and of later times erring in 
their illusions ? Can we deny that cultural and political identities are 
open to historical change, and that there have been, already, processes of 
"widening" of the extent and range of European civilisation ?

v And, with respect to social and mental differences between different 
parts of what has been called our continent, is it not a constituent 
feature of the cultural uniqueness of Europe that opposites meet here, 
time and again, turning the task of ever-renewed conciliation into the 
principle of productive dynamic development ?

14 Quoted from the German edition : Oskar Halecki. Europa Grenzen und 
Gliederung seiner Geschichte, Darmstadt : Gentner 1957, p 79

15 Hans Georg Gadamer speaks of "einer einzigen großen Hafenlandschaft die 
für die Entdeckungsfahrten zu neuen Weiten förmlich aufgetan warn", cf. 
Hans Georg Gadamer, Das Erbe Europas, Frankfurt am Main : Suhrkamp 1989, 
p. 40.

I do not want to say that such "old frontiers" like those between the 
Latin and the Byzantine tradition are irrelevant. But how far Europe will 
reach tomorrow, or the day after tomorrow, or in the next century and 
later, cannot be looked up in a historical atlas of the Antique, the 
Middle Ages, of the XIXth century, or of the Cold War period in our 
century either.

Besides, the supreme representatives of the CSCE participating states have 
adopted in 1990, the Paris "Charter for a New Europe", and we can read in 
this charter that the new Europe extends as far as the reality of human 
rights and democracy, rule of law and pluralism, economic freedom, social 
justice, and the commitment for peace is reaching on European soil. We all 
know, and have only recently again become painfully aware, that there is 
that discrepancy between what is and what should be, what we want to do 
and what we achieve. But should it not be our common cause to realise and 
safeguard these principles of a European political order for all nations 
whose representatives have stood up for them ? Can we deny this solidarity 
to those who wish to subscribe to this common European order--wherever 
they may live in Europe ? And is it possible to denounce the declaration 
of thirty-four heads of state and government in favour of a new "united 
democratic Europe. as a mere emptiness, a proclamation that cannot be 
other than untrue o in view of the fact that even Albania has now joined 
these 34 ?

Certainly, there may be reasons for a narrower concept of uniting efforts 
that have to be carried on during the years ahead of us o such as 
political prudence may suggest. In Western Europe, governments and people 
might ask themselves whether the chances for organising European security 
within European borders may not be better if one denies responsibility for 
certain regions. It can be argued that the political and structural 
requirements for a certain kind of economic or political integration may 
indeed call for a restriction in certain areas, in order to be optimal. 
And there are much more such questions and considerations.

Just one of these questions is the one we are dealing with. What would be 
the most favourable historical and cultural conditions for including parts 
of Europe in the Union-to-be : soon, or later ? But, according to my 
opinion, it would be unjustifiable trying to avoid all these reflections, 
not to discuss their ramifications and to shun--or to disguise--political 
decisions by pointing out old historical and cultural borders. And indeed, 
if one were to stress that cleavage between ancient Latin and Byzantine 
culture, then the motherland of European political thought, Greece, ought 
not to have been accepted into the Community--and the definite stand the 
Community had recently taken in favour of Yugoslavian unity would have 
been absurd... Hence, the primacy of politics should not be denied.

Options of the European Community

When speaking about the "reappearance of old frontiers" in Europe, some 
other aspects come to mind. What is really new in the European situation, 
is the disappearance of "less old" frontiers. What allows the states of 
Central and Eastern Europe to "return to Europe"--as they call it--is in 
the first place the fact that the fatal barriers, the wall in Berlin, the 
barbed wire obstacles and iron curtains, are removed, and that people 
hayed been successful in overcoming totalitarian systems. But along with 
the end of East-West polarisation, with the termination of the

antagonisms of political organisation, some other "old frontiers" and 
controversies have reappeared. We face again the situation about which 
Karl Jaspers said, some decades ago, that Europe has got to make a choice 
between "Balkanisation" and "Helvetisation". "Balkanisation" means a 
tangle of conflicts and hostilities, whereas Helvetisation" points to the 
attainment of a political identity across a multitude of national 
heritages and languages. The beginnings of the formation of the European 
Community, restricted to the six founding nations of the Coal and Steel 
Community and later the EEC had been initiated as such a process of 
"Helvetisation"., as a first step towards a confederation with an identity 
of its own.

However, this policy was determined by some quite specific options. At 
first, things were started with a small community of states that intended 
integration ; but it was clear that this community could not identify 
itself with "Europe". The Community of the "European Six" was regarded by 
that organisation which considered itself as maid-servant to a union of 
European states--i.e. the Council of Europe--as a case of establishing 
"specialised authorities" for specific functional areas. In Strasbourg 
they thought that all such endeavours should always take place "within the 
frame of the Council of Europe" and thus being securely bound to the 
"proper European policy"(as the Council had conceived it).

And yet this Council of Europe was in itself limited to only a part of the 
European states. As a representative of a European identity, it was some 
"pars pro toto", and the Community of the Six was some "pars partis". This 
changed in the course of time. In the Treaty of Rome, "the foundations of 
an ever closer union among the European peoples" (and not only those 
peoples that are directly involved) are mentioned. And in the Single 
European Act, the parliament of the Twelve is called the instrument of 
expression for the endeavours of "the European peoples" ; as simply as 
that. This implies that the political identity of the Community is to be 
further developed to become the political identity of Europe as a whole. 
If this is wanted, one cannot deny any European nation the right to 
participate in that political identity. Now, if today some 81 percent of 
the Hungarians, 79 percent of the citizens of the CSFR, and still 68 
percent of the Poles have a positive attitude about the creation of the 
United States of Europe", and affirm that their own nation belongs to this 
future policy16, than the Community of the Twelve will have to reconsider 
what is to be done about the Community's own identity.

Another decision of the "founding fathers" has been quite important. What 
the Community was all about originally, was to form an administrative 
union to manage the common coal and steel production as well as the 
distribution, notwithstanding the idea to use this union as a lever to 
promote political integration by creating interdependence of interests. 
Later, a widening was achieved in more than one dimension : the Community 
was extended to nine at first and then step by step to twelve member 
states. And the area of functions and policy fields was expanded, 
comprising now the whole of national economies and more and more common 
tasks up to a common foreign and security policy. The reason for this 
widening of functions and interests lies in the interdependence of policy 
areas. There is hardly a problem area which is not to be treated on the EC 
level. On the other hand, the states have not given up their spheres of 
responsibility, and they are still thinking (or

16 Cf. "Mehrheit im Osten für Vereinigte Staaten von Europa", in : Die 
Presse (23 April 1991), p. 22.

dreaming) of their complete autonomy and "sovereignty". Thus, they try to 
keep under control what is happening. As a result, political processes on 
community, national and "mixed" levels intertwine. Complex procedures of 
mediation and grey zones of responsibility evolve. There was talk about 
"traps of policy tangles"17 and "Eurosklerosis".

The reforms initiated by Jacques Delors were aimed at breaking up these 
entanglements and the sclerosis of the Community. Since the EC is supposed 
to gain more freedom of action rather than simply retaining its status, 
this will hopefully end in a strengthening of its political identity. This 
becomes particularly clear in view of the goal to form a European Union of 
a federal character. Under this perspective, the Community can no longer 
be regarded as a system to co-ordinate just the problem management of its 
member states who so far try to push their own interests rather then bear 
jointly the common consequences of their interdependence. A federal union 
cannot be achieved without an established supranational authority to 
determine a common policy. And this does not only raise the problem of 
democratic legitimacy but also the question of political identity.

Thus, it is not surprising that the question of political identity of the 
Community, and in particular of the European-Union-to-be, is posed anew. 
In the first place the upheavals in Eastern Europe raise the problem how 
the Community intends to define its own purpose with regard to the 
identity of the whole of Europe--even more than for example the intentions 
of EFTA states to join the Community. Slogans like "centre of gravitation" 
or "anchor of stability" are no adequate answers to that. And secondly, 
"deepening", strengthening the polity character of the Community, 
transforming it into a "European Union" also implies the necessity to 
clarify identity problems.

In search of a definition of European identity

We have to find out what Europe has in common, historically and 
culturally, in order to define, to articulate and to strengthen its 
identity. If we are to do that, we should remember what the fundamental 
dimensions of a possible European identity are, according to the 
conceptual and theoretical explications I tried to give in the first part 
of this contribution :

-the "spiritual ties" as they are manifested in a common "world of 
meanings" (a "universe of symbols and relevancies"), as they allow to 
achieve a consensual "definition of the situation"., and including the 
three dimensions of a shared "today", "past", and "future" ;

-the "delimitation", knowing what is special about "our thing" as compared 
to other people's things ("nostra res agitur"--not some "res alienorum") ;

-the ability to act and bear responsibility through authorisation and, 
thus, institutionalisation (which means, in consequence, polity building).

17 Cf. Fritz W. Scharpf, Die Politikverflechtungs-Falle. Europäische 
Integration und deutscher Föderalismus im Vergleich. in : Politische 
Vierteljahresschrift, vol. 26 (1985), p. 323ff.

What is primarily called for, is obviously a "political identity in the 
concise sense of the term--a capacity which enables to institutionalise 
common action, and a quality which provides an adequately wide and massive 
basis of consensus and loyalty.

It may well be that remembering common historical and cultural roots, and 
activating consciousness of them, helps to strengthen this basis. Yet one 
wonders why this historical dimension must be shoved into the foreground 
when the real issue is what Aristotle calls "homónioa" and what in our 
context might be called "European spirit" or "consciousness of a European 
common cause".

To translate this into educational terms : Can we, should we, make our 
efforts to form European consciousness only by looking at the past, at our 
common history ? Would it not be equally important to recall what Europe 
means today and will mean in the future ?

Some hypothetical answer is at hand : the matter is seen in the same way 
as it was seen in the last century when national identify had to be 
formed. The formation of a national consciousness, however, came about 
under remarkably different circumstances.18 When the nation decided to 
take over the power of government--as in the typical case of France, the 
main thing was to create the political will and to keep it alive (in the 
"plébiscite de tous les jours", to cite the famous formula Ernest Renan 
found). "Res publica" was to replace "res regis". The case was different 
if an ethnic or national group wanted to emancipate itself from a 
supra-national or foreign regime (as in the case of "secessionist 
nationalism"), or if people which were convinced that they belong together 
wanted to break up the barriers between constituent states (as in the case 
of "integrational nationalism). Whereas, in the first of the three typical 
cases, the state that shall be taken over by the nation does already 
exist, in both of the latter cases a state shall be created which does not 
yet exist. The representatives of the people's political will need a 
"metapolitical" justification. It must be explained that this state should 
exist. This explanation refers to the existence of a "cultural nation" 
that now wants and deserves to constitute itself politically. Usually, the 
"meta-political" justification is given with a reference to history : in 
the past we, or our ancestors, did descend from one family or tribe ; or 
we grew together as a spiritual community ; and we shared a common fate 
even in earlier times. Or even this : history has uncovered a common 
metaphysical substance which unites us in national identity o Herder's 
doctrine of "Volksgeist".

In political reality, this idea serves efforts of make-believe in the 
service of a political will.19 It derives from religious doctrines and 
concepts which are given a new interpretation by transferring into 
socio-political thinking. To give an outstanding example : the originally 
theological concept of the "corpus mysticum", that is the

18 The following remarks make reference to Theodor Schieder's triple 
typology of nation state building in Europe, namely (I) the process of 
assumption of power of an existing state by the "nation", (II) the process 
of secession or separation of a "nation"from a multinational empire or 
state, and (III) the unification of--up to then independent--states, whose 
peoples regard themselves being parts of one single "nation". This triadic 
typology, according to my opinion is more revealing than Friedrich 
Meinecke's famous distinction between "Staatsnation"and "Kulturnation"; 
but Schieder's idea is able to explain Meinecke's comparison. Cf. Theodor 
Schieder, Typologie und Erscheinungsformen des Nationalstaates in Europa, 
in : Historische Zeitschrift, vol. 202 (1966), p. 58ff.

19 Cf. Raymond Grew, The Constitution of National Identity, in : Boerner 
(ed.), op. cit., p. 31 ff. community of the faithful who find their 
identity in Christ's "pneuma", in which they eucharistically and 
spiritually participate, is transferred on the nation, whose members are 
spiritually bound together by their participation in some metaphysical 
substance, which Herder called "Volksgeist". It is only later that such 
notions lose their "mystical" (or mythological, or pseudo-theological) 
character, so that the nation then (and we might say, "only) becomes a 
"community by common culture and disposition through having shared a 
common fate.20

If today a political unification is to be attempted, for instance, a 
European Union, and if we all, perhaps without much reflection, still see 
the paradigm for the creation of a political identity in the way nation 
states were formed, then we must suspect that the idea of a "cultural 
Europe", which would have the same function as the idea of a "cultural 
nation", will here be conjured up. I do not want to say that one might 
dismiss the idea of a European cultural identity and the quest for its 
historical roots as nothing but ideology, as a mere construction to serve 
a political purpose, as, for example, Geoffrey Barraclough did.21 Indeed, 
there is a "fundamentum in re" : there is a European spiritual and 
cultural identity ; it would lead too far astray if I were to quote the 
witnesses for that--from Ernst Robert Curtius to Denis de Rougemont, 
Arnold Toynbee to Hendrik Brugmans.22 But reminding ourselves of the names 
of such authoritative scholars does not dispense us from the effort to 
identify at least some substantial contributions to what we might all 
"European spirit".

What is meant to be represented by these centres of experience and of 
thought ? And what has been further developed from the achievements those 
keywords refer to ? It is difficult to answer such questions, for several 
reasons. One of them is the fact that the "fundamentum in re" of European 
spiritual and cultural identity is characterised by an agreement to 
disagree, a "concordantia discors", as Jacob Burckhardt called it, a 
common cause with sometimes lots of antagonism. Yet there are achievements 
and experiences imprinted in a common memory that constitute common 
understandings and are in the background of such political declarations as 
the "Charter of Paris" conjuring so emphatically an identity of spirit and 

There are problems both in principle and in method which have to be faced, 
if one tries to reconstruct and to explain them : that of the "hermeneutic 
circle" and of the inevitably subjective and specific perspective as well 
as that of the criteria for adequate selection of sources, etc. We cannot 
deal with these problems here in extenso. So we just turn to the 
"authorities", to the specialists of information. There is plenty of 
general agreement about the most important and significant issues-- maybe 
not perfect, but considerable consensus. After all, the historical and 
cultural identity of Europe has been an interesting topic for a long time, 
and many have taken part in this discussion. At least, there is an 
agreement about the most important historical eras, what their message is 
today and what should be kept alive in the

20 Otto Bauer regards the nation as a "Kultur- und Charaktergemeinschaft", 
based on common historical experiences ("Erleben und Erleiden des 
Schicksals") ; cf. Otto Bauer, Die Nationalitätenfrage und die 
Sozialdemokratie, Wien 1924.

21 Cf. Geoffrey Barraclough, Die Einheit Europas als Gedanke und Tat, 
Göttingen : Vandenhoeck & Ruprecht 1964.

22 See the contribution by Hendrik Brugmans in this volume. "collective 
memory" of Europeans. In this context phenomena, issues, and essentials 
like the following ones are named23 :

-Extra-European and "Pre-European" achievements that were significant 
stimulators of European culture, i.e. the impact of ancient Egypt on 
pre-classical and classical Antique, above all the tradition of the Old 

-Classical Hellas : The Greek tradition of the "polis", the "civilisation" 
of social life and the Greek understanding of politics which had to have 
such a deep influence all over Europe ; the "discovery of the mind" ; the 
idea of "paideia" and thus humanness ; the evolution of philosophy--the 
beginnings of critical cognition of reality, that is, the Pre-Socratic 
thinkers, the classical philosophers Plato and Aristotle and the creation 
of the various genres of European literature.

Rome as Republic and Empire : The idea of the "res publica", Roman law, 
the "virtutes", the Roman answer to Greek philosophy (Cicero, for 

Christendom as creative power in Europe : the surpassing of the reality 
through God's salvatory work ; the idea of the "corpus mysticum" ; the 
several types of Christian attitudes in the mundane world ; the relativity 
of secular power, the construction (or discovery) of the concept of 
"person" in christological thought and dispute the interrelation of 
religious orientation and secular order, of political power and church 
authority--with view on the different development in the Latin and 
Byzantine empires and its consequences for the forming of their 
societies--, and the importance of Christian social doctrine.

The laying of the foundations of "Occidental culture" after the 
"Völkerwanderung", the role of Benedictine monkshood, the "Regnum Europae" 
of Charlemagne.

The "Second Awakening of Europe" (Albert Mirgeler) in the Middle Ages ; 
the controversy between "regnum" and "sacerdotium" ; the struggle for 
"Libertas Ecclesiae", the intellectual disputes over the recognition of 
authorities (the establishment of the "studium" as an institution. The 
rise of scholastic philosophy and of universities), and the rediscovery of 
the "inner mind" (mysticism). The inclusion of Middle and Eastern Europe 
in Western European culture.

The dawn of modern times : Schism, growth of towns and municipal self- 
government ; Renaissance and Reformation ; striving for religious freedom, 
the building-up of the territorial state, development of a bourgeois 
economy, the construction of a European state system and the growth of its 
dynamics of power, the expansion of Europe into other continents.

The Enlightenment, the emancipation of the middle classes, the great 
revolutions in England, America, France, and their intellectual 
foundations : human rights, basic freedoms, civil society, and 
representative government.

The political ideas and movements of the XIXth century : liberal and 
democratic progressism, conservatism, socialism, and imperialism ; 
idealistic and materialistic

23 The list of phenomena, issues and essentials is in particular 
influenced by the author's subjective view. But as it shall be nothing 
more than an impulse for discussion, it can be done without references o 
which had to be very extensive o to the corresponding literature.

philosophies as well as the new critics of civilisation, society, and the 
inner life (Marx, Nietzsche, Freud). Finally the movements for 
emancipation in the dynastic empires.

The age of world wars, totalitarianism, and the efforts to overcome it.

Once more, there are many questions with respect to such an outline. Do we 
recognise in this landscape summits of the first, second, and other order 
? Are there essentials that are either continuously effective or slowly 
rising in an evolutionary process ? Maybe with regard to the concept of 
man (personality, the call to freedom and solidarity). Further on in view 
of the productive collision of involvement and distance, mundane 
responsibilities and transcendental calling, harmony and antagonism. And 
also in ranking individual before cause ; in the development of attitudes 
of "critical loyalty", broken affirmation, the combination of tolerance 
with firmness of conscience, and so on... But is it possible at all to 
present more than subjective opinions or convictions, as far as questions 
like such ones are concerned ?

Furthermore : Is it possible to draw a precise and adequate picture of the 
relations between transnational developments, structures and movements on 
the one hand, and of the particular contributions of nations, ethnic or 
religious groups, and regions on the other ? Does in this sense, a 
"historical image" exist, truly "European", reflecting indeed the 
contribution of all nations and groups that make up the Community of 
Europe, and will this image continue to be understood (at least by the 
more sensible contemporary minds) as a cultural common obligation ?

I think, nobody would be able to present a definite answer to such and 
similar questions. The meaning of the European heritage and of the living 
European spirit can only be actualised and made effective through a 
permanent effort of intellectual realisation of its components and 
elements. This effort must take place in form of a dialogue and discourse, 
through which we expose ourselves to the impacts of what we are affected 
by and called on, in order to widen and deepen our understanding and to 
activate motivational strength.

Integration : colonisation of the world we live in as subversion of 
identity ?

Posing once again the question of the meaning, of the function and of the 
importance of a "meta-political" identity of Europe today and tomorrow, we 
do this now in a different perspective. This is the case because matters 
might be taken too easily by simply identifying common heritages, leaving 
the business then to the mediators of a European consciousness, say 
teachers, classbook authors, or journalists. Is all that we have recalled 
perhaps only a heritage loosing its formative power, as some contemporary 
theoreticians want us to believe ?

Jürgen Habermas has asked whether "complex societies" can anyway form "a 
reasonable identity".24 He says that this is only possible in a process of

24 Jürgen Habermas, Können komplexe Gesellschaften eine vernünftige 
Identität ausbilden ?, in : Jürgen Habermas, Zur Rekonstruktion des 
Historischen Materialismus, 3 ed., Frankfurt am Main : Suhrkamp 1982, p. 

communication taking place under conditions of an "ideal form of life", 
free of any domination. All other "knowledge" about identity would be 
unreasonable and could be only a mystification of conditions which one has 
not to identify with. Niklas Luhmann is disputing Habermas' question. The 
"intersubjectivity of cognition, experience, and action created by 
symbolic interpretation and value systems" is, in his opinion, not apt to 
integrate modern societies. It cannot satisfy the "requirements for the 
control of highly differentiated societal sub-systems".25 The idea that 
political order has to do anything with spiritual sharing, that politics 
receive meaning from the conception of a common cultural heritage is, in 
his eyes, a totally outmoded notion (a case of "false consciousness"). 
Habermas insists that a humane life must be governed by "communicative 
reason". But he diagnoses a fatal discrepancy between the demand for 
reasonable identity and such trends in modern development which he assumes 
are manifest especially in the process of European integration.

Along with the increasing rationalisation of social life, the integration 
of societies is more and more carried on "through the systemic interaction 
of specified functions".26 The control over social processes works through 
"speechless media of communication", through exchange mechanisms like 
money in the economy and through mechanisms of power in the sphere of 
politics. And while these control systems were embodied for a long time in 
a normative framework according to the "Old-European" tradition of a 
common weal where there was communication about necessary and appropriate 
actions in terms of common sense and philosophy, it then came to a 
"mediatisation" and, finally, the "colonisation of the life-world".27 
Those spheres in which individual and collective identity may find 
themselves and may realise themselves are now occupied and exploited by 
the politico-economic control organisations using power and monetary 
incentives in order to get societal life going on. Morality and culture 
are being robbed of their substance and, thus, cultural identity becomes 

Seen through such glasses, European integration as it has been in process 
for the past forty years would appear as a gigantic and typical example 
for the deliberate promotion and acceleration of just such a development : 
the take-over of power by a rational functioning macro-organisation that 
combines governmental and economic interests to control interdependencies. 
Habermas would be able to formulate his diagnosis o primarily made about 
the modern state o more precisely with respect to the EC system : The 
utilisation and instrumentalisation of conceptions of cultural identity 
and public political discussion in order to legitimise that what will be 
done anyway through calculated interest and power bargaining ; the 
substitution of democratic decision-making through relations between 
welfare administrations and their clients ; transformation of rule of law 
into an instrument of organising interest- controlled systems of 
regulation ; and finally, "make-believe of communicative relations" in the 
form of rituals in which "the system is draped as the life-world".28

This might appear as a caricature, and Habermas has indeed met with 
decided protest. His thesis of the reduction of politics to systems 
control is shrewd, but is resting on

25 Niklas Luhmann, quoted by Habermas op. cit.

26 Jürgen Habermas, Theorie des kommunikativen Handelns, vol. II, 
Frankfurt am Main : Suhrkamp 1981, p. 175.

27 Ibid., p. 240, p. 470f.

28 Ibid., p. 472, p. 476, p. 536ff., p. 567.

rather fundamentalist premises. If it has been brought to attention here 
and now, then primarily because of the fact that our discussion may well 
need a thorn in the flesh so that we do not take things too easy on the 
subject of cultural identity and the building of a polity out of the EC 

But there is still another reason for taking such theses and discussions 
into consideration. In spite of all exaggeration, a very senseful question 
arises, making our special topic particularly relevant : How is it 
possible to secure the political identity, through which the 
"meta-political" components and dimensions of identity only obtain their 
full significance as well as their motivational relevance, while the 
European Community is developing ?

It looks as if political actors or political scientists would have asked 
us to find the historical and cultural potential, so that we produce and 
promote European consciousness, because they expect some contribution to 
the progress of political community-building and polity-formation for the 
benefit of a European Union which shall be deepened and widened.

But a complementary perspective exists, too. In the framework of European 
integration, it is necessary to strengthen the structures and the 
processes for the articulation of a truly political self-understanding and 
for a process of conceiving and comprehending what the tasks which Europe 
is confronted with are. Only if these processes are going to take place, 
our spiritual and cultural properties" will play a significant role in our 
joint endeavours to solve problems and to meet the challenges of our time 
and of the days to come. Therefore, we need efforts to create a political 
identity of a uniting Europe. If not for other reasons--then at least in 
order to encounter trends which tend to make the content and the substance 
of our metapolitical traditions politically irrelevant. The reality of 
politics and policies is more than a complex system of functionalist 
management of socio-economic interdependencies and power relations. It is 
also a field of communication and interaction between human beings, 
groups, communises, regions, and nations, on what is important, what is 
meaningful, and what should be done and pursued. By this process of 
communication and interaction, a common identity is being formed. This is 
also true in the field of European co-operation and integration.

In the humanistic tradition of our European civilisation, it has been 
passed on from the philosophers of the Greek "polis" to the outstanding 
thinkers of our time that politics always means two things : to make 
possible what is necessary (Paul Valery), and to find agreement on what is 
real (Hugo von Hofmannsthal). Both of these will help to create, to keep 
alive, and to perform a European identity.

Consciousness of European identityafter 1945

Gilbert Trausch

The question of Europe's identity can be looked at from many angles within 
the perspective of this Forum o that of post-1945 Europe, and, even more 
specifically, that of the European Community. Sociologists, political 
scientists and philosophers have all made interesting contributions o 
highly theoretical, as can be expected, given the academic disciplines in 
which they work. A theoretical approach is particularly apt for the 
question of European identity, because, in the final analysis, Europe is a 
‘construction of the mind' (J. B. Duroselle).

However, we must not stifle the voice of history. This is a discipline 
that is kept in check by two rigorous parameters o time and space. What is 
true for one region is not necessarily true for another, and what is 
acceptable at one time is not always acceptable at another. I mention this 
because historians construct facts from documents of all kinds. The 
constant need to bear this in mind sometimes clips their wings and stops 
them getting carried away. Marc Bloch called them ‘those nasty little 
facts which ruin the best hypotheses'. A historical approach to the 
European identity after 1945 inevitably brings us to the conditions in 
which the European Community was born.

No reasonable person would deny that the sense of a shared identity was 
and still is a major stimulus in the quest for a closer union. However, 
the disturbing fact remains that European integration only became a 
reality after 1945, with the creation of the OEEC, the Council of Europe, 
the Brussels Treaty Organisation, and, above all, the European Communities 
(from 1950). Robert Schuman's appeal on 9 May 1950 in Paris was translated 
into action, while Aristide Briand's in Geneva on 7 September 1929 fell on 
deaf ears. Both were French Foreign Ministers and therefore influential 
men, and both addressed their appeals to German politicians at the highest 
level who were very open to Europe, Gustav Stresemann and Konrad Adenauer. 
So why did Europe take off in 1950 and not in 1929?

The philosopher Jean-Marie Domenach hints at an answer when he says that 
the European Community was born not of Charlemagne but of European 
nihilism. He uses Charlemagne to symbolise Europe's identity. Many 
historians think that we can speak of Europe from the time of Charlemagne, 
who is referred to in certain documents of that time as ‘Pater Europae'. 
But for Domenach, the jolt which finally induced the Europeans to unite 
more closely was the havoc wreaked by the two great totalitarian systems 
of the 20th century: Marxism-Leninism and National Socialism. The Gulag 
and Auschwitz were seen as the last warnings before the final catastrophe. 
The figures are clear and chilling. First World War: 10 million dead; 
Second World

War: 55 million dead (including 45 million Europeans). If this geometrical 
progression were to continue, the next step would be an apocalyptic Thirld 
World War. In other words, the European Community emerged in response to 
the challenge posed by two ideologies which were born in Europe from a 
shared cultural heritage.

How can Europeans be united? Basically, there are only two possible 
approaches: political and economic. And where should we start? This was a 
question that already exercised Aristide Briand. When, in 1929, he called 
for the creation of a United States of Europe, he proposed to start with 
economic unification. One year later, in a memorandum submitted to 26 
European governments for their opinion, he shifted his stance and backed a 
political approach, the reason being the Wall Street Crash which had 
changed the situation. Briand thus played it by ear, without a precise 
idea of the path to be taken or the objective to be attained. In this he 
differed from Jean Monnet, who had clearer ideas on both the end and the 

The same questions arose after 1945. Although it was clear that the two 
approaches should be separate, it was felt that there was no reason why 
progress should not be made on both fronts simultaneously. This is what 
the Europeans did in the years 1947-49 with the OEEC and the Council of 
Europe. The result was hardly encouraging, even though the two 
organisations did manage to group together almost all the states of 
Western Europe, because they were confined to the framework of simple 
cooperation between countries without any transfer of sovereignty. An 
attempt to move forward on the economic front o negotiations for an 
economic union between two countries (France and Italy) or five countries 
(with Benelux) under the name of Finebel o was to fail (1948-50).

In the spring of 1950, Jean Monnet realised that the political path was 
closed, because the European countries remained strongly attached to their 
political sovereignty. Having learnt his lesson from the failure of 
Finebel, and not impressed by Adenauer's proposal for a Franco-German 
economic union (23 March 1950), Monnet opted for the economic approach, 
but on a smaller scale: a common market in coal and steel.

This option had a number of consequences. Jean Monnet expected that this 
first ‘pool' (coal and steel) would lead to others (agriculture, energy, 
transport) and hence, gradually, to a genuine common market. This 
prediction was to end up coming true, but only after forty years or so, 
which is probably longer than Monnet reckoned. Monnet also believed that 
this economic approach would eventually be followed by political 
unification. In this respect, events proved his hopes wrong. The 
attachment to national sovereignty in the world of politics (security and 
foreign policy) has turned out to be more tenacious than anticipated in 

By launching the process of European integration through the economy, Jean 
Monnet o no doubt unwittingly o defined its identity over several decades. 
The European Community which, with its fifteen countries, is starting to 
represent Europe as a whole, is perceived essentially as an economic 
entity. However, men (and women), being creatures of flesh and blood, do 
not easily identify with economic indicators, quotas and compensatory 
amounts. The failure of all attempts to create a common foreign and 
security policy (European Defence Community and the planned European 
Political Community 1951-54, Fouchet Plan 1961-62) and the less than 
binding nature of the Maastricht Treaty provisions explains why the 
European Union

continues to be perceived by ordinary people as an economic machine. It is 
difficult, in these circumstances, to see it as the expression of a common 

Jean Monnet's proposal for a coal and steel community, put forward by 
Robert Schuman, was a response to a multi-faceted challenge. Like everyone 
else, he was aware that Europe could not continue to tear itself apart, or 
it would end up disappearing completely. Also, Europe's difficulties over 
the last hundred years had always started in the form of a Franco-German 
conflict, so it was here that action needed to be taken: to make war 
between France and Germany ‘not merely unthinkable but physically 
impossible' (declaration of 9 May 1950). This is why the French appeal of 
9 May was addressed first and foremost to Germany. The two world wars were 
to some extent Franco-German wars, at least when they started, and can 
thus be seen from a similar angle to the 1870 war. This explains the 
determination of many Europeans to reconcile the French and Germans and 
bring them closer together. Jean Monnet understood more clearly than 
others that Europe's future depended on France and Germany.

Like it or not, the European Community has been built around France and 
Germany. If monetary union comes to fruition in the next few years, it 
will happen again around these two countries.

Jean Monnet's game plan o to make the Franco-German axis the motor of 
Europe o could not be achieved unless Germany played along too, in other 
words unless it aligned itself with the western political model for good. 
It had to be kept from the ‘temptation to swing between West and East' 
(Jean Monnet, 16 September 1950) and therefore had to be solidly attached 
to a host organisation. Neither the OEEC nor the Council of Europe, with 
their loose structures, could take on this role, but the ECSC fitted the 
bill. The European Community, along with other organisations such as NATO 
and the WEO, thus became a way of resolving the German question.

The effects of the Cold War

The appeal of 9 May 1950 was also a response to the challenge of the Cold 
War, which created a new situation in which Europe was not so much a 
player as an object manipulated by non-European players (the USA and the 

Jean Monnet had no difficulty in accepting the Atlantic Alliance, which 
was essential in order to ensure Western Europe's security. However, he 
felt that it had helped to fossilise mindsets and create a ‘rigidity of 
thought'. Thus ‘any proposal, any action is interpreted by public opinion 
as contributing to the Cold War' (note of 1 May 1950). Monnet believed 
that a Community as he conceived it could break out of the Cold War mould, 
which was not the case for the Atlantic Alliance. He thought that the ECSC 
could incorporate West Germany without raising the question of rearming 
it, which he still felt (beginning of May 1950) would provoke the 
Russians. The Korean War (25 June 1950) was responsible for overturning 
this kind of thinking. German rearmament was put on the agenda. Very 
rapidly, the ECSC became the model for a European Defence Community.

In fact, throughout the first phase of European integration, from the OEEC 
through the ECSC to the EEC, Western Europe was subjected to a whole set 
of Cold War- related pressures which had a direct impact on the 
integration process.

There was American pressure, which could be described as positive in that 
it encouraged the Europeans to unite. American diplomacy pushed the 
Europeans to come closer together economically and politically, though it 
was understood that a united Europe must remain open to American 
influences and products. The pressure was also positive in the sense that 
it did not impose any specific solution on the Europeans. In the case of 
the OEEC, for example, the United States would have preferred a more 
integrated solution than the one finally chosen on Britain's initiative. 
Similarly, the first British application to join the EEC (1961) owed a 
great deal to American encouragement.

The same cannot be said for pressure from the USSR. It felt it was not in 
its interest for the Europeans to unite opposite it. Its policy thus aimed 
to divide the Europeans and to separate Europe from the United States. 
Thanks to its impressive military apparatus, which its acquisition of 
atomic weapons in 1949 rendered credible, it was able to put pressure on 
Europe o indeed virtually blackmail it. In the Cold War climate which set 
in from spring 1947, the Europeans lived in fear of the USSR, a fear which 
Paul-Henri Spaak gave full rein to in a famous speech. The Brussels 
Treaty, the Atlantic Alliance and the WEO, and also the ECSC and the EDC, 
were a response to the negative pressure from the USSR.

The process of European integration is inseparable from the climate 
created by the Cold War. Throughout its history, the European Community 
has been very sensitive to international developments. The Korean War had 
a positive effect on the ECSC negotiations and the beginnings of the EDC, 
but the death of Stalin and the ensuing détente affected the EDC 
negatively. In the autumn of 1956, the preparatory negotiations for the 
Treaties of Rome were heading for an impasse after wide-ranging 
last-minute demands made by France when they were finally saved by the 
events of Suez and Budapest reminding Europeans how weak they were.

In periods of tension, the Europeans close ranks, and in periods of 
détente they loosen their ties. Overall, the process of European 
integration has to be seen in the Cold War context. To push the image to 
its provocative extreme, one could say that the European Community is 
Stalin's baby. Only when they were forced to did the European countries 
agree to the surrender of sovereignty which characterises the Community. 
One can imagine only too clearly the consequences that the end of the Cold 
War may have on European integration.

The effects of the Cold War can also be seen in many other areas, 
particularly that of political institutions. Between the wars, democratic 
countries suffered a period of profound crisis, which explains the rise of 
fascist dictatorships and authoritarian regimes (central Europe and the 
Baltic and Balkan countries). Where democracies did survive, they were 
weakened and discredited by major scandals. After 1945, however, 
western-style democracy became the political system par excellence, fully 
adopted by the nations of Western Europe. The last bastions of 
authoritarian regimes o fascist or semi-fascist o fell one after the other 
(Greece, Spain, Portugal). The rule of law and respect for human rights 
which became established in Western Europe contrasted with the communist 
model. Confronted by a regime which claimed to have history on its

side and to be both politically and economically more successful, European 
democracy was obliged to furnish daily proof of its excellence and 
superiority. The example of the Federal Republic of Germany in its 
face-off with the other Germany illustrates this situation. The East 
German regime became a foil for the resounding success of the Bonn 

The flourishing health of western democracy is not unconnected to the 
creation of the welfare state after 1945. The social insurance system goes 
back to the 19th century, with considerable differences between the 
different countries. However, it is the English model, developed during 
the Second World War, which was to become the source of inspiration for 
the other countries of Western Europe. Within one generation it had become 
the norm, and the differences between the countries diminished, even 
though the extent of provision was not the same for all countries.

The welfare state model stopped at the iron curtain. Beyond it, social 
protection was certainly well-developed, but the philosophy underlying the 
system was different. The weakness of the command economy explains the 
mediocrity of the services provided. Basically, the welfare state is a 
characteristic of Western Europe, different from both the communist system 
and the American system.

The fact that this model is now under threat, and that some are arguing 
for the American model, has particular historical significance in view of 
Western Europe's identity as it has been constructed, in particular 
through the European Community, over the course of the last forty years.

The Carolingian image

In its quest to unify in the aftermath of the war, Western Europe was to 
take various forms based on different institutional approaches and 
different concepts. There would be the European Community, EFTA etc. 
Opposite, there was another Europe: the Europe of Comecon and the Warsaw 
Pact. However, it was the smallest of these configurations, the six 
countries which formed the ECSC, which was to dominate. Gradually, slowly 
but inexorably, the Community took on o or usurped, depending on the point 
of view o the name of Europe. It is easy to understand the irritation of 
some, such as the Scandinavians or the Swiss, on seeing the word ‘Europe' 
increasingly applied to the Community during the 1960s, a usage which 
successive enlargements have only reinforced.

The Community is thus at the root of one of the concepts of Europe. For 22 
years, until the first enlargement in 1972, it was this little Europe of 
six countries which incarnated Europe's identity. Right from the start one 
could see the historical imagination set in motion. Very quickly, 
potential commentators and journalists started talking about a Carolingian 
or Lotharingian Europe. It is true that the map of the six founding 
countries of Europe covered exactly the same area as Charlemagne's empire. 
In both cases, the Elbe formed a border, even a barrier, against the 
barbarian tribes o or the communist countries. Of course there was no 
causal link between the two constructions, separated by eleven centuries. 
This was a mythological projection, but one that was popular for a long 
time because the historical connection seemed so

irresistible. Clearly, calling it a Carolingian Europe stresses western 
Christianity's role in founding Europe. The force of the image led some 
people to speak of the Community as a Europe of the Vatican.

Be that as it may, the fact remains that the six countries which were the 
first to launch themselves into the European adventure are still seen as 
the spearhead or core of the European Union. They seem more committed than 
the others. And they are destined to be the heart of a future monetary 
union. It is all the more distressing, therefore, that one of them (Italy) 
has to stay on the sidelines, forced to by the Maastricht criteria.

This essay deliberately leaves aside the question of the European identity 
in terms of culture and civilisation. Few observers contest the fact that 
Europe has a cultural identity, formed over the centuries, encompassing 
the diversity of national cultures. But this identity may not be as 
clear-cut as some would see it, and it is blurred at the edges: Europe's 
borders have always been problematic.

Beyond this cultural identity, which the elites have recognised since the 
Middle Ages, but which has not stopped the Europeans constantly and 
mercilessly tearing each other apart, the period since 1945 has seen the 
emergence of several Europes, born of the convulsions of the First and 
Second World Wars. Only one of these Europes has managed to establish a 
public image - the European Community o and even that took four decades. 
The Community only really entered into public consciousness in the member 
countries with the Maastricht Treaty and the public controversy which it 

European Identity and /or the Identity of the European Union

Thomas Jansen

When speaking of "European identity" one needs to state what exactly is 
meant, as each of these words taken individually may be ambiguous and 
confusing. The "European" identity we are seeking to outline here is that 
of the European Union, the word "Identity" being understood to mean the 
spirit of this community, indeed, the very source of its cohesion. In so 
doing, we assume that both the European Union as an organisation and its 
tangible manifestations, policies and achievements are expressions of that 
identity. It is incumbent on the European Union as a political and 
democratic organisation to ensure that its citizens and peoples not only 
understand but actually espouse the spirit of the Union if they are 
ultimately to identify with it. Indeed, the Union's very ability to 
survive, grow, act and succeed in its endeavours depends on it.

The factors of european identity

Let me first recall the basic factors of European identity in a broader 
sense, which even a precise definition cannot dissociate from that of the 
European Union. For, even if since its inception the European Union has 
never embraced more than a part of Europe, its vocation still relates to 
Europe in its entirety. And the historical, cultural, social and political 
components and factors of European identity which bind the continent 
together, east, west, north and south, will certainly increase in 
importance as the Union grows larger.

Historical Factors

Ever since the early Middle Ages, all political processes in Europe have 
been interconnected. There gradually arose a complex system of relations 
between tribes and peoples, dynasties and classes, states and empires, 
which, in a context of constant change, became ever more intricate and 
refined. Systems of domination and counterbalance arose and collapsed as a 
result of recurrent wars only to be followed by fresh attempts to build 
empires or peace settlements.

Just as nations are defined as communities of destiny, it can also be said 
of Europe as a whole that a shared history over many centuries has given 
rise to a differentiated yet in many respects interconnected and mutually 
dependent community of destiny. Proximity and the shared nature of both 
individual and collective experience have fashioned a special relationship 
between the peoples of Europe which, whether consciously or unconsciously, 
has had the effect of forging an identity. Even in places where 
togetherness gave way to antagonism, where proximity resulted in 
demarcation or where coexistence deteriorated into rivalry and ultimately 
war, shared experience has left a deep imprint on Europeans. Likewise, the 
very causes of the

wars in this as in previous centuries sprang from intellectual currents 
simultaneously at work everywhere in Europe.

Cultural Factors

The shared historical experience is underpinned by a considerable degree 
of cultural unity of which, paradoxically, diversity has been a 
constituent part. This diversity has common roots, i.e. it is the outcome 
of a combination of the Mediterranean Greco- Roman culture, which 
contributed the sum experience of the ancient world as a conservative and 
stabilising element on the one hand, and the continental Germanic- 
Slavonic culture, which contributed the dynamic, youthful and 
forward-looking component on the other.

The decisive catalyst in this synthesis was Christianity. The European 
world which emerged from this process during the Middle Ages never lacked 
awareness of its unity. Likewise, in modern times and even very recently, 
this awareness has always survived despite the bloodiest of wars waged in 
the name of national differentiation or opposing nationalist or 
ideological aims.

Social Factors

Not least because of its cultural unity, in which any differences can be 
seen as so many aspects or individual expressions of a shared background, 
Europe developed into a single area also in social and economic terms. 
Despite all the typical differences between its diverse regions, a similar 
pattern of economic development served as the basis on which social life 
progressed along similar lines everywhere. A significant part was played 
here by a highly developed trading system involving large- scale exchange 
of goods, labour and know-how. It formed a large internal market which, 
despite the restrictions imposed by the upsurge of nationalism in the 19th 
century, flourished up until the First World War.

Symmetrical social development in the regions of Europe was matched by a 
simultaneity of social crisis and radical change and then in turn the 
formation of social groupings or classes predisposed towards transnational 
identification, thus creating the conditions in which the integration 
rooted in historical developments and a common culture could take hold. A 
radical break in this movement towards social integration occurred only 
with the division of Europe into two fundamentally different economic and 
social systems after the Second World War, a period from which Europe is 
only now beginning to recover.

Political Factors

History since the Second World War has shown that the intellectual and 
cultural strengths of the Old World are far from exhausted. The fact that 
the Europeans adopted a critical stance towards their history but at the 
same time opened up to stimuli from the new worlds of America, Asia and 
Africa and the fact that they ultimately responded to the challenge of 
Communism also impelled them to develop a new self-awareness. The European 
identity expressed in that new self-awareness is characterised by a marked 
drive for organised action which, now that the Central and

Eastern European nations in an act of self-liberation are reuniting with 
the nations of western Europe, is confronted with new challenges.

The open democratic societies did not succumb to the threats or 
enticements of Socialist revolution and its claims to march in step with 
history. On the contrary, they succeeded in maintaining and developing 
their attractiveness. They emerged strengthened from all economic, social 
and cultural crises. In the North Atlantic Alliance, they were able to 
jointly organise their security. Lastly, in the European Community, a 
significant group of democratic states created a model of peaceful 
cooperation, peaceful change and unity which exerts an extraordinary power 
of attraction throughout the world.

National unity of the states and political unity of Europes

The European Union is a young and still incomplete community composed 
nonetheless of old communities. Its Member States still possess a fairly 
strong identity. It is therefore only natural that, in seeking to define 
an appropriate way of expressing the European identity that appeals to the 
public, we should ask how the identity of the Member States expressed 
itself when (in the 19th century or before) they were still in their 

The unity of the Member States as they came into existence was based 
mainly on :

o a common language and culture or common cultural and linguistic bases ;

o a common experience of history, which could even encompass the 
experience of mutual antagonism between different sections of what became 
now one nation ;

o one economic area with neighbourhood markets developing right across the 
region ;

o a shared need for security against external threats ; Similar factors go 
to explain the process of European integration and the emergence of a 
supranational European Union :

o the experience of history acquired by the peoples and states of Europe 
both in war and peaceful exchange ;

o common cultural bases even if their expression has been diverse ;

o economic necessity and shared practical interest within the market which 
transcend the national and continental framework ;

o the setting of limits in relation to an enemy power which poses a threat 
to freedom and integrity (the USSR with its aggressive ideology and 
totalitarian regime). Just as the factors referred to with regard to the 
formation of the nation state did not all affect all participants in equal 
measure, not all of the population feels equally inspired or convinced by 
the foregoing justifications with regard to the European Union. It will 
nonetheless be observed that it is these common factors which, now as 
then, influence the decisions of the political, social and intellectual 
elites. And now as then we see amid those same elites sizeable minorities 
and occasionally even majorities of Luddites who, unwilling to relinquish 
the past, reject any identification with new contexts and find arguments 
for their ideas which are heard and believed by a certain section of the 

These are all socio-psychologically explainable transitional phenomena 
which arise in the definition of a new European identity (including the 
difficulty of expressing this identity in an appropriate fashion) or in 
the search for a European awareness which transcends the national 
awareness. To see them as problems specific to European unification would 
be to approach them from the wrong angle. For it is clear that changes in 
political and social circumstances do not always immediately result in a 
change in awareness. Only when new circumstances are perceived as 
realities do we adapt our thinking and planning accordingly. The time 
lapse between the appearance of the new and its perception is attributable 
to the fact that the old continues to coexist in parallel with the new for 
a while or even permanently. As a result, awareness continues to revolve 
around the old and therefore barely notices the new. The debate on the 
feasibility/non-feasibility of supranational/transnational statehood or 
democracy offers prime examples here.

The lack of identity for the young, new and constitutionally not yet 
established community known as the "European Union" is also accompanied by 
certain problems of legitimacy which its institutions in particular have 
in projecting and asserting themselves. However, if one compares these 
problems with similar problems of the Member States and their 
constitutional situation, they can be seen to be quite obviously 
commonplace phenomena with which all communities have to contend 
regardless of the level at which they are established. In this respect, 
the problems at the various levels may perhaps be connected :

o the weaker a nation's self-awareness, the less problematic is its 
European awareness ?

o the weaker the confidence in the system of the nation state, the greater 
the hope placed in the European institutions ?

The absence of a consensus on the constitution

This is a practical problem and one which confronts politicians with 
practical tasks. It manifests itself in the deficit of legitimacy with 
which the authorities have to contend every time they want to make 
innovations whose advantages are not always immediately apparent given the 
time it may well take for results to be produced, whereas the 
disadvantages, whether short-term or medium-term, real or imaginary, have 
to be taken into account. For any political project to gain acceptance it 
is therefore important, indeed indispensable, for its meaning to be clear, 
its components visible, and its effects foreseeable. If the European 
project is to succeed, then it is crucially important for it to be 

But what does the European project entail ? A Union organised on federal 
principles and endowed with a democratic political system which, through 
its institutions and laws, guarantees internal and external security and 
which takes on major tasks,

beyond the capabilities of individual Member States, in a manner accepted 
by the public as serving its interests.

However, in defining the project, we see at once that the project thus 
defined does not enjoy the support of all the participants. There are 
governments, parties, parliamentary factions and important social and 
cultural groupings which want to achieve a different project. Their 
European project is based on another idea. For example : Cooperation 
between a group of states which agree on institutions and procedures to 
perform jointly defined tasks, case by case, but without submitting to the 
discipline of a democratic and federal system.

In other words, there is no consensus on the "finalité politique" of 
European integration and this makes it above all difficult to establish 
and give expression to the European identity. For the European Union 
remains the unfinished practical expression of an ultimately undefined 
project. It is therefore more process than project ; it is the blueprint 
for a product, the real shape of which remains undecided.

Equally undecided is the geography of the Union. Where does it place its 
borders ? There is no consensus here either. The dilatory treatment of 
Turkey's desire for Union membership is proof of this, as are the 
difficulties in agreeing an enlargement strategy with respect to Central 
and Eastern Europe.

And then there is the fact that we have become accustomed to seeing 
certain challenges as the most important motives for the unification of 
Europe : establishment of an enduring peace between the participant 
nations, reconstruction of a devastated continent, reacquisition of a role 
in international decision-making, defence of freedom against totalitarian 
Communism, the guaranteeing of a democratic future and greater and more 
widespread prosperity.

As European integration policy achieved results, so these motives 
gradually faded into the background ; and since the watershed year of 
1989, it has become clear that the European Union needs new motivation.

This does not mean that all the original reasons and motives for the 
policy of European unification have become obsolete. They retain, albeit 
in a different context from before, a certain reality content. This is 
true even if it no longer carries the same weight as in the 1950s and up 
until the 1980s because :

o the process of rebuilding Europe from the ruins of the war has long been 
completed ;

o the peace between those nations of Europe which took part in the 
integration process is today guaranteed by the existing set of 
institutions ;

o the Soviet-Communist regime has collapsed ;

o democracy has established itself in all European countries and can be 
regarded as secure ;

o the aim of a more widespread prosperity has been achieved to an 
unparalleled degree ;

o Europe can regard itself once again as a leading player and partner on 
the world stage.

The question as to what makes it necessary to take integration further now 
that the most important goals have been achieved is therefore warranted ; 
it challenges us to define and explain the new objectives and motives in 
order thereby to give appropriate and perceptive expression also to the 
identity of the European Union.

The new tasks

The new challenges confronting Europeans now and in the future arise from 
various developments :

o the process of unification itself, which has generated a dynamic through 
which the responsibilities of the European Union have increased 
substantially and certain reforms of its political system have become 
indispensable since it will otherwise be incapable of performing the tasks 
entrusted to it ;

o the collapse of the Soviet Union and the accompanying end of a bipolar 
world order based on two mutually opposed superpowers ;

o the technological and industrial developments which are giving rise to 
new ways of living, working and operating all over the world. Many of the 
individual measures enacted in the decades since the Second World War can 
be seen as preludes and pointers to the changes of recent years. However, 
we are only now becoming gradually aware of their full implications. New 
situations are arising, which we are attempting to conceptualise when we 
talk for example of the "globalisation of the economy" or the "information 

In coming to terms with the new situation, Europe will above all have to 
face up to the following challenges :

o the renewal of European society ;

o the development of a democratic and workable constitutional order ;

o the enlargement of the Union to include the countries of Central and 
Eastern Europe ;

o the creation of a new world order in line with technological, scientific 
and social change.

The European nation states cannot rely on their own discretion and devices 
to carry out these tasks alone. For the challenges involved are directed 
at the entire Union. They can therefore only be properly addressed through 
the combined effect of contributions by the individual states to the 
united action of the Union of European states and the added value of joint 

The Renewal of European Society

There are in Europe various competing models for the most effective and 
fairest social order. They are inspired by differing national concepts and 
traditions of social organisation and social life ; even regional 
characteristics can be discerned, finding expression for example in the 
differences between the Northern European (more Germanic Protestant) and 
Southern European (more Roman Catholic) societies. And neither must we 
ignore the influence which ideological and political convictions have 
exerted on societies in the individual European countries : Conservative 
and Liberal, Socialist and Christian-Social ideas have all left clear, 
distinguishable traces.

And yet, we can now ascertain that over the decades, thanks to a common 
cultural foundation, a broad consensus has formed on a model which 
corresponds more closely than others to the vital needs and circumstances 
of Europeans. The differences between this European model and that of 
American society are striking, not to mention the models which underlie 
the societies of certain East and Southeast Asian industrialised market 

What are the main features of this European model of society ? Its central 
feature is what in Germany is called the "Soziale Marktwirtschaft", i.e. a 
"social market economy" which allows market forces full scope whilst 
subjecting them to a framework of rules designed to prevent abuse, satisfy 
basic social needs and provide a minimum of social security. The 
consequent solidarity and stability also makes for greater freedom of the 
market ; the efficiency gained as a result makes it possible to supply the 
necessary resources for social welfare and security.

This model is being called into question and is now in jeopardy. More 
precisely, the excessive growth of the social security system over the 
years has disrupted the balance between individual responsibility for the 
whole and society's responsibility for the individual. On the other hand, 
the pressure of competition accompanying the globalisation of the economy 
and communication has meant that to safeguard jobs in "Enterprise Europe" 
substantial cutbacks have had to be made in the social security system 
together with radical reforms in the way they operate. Ultimately, this 
twofold threat to the European model represents a virulent attack on the 
philosophy which underlies it ; the motives behind the attack are partly 
ideological, partly conditioned by interests and its aim is to eliminate 
the social dimension.

The European Union would lose an essential component of its identity if it 
failed to withstand this attack. The agreement on social policy between 
the Member States (with the exception of the United Kingdom) appended to 
the Maastricht Treaty was a first important step. The Commission White 
Paper entitled "Growth, Competitiveness, Employment" endorsed by the Union 
in the autumn of 1994 contains a programme for the safeguarding and 
reshaping of the social and economic order of the Union.

The aims of this programme are likewise served by the proposal for an 
Economic and Monetary Union, in particular its establishment in stages and 
the definition of a sound financial situation as a preliminary requirement 
for the introduction of a single currency and the consolidation of the 
single market in the large frontier-free European economic area.

The reform programme which underlies the policy of the European Union is 
sustained moreover by the confidence that the peoples of the old world who 
have emerged from the tribulations of repeated fratricidal wars and the 
humiliation of totalitarian repression have lost neither their capacity 
for innovation and creativity nor their historical and cultural experience 
and therefore possess all the assets needed to remain competitive in the 
global context.

The Development of a workable constitutional order

The identity of a political community finds its noblest expression in its 
internal order,

i.e. in its constitution. However, it is precisely in this respect that 
the European Union is defective. The first item on the agenda for the 
years to come is therefore the revision of the treaties in which the 
institutions, procedures and rules of the Union are rooted. It is 
generally agreed that the Intergovernmental Conference entrusted with the 
reform (of the treaties or constitution) should serve to bring the 
European Union closer to the people by making it operate more efficiently 
and openly. The Union should raise its profile and its activities should 
become more understandable. It is clear that the expectations placed in 
the Intergovernmental Conference, which must be measured in terms of the 
major developments dependant upon its outcome (enlargement, monetary 
union, etc.), can only be fulfilled if the conference aims at the 
establishment of a federal and democratically legitimate structure.

Federation could give expression to what is inherent in the European Union 
: namely unity in diversity. At the same time, as a prerequisite for the 
definition of identity, this would answer the unresolved question of the 
"finalité politique". Given the complex circumstances of the integration 
process in the Union, only a democratic order offers the possibility of 
tackling the pressing practical and political problems with any hope of 
success on the one hand, and of giving meaning to what we call Union 
citizenship on the other.

The Enlargement of the European Union

The historical watershed of 1989 confronted the European Union with a new 
task which will keep it occupied until well into the next millennium. 
After initial reticence, attributable to widespread unease about the new 
uncertainties as well as to misunderstandings and a resultant distrust 
between the partners, there is a now a general consensus on the fact that 
every effort must be made to incorporate the states and peoples of central 
and eastern Europe as Members of the Union as soon as possible. There are 
many justifications for this, historical, moral, social, and not least, 
the fact that this is the only way of ensuring lasting economic and 
political stability and peace in this region.

The Union already treats the states of Central and Eastern Europe as 
future members and more and more systematic efforts are being made to 
achieve what in previous decades has been no more than a dream : namely 
the unification of all of Europe in peace and freedom. Indeed, the 
establishment of the conditions for the enlargement of the Union is in 
full swing, : in the individual applicant countries as well as in the 
Union itself. A strategy of preparation for membership has been drawn up 
in cooperation with the governments concerned. Important stages on this 
road of standardisation and harmonisation are the association agreements 
with the Central and Eastern European countries which, through these 
agreements, have moved politically closer to the Union. The economic and 
trade provisions and the connected assistance arrangements afford them the 
material and practical wherewithal needed to prepare for membership.

If, however, the future members of the Union have to be capable of 
accession, then the Union itself must become capable of enlargement. Thus, 
if it is to remain open to all European nations which can claim a 
historical and cultural right to belong to it, it must also solve the 
problems connected with a major enlargement from 15 to foreseeably 27 and 
perhaps even 30 Member States : the political and institutional problems, 
the economic and social problems and also the financial problems, the 
solution of which will demand a substantial additional solidarity on the 
part of the Union's present Members.

A considerable leap in self-awareness could be made if this process of 
political deepening and geographical enlargement could be handled 
successfully, also because the name "European Community/Union" has always 
suggested the encompassing and representation of Europe in its entirety. 
The closer this ideal comes to being achieved, the easier it will be to 
bridge the credibility gap.

The Establishment of a New World Order

Lasting economic and social stability is also vitally important for the 
European Union from the point of view of the Mediterranean area. It is 
therefore in the Union's interest, indeed it is its duty, to help create 
the conditions for peaceful development in this region. The Mediterranean 
Conference of November 1995 provided the impetus for a new 
inter-relationship based on partnership which not only satisfies the 
present requirements but marks a fresh start compared with the centuries 
of cultural and religious conflict which have characterised relations 
between Europe and the Mediterranean region in the past.

The readiness of the European Union to face up to its responsibilities 
with regard to the Mediterranean area and Central and Eastern Europe 
(moreover in relation to Russia and the Commonwealth of Independent 
States) is substantiated by large-scale development aid and development 
cooperation in the Third World. It indicates a growing role for the Union 
as an actor in the international order. It has the capacity to do this 
thanks to :

o its success in establishing its own order representing, historically and 
structurally, an international order pacified in a lasting manner by 
democracy and federalism ;

o the strength which it derives from the united action of its Members. 
More unity, and above all more unity deriving from democratic 
decision-making procedures, will lend the Union greater weight and greater 
credibility in this role ; to achieve such unity, further advances need to 
be made in the establishment of its internal order and the strengthening 
of its capacity for external action.

The establishment of the European Community nearly fifty years ago was 
also a contribution to the creation of a more just and peaceful world 
order. Its endowment

with democratic institutions and instruments for the common definition and 
implementation of policies in an increasing number of areas, but in 
particular its development into a European Union with a common foreign and 
security policy and a single currency, only becomes really meaningful if 
it is understood as a structural component of a "world federation", i.e. 
of a process which leads, via the organisation of large continental groups 
of states and a radical reform of the United Nations, to a world order 
based on subsidiarity.

That does not mean to say that the integration of the European states and 
societies is not in itself also a high-ranking objective for in the past 
it has led to the pacification and reshaping of Europe, increased economic 
prosperity and guaranteed social progress ; in the future, through the 
corresponding effects of enlargement to Central and Eastern Europe, it 
will also develop in those parts of Europe which have hitherto been unable 
to take part in this development. At the same time European integration 
remains the basis for the effective discharge of all the major 
cross-border tasks entrusted to Europe.

However, in the context of world history, the unification process in 
Europe is aiming further than the construction of a Union.. More 
precisely, the stability achieved through the process of building the 
Community, together with the instruments of peace devised in this process 
and the prosperity existing here, are all factors which oblige Europeans 
to assume responsibility in and for the world. This involves more than 
development aid and active concern for human rights or the protection of 
the global environment. It also involves the shaping of an institutional 
and legal framework for world progress, a worldwide economy, worldwide 
transport, worldwide communication, the ecology of the world and worldwide 
politics in its various branches.

The European Union will be in a privileged situation in being able to 
submit and implement proposals to this effect on the basis of its own 
experiences, if in the years to come it succeeds in giving expression to 
its identity by successfully defending its societal model through renewal, 
giving an effective form to its political system and at the same time 
finding optimum solutions for its geographical enlargement.

A contribution from political psychology

Tom Bryder

"Europeanisation", meaning the political unification or integration of 
Europe, as we have recently come to think of it, is a relatively new 
phenomenon. More precisely, it refers to attempts at creating a European 
federal union, a distinct entity in relation to its surroundings.

To the surroundings, such as people in the former colonies, or in the 
United States, "Europeanisation" has a different meaning from that 
revealed by the integration perspective. Edgar Morin (1990, p. 20) says 
that "Il est difficile de percevoir l'Europe depuis l'Europe." From the 
outside it is often associated with expansive tendencies such as "European 
cultural imperialism" (in the former colonies) or "Cultural snobbism" (in 
the United States), that is, a colonialisation of the minds of people 
outside Europe, both in Africa, Asia, and America.

Somewhat paradoxically, it is difficult to distinguish "Europeanisation" 
as such from what we, in Europe, sometimes call "Americanisation" or 
"American cultural imperialism." The difference for the political order, 
however, seems to be a matter of quantity and authenticity. Critics of 
"Europeanisation" so conceived, such as of the francophones and German 
visionary intellectuals like T.W. Adorno, search for a European identity 
free of such connotations.

Apart from this ingroup-outgroup aspect of "Europeanisation", we must deal 
with ongoing processes of how European identity evolves o if it exists, or 
whether it is emerging. How is it created, sustained, and dispersed ?

To which extent and in what respect can we characterise the formation of a 
European political identity as an outcome of learning, memorisation and 
information retrieval processes ?

To some people, particularly the contributors to the French intellectual 
debate on the future of Europe, the contradiction between technocracy and 
meritocracy on the one hand, and democracy on the other ("Eurocrats" 
versus "Europe des citoyens"), poses the major challenge to the process of 
a politically unified Europe.29 It is, for example, presented as the end 
of minority rule in general by Wolton, who says (1993, p. 95), "Le passage 
de l'Europe technocratique à l'Europe démocratique signe la fin du règne 
de la minorité." It is an expectation resembling the classless society 
expressed by Marxism.

Wolton (1993, p. 232) says that this debate is more widespread than 
claimed here : "Le thème de la "technocratie européenne" est omniprésent 
dans tous les pays.

Conceptualisations and definitions

Let me first mention some definitional issues that might be helpful in a 
search for appropriate conceptualisations of identity. According to 
Webster's :

1a = sameness of essential or generic character in different instances, or

1b = sameness in all that constitutes the objective reality of a thing, or

2 = unity and persistence of personality, or

3 = the condition of being the same with something described or asserted.

Le Nouveau Petit Robert (1993, p. 1122) is somewhat more exhaustive :

1. Caractère de deux objets de pensée identiques, Identité qualitative ou 
spécifique. • similitude. L'identité d'une chose avec une autre, d'une 
chose et d'une autre. Identité de vue. • communauté.

2. Caractère de ce qui est un. • unité.

3. PSYCHOL. Identité personnelle, caractère de ce qui demeure identique à 
soi-même. Problème psychologique de l'identité du moi. Crise d'identité. o 
Identité culturelle : ensemble de traits culturels propres à un groupe 
ethnique (langue, religion, art, etc.) qui lui confèrent son individualité 
; sentiment d'appartenance d'un individu à ce groupe. • acculturation, 
déculturation. PAR EXT. àsommier.

Psychologists and psychoanalysts say that identity equals "The sense of 
one's continued being an entity distinguishable from all others" (Rycroft, 
p. 68). As Rycroft also says (ibid.) :

The sense of identity is lost in fugues and perverted in schizophrenic 
delusions of identity in which, typically, an underlying sense of 
nonentity is compensated for by delusions of grandeur.

A fugue designates a process by which an individual loses her or his sense 
of destiny and location. In psychoanalysis, fugues are classified as 
instances of hysterical behaviour and cited as examples of dissociation of 
consciousness. They typically arise out of role confusion when an 
individual cannot cognitively handle the information she or he faces.

A transposition of psychoanalytical concepts to a figurative political 
language, I believe, may create some fruitful associations which can 
assist us when we try to explain, for example, disintegrative processes in 
central and south-eastern Europe, or integrative processes in Western 

Taking a preliminary view of what identity is from the psychoanalytic 
description, we may consequently look at "identification" as :

The process by which a person either (a) extends his identity into someone 
else, (b) borrows his identity from someone else, or (c) fuses or confuses 
his identity with someone else. In analytical writings, it never means 
establishing the identity of oneself or someone else. (Rycroft p. 67)

The expression "to identify with" bridges an individual identity and a 
shared identity ("I", "me" and "we", "us"), that is, some kind of "social" 
or "political" identity.

The place of identity in modern political research

In modern political science (Cf. Lasswell, 1965) identity is usually 
treated as an element in a "political perspective," the other major 
components being "demands" and "expectations."

Probably influenced by sociological role theory (which is wider in scope 
than psychological identity theories, since it incorporates behaviour as 
well as thought and emotional process), some authors seek a solution to 
identity uncertainty in the concept of multiple identities. But who should 
determine what these identities should be like ? The concept of identity 
cannot be patented by any traditional political-sociological group. It is 
not part of the traditional ideological quest for a distinct political 
vocabulary, as revolutionary socialists tended to believe before World War 
I. As Wolton says (1993, p. 48) :

L'identité, la nation, la tradition ne sont pas des valeurs de "droite", 
elles appartiennent à toutes les familles politique et il y a un 
conformisme eurocratique à diaboliser ces mots.

As a matter of fact, the dynamism of a pluralistic and democratic 
conception of political identity presupposes that multiple identity 
pragmatism need not be present at the individual level of analysis at all, 
but only at the social level in the form of choice options. (Wildawsky, 

From a theoretical point of view, the lack of hierarchical priorities of 
identity objects may lead to the kind of psychological state called 
fugues, previously described. Mixed or uncertain political role 
conceptions are not the same as cultural pluralism and may eventually lead 
to hyper- vigilance (psychological distress), decision evasion and 

Territory, language, ideas, culture, and history may all serve as objects 
with which we wish to establish notions of political identity. But which 
objects are of primary, of secondary or of lesser importance to the 
citizens of Europe ? Which objects are necessary and which are sufficient 
for the establishment of a notion of European identity ?

In the French debate, the opposition between objects of identity is 
basically seen as a conflict between "modernism" and "voluntarism," not 
between social classes or party

alignments. Modernism is seen to be creating a link between identity and 
nationalism, and "voluntarism" is seen as creating a link between identity 
and history. Moreover, the construction of the new Europe, according to 
the French debate, does not simply mean a democratisation of the 
technocratic Europe which has been the foundation of previous attempts to 
integrate Europe politically, economically and culturally, but a radical 
break away from both the modernistic and the voluntaristic "paradigms" 
(Wolton, 1993, p. 67). The cardinal issue revolves around the opposition 
between democracy and totalitarianism. This issue re-emerged when the 
Communist menace disappeared around 1990.

Which, then, are the attitudes of the general public towards the European 
Common Market of yesterday, as it was usually referred to in the 1980s, 
and the European Union of today and tomorrow ? Should decision making in 
Europe be confined to the approximately 50.000 Eurocrats, or to the 343 
million citizens ? If the Eurocrats, as a caste, are indispensable in the 
process of European integration, how do we ensure that they are made 
accountable to democratic institutions and that they take considerate 
attitudes to the citizens of Europe ? What should the role of national 
parliaments and the European parliament be in the future ? With the 
present tendency to transfer power from government(s) to markets, what 
will the scope, weight, and domain of political power in the political 
system of Europe be in the future ? Let us first take a look at the 
objects of identification, and see if they provide us with adequate 
criteria for choice and commitment.

Geographical criteria

What first comes to our minds when trying to outline what it means to be a 
European is, perhaps, Europe as a geographical unit. Political systems 
such the Italian political system, the French political system or the 
Danish political system all embrace a notion of territory. So important is 
this that Max Weber made territory a major component of his definition of 
what a state is.

But how do we establish where the boundaries of Europe are ? Should 
Greenland be included if we look at the map before it gained autonomy 
(Hjemmestyre) ? The Faeroe Islands ? Madeira ? The Canary Islands ? Cyprus 
? Malta ? Uzbekistan ?

Linguistic criteria

In France it is sometimes maintained that (Wolton, 1993, p. 84), "Le 
fractionnement linguistique est... constitutif de l'identité européenne." 
At the same time, the practical problems of the language barriers are 
realised (ibid.) : "Le principal problème de l'Europe est l'absence de 
langue commune avec d'insolubles problèmes de communication, notamment à 
Bruxelles et au Parlement. D'ailleurs sur 13.000 fonctionnaires à la 
Commission, il y a 1.700 traducteurs soit 2 traducteurs pour 13 

Many people see this lack of linguistic unity as an indication of how 
difficult it is to unify Europe :

L'Europe est aussi un carrefour de langues, puisque quarante-trois langues 
y sont parlées, à des degrés divers. (Wolton, 1993, p. 17)

What about English ? Many people in most European countries, however 
defined, speak English. But so do many people in America and Australia, 
and as a native language of a European state, English is not spoken by as 
many people as is, for example, German. Moreover, French, Italian and 
Spanish are strong competitors within the European context. So language 
cannot easily be used as a common denominator for establishing a unified 
sense of European identity.

Still, as Edgar Morin points out, English may very well be used as a 
working language without the creation of an Anglo-Saxon cultural hegemony 
(1990, pp. 23233):

L'Europe ne court aucun risque culturel à ce que l'anglais y devienne 
langue principale de communication. N'a-t-il pas constitué la langue de 
communication entre les diverses cultures et ethnies indiennes sans les 
corrompre, sans dévaluer les langues régionales, sans surimposer 
l'identité anglaise sur l'identité indienne ? L'utilisation de l'anglais, 
accompagnée de la connaissance de deux autres langues européennes, aurait 
en outre l'avantage de faciliter les communications avec le reste de la 

Cultural-Ideational criteria

One can, of course, assume life styles, traditions and behavioural 
patterns within some European territory, more or less arbitrarily defined, 
constitute a "European culture." But even within nation states it is 
dubious to speak of specific political cultures, since other criteria such 
as class, urban versus rural, north versus south, and similar criteria 
tend to give more explanatory power to the notion of "political culture." 
The political culture of the British working class is definitely different 
from that of the middle class and the gentry, the political outlook of 
farmers in rural Holland definitely differs from that of city dwellers in 
The Hague, Amsterdam and Rotterdam, and northern Italian conceptions of 
politics are very different from those held by the population of Sicily 
and Naples. And as the two World Wars in this century have shown, Marx was 
definitely wrong in believing that the working classes of the world had so 
much in common that they would prefer class to nation as a chief object of 

30 Others like Wolton (1993, p. 162) are more cautious and less optimistic 
: "L'identité postnationale est le moyen de construire cette identité, 
reposant sur l'adhésion à des cultures politiques démocratiques, 
communicationelles, qui attribuent une influence certaine à l'échange et 
font notamment l'impasse sur le problème de la langue. Comment communiquer 
des expériences sans langage commun ?"

Analytical criteria

If a political perspective reflects aspects of political cultures, and if 
identity is a necessary element of a political perspective, then it 
follows that we must give further consideration to political culture. At a 
somewhat high level of analytical abstraction, Wolton argues that one can 
intuitively speak of culture in three senses. In the first place, as an 
opposition to nature, that is, as the results of human labour. In the 
second place, culture can be seen as that which unifies a people or ethnic 
groups and which allows us to distinguish cultures from each other. In the 
third place, finally, culture can be seen as "high culture," as implied 
when we speak of being cultivated, familiar with literary traditions and 
art, etc. In Europe, all three notions have always co-exited at the same 
time. (Wolton, 1993, p. 312). Yet there were dynamisms and developments as 
Laqueur has pointed out (1970, p. 344) :

With all its vitality, post-war European culture faced grave problems. The 
stultifying effects of mass culture, the standardisation of the mass 
media, the commercial production of cultural goods, constituted an 
insidious danger which in this form had never existed before. At the other 
extreme there were the futilities of an esoteric, precious, often sterile 
‘high culture', divorced from real life and from people, a dead-end rather 
than a narrow pass on the road to new cultural peaks. Culture had become 
less spontaneous and far more costly...

Trying to relate these common sense notions to the debate on European 
political culture, Wolton says that empirically there are three national 
approaches with ingredients borrowed from these notions :

v Le premier sens, "français" insiste sur l'idée d'oeuvre, de création. Il 
suppose une identification de ce qui est considéré comme culturel, en 
terme de patrimoine et de création, de connaissance et de savoir.

v Le deuxième sens, "allemand", est proche de l'idée de civilisation. 
C'est l'ensemble des oeuvres et des valeurs, des représentations et des 
symboles, du patrimoine et de la mémoire tels qu'ils sont partagés par une 
communauté, à un moment de son histoire.

v Le troisième sens, "anglo-saxon", est plus anthropologique au sens où il 
insiste sur les modes de vie, les pratique quotidiennes, l'histoire au 
jour de jour, les styles et les savoirs quotidiens, les images et les 
mythes. (Wolton, 1993, p. 312) Historical criteria

To the extent that we wish to speak of a common European historical 
destiny, we would find that there are more competition, rivalry, strife, 
war and other forms of nonco- operative behaviour than forms of 
co-operative behaviour. In an attempt to

summarise the results of a historical survey of Europe's origins, Morin 
(1990, pp. 2223) says that :

L'Europe se dissout dès qu'on veut la penser de façon claire et distincte, 
elle se morcelle dès qu'on veut reconnaître son unité. Lorsque nous 
voulons lui trouver une origine fondatrice ou une originalité 
intransmissible, nous découvrons qu'il n'y a rien lui soit propre aux 
origines, et rien dont elle ait aujourd'hui l'exclusivité.

In this sense, it seems inappropriate to speak of the long-term historical 
origins of a European identity, which o according to both Webster, Le 
Petit Robert and the psychoanalytical definition o would have to denote a 
form of sameness.

In the period before World War II, the term Europeanisation tended to 
express the effects on Australian, Asiatic, American and African cultures 
and civilisations of the peculiar civilisation that grew up in modern 
Europe o including what we today call Eastern and Central Europe o as a 
consequence of the Renaissance, the Calvinist and Lutheran Reformation 
and, later on, the industrial revolution.

As George Young wrote in the 1934 edition of The International 
Encyclopedia of the Social Sciences (1937, p. 623) :

Europeanisation may be expressed politically by imposing the idea of 
democracy, in the sense of parliamentary and party government, or of 
sovereignty, in the sense of suppression or subordination of all 
government organs to the sovereign state, or of nationality, by creating a 
semi-religious solidarity in support of that sovereignty. It may be 
expressed economically by imposing ideas of individualistic capitalism, 
competition and control on community enjoying more elaborate and 
equitable, but less productive and progressive, collectivistic or communal 
civilisations ; or industrially by substituting the factory and the 
foundry for the hand loom and home craft.

Subjective versus objective criteria

Should we satisfy ourselves with just noting that "European" is what one 
is, if one says so ? If we reason along this line, National Socialists and 
Arab Socialists would be "socialists," National Democrats (that is, 
Neo-Nazis of the 1960s) and representatives of the former "People's 
Democracies" would be Democrats. If political science equals the creation 
of political clarity rather than confusion, a purely subjective approach 
seems inappropriate.

For reasons of expediency, I would suggest that we opt for something like 
a minimalist objective approach. For a person to be "European" she or he 
would at least have to :

o be a citizen of a state, located by stipulation, to be geographically 
within a geographical entity called Europe ;

o speak a language which is officially accepted as one of the official 
languages of that state ;

o share a historical destiny with other people, within that state, 
speaking the aforementioned language ;

o share a cultural pattern with other such people, where the cultural 
pattern is seen as consisting of similar cognitive, evaluative and 
emotional elements. Citizenship is a legal criterion. An Australian 
citizen would not qualify even if he had lived for a long time in a 
European state, neither would aspiring immigrants or refugees. Language is 
somewhat weaker as a criterion variable, as I have already mentioned. 
Shared history is also a weak criterion : What about people living in 
territories that historically have been contested such as South Tyrol, 
Alsace-Lorraine, Slesvig-Holstein, parts of the former Habsburg empire, or 
the former USSR ? What about the Basque separatists and Catalonian 
nationalists, not to forget the Balkan states ?

With respect to a notion of European identity, as opposed to the national 
identities of Europe's constituent states, peripheral territories will 
constitute problems since Europe is a peninsula, rather than a continent. 
Hence we have had problematic notions such as the old "cordon sanitaire" 
which was invented between the two World Wars to define a buffer zone 
between the Soviet "dictatorship of the proletariat" and the rest of 
Europe, and the "Partnership for Peace" within the new world security 

Shared culture also seems insufficient when we wish to create a 
distinction between European and non-European identities and, besides, 
cultural criteria seem to overlap with the other criteria, as I have 
already mentioned. Since culture can be based on any of the three 
previously mentioned elements of a political perspective (identification, 
demands, and expectation), we run the risk of exposing ourselves to 
definitional circularity if we use that as an exclusive criterion.

Three kinds of motives

Some people tend to perceive themselves ("to identify") on the basis of 
what they think they are and have been, and draw their political 
conclusions on this basis : "I am a Danish farmer or Danish farmer's son, 
so I must vote for the agrarian party." They are characterised by their 
"because-of" motives. Other people tend to conceive of themselves in terms 
of what they want : "In order to promote a free society I will vote for 
the liberal party." These people are characterised by their "in-order-to" 
motives. Still others perceive themselves on the basis of what they expect 
: "Activism is required if I wish to gain what I want or preserve what 
must be preserved ; in order to live a good life." "Fatalism or 
free-riding will be better for me than activism." This third group can be 
characterised by their "optional-choice" motives.

The first requirement for a political identification to occur is the 
recognition of a "self" distinct from others, i.e. "them". This is 
"identification" proper. What is distinctive about being European today, 
if we compare it with being, say, Australian , Canadian, or Mexican ? What 
are the significant characteristics of being European today in comparison 
to being, say, European before and immediately after the Second World War 
? The accumulated efforts of Schumann, Adenauer, de Gaulle, Monet, and 
Delors have all made a difference, but will it continue ?

In the second place, there must be a recognition that this "self," this 
"identification" is in opposition to "them." This is regrettable for those 
who advocate world federalism and continued responsibility toward the 
Third World. In order for an identity to thrive there must be a challenge, 
a recognised competitive edge or conflicts of interests. The political 
self-recognition and the recognition of opposition between the "self" and 
"others" tend to reinforce each other, as in Marxist theory which claims 
that the class in itself (Klasse an sich) becomes more distinct as it 
fights for its interests against other classes, so as to emerge as a class 
for itself (Klasse für sich). As the social psychologists Hans Gerth and 
C. Wright Mills say in Character and Social Structure (1979, p. 288), "It 
is in controversies that symbol systems are tightened up".

Although we may recognise a competitive edge and a conflict of interest 
with "non- Europeans" with respect to, say, economic issues, Europe is 
still integrated in a wider global community through GATT, the United 
Nations and NATO, etc. So despite attempts by the European Union to create 
a separate identity for Europeans, not unlike the Marxist notion of a 
"Klasse für sich," there are other centripetal and centrifugal forces at 
work to create wider as well as more narrow political identities.

The third step in the establishment of a separate political identity 
involves a cognitive simplification of the world, where most events are 
interpreted in dual categories such as "European" versus "non-European." 
The cognitive simplification process has two explanations, each of which 
is equally valid. Man faces great and complex problems but has limited 
capabilities to process information. In order to focus attention and 
regain perceptual control, aspects have to be disregarded, otherwise chaos 
follows. Politically this is also necessary, because the audience of the 
politically active must be influenced by simplified images that reach down 
to everyone.

When it comes to speaking about the identification of Europeans, such a 
simplified "black-and-white" perspective is probably (and hopefully) not 
an enduring characteristic of the electorates of Europe. Black-and-white 
thinking and stereotyping tendencies seem to have more in common with the 
kind of totalitarianism propagated within the ranks of the German 
Republikaner, the French Front National, Vlaamse Blok in Belgium and a few 
more marginal groups o perhaps inadequately described as "totalitarian" o 
such as the Danish Fremskridtspartiet and the Ulster nationalists. Not 
even the neo-fascist Italian MSI (now calling itself "the National 
Alliance") and its sub-organisations can be accused of such xenophobia and 
single-mindedness as that which goes into simple cognitive dualisms.

Lowell Dittmer describes the process of identification when he says (1977, 
p. 573) that, "The process of political identification involves 
generalisation from objective perception to subjective 

However, Wolton (1993, p. 82) says that it is possible and even desirable 
to accept the old distinction of out-groups versus in-groups, but that it 
must be given a new content :

L'Europe se trouve donc aujourd'hui confrontée au même enjeu : retrouver 
une figure contre-identitaire, ou inventer un nouveau mode de 
structuration identitaire.

This new figure of contra-identification, according to the French 
intellectuals, should be anti-democratic political tendencies and 

The fourth and final requirement concerns expected and desired goals. Such 
goals can be elaborated as utopian systems or models, like the federalist 
and confederalist conceptions of a new European political, economic or 
security order, or as partial working solutions to pragmatically felt 
needs, such as those postulated by neofunctionalists.

There are at least six, more or less overlapping, contradictory and/or 
supportive models one can discern in the current debate on the integration 
of Europe and the development of a European political identity :

v The great Europe model o a confederal model, with an emphasis on 
external relations ;

v The united nations of Europe o a federal model, with an emphasis on 
internal relations ;

v The community model o a model for inventories of what has already been 
achieved as a result of so called neo-functionalist initiatives ;

v The Europe of the nations (de Gaulle) o a model which focuses on 
definitions of what should be included and excluded, and which would not 
necessarily include all European states in their geographical extensions ;

v The minimal Europe o a liberal model in which market forces are given 
priority, but in which political and monetary issues are played down ;

v The Europe of "espace publique" o a democratic model for Europe to be 
shaped, which ignores the traditional cultural cleavages and focuses on 
the democratic versus totalitarian modes of identity. Dominique Wolton 
says that these models have the quality of "ideal types" about them but 
that (p. 218) :

En fait, l'Europe n'est pour le moment, et sans doute pour longtemps 
encore, ni une Europe des régions, ni une Europe des nations, mais une 
mosaïque de modèles et de responsabilités gouvernementales : 
supranationales, nationales, régionales, locales, municipales, où la 
souveraineté est partagée entre les différents niveaux de gouvernement.

This is a reasonably pragmatic conclusion since it allows for the 
theoretical debate about European political identity to continue, and this 
debate is in itself a major source of political identification.

Conclusion and some practical proposals

It makes a difference whether we speak about plural identities or a 
plurality of choices when we look at the fears and hopes for a new Europe 
to be built. Plural identities are not necessarily "good" from the point 
of view of psychology, since they may cause distress, paralysis and 
confusion. The French intellectuals seem to believe that when using 
different criteria as identity objects, one should not focus exclusively 
on geographical units, since the national state is unlikely to be 
perishing anyway. When they advocate multiple perspectives they say that 
political criteria must be used, and that way the debate is being 
transformed into a debate about the future of European democracy, a debate 
with firm roots in European federalism.

Since the establishment of the European Coal and Steel Community and the 
other European Union "pillars" there has been a change in the extent to 
which people regard themselves as European. This can be seen in the 
Eurobarometer surveys which show that the sense of being European is 
greater among citizens of Member States that have been members of the EEC 
from the beginning than among the "newcomers". But even if this is so, it 
may be misleading, because such "identification" may be based on parochial 
expectations of economic and other gains for the national unit to which 
one belongs, as for example in the case of Belgium, where European 
integration is demanded, but on the basis that the European politicians 
will further Belgian interests in the first place, rather than European 
common interests.

What, then, can be done to further the idea of a common European identity 
tomorrow if the pace up till now has been slow and uncertain ? The answer 
to this question will greatly affect the future of the European Union. 
Since it is impossible to mention all possible projects that may 
contribute to a greater inner strength of the European project, I will 
confine my attention to some rather basic ideas which are within the scope 
of practical realisation.

It is now more than half a century since the end of the Second World War, 
and we have now seen the downfall of totalitarian Communism. But we still 
have traces of totalitarianism among us everywhere in the form of racism, 
bureaucratic arrogance, and even leftover sentiments of Communism, Fascism 
and even National Socialism in Europe. We have concerns about a 
sustainable environmental development and corruption among politicians, 
irresponsible bankers, and remote representatives in the Europe to which 
we belong. These are just a few issues to which many young people

pay attention but it is far from all who actually pay attention. If we can 
support those young people who feel concerned, and give them reasons to be 
grateful for what the European Union does to combat totalitarianism, 
racism and economic fraud, we may win over the next generation for the 
European project and make them feel more European than the older 
generations have felt. As the President of the European Union, Jacques 
Santer pointed out in his speech at a previous carrefour arranged by the 
Cellule de Prospective at the University of Lund in 1995, the great change 
in attitudes towards Europe will come with the next generations, those who 
know foreign languages and those who have lived abroad.

This leads me to the practical conclusion that all of us who wish to 
strengthen European identity should promote travelling in all its forms 
all over Europe, especially by subsidising continued Inter-rail travelling 
among the young during the summer holidays and whenever else it is 
possible. Since the birth of the European Union, through the 
implementation of the Single European Act in the early 1990s, many 
airlines have shown their good-will and launched cheap travel programmes 
for both adults and young people. But more can be done in this area. For 
example, arrangements can be made with the youth hostel organisations in 
Europe so that travelling and accommodation will not be confined to only 
those who are well off, have employment, and have received grants from 
various study programmes. Efforts can be made to maintain and enlarge 
already existing exchange programmes of students and teachers that are 
already effective, and an effort can be made to establish summer camps, 
where young people from all over Europe can come together for three to 
four weeks to learn more and discuss problems of concern to them, 
including their immediate concerns about youth unemployment. If possible, 
they could even work directly in projects of common concern to us all, 
such as the rebuilding of roads and villages in the former Yugoslavia, 
when it is safe to do so again.

The positive role of such initiatives for the strengthening of a European 
identity will depend upon the role played by the European Union. This role 
need not be too directly linked with our European institutions as they are 
today, and the most important thing is not to pour a lot of money into 
such projects, but let the beneficiaries know where the support comes 

I envisage that the European Union could play the role of the empowering 
agent to institutions which already exist. We could awaken an interest in 
a European youth hostel movement, in a European Interrail Travel System, 
and in European Summer Camps for young people. Such projects could send a 
positive signal to all European adolescents, employed or unemployed, 
students, trainees and working class youngsters, a signal which says : "If 
you wish to know more about life in other European countries and if you 
wish to participate in furthering the goals of the new Europe, we are 
there to support you." Through such measures we can not only strengthen 
and build a future European identity, we can also make sure that the 
achievements of the past are safeguarded.

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What is it ? Why do we need it ? Where do we find it ?

Edy Korthals Altes

Identity has to do with the individuality of a person or - in this case - 
of the European Union. What are the specific characteristics ? In what 
ways does the European Union discern itself from other international or 
national agents ? Identity in the sense of ‘being yourself' is closely 
connected with the relation to others, ‘seeing the other'. In this sense, 
Cardinal Lustiger could state that ; ‘solidarity with those who die for 
lack of bread is an essential condition for Europe to stay alive'.31

The classic response to the question of European identity is : unity in 
diversity. Ethnic background, culture, religion and history are certainly 
important factors for the European identity.

Decisive at this stage of the European integration process is however the 
question : what do we want to do together ? The answer depends on the 
perception of the need for a common response to the challenges of today's 
world. This is not an academic question but a matter of survival !

Identity is subject to change. It is not something ‘static', given for all 
time. It is something that grows or withers away. Just as with individuals 
there is a process of development ( circumstances, events, inner growth).

The present identity of the European Union is not robust but rather 
confusing. It resembles a Picasso portrait, conflicting lines, different 
levels not the unity of a human face. Or if we want to put it in 
diplomatic language : "the European Union is going through an identity 
crisis". It is still uncertain about its place in the surrounding world.

Internal and external aspects of European identity

Structure (decision making process : efficient /democratic/ transparent) ; 
Policies : (agricultural, regional, social ; just/unjust, greater 
inequality, exclusion) ; Economy : what are its objectives ? To serve man 
and society, to enable all people to live a decent existence. Or is it 
just the other way round : man and society sewing economics ? Accepting 
the tyranny of the iron laws of economics as an absolute, a given reality, 
something that cannot be changed. Economy as a goal in itself growth, 
maximisation of profits and power, etc.). Environment. Something to 
respect / to manage with great care and responsibility, or something to 
exploit whenever we feel like it.

Jean-Marie Lustiger, Nous avons rendez-vous avec l'Europe, 1991, Paris, 

If we consider the economic aspects, the European Union looks quite 
impressive : large internal market, major trading partner on a world 
scale, strong industrial base, great financial power, among highest GNP 
per capita, good infrastructure, seat of multinationals, impressive number 
of cars and TVs, etc.

A realistic vision is however obscured because of the highly unreliable 
way of assessing what is really going on (inadequate measuring 
instruments, poor definition of GNP). Counting ourselves rich at the 
expense of well being. The European Union is one of the greatest polluters 
in the world, among the greatest consumers of energy and raw materials. 
About 20 million unemployed, many poor. An increasing commercialisation of 
society, progressive deterioration of social and medical care, a 
degradation of education and universities (result-oriented, relevant for 
economy but at the detriment of education).

The opinion Europeans have of their own identity does not necessarily 
correspond with the perception of non-Europeans. While we may be indulging 
in the ‘civilising role' of Europe in a largely ‘underdeveloped world', 
other nations, e.g. in the south of the Sahel or in the Pacific, may be 
inclined to curse the European Union (or some of its member states) for 
its selfishness (Common Agricultural Policy) or arrogance (nuclear tests).

For the perception of our identity, deeds (actions/policies) are more 
relevant than words (declarations). African cattle-growers and local food 
producers suffer more from the negative effects of dumping of the European 
Union's agricultural surpluses than they benefit from fine words about the 
vocation of the European Union in this world. The same applies to import 
restrictions, policies on debts etc.

And what about the striking contrast between the commitments made in Rio 
and Copenhagen and the slowness of action of the European Union ? It 
should be clear by now that a drastic revision of extravagant production - 
and consumption - levels in the highly industrialised nations is a 
prerequisite for a sustainable world society. There will be no hope for an 
effective control of the environmental crisis without far- reaching 
adjustments in the modern world. The position of the European Union is 
here of particular relevance.

A common foreign and security policy : Picasso's portraits provide a good 
illustration of the present chaotic state of affairs. The unity of a 
well-integrated external policy is still a long way off. Several 
Commissioners are responsible for different aspects. Efficient 
policy-making is not possible with the present set-up under which the 
hands of External Affairs are strictly tied by the Council members ! A 
common security policy is not just around the corner ! And what will a 
common defence policy ultimately look like ? Will the European Union adopt 
an offensive stance with a nuclear component and a large military 
establishment or will it be content with a police function preferably in 
the context of the UN ? In the latter case, much more emphasis than to be 
found in the preparatory notes for the Intergovernmental Conference should 
be given to conflict prevention also in the economic sphere. This would 
also lead to a strict limitation of the production of and trade in arms 
and ensure careful scrutiny of R&D activities in the military industry.

In search of the ‘heart and soul' of Europe

Reflecting on the structure of the European Union, its capabilities and 
policies, is certainly very important as a preparation for practical 
propositions on how to express the European identity. But at this critical 
moment of a deep existential crisis both in our nations and in the world, 
it seems to me that serious attention should also be paid to the deepest 
motivation of our acting. In other words, we should tackle the fundamental 
spiritual crisis, so manifest in modern society. Jacques Delors' pertinent 
question as to the ‘heart and soul' of Europe has to be answered.

Indeed, what are we doing with this huge Brussels machinery wielding so 
much power ? What are we heading for ? More power and material well being, 
especially for the stronger elements ? Or do we have a vision of a 
sustainable and just society ? A society in which all people, whatever 
background (religious/cultural/national), have a right and the possibility 
to lead a decent life ? A society in which people have respect for life in 
all its forms. A European Union with a balanced relation between the 
individual and the community, sustained by citizens who realise that each 
individual has a unique value that may never be reduced to an object for 
exploitation. Man, freed from the yoke of a one-sided fixation on 
economics, rediscovering that he is infinitely more than the homo 
economicus to which he is now being reduced by the apostles of greed in a 
materialistic culture.

Man, part of a greater whole, knowing that he does not live by bread alone 
! Man, with a destiny, a meaning of life, sharing life and goods in a 
responsible way with human beings in a global world.

Of crucial importance for identity is the spirit providing the deepest 
motivation for action. One rightly stresses the importance of Christianity 
for Europe. But what is this spirit now ? If we look at today's reality, 
it will be difficult to maintain that we are living in a Christian Europe. 
Secularisation, materialism, hedonism and individualism are dominating 
modern culture. For many people, the sense for the transcendent has 
evaporated. (Many people have lost the sense for the transcendent ?) The 
‘horizontal' approach with its emphasis on a so-called autonomous "l " has 
taken its place.

This has far-reaching consequences for our relations with mankind 
(ourselves, fellow- beings, the other and future generations) towards 
things and towards nature.

In all three fields, man has lost his orientation, his bearings. Vaclàv 
Havel has made some relevant observations on this loss of the sense of the 
Transcendent (loss of spirituality ?) and the many problems of today as 
well as the incapacity of politicians to solve these (to come up with 

Spiritually, the European Union is in a rather poor (desolate) state. 
Impressive technological and economic achievements abound, but a very 
meagre spiritual basis. Crisis of meaning is widespread, psychological 
problems, crime, drug abuse, lack of respect for life with an annual death 
toll of 50,000 in road accidents, although (this number could be 
drastically reduced through the implementation of certain measures. 
Television programmes of a deplorable quality, etc.

We need a european identity

Only an effectively structured European Union (internally and externally) 
will be a relevant factor on the international scene, where the final real 
decisions affecting directly the life of all Europeans will be taken.

v No European State is any longer in a position to meet the challenges of 
the modern world (ecological crisis, unemployment, poverty, rise of world 
population, armed conflicts, the spectacular increase in the destructive 
power of modern arms).

v The dynamics of power relationships (nations as well as multinational 
companies). Affected are therefore not only countries like the USA, Japan, 
Russia, China, East- Russia, etc. but also the major international players 
in finance and business.

v The serious threat to a ‘social market economy' caused by overwhelming 
global forces call for a common ? Answer.32 We cannot go on with our 
present rate of production / consumption/ destruction of the environment. 
If we want a sustainable and just society, we must make progress in the 
direction of ‘enough is enough'. We need to accept an upper limit and pay 
much more attention to the unsustainability of the present economy.

We know that our planet cannot cope with a similar rate of economic 
expansion on the part of all other nations.

We know that 4/5 of mankind is in urgent need of development (aid ? ?) in 
order to enjoy a decent standard of living and to escape from hunger and 
starvation. We must therefore strive for a reduction of our impact on the 
environment if we are serious about a basic sense of humanity. This cannot 
be achieved by technological means, fiscal and other measures alone. A 
fundamental change in mentality, in basic orientation, is needed.

The obvious response to the global challenge should be a worldwide 
decision to set course towards a sustainable future. Heading off a 
collective disaster by managing the planet's scarce resources and 
environment in a responsible way. This will however take time - too much 
time. But why shouldn't the European Union - with its considerable 
economic leverage - take the initiative with a step-by-step approach, 
making it clear to the world that the one-sided emphasis of ‘unlimited 
material growth' at the expense of real well-being is a fatal error ? 
Recognising that other areas may be in need for further economic 
development but that we have reached the stage of ‘enough is enough'. That 
we are no longer victims of the false ideology that man has endless 
unlimited ? material needs which have to be satisfied. After all, it is 
from Europe that the industrial revolution and the expansion of our 
economic system started. A convincing European Union signal, illustrating 
a decisive turn in our economic approach might trigger off similar 
reactions in the US and Japan.

Politically speaking, this deliberate change of course will not be easy. 
It could be greatly furthered if the European Commission entered into a 
creative relationship with

32 Michel Albert, Capitalisme contre capitalisme, 1991, Paris, Seuil.

those egos that promote a similar course of action. There may be a greater 
concern among many people about the loss of ‘qualify of life' than many 
politicians think.

One of the challenges is, as we have seen before, the rediscovery of the 
great spiritual resources that have been at the origin of the European 
civilisation. There will be no renewal of the European society without a 
fundamental reappraisal of man's place in the Universe. The relation with 
the Ultimate. As we live in a multireligious Europe, this is a shared 
responsibility not only for Christianity but also for other religions.

In the present situation of a morally disoriented Europe, a simple appeal 
for ‘norms and values' will not be enough. Much more is needed. Values 
without deep spiritual roots will not stand up in the present harsh 

For example : the threat to the social model. It would be an illusion to 
think that it will be possible to maintain the ‘social market' - now under 
great pressure - without a strong spiritual basis.

Europe urgently needs a radical change from its one-sided materialistic - 
horizontal approach to an attitude towards life which opens up towards 
transcendence. Christians throughout the ages have discovered in the cross 
of Jesus Christ the ultimate symbol - and reality - for this meeting of 
the horizontal and vertical lines. Jews and Muslims have other ways of 
expressing the reality of the transcendental experience.

Where to find it ?

The great temptation is to look for ‘identity' in the structure of the 
European Union, its institutions, regulations, acts and policies. And may 
be even among its declarations. Ultimately, the European Union identity 
depends on the political will of member states and the way the European 
Union uses its competencies. But political action of states is highly 
dependent on public support. Whether there will be sufficient 
understanding for necessary ‘painful policies' depends on the motivation 
of citizens. It is thus a question of the spirit. What moves (activates ?) 
people nowadays ? The spiritual desert in which many people live is well 
illustrated by the statement of a Dutch cabinet minister (environment) 
that ‘the car cannot be touched because it is an essential element of the 
identity of a person' ! I doubt whether the European Union could ever 
develop its identity on the basis of this narrow materialistic concept of 
human nature.

The European Union identity will not be found in wonderful words about our 
common history and common sources of inspiration. Not in digging up long 
forgotten treasures of the past but in acting together. On the basis of 
adequate policies, meeting the present challenges.

Just three examples of missed opportunities - all in areas on our doorstep 

1. The end of the Cold War and breakdown of the communist system provided 
a unique occasion for a visionary approach of the new reality : a 
large-scale well-integrated economic co-operation programme addressing the 
actual needs.

2. The handling of the crisis in ex-Yugoslavia. 3. The creation of an 
all-European security system in the spirit of the Paris Charter. On these 
historic occasions, action would have given a greater impulse to the 
development of a European Union identity than a thousand seminars and 
numerous solemn declarations of politicians.

Unless the European Union develops an adequate structure enabling it to 
deal effectively with the challenges of the modern world, we will not 
discover our common identity.

It is up to the member states to take a hard look at reality and decide to 
break the impasse of the present "Impossible Status Quo" !33

Some practical and some more fundamental suggestions

v Continue and expand the excellent initiative on the Carrefours d'Europe. 
If necessary even under more modest circumstances !

v Bring spiritual and cultural leaders together with politicians, 
managers, journalists etc. Strive for an equilibrium between bureaucrats 
of institutions and ‘independent' Europeans.

v Consider the possibility of a substantial increase of inter-European 
exchange programmes for students and scholars.

v Bring forcefully to the attention of Council members and public opinion 
that the European Union has now really arrived at a crucial point which 
will be decisive for its future : whether it will develop an identity or 
become a non-entity. making clear that the latter option will inevitably 
also lead the proud member states on the same road towards oblivion.

v Deepening of the European Union should have an absolute priority over 
enlargement. The danger of further diluting the identity is great.

v Translating the recognition that the spiritual factor is crucial for the 
European identity in an active support of all those religious and cultural 
forces that can contribute to the spiritual revival in Europe.

A new spirituality will liberate us from the dominance of economics, 
breaking the spell of the golden calf ! This would pave the way for a 
humane and just society, offering the possibility to lead a full human 
life in which values such as love, beauty, truth and goodness together 
with human rights, solidarity and justice are guaranteed for us and coming 
generations !

33 Club de Florence, Europe: L'impossible Status Quo, 1996, Editions 

European identity and political experience

Mario Soares

Let me make two points clear to start with. Firstly, Europe is not just 
the European Union ; secondly, I have no doubt that a European identity 
does exist.

When my country embarked on the process of joining the European Community 
it did so for very specific reasons, namely to consolidate our newfound 
freedoms. Portugal, like Spain, had just emerged from nearly half a 
century of dictatorship, and it was essential to consolidate our democracy 
to prevent any resurgence of military power. We could only counter this 
threat by turning to Europe.

This is not to say that we did not consider ourselves to be a European 
country before. Let me remind you that the Portuguese were the first 
Europeans to export the culture of our continent to the Indies, Japan and 
America. We were also the first to bring back to Europe the riches of the 
civilisations and cultures we discovered there, which were still 
completely unknown here. We have always regarded ourselves as Europeans, 
even if our country is on the periphery of the continent and faces the 
Atlantic and Africa.

I have mentioned the importance of sporting European colours to 
consolidate democratic institutions that were still in their infancy. But 
there was another reason for Portuguese membership : we were very late in 
embarking on decolonisation. Having been the first colonial empire in the 
world, Portugal was also the last. But once our colonial empire had 
finally disappeared, fifteen years later than those of our neighbours and 
in difficult circumstances, and we found ourselves face to face with new 
sovereign states such as Cape Verde, Guinea, Angola and Mozambique, we 
felt that integration in the European Community was the natural 
counterweight to this change.

We joined the European Community at the same time as Spain, in June 1985. 
At that point, it was not yet the European Union. Since then, we have seen 
the collapse of the Communist world and many profound changes. The 
European Community had two objectives : the most obvious, founded on 
Franco-German friendship, was to preserve peace on the continent. The 
second was to keep up with the United States and the Soviet bloc. With the 
end of bi-polarism, the Community found itself plunged into a completely 
new situation.

This was when Europe rediscovered its own values and escaped from the 
geographical and historical confines imposed by the Cold War. We realised 
that Europe was much larger and started to ask ourselves what we should do 
with the "rest" of the continent. We realised that we had a duty to 
reintegrate this "other Europe" into our Community onow a Union. But of 
course it is no easy matter : what will become of a Europe that was 
difficult enough to run with just 10 or 12 or 15 members when it expands 
to include 21 or 22 members in a few years' time ? This is

a problem for the European institutions but it also touches on the very 
future of the concept of the European Union.

Europe cannot just be the European Union within the frontiers as they 
stand today. Hungary, Poland, Bulgaria, have the right to join our 
Community : their history and their contribution to the European identity 
fully entitle them to membership. They have contributed as much to the 
European ideal as we have. From these countries, I hear the same arguments 
that Spain and Portugal used for joining the European Community : we have 
freed ourselves from dictatorship, we have become a democratic country 
through our own efforts, without Europe's help.

We also had the right to democracy at the end of the Second World War, 
because Great Britain and France had defeated the dictatorships and 
Germany counted for nothing in the immediate post-war period. Who allowed 
the dictatorships to reemerge in our country, if not "democratic Europe" ?

Though it pains me as a socialist, I have to say that if there was one 
champion of the rehabilitation of the dictatorships at that time it was 
the British Foreign Secretary. Driven by fear of Soviet pressure and fear 
of Communism in Western Europe o in both France and Italy o the democratic 
states of Europe took the view that it was more sensible and served their 
own interests better to overlook the fact that there were two 
dictatorships on their doorsteps. From 1945 to 1974, we continued to live 
under a dictatorship because of this sort of indulgence, because of the 
treachery of the democracies. They did everything to perpetuate the 
dictatorship in our country. It was the easier option : it was either that 
or risk letting Communism in through Spain or Portugal or somewhere else. 
This was the main consideration.

Once we had rid ourselves of these dictatorships, our first concern was to 
assert that we were democracies and that you bore a share of the 
responsibility for our period of fascist or authoritarian rule. This gave 
us every right to sit at the same table as you, particularly as our 
contribution to Europe has been every bit as important as yours in the 

This is what we said to the European states. It is what our friends in 
Central Europe are saying to us today and it remains equally valid. They 
too can claim the right to sit at the Europeans' table. Economic reasons 
cannot stand in the way of this right. This is why it is our duty to find 
ways of dealing with the current situation and welcoming these states into 
the Union.

The question of greater Europe is not confined to Central Europe alone : 
Europe is also linked to the Mediterranean Sea and the Mediterranean 
basin. It is linked to what happens in Eastern Europe. Where does Europe 
end ? On the Russian steppes ? Is Turkey part of Europe ? I was in Turkey 
quite recently and found that those who want to modernise the country 
proclaim their Europeanness. And rightly so. They have reasons for doing 
so. Is the European Union to be a club reserved exclusively for Christian 
countries o Protestant, Catholic and Orthodox ? Are countries with a 
predominantly Muslim population not allowed to join ? Is there some sort 
of religious bar to membership ? I do not think so. But the problem of 
Turkey is a serious one for Europe.

How are we supposed to deal with an unprecedented situation like this on 
the institutional level ? On this point, my mind is made up : I agree with 
Chancellor Kohl that the construction of Europe is a vital matter for the 
next century, a matter of war and peace. Even if we had no problems of 
identity, if we fail to move towards a stronger European Union, if we fail 
to move rapidly along that road, Europe will find itself without a voice 
and will lose the importance it once had in the world. It is not just a 
matter of being heard throughout the world, but of having the strength to 
impose certain models which we believe encapsulate so many of the ideas 
which this ancient continent has produced over the years. The European 
model reflects serious humanist concerns based on fundamental human values 
: values of liberty and reason, solidarity and social justice. They are 
values without which the human race cannot successfully enter the XXIst 

In other words, Europe's interests are not limited to Europe alone. It is 
not a matter of simply asserting Europe's position in the world, but of 
going further and making a contribution to the world as a whole. If we 
fail to make this contribution, something will be missing, and we will 
fail to explore the paths that are most rational and most conducive to 
human happiness.

This is how I see the situation and why I believe in Europe. I may 
sometimes criticise Europe with other pro-Europeans, but I do so because 
of my love for Europe. I do so because I am not afraid of the march of 
European progress, quite the contrary. I do not think there can be a 
solution which would unite 20 or 30 European countries but leave these 
essential values as the individual concern of each State. They must be 
pooled and managed collectively o and this is true of security policy and 
foreign policy as much as anything else. But it cannot be done without 
supranational European institutions. It cannot be done unless we move 
towards a united Europe, towards a measure of European federalism. I know 
that this word makes some people uneasy. But I have no qualms about using 
it. Like the founding fathers of Europe, I favour a structure which does 
not have to be identical to the one that already exists. It should be a 
new and original design. Others have already said as much in this seminar. 
It should evolve towards a United States of Europe, along more or less 
federal lines, perhaps with its own original touches, but basically 
federal, with a certain common direction. This requires the sacrifice of 
certain elements of states' traditional sovereignty, the pooling of 
national sovereignties. Without this, we cannot build Europe.

There may come a moment when we have to say to those Member States that do 
not want to go all the way that they have no right to stop the others from 
going further. This path offers the best solution available in the short 

When I speak of Europe in such glowing terms, it should be clear that I do 
not mean Europe to be simply Europe of the free market, the single market, 
economic and monetary union and the single currency. Of course I support 
this, but only if we build a genuinely political Europe as well. Because 
if it is to be only an economic and monetary Europe I will withdraw my 
support. That is not the sort of Europe I am interested in. I am in favour 
of an economic and monetary Europe if it goes hand in hand with a 
political Europe and coordinated foreign policy : a Europe which defines 
its own security collectively, a Europe that is also a social union, a 
Europe of the people, a Europe with popular participation. I want to talk 
about the participation of

Europe's regions, which is as important as that of the states. I want to 
talk about the participation of the cities, the people, the NGOs, the 
general public.

This pluralism, this diversity, is the key to achieving a multi-faceted 
Europe capable of fulfilling its role in the world. This role is essential 
for maintaining equilibrium in the world and creating a new international 
order, without which disaster beckons. We are concerned about human 
destiny, about the environment, drug abuse, unemployment, the problems 
that preoccupy the younger generation. These are very serious problems 
which also affect the United States and, even more acutely, Japan, to 
mention just two important countries. But when we look at the countries of 
Southeast Asia, it is clear that their prosperity is based quite simply on 
slave labour. I was in China a few months ago, where I had the opportunity 
to meet various leading Chinese figures. My impression is that China is 
heading for an explosion that will be completely out of control, an 
explosion even more dramatic than the one that tore apart the Soviet 
Union, because things cannot go on as they are. You cannot maintain such a 
level of capitalist exploitation ; you cannot have a city like Shanghai 
with a very high level of development and staggering wealth and at the 
same time have public officials earning a pittance. A street trader in 
Europe would not accept such a meagre salary. Such inequality can only be 
sustained by high levels of corruption or crazy distortions which I am 
convinced will lead to social upheaval.

As I see it, the world is completely deregulated at the moment. We are all 
well aware of this. The United States cannot run the world on their own, 
even if they want to. This is why it is important that Europe carries out 
its allotted task. It is a major challenge for Europe and for us 
Europeans. We must be ready to respond boldly. Unfortunately, we have not 
seen any great leaders stand up to defend this sort of point of view 
loudly and clearly. For electoral reasons, political leaders find 
themselves conditioned, tied by the rules of normal democracy, the rules 
of parliamentary democracy. They want to please and respond to the 
immediate present, with the result that they cannot rise to the responses 
they are called on to make. They cannot provide answers to a much more 
serious problem which touches on the deepest aspirations of the 
individuals and societies of today. This is why we sometimes find 
ourselves deadlocked.

We can see that concern is becoming widespread in Europe : there is 
disenchantment about Europe in the countries which joined the European 
Union most recently. It is clearest in Sweden, but is not limited to 
Sweden. The same disappointment is to be found in Germany, France, Spain 
and Portugal, not to mention Great Britain. What is the cause ? There is a 
mistaken idea that the European Union is a bureaucracy based in Brussels 
which concerns itself with the details and tries to regulate the life of 
the ordinary citizen instead of allowing him a voice and the chance to do 
something for himself. I believe this to be completely false, but this is 
how things are perceived. Matters are made worse by the fact that the 
situation for young people is very difficult : unemployment, delinquency, 
drugs, social exclusion, AIDS are all problems which particularly affect 
young people. The solutions proposed tend to have an economic or 
technocratic slant : they are not the answer to these human problems. This 
is what young people feel and this is why people are pessimistic and 
suspicious about Europe.

Europe has to be relaunched. The European identity has been described as a 
changing concept and this is true. It has to incorporate the great values 
and aspirations of the

different nations. If we could do that, if we had the courage to do it and 
to speak the truth when dealing with the big problems, if we were able to 
resolve these problems by taking steps towards closer European 
integration, Europe would begin to respond positively to the great 
challenges of the day.

These great challenges may be stated in very simple terms : either we are 
able to understand and create a true political, economic, social and 
cultural union, which, for all its diversity and pluralism, remains Union 
on a grand scale, or we are unable to do this and we take a step backwards 
into the outdated nationalism and disorder of the past. For me, this is 
one of the most worrying prospects, not only for Europe, but for humanity 
as a whole.

How to define the European identitytoday and in the future?

Ingmar Karlsson

The European identity is often described in a somewhat high-flown manner 
as having its foundations in antiquity ; free thought, individualism, 
humanism and democracy had their cradle in Athens and Rome. On the other 
hand, neither Greek nor Roman civilisations can be described as European. 
Both were Mediterranean cultures with centres of influence in Asia Minor, 
Africa and the Middle East. When Alexander the Great set out to conquer 
the civilised world of his time, Egypt, Persia and India, he had no idea 
that he was acting on behalf of Europe.

Christianity, with its roots in Judaism, was also a Mediterranean, 
non-European religion. Byzantium was a Christian power which marked the 
limit to Roman claims of sovereignty, as did a large part of 
post-Reformation Europe. The result of the schism between Rome and 
Byzantium was the development of another culture in Russia and 
south-eastern Europe. Following the Reformation, a large part of 
continental Europe was preoccupied for several centuries with religious 
wars and rivalry between Protestants and Catholics.

More recently, historians have played down our antique heritage. European 
ideals are traced back to the Renaissance instead and the concept of the 
individual as the smallest and inviolable element of society. The 
Enlightenment and the French Revolution contributed to the demand for 
freedom, equality, fraternity, democracy, self-determination, equal 
opportunities for all, clearly defined government powers, separation 
between the powers of church and state, freedom of the press and human 

The ideas that are triumphant in Europe today are those of market economy 
and democracy. By definition, this also includes the USA, Canada, New 
Zealand and Australia as European powers. However, Europe does not only 
represent modernity and tolerance but religious persecution, not only 
democracy but fascist dictatorship as well - Hitler was the first to use 
the idea of a European house - for the collectivist ideals of Communism, 
colonialism and racism disguised in scientific terms.

In other words, European identity cannot be defined on grounds of cultural 
heritage and history, and even less can it be used as the basis for 
European domestic and foreign policies. The explanation is as simple as it 
is obvious. Economic and political integration between European 
nation-states has not yet progressed so far that it is possible to speak 
of coincidental interests. It is possible that they have diminished 
somewhat with the collapse of communism and disappearance of a common 

Instead, there is a growing need for a national identity and sovereignty 
in proportion to the increased levelling of European politics and economy. 
The greater the sense of diversity being under threat and that 
standardisation is rising, the greater the antipathy

to projects that promote integration. The European Community is already a 
reality as far as production and consumption is concerned, but there is 
popular opposition to a culturally standardised community. The more 
blurred and controversial the future of a common Europe appears to the 
common man, the more the nations will mobilise themselves against Europe.

In the interests of not becoming counterproductive, a balance must be 
struck between enthusiasm for the European project and awareness that 
European Union legitimacy will be in short supply in the foreseeable 
future. This view need not paralyse efforts towards integration, however. 
The phrase "an ever closer union between the peoples of Europe" could 
instead be useful in its general vagueness.

There may also be some validity for European integration in Edmund Burke's 
wise words that political order cannot be created at a drawing board but 
has to emerge gradually. This, in turn, means that politicians and 
bureaucrats must concentrate on immediately essential and clear issues and 
on measures the consequences of which can be judged by citizens 

Every new European competence must therefore be explained in concrete 
terms in order to achieve acceptance. Consequently, the issues should be 
carefully examined that require a European solution and which withstand 
centralised interference, particularly because an incorrect decision on, 
say, the agricultural policy, can have far-reaching consequences and 
undermine the credibility of Union projects.

A stable foundation of legitimacy for the European Union will only be 
achieved when Europeans perceive a European political identity. This does 
not imply that they would no longer feel themselves to be Swedes, Finns, 
Frenchmen or Portuguese, but that the sense of a European common destiny 
was added to these identities. Even after four decades of European 
integration, this development is still in its infancy.

Nation-states evolved after a long period, often filled with conflict. 
They are ideological constructions and a national identity is ultimately a 
political standpoint. A prerequisite for a strong national identity is 
that citizens have a sense of loyalty to the state because it 
redistributes social resources and provides education, infrastructure, a 
legal system etc.

The same prerequisites hold true for the creators of Europe as well. As in 
the process that led to the creation of European nation-states, the 
European Union will also be an elite project for the foreseeable future 
and the European identity an elite phenomenon. To be sure, the technocrats 
and bureaucrats in Brussels are a new European elite but are they 
representatives of European culture or merely an international "civil 
service" who, with the passing of time, increasingly alienate themselves 
from the people whose interests it is meant to serve ? Is there not a 
danger that institutional loyalty will become stronger than "European 
awareness" which may spread among the elite of member nations ?

The problem becomes more aggravated when these people arouse negative 
stereotype reactions among citizens. Eurocrats are not regarded as the 
first among Europeans, but as overpaid bureaucrats interfering in matters 
that do not concern them.

The creation of national symbols and myths and the rewriting of history 
were also part of the process by which European nations were formed. First 
came the state, followed by the formation of a national community within 
the territorial framework by means of gradual integration and cultural 

The architects of nations emerging in the XIXth century used such means as 
national conscription, compulsory education and the supra-regional spread 
of the growing mass media to create contact between the centre and 
periphery and seemingly natural boundaries on the basis of geography, 
language, ethnicity or religion. Above all, the arrival of national 
educational systems and mass media contributed to the sense of belonging 
to a national community, expanded cultural horizons and getting away from 
provincial narrow-mindedness.

Efforts to create a European identity

Brussels appears to have had this in mind when taking the decision in 1984 
that the EC would improve contact with its citizens and, so to speak, 
create a European identity, centrally and from above.

At a summit meeting in Fontainebleau, the European Council found it 
"absolutely essential that the Community fulfil the expectations of the 
European people and take measures to strengthen and promote the identity 
and image of the Community vis-àvis its citizens and the rest of the 

The Adonnino Committee was set up for this purpose, with the task of 
starting a campaign on the theme of "A people's Europe". This work would 
be based on a quotation from the preamble to the Rome Treaty on "an ever 
closer union among the peoples of Europe", and on the Tindemans Report of 
1975 which recommended that Europe must be close to its citizens and that 
a European Union could only become reality if people supported the idea.

An outcome of the work of this committee was the decision that the EC 
should have its own flag. When the flag was raised for the first time at 
Berlaymont on 29 May 1986, the EC hymn - the "Ode to Joy" from the fourth 
movement of Beethoven's ninth symphony was played for the first time. 
Thus, by means of a flag and European national hymn, the Union acquired 
the attributes of a nation-state. A European Day was also established. The 
choice fell on 9 May, the date on which Robert Schumann held a speech in 
1950 that resulted in the first community, the European Coal and Steel 

Consequently, the Adonnino Committee appears to have assumed that a 
European identity could be created on the initiative of politicians and 
bureaucrats. In 1988, the European Council decided to introduce a European 
dimension into school subjects such as literature, history, civics, 
geography, languages and music. Legitimacy for future integration would be 
created by invoking a common history and cultural heritage.

This has resulted in a book, "Europe - a history of its peoples", written 
by the French history professor, Jean-Baptiste Duroselle, which, to quote 
the author, covers a period from 5.000 years ago to tomorrow's news.

The European Union is thus attempting to create a European identity from 
above. A common European frame of reference is being created by means of a 
standardised set of symbols and myths. A European driving licence already 
exists and an European Union passport, although it took ten years to agree 
on its colour and appearance. The Maastricht Treaty introduced the new 
concept of a citizen of the Union, although his/her rights and obligations 
have still to be defined. These activities are incompatible with the 
often-recurring theme that European integration must be a natural process 
and not imposed from above.

Every European people has its more or less genuine historical myths, 
experiences and view of history. There is no European equivalent to the 
Académie Française, Bastille, Escorial, La Scala, Brandenburger Tor or the 
opening of Parliament at Westminster. There is no European Unknown 
Soldier. Jean Monnet rests at the Panthéon in Paris. The fame of Robert 
Schumann's resting place at Scy-Chazelles cannot compete with 
Colombey-les-Deux-Eglises, where General de Gaulle lies buried.

Common history has been experienced by many as against and not with each 
other in the great European wars. The main task of the "Europe-makers" 
cannot therefore be to provide Europeans with a common identity 
originating in antique or medieval times but to develop political 
self-confidence and ability to act in line with the role of Europe in the 
XXIst century. This will not happen by elevating the European Union to a 
free trade zone in accordance with British ideas, or into some kind of 
American- style United States of Europe which is imposed on people against 
their will.

Basis for European patriotism and identity

Only long-term, patient growing together will provide the basis for a 
democratic Europe comprised of its citizens. For many decades, the EC was 
a practical community. We are only now en route towards a community of 
destiny and experience. If anything is be learnt from European history it 
is that Europe as an entity can only be completed in agreement with and 
not against the will of the nation- states and what they consider to be 
their legitimate interests.

At present, regionalism and nationalism undoubtedly have another strength 
than paneuropeanism. Perhaps Europe needs some ‘multi-national shocks' in 
the form of an aggressive Russia, a new Chernobyl catastrophe or Gulf 
crisis to show our total dependency on the USA in conflicts that affect 
vital European interests.

Other problems will also arise that call for joint action and which in due 
course will aid the establishment of an identity, such as for example :

o the necessity to use our common strength to meet the technological 
challenge from Japan and the USA and, in the not too distant future, the 
"new tigers".

o common action to overcome environmental problems, pressure from 
immigration and to handle international organised crime. A successful 
European policy in these and other areas could help in the development of 
"constitutional European patriotism" in the same way that "loyalty to the 
Constitution" ("Verfassungspatriotismus") became a reality in the Federal 
Republic of

Germany , replacing the nationalism that no German was able to feel after 
the terrors of the Hitler period.

An absolute precondition for developing a common political culture and 
constitutional patriotism in the European Union is that its citizens are 
informed about and participate in the super-national decision-making 
process. A European public opinion must emerge before there can be talk of 
a European citizenship.

As stated above, the European identity has no historical reference. 
European trade unions do not exist at present, nor other interest groups 
nor, above all, trans-boundary European parties and a European general 

The Maastricht Treaty brought this deficiency into focus, negotiated as it 
was by experts in a European code incomprehensible to its citizens. As a 
result, the reputation of the European Union was further diminished. A 
prerequisite for a solid European identity is therefore the development of 
European parties, or at least a party network, and political debate on 
trans-boundary issues. When employer organisation and trade unions begin 
to meet at a European level to look after their members' common interests, 
we will have taken the first steps because politics will have reached 
beyond the national level.

The optimum we can achieve at the end of such a process would be a 
European "constitutional state" and European Union citizenship that is 
felt to be genuine and not an artificial construction.

The way is both difficult and long, however, and more likely to be curbed 
than speeded on by enlargement eastwards. It has proved difficult enough 
to bridge the cultural and linguistic differences between Catholics and 
Protestants, Latins, Germans, Anglo-Saxons and Scandinavians in Europe. 
The task of integrating the Baltic, Slav and Orthodox Europeans will be 
infinitely more difficult. The larger and more heterogeneous membership 
becomes, the greater the need to differentiate between various member 
states and a Europe moving at different speeds and where the political 
union, monetary union, common security and defence policy and inner market 
will not extend over the same geographical areas. A union of up to 30 
members at varying stages of economic development can only function if it 
is organised along multi-tracks and at different levels.

Efforts to create a Europe around the hard core of a monetary union with 
the Euro as a magnet could be counterproductive. Magnets work in two ways, 
either drawing particles towards them or pushing them away. There is a 
clear risk that a monetary union will not only have a magnetic effect but 
the reverse as well.

Cultural diversity o obstacle or prerequisite for a European identity ?

European political oratory often maintains that Europe can only be defined 
through its unique heritage of diversity and lack of conformity and that, 
paradoxically, its very diversity has been its unifying principle and 

However, European linguistic diversity is probably the greatest obstacle 
standing in the way of the emergence of a European political identity and 
thus the European democratic project. While multilingual European 
democracies certainly exist, the prime example is Switzerland, which has 
elected to remain outside the European Union.

A democracy is non-existent if most of its citizens cannot make themselves 
understood to each other. Rhetoric apart, not even leading European 
politicians are today able to socialise with each other without an 
interpreter, and very few can make themselves understood to a majority of 
European voters in their own language. Not one European newspaper exists, 
except elitist newspapers such as "The European". There is no European 
television programme apart from Eurosport, and most of its viewers watch 
matches between nations. In short, there is no public European debate, no 
European political discourse because the political process is still tied 
to language.

The question of language is basically one of democracy. Political 
discussion would be divided between A and B teams with many excluded 
because of their lack of linguistic knowledge if only English and French 
were the official European Union languages. At the same time, the problem 
of interpreting is becoming insurmountable. Over 40% of the European Union 
administrative budget is already spent on language services. Eleven 
languages make 132 combinations possible in the translator booths. The 
addition of another 10 Eastern and Central European languages brings this 
figure to 420 and 462 if Maltese is added. Some form of functional 
differentiation will therefore be necessary, making some languages more 
equal than others. although this would have a negative effect on European 
public opinion in the small member nations.

At present, an average 66% of European Union citizens are monolingual 
while 10% speak at least two foreign languages. Ireland is at one extreme 
with 80 and 3 % respectively, while only 1% of the population in 
Luxembourg is monolingual and no less than 80% speak at least two foreign 
languages. In order to function as Europeans and safeguard our interests, 
we Swedes must become tolerably fluent in at least one other major 
European language apart from English. Swedish remains the basis of our 
cultural heritage and domestic political discussions, but in order to play 
a constructive part in Europe we must develop into citizens of Luxembourg 
as far as language is concerned.

Consequently, Europe is neither a communication- nor an experience-based 
community, to use German expressions. Both factors are indispensable in 
the development of a collective political identity. This is created by 
sharing experience, myths and memories, often in contradiction to those 
held in other collective identities. They are, moreover, often 
strengthened by the comparison with those that are distinctly different. 
Not just Robert Schumann, Alcide de Gasper, Jean Monnet and Konrad 
Adenauer should be counted among the fathers of European integration, but 
Josef Stalin as well. The Cold War enabled a sense of unity to be 
mobilised among Western Europeans, but who can play the role of opposition 
now in order to provide Europeans with a common identity ? The USA is part 
of the same circle of culture. Japan is of course a homogeneous and 
different society but is too far away and does not constitute any 
political or military threat. And its economic strength is directed 
primarily at the USA.

There is an inherent danger that Europe will choose to define itself 
vis-à-vis its surrounding third world neighbours and that the 
Mediterranean will become the moat around the European fort. The creation 
of a pan-European identity risks being accompanied by a cultural exclusion 
mechanism. The search for a European identity could easily take the form 
of demarcation against "the others", a policy which leads to a racial 
cul-de-sac while at the same time the mixing of races continues to rise in 

A European identity must therefore be distinctive and all embracing, 
differentiate and assimilate at the same time. It is a question of 
integrating the nations of Europe, with their deeply rooted national and, 
often, regional identities and to persuade citizens to feel part of a 
supra-national community and identity.

Can half a continent with 370 million citizens and 11 official languages 
really be provided with a democratic constitution ? In the ideal scenario 
for the emergence of a European political union, the European Parliament 
must first be "de-nationalised" and this assumes a European party system. 
Secondly, it must have the classic budgetary and legislative powers. The 
Council of Ministers must be turned into a second chamber and the 
Commission should be led by a "head of government" appointed by 

National parliaments would consequently lose their functions. They could 
be transformed into federal parliaments in smaller states, as in Germany, 
and would thus have the same position vis-à-vis Brussels that they have 
today. It is easier said than done to abolish the democratic deficit by 
giving greater powers to the parliament in Strasbourg, because the dilemma 
of representation versus effectiveness would immediately come to a head. 
If every parliamentarian represented about 25.000 citizens, as is the case 
in Sweden, the gathering at Strasbourg with about 15 member nations would 
have to be increased to 15.000. If in the name of effectiveness, the 
number was reduced to 500, with constituencies of more than a million 
citizens and everyone was guaranteed an equal European vote, Luxembourg 
would not be represented and Sweden would have a maximum 13 
representatives in the European Parliament. It might be capable of 
functioning but could not by any means claim to represent a European 
electorate. The democratic deficit would continue.

Europe as an entity can only be achieved with the help of and not against 
the nations and their special characteristics. European integration will 
not be completed because of some natural necessity but only if enough 
political energy is brought to bear. The future of the European Union 
rests therefore in the common interests of member states and not on the 
political will of a European people for the simple reason that such a 
thing does not exist.

Regional and national identities will grow in importance in a world that 
is becoming every more difficult to oversee and which is ever more rapidly 
changing. Citizens will be living more and more in a state of tension 
between several loyalties, their home district, state, nation, Europe and 
the international community, increasingly required to think globally but 
act locally. New ancient regimes and new regions are emerging everywhere 
in Europe. By actively supporting the process of regionalisation, Brussels 
and individual capital cities can show that European Union is taking its 
institutions closer to its citizens and thereby creating greater scope for 
cultural and linguistic diversity than the nation-states have been capable 
of doing. By

contributing to a new vision - the Europe of diversity and regional 
government based on subsidiarity - the idea of Europe can be made more 
comprehensible and attractive.

In this way, the regional identity can strengthen the emergent European 
identity. Now that regions are increasingly turning to the European Union 
in their fight for resources for regional development and to attract 
investment, Brussels and the European Union will be seen as the friends of 
the regions rather than their national capitals.

The nation-state is thus being nibbled at from two directions. At the same 
time, we will experience a renaissance for nation-states and regions and 
their gradual merger in a transnational community. Those who support the 
region and nation must not necessarily reject Europe, but the traditional 
nation-state with community-based traditions, identity and loyalty will 
remain indispensable as a strength and source of political stability. 
Nation-states are therefore essential in order to legitimise a new 
European order but structural asymmetry, conflicting interests and 
unexpected courses of development will lead to relations between the 
nation-state and European integration that are difficult to manage and 
oversee. Europe will continue therefore even in the future to be squeezed 
between what the German philosopher Karl Jasper called "Balkan and 
Helvetian tendencies", i.e., between Yugoslav and Swiss development 

Nations are not great once and for all, but are created. They are what 
Benedict Anderson called "imagined communities". The idea of a European 
community cannot arise from the German concept of "Blut und Boden", or 
from the idea of a European "Volk" or a European "cultural nation".

Nor can the European identity be created through central directives from 
Brussels or member nations' capital cities, or by being conjured forth at 
seminars and conferences but rather through the citizens of individual 
European states knowing that they personally have something to gain from 
integration and they hereby say yes to the European Union in their daily 

As we have already experienced, a forced unifying process produces counter 
reactions in all the member countries. A European identity is possible 
only where there is a community of interests among the citizens. If this 
is missing or not felt to be sufficiently strong, the European Union will 
have a democratic deficit irrespective of what new competence is given to 
the European Parliament.

The single market will bring about trans-boundary mobility and thereby 
albeit slowly contribute to the emergence of a European identity but it 
will be one of many relativised by different national and regional 
identities (such as, for example, Benelux, Ibero-Europe, the Nordic 
countries). Immigration will strengthen the multicultural component that 
is indispensable for a new sense of identity. At the same time, it will 
nourish the social tensions and racist and nationalist comments, but can 
also lead to political mobilisation and the insight that these problems 
can only be solved at European level.

A European ‘supra-nationality' will be accepted first in situations where 
there is no hierarchy of national, regional and supra-region identities 
but when every individual knows about them as self-evident and as part of 
their daily life. A policy for preserving diversity will thus be a 
precondition for creating a European identity that

neither should or would become a replacement for a national identity but 
which can create support and strength for political institutions that are 
neither national nor the framework of a European superstate.

Questions of cultural policy, education and a historically deep-rooted 
social system and values must therefore remain the concern of 
nation-states. It is thus a case of render unto the nation state that 
which belongs to it and to European Union that which is the European 
Union's ; a security and foreign policy structure, the single market, a 
common crime, asylum and immigration policy.

The hitherto clear links between state and nation will thus grow looser. 
European integration from this point of view will not mean that a new 
superstate will appear but that power is spread out. Cultural identities 
will remain rooted at national level but will spread further down to ever 
more distinctive regional identities. We will have neither a new European 
superstate or sovereign nation-states. Nations will not disappear but we 
will have nations with less state and national cultures with softer outer 

Relations between European and national identities could take the shape of 
a foreign and security policy in the wide sense as a fundament of a common 
European political identity, a "nation" to which one feels a sense of 
political belonging without the need to feel part of a European "Volk" or 
a European "cultural nation".

The German concept of a nation would endure at national level although in 
its original form as conceived by Johann Gottfried von Herder in which a 
nation need not necessarily express itself as a state. By standing on 
secure and solid cultural ground, every people with their own distinctive 
character and cultural capacity achievements can contribute to an 
international community.

Cultural nations will thus become divorced from a territory. People will 
have a sense of belonging to a special area and its cultural and political 
history but this area need not necessarily be linked to a nation-state 
with defined territorial boundaries. The European political identity could 
emerge in this way while at the same time leaving the cultural national or 
regional identity intact while European diversity will not only remain in 
place but grow as well. The democratic deficit can never be abolished 
unless this kind of development takes place, nor would the project of a 
European Union be realised.

European identity - A perspective from a Norwegian European, or a European 

Truls Frogner

Norway is a part of Europe, but not a member of the European Union. We are 
integrated in many ways, and for practical and economic purposes (EEA 
Treaty) we are close to membership. The road to full and political 
membership is to be found in our visions and roots, both part of our 
European identity. In this respect, the Norwegian challenge is similar to 
that of all other Europeans. Since Europe has many countries on its 
fringe, the approach towards European identity could start from one of 

Even the opponents in Norway said before the referendum in 1994 ; "YES to 
Europe, but no to the Union"... Membership of the European Union can never 
be more than the means to achieve other and higher goals. Integration as 
an instrument of cooperation is necessary, yet not sufficient. 
Institutions should reflect the dreams and needs of the population, and 
transform them into practical solutions of which they can approve.

The forthcoming "Citizen First" campaign may succeed in reminding the 
people of Europe of what has already been achieved during the four decades 
since the Rome Treaty was signed. Still it seems to many people that 
politics on the European level is something different and remote from 
national politics at home. And worse, sometimes national voices blame 
"Brussels" for unpopular measures, without giving credit for the positive 
impact of European decisions. Does the European Union suffer from a 
scapegoat syndrome ?

There are at least two answers. It is necessary to normalise European 
politics. To work for European solutions is a part of a general struggle 
for values and visions on the individual, local, regional and global 
level. In this perspective Europe is not something special, but the bridge 
between near and far. Europe is the gate to the big unknown world and the 
port when coming back.

The second answer is to develop a consciousness of our own European 
identity and the common ground of European values and history. The point 
is not to cultivate something European which is different than national, 
local or global, but to compose some ideas, sentiments and values as a 
platform, as an inspiration, for taking part in facing common challenges. 
The Norwegian "naysayers" cleverly connected their opposition against the 
European Union with a combat for positive ideals. But the supporters also 
fight for higher values, a better society and a sustainable development, 
however not yet communicating this message with the same one-sided 
self-confidence and conviction. Maybe because real Europeans have 
ambiguous minds ?

Belonging to the European Community is often said to be the major reason 
why the supporters are in favour of membership. It has to do with a 
cultural and geographical identity, also shared by many Norwegians. 
(Remember that rejection may be an indirect affirmation ; as the 
5-year-old boy asked his mother : "Do you think God knows we don't believe 
in him".) Identity is not free from contradictions. A lot of people are 
fond of their village or party without accepting all aspects. The 
alternative to a poor marriage is not necessarily divorce, but a better 
marriage. European identity does not exclude criticising the European 
Union. The next question is always : what is your proposal or alternative 
? The dual critical and constructive approach represents the dialectical 
dynamism of European history o compromise after crises.

Safety is related to belonging. It is a positive feeling of security in 
itself and with others, in contrast to lacking individual faith and 
confidence in a greater community. The security in NATO, which almost all 
Norwegians rely on, is an example of a historical acknowledgement that no 
nation can or should stand alone to protect peace and prevent war. Only a 
binding international cooperation can offer the security of being treated 
equally in accordance with common rules, to avoid occasional 
infringements. Security in Europe is an idea which pervades our approach 
to political, economic, social, cultural, environmental and other issues.

Solidarity is, according to André Malraux, an intelligent form of egoism. 
In a European context this means it is in our own interest that outside 
countries, groups, regions etc., should be helped to develop their human, 
social and economic resources. We should have learned that too deep 
differences create instability with the potential for upheaval, conflict 
and war. Solidarity in Europe is about taking care of each other across 
national borders, demonstrated in practice by supranational measures for 
cohesion. European solidarity includes the rest of the world. The next 
debate in Norway may illustrate a shift from the last campaign. A possible 
‘yes' to the European Union next time can not mean better prospects for 
economic benefits for a prosperous nation in a Europe enlarged with poorer 
countries. It would demand an obligation and commitment to higher values, 
a safer society and a sustainable development in a broad Europe.

Then, as part of European identity, we find the classical political 

Democracy was invented and developed in Europe, further developed in 
America where the most democratic constitution at the time was established 
in 1776. Thereafter, new democratic reforms emerged and the idea of 
government by and for the people spread throughout the world and 
gradually, or after revolutions, unfolded in a variety of forms, within 
the framework of the nation-state. But democracy is still not fulfilled 
anywhere, due to the fact that the idea of democracy is a relative 
concept, a complex concept and a political concept.

The relative concept of democracy implies that it is related to something 
outside the reach of voters and their representatives. Those who oppose 
federal, supranational democratic initiatives are without proper answers 
to the challenges from transnational companies, international capital 
movements, cross-border pollution and abuse of national sovereignty, for 
instance nuclear tests, suppression of ethnic groups and aggression 
against neighbouring states. From this, we realise that identity is closer 
to interdependence than self-determination. Identity is more a social, 
less an individual,

phenomenon, but still both exist in Europe where the (im)balance between 
collective and personal responsibility has been a driving force in 

National independence does not have the same importance and impact as 
before. Now and in the future, nation-states have to find democratic ways 
of cooperation which preserve the positive dimensions of independence and 
limit its negative elements. Paradoxically, the notion of supranationality 
was also accepted by major parts of the opponent movement in Norway, in 
spite of their exaggerated belief in national self-determination. They 
approved of supranational regulation of national independence linked to 
peace, defence and security matters in the UN and NATO, at the same time 
they refused supranational regulation of national independence with almost 
the same countries in the European Union on civilian and political issues 

The Union is not in opposition to the nation. Supranationality is the 
strife to unfold the potential of the nations which they are unable to 
fulfil within their borders. A strong Union can not depend on weak 
nations. A strong Union strengthens its parts. Identity is not only unity 
in itself, but also a unity of contradictions. A political Union is how to 
bridge contradictions and the arena where different forces can do so.

Identity and democracy are both complex concepts, and consist of an inner 
power balance between different components. Both include dynamic 
processes. Neither identity nor democracy can stand still. It is a 
question of live or die. For a European it is important that each 
political institution has limited power, and nevertheless is capable of 
achieving political goals, while simultaneously securing an appropriate 
balance among representatives from Member states and the people of Europe. 
Democratic cooperation among many countries, some hundred parties and 280 
million voters is more complicated. However, democracy must not only be 
dependent on small-size communities to function. Large-scale democracy 
becomes increasingly important to avoid close political bodies becoming 
local theatre. On the other hand, distant democracy presupposes 
information and dialogue, transparency and control mechanisms in order to 
avoid the danger of living its own life.

Nothing is more fitted to stimulate attention to a distant political 
structure than conflicts stemming from disagreement on how to solve the 
real problems of today and the future. From this fact follows a need to 
abolish unanimity and expand QMV. This will not be in contradiction to the 
need for consensus and respect for vital national interests. A European 
Union has in place of final goals, some common visions of peace, 
prosperity, social cohesion and partnership with nature. The Union is 
nurtured by the struggle between, and from, various interest groups 
working for their visions.

Europe is indivisibly connected to its cultural, Christian, humanistic, 
scientific, social and professional values, o the identity of Europe in 
our heart and minds. Europe has a magnificent heritage of art and science, 
architecture and philosophy, and a abundance of ideas and religious 
schools within a system of tolerance and legal protection, which make our 
continent attractive, exciting and challenging. Without expelling the 
tragedies and catastrophes Europe has brought upon herself and other 
continents, it should be permitted to remember that the cultural and 
political ideas have conquered, and will continue to overcome, prejudices, 
xenophobia, racism and other discriminating and suppressing powers.

And without degrading anyone, it is also convenient not to forget that the 
Nordic and European model of cooperation and conflict solving in the 
labour market, is advanced from a global point of view. Of course, there 
will always be nuances between various interest groups concerning the 
balance between politics and market, labour and capital, public and 
private sector, tradition and modernisation, men and women etc. But nobody 
should claim their interests to be superior to those of others or to 
suppress fundamental democratic and human rights.

A European House should be built on pluralism and equality, as the 
European wants for him- or herself. And as we are changing and enlarging 
this house, we strive for the good life today and tomorrow. European 
identity must be found in something we already know. Identity is 
recognition. To be a European is coming home to my own house.

European identity an anthropological approach

Maryon McDonald

Questions about European identity and about the future symbolic and 
practical content of ‘Europe' are questions about the meaning of Europe : 
what does Europe mean, and what could it mean, to those who are its 
citizens ?

Questions or worries of this kind were not paramount when the EEC began. 
Between the late 1960s and the present day, however, questions of 
‘legitimacy' and ‘identity' have come increasingly to the fore.


There have been two principal periods during which questions of legitimacy 
have been raised.

First of all, concerns were voiced in the late 1960s o a period when it 
was first noticed that the original, self-evident legitimacy of the 
Community, defined against a past of war, was losing relevance to a new 
generation. Amidst demographic changes, increased studentification, and 
the re-invention of the category of ‘youth', a new ‘generation' was 
self-consciously establishing itself in contra-distinction from its 
parents. Old certainties such as modernisation, progress, reason and 
positivism, many of which had informed the EEC project, were put in 
question. This was a time when cultural diversity was invented, a time of 
civil rights marches in the US, a time of decolonisation and 
counter-cultures, a time when the alternative worlds of regionalism, 
particularism and relativism appealed.

The world was de-naturalised, and the ‘West' was re-invented as a category 
that the young might affect to despise. For this new generation. ‘Europe', 
far from being the triumph of civilisation over irrationality, tyranny and 
violence, easily slipped into synonymy with this new ‘West' to become 
another metaphor for post-imperial castigation and self-castigation, or 
one from which the authenticity and difference of alternative realities 
might be measured.

The response of the EEC at this time was to try to draw young people, 
against the prevailing current, back into the ‘European' fold through 
youth programmes, largely exchange schemes, and then much later on through 
the active ‘conscientisation' programmes of the ‘People's Europe' project. 
The structural funds also developed, partly in response to the economism 
of the EEC.

The second period, which launched new worries about legitimacy, has come 
about since the launch of the Internal Market. This unprecedented flurry 
of perceived ‘interference' from Brussels (however sound the original 
intention), with more directives in a shorter time than ever before, was 
bolstered and coloured by two other

sets of events. On the one hand, the Berlin Wall fell, and many old 
certainties fell afresh with it. On the other hand, the Maastricht Treaty 
was negotiated and seemed to threaten national identities in a context in 
which, with the Internal Market, Brussels ‘interference' already appeared 
as established fact. Going beyond, nationalism had once seemed morally 
right in the years after the Second World War, but now this was widely 
perceived as a moral and political threat. Not surprisingly, referenda 
results sent any certainties still surviving in Brussels diving for cover.


The ‘People's Europe' project of the 1980s enlisted the old package of 
XIXth century nationalism to try to re-create Europe and European Identity 
o to make people feel European. But this old package is heavy with 
problems :

Firstly, the package that nationalism used to invent nations, a package of 
language- culture-history-people-territory, is not available in all its 
elements to Europe. Europe cannot easily construct itself, or be imagined, 
through this package, therefore, and be convincing. It will also seem to 
be competing with nation-states.

Secondly, the time span for the construction of European identity has been 
relatively short (mere decades where some nations have had two hundred 
years) and the construction process highly visible. Where the nation may 
feel ‘natural', Europe is inevitably going to feel ‘artificial'. And for 
those from national backgrounds which lack a historiography of 
self-conscious construction of the nation (such as Britain and Denmark, 
for example), some aspects of the self-conscious construction of Europe 
easily appear to be little more than propaganda.

Thirdly, the old package for identity construction was born of certainties 
that no longer pertain in a world of diversity and relativism. Europe is 
now often more easily identified with a capacity to question apparent 
certainties rather than with the old certainties themselves.

Fourthly, the old package assumes identity to be monolithic and culture to 
be a homogeneous, clearly bounded entity. However, identity is contextual 
and relational

o and self and other, or sameness and difference, are constructed 
relationally in the context of daily imaginings and encounters. And 
fifthly, it is easy to lapse back into the full racial force of this old 
package o with the boundaries of Europe unrelativised and read as the 
boundaries of ethnic flesh. The freedom of movement of ‘persons' is then 
rightly confronted with more uneasy reflection on the definition of a 


History was an important element in the nationalism package, and many 
histories of Europe have been encouraged as part of the ‘People's Europe' 
project o apparently in the hope of appropriating the tool of history for 
the creation of European identity. However, we might say that there could, 
within current models of historiography, be two main ways of writing the 
history of Europe.

Firstly, there would be the old, historicist model, in which Europe might 
be assumed to exist from Ancient Greece, say, up to contemporary European 
Union. This is the historiography that nationalism used and that the 
histories of Europe now tend to use also. All the ethnological bric-a-brac 
of the classical world become virtual flag- wavers before the Berlaymont, 
and contemporary ideals are read back into the classical world and onwards 
to the present day. This historicism, which worked for nationalism, is the 
style of the vast majority of officially sanctioned ‘History of Europe' 
texts ( whether sanctioned by the Council of Europe or by EC funding). In 
this history, a continuous litany of features deemed to be inherent to 
Europe is paraded : this would include Christianity, democracy, citizens' 
rights and the rule of law, for example. This litany was especially 
important when it was first constructed, after the Second World War and 
then during the Cold War, in opposition to the East, but its appeal is not 
always self-evident now.

The second kind of history of Europe would involve a history of the 
category of Europe. If we were to trace the history of the category of 
‘Europe' from, say, Ancient Greece to the present, we would find ‘Europe' 
travelling through different conceptual systems, finding new meanings, 
becoming a different reality as it did so. The geographical boundaries 
expand and contract, the salient conceptual relations change, the moral 
and political frontiers and content shift considerably, and Europe is 
invented and re-invented accordingly. This is the kind of historiography 
that postmodernism would readily encourage, and it is one in which o 
unlike in the historiography of nationalism o the simple clarity of being 
on the right side of history is ideally and deliberately lacking. 
Moreover, this historiography would not allow any simple continuity to be 
read back into the past o whether of territory, culture or ethnic flesh, 
for example.

The advent of postmodernism does not mean that we have to throw out the 
old history altogether. We can put certain key aspects of these two kinds 
of history together in a productive way. Elements from the old 
historiography which gave Europe its moral and political content o such as 
democracy, citizens' rights and the rule of law, for instance o can become 
important elements in a new understanding of both ‘Europe' and identity as 
relative or relational. Without lapsing into any old historicism, such 
historical elements o or any one of them o can simply be drawn on or cited 
as the occasion or context demands. In other words, history becomes 
self-consciously part of the present, and the history of Europe is no 
longer historicist litany but part of our critical self-awareness. History 
is then an awareness of the changing and discontinuous contexts in which 
‘Europe' has been created in the past, and offers elements in the present 
that we might now choose to assume relationally in order to assert things 

Europe in action

If identity is constructed relationally, the clearest identity is in 
conceptual opposition. You know most clearly who you are through what you 
are not. It is relatively easy to feel ‘European' when visiting Japan, for 

External relations might seem the obvious area in which a European 
identity can be constructed and expressed. However, this is also an area 
in which national identities are deeply embedded. Nation-states have in 
many ways been defined by their

external relations, and Europe does not have the now dubious advantages of 
war and empire, or of clear external threat, to help to define itself. It 
is perhaps readily understood that international linking systems help to 
avoid old fault-lines reappearing, but steps towards some notion of 
European representation in this area, or of more fundamental institutional 
reform, have to carry with them the same critical self- awareness that 
there is no better way to re-create and re-invigorate national identities 
and differences internally than to be seen to impose decisions from 
outside (‘Brussels').

For most purposes, we are now in a Europe that can, in an important sense, 
be more relaxed about its identity. The stuff of a European identity is 
available in the policies and issues which the EU (whether all of it or 
part of it) creates : in environmental questions, in equal opportunities, 
in the market (where it most obviously both follows and creates 
globalisation), in the social arena, in Trans-European networks, in food 
and health, and so on. Many of these areas have been re-thought (equal 
opportunities is no longer about the ‘women's rights' of the 1970s, for 
instance, but about issues such as gender and the new family etc.) and 
others still await re-juggling and rethinking. Any one area of policy can, 
for better or worse, contextually enlist people to a ‘European' 
self-consciousness (as we have seen recently in the BSE scare, with 
different sections of the British population suddenly calling for European 
compensation and solidarity). It is in its policies, in practice, that 
European identification comes alive.

No one is ‘European' all the time, just as no one is Spanish, Portuguese, 
British or French, and so on, all the time. There are moments when being a 
father, being a businesswoman, being a tennis-player, or being from 
Coimbra (etc.) are the salient identifications, and these identities would 
normally occupy much of one's waking life. The overarching ambitions of an 
older European -identity-construction-kit do not take this into account. 
Just as the certainties once inherent in the symbolism and narratives of 
large political parties are having to change and even give way to 
single-issue politics, so a post-federal Europe has to look for 
recruitment through the contexts of issues and practice.

So, Europe exists. ‘Europe' and ‘European' exist as categories and people 
are contextually recruited into them, and there have been many successes 
of identification. Europe exists in action o in the contextual 
identification of people with specific policy-areas. Bargaining and 
compromise are acknowledged as the means to achieve desired policies 
internally, and the achievement of desired policies makes people feel 
better about being European, and more ready to compromise elsewhere. And 
so on. Europe, for many, is not a project, and the old narratives can be 
alienating. The future symbolic content of European identity resides in 
practice and action o requiring carefully re-thought policies, and the 
very European capacities for questioning and reflection, for 
self-criticism, and now the acceptance o without any naive federal model 
of a Europe des ethnies and without cultural fundamentalism o of diversity 
both at home and elsewhere.

European identity and citizenship

Massimo La Torre

I do not intend here to deal, even tangentially, with the questions of 
God, the meaning of human life, transcendence, or universalism. What we 
are concerned with o if I am not wrong o is not "identity" in metaphysical 
terms, or either in anthropological, or mere cultural terms. Nor o I must 
confess o do I think that Europe without further qualifications is a 
useful category for political thought. By the way, the question "what is 
European identity" is also a trifle too broad and vague to find an 
appropriate answer. I assume that what interests and intrigues us is that 
identity which is relevant and needed for the construction of a political 
community at the European level. The identity to which I shall refer will 
therefore be that which derives or which is equivalent to membership to a 

It has been said that an identity can be built either from above or from 
below. This is, I think, quite correct. But I have some problems if one 
starts identifying top-down procedures with whatever legal measure, with 
law, and democratic down-top mechanisms with historical processes. Now, I 
think that the opposite is often the case,

i.e. that history has an authoritarian character and law, a libertarian 
one. History, if seen as a collective process, something given by an 
intrinsic immanent "telos" of human events, excludes the reflective 
intervention of individuals on the direction of their social life. Destiny 
even if shared in a community is never democratic. On the other side, law 
is not necessarily a sum of authoritarian or repressive provisions. Law is 
conventional, whatever the legal doctrine says or affirms about it ; it is 
made by reflective and more or less explicit processes : as a matter of 
fact a custom becomes a legal practice only when it is contested and is 
reaffirmed either by collective majoritarian behaviour or by judicial 
decisions. Law should be contestable in order to direct human conduct. But 
if the law is made, the real question will be whether it is made by one, 
the few, or the many. We are then called to choose the system of law we 
prefer. If we are liberal-minded, we would certainly have to opt for the 
rule given by the many, in a way that the law will no longer be 
authoritarian, that is, elitist, the artefact of the one or of the few, 
but will become the solid pillar of a democratic polity. I therefore dare 
to suggest that there is no political identity from below without 
democratic law.

Once the question of identity is reformulated in terms of political 
identity, that is, in terms of membership to a European polity, the main 
problem for us will be that of a European citizenship. In fact, it is 
citizenship what marks the political belonging, the membership to a 

European citizenship and democracy

I would like to argue for a strong concept of European citizenship. This 
is fully justified from an internal legal point of view, since article B 
of the Treaty of

Maastricht holds as one of the main purposes of the Union "to strengthen 
the protection of the rights and interests of the nationals of its member 
States through the introduction of a citizenship of the Union". We may 
also recall a decision taken by the European Court of Justice in 
Commission v. Council (May 30, 1989), confirming the full legality of the 
Erasmus Programme, which is then justified with reference to the 
"objectifs générant de la Communauté, tels que la réalisation d'une Europe 
des citoyens".

A strong concept of European citizenship, characterised by a wide and rich 
range of rights ascribed through it and with independence from national 
citizenships, could powerfully contribute to solve at least partly but 
nevertheless effectively the democratic deficiencies of the European 
Union. A democracy is not only a representative or parliamentary political 
regime, but also and above all an association of equal citizens who are 
defined as such directly, that is without referring to intermediate social 
and political groups ; democracy is not only or even mainly given by the 
majority rule applied to political decisions, but eminently by the 
existence of a public domain of free discussion. But in order to have 
this, some requirements have to be satisfied : a feeling and a sphere of 
common concern, first of all.

One could and should decide on matters which can affect more or less 
directly one's own life. Autonomy, which is an ideal principle presupposed 
by democracy, and expanded by this into a collective practice, makes sense 
only if it is exercised within the individual's scope of interests and 
action. Beyond this scope there is no right of autonomy ; even worse 
autonomy, as individual decision and action, can be transformed into its 
opposite : heteronomy, disruption of others' private sphere and life 
plans. This holds a fortiori for an extension of the principle to 
collective entities, that is, for democracy. A democratic decision cannot 
go beyond the area of interests which are at stake within a specific scope 
of (collective) action, that is, beyond the area constituted by those 
individuals who are the holders of the right of democratic decision. Now, 
citizenship as membership to a body politic, even if conceived only in 
formal legal terms, can contribute to create the idea of a common concern, 
the concern which is common to persons who bear a same legal and political 

To have a public sphere of discussion another requisite should be 
fulfilled : that of having procedures which allow a fair discussion. But 
in order to have a fair public discussion we need to assume that people 
when entering into that discussion share at least a few and "thin" 
principles : contra negantem principia non est disputandum.34 We need to 
assume that people recognise reciprocally the autonomy (the possibility of 
a rational and independent action, in this case discussion itself) and 
therefore, the sincerity and dignity of their opponents or fellow 
discussants. We should thus assume that in a public discussion discussants 
have equal rights.35 Citizenship (and European citizenship is no 
exception) is just the sum of rights which allow subjects to take part in 
a political deliberation and to discuss in order to arrive at a reasonable 
and well pondered decision.

34 See A. SCHOPENHAUER, Die Kunst, Recht zu behalten. In achtunddreißig 
Kunstgriffen dargestellt, ed. by F. Volpi, Insel, Frankfurt am Main 1995, 
p. 38. 35 See R. ALEXY, Theorie der juristischen Argumentation, 2nd ed., 
Suhrkamp, Frankfurt am Main 1991, pp. 238 ss.

This can mean that in order to promote democratic progress in a society, 
we can first create statuses granting common and equal rights among its 
members, and then proceed to find out a viable institutional device to 
render visible and effective the public discourse which has started with 
the ascription of those statuses. In the terms of the present political 
and institutional situation in the European Union we can therefore 
plausibly believe that we can have European democratic citizens even 
before having at the supranational level institutions endowed with 
effective powers of political direction governed by democratic procedures. 
If we have a European citizenship as an independent status granting rights 
such as political rights (rights to vote and to be elected) both at the 
supranational and infranational level (see articles 8b and 8c of the 
Treaty of the Union), or rights such as the right not to be discriminated 
as an alien against a national (see article 6 of Maastricht Treaty), or 
rights such as freedom of movement to and through any member State and 
freedom of residence in them (see article 8a), then, even if the European 
parliament is not a fully developed democratic institution (because of the 
limited range of its current powers), we shall have a society of 
democratic citizens which will represent a better condition for developing 
democratic decision making at the supranational level. Of course, to this 
purpose the rights which we have mentioned should be fully deployed in all 
their potentiality, and break the limitations which articles 8a-8c still 
impose upon them.

When democratic institutions are deficient, democracy can also be 
developed through democratic citizens. In particular, in the European 
Union whose member States actually are all democratic regimes what is 
fundamental is not to maintain a nationalist or ethnical view of 
democracy. We need a free sphere of public concern and the sense of 
participating in a fair cooperative scheme. A stronger and richer concept 
of European citizenship can be extremely helpful in this direction.

Citizenship and ‘demos'

"Es gibt keine Demokratie ohne Demos" o says Josef Isensee, a well-known 
German constitutional lawyer36 o, whereby he means that democracy is built 
upon a collective subject pre-existing to it, endowed with a proper 
intense life, that is, a people seen as a homogeneous cultural and 
ethnical body. Moving from this premise the German lawyer then draws the 
conclusion that there is no possible legitimisation basis for a European 
democracy (that is, for the European Union), since there is no European 
"demos", that is, a European folk.

It may also be remembered that the same author has successfully fought 
against the introduction, in the Freie und Hansestadt Hamburg, of an 
aliens' right to vote for the election of district councils, endowed of 
indeed poor competencies, with the argument that State officials and 
representative bodies (at whatever level and of whatever size) enjoy of 
democratic legitimisation only and only if they receive their mandate from

36 J. ISENSEE, Europa o die politische Erfindung eines Erdteils, in Europa 
als politische Idee und als rechtliche Form, ed. by J. Isensee, Duncker & 
Humblot, Berlin 1993, p. 133. For a more sophisticated but in its core 
quite similar view, cf. D. GRIMM, Does Europe Need a Constitution ?, in 
"European Law Journal", 1995, p. 295 : "Here, then, is the biggest 
obstacle to Europeanisation of the political substructure, on which the 
functioning of a democratic system and the performance of a parliament 
depends : language". According to Grimm the European Parliament, even 
reformed and fully empowered as a legislative assembly, could not be 
considered as a European popular representative body, "since there is as 
yet no European people"(ibid., p. 293).

the "People" in its entirety, that is, from the "German People". The 
German Federal Constitutional Court unfortunately accepted Isensee's 
argument,37 thus reformulating the concept of "people" mentioned in 
article 20 of Grundgesetz ("Alle Staatsgewalt geht vom Volke aus") into 
that of German people38 and twisting this into an ethnically defined 
community of fate39 which has constitutional relevance even before the 
drafting of the constitution itself. Democracy o says the German Court o 
should not be seen as "freie Selbstbestimmung aller", free 
self-determination of all (as was formerly held by the Court itself)40 but 
as a power which derives from a unique and unitary entity whose individual 
members as such have no constitutional right of participation to 
collective political decisions ; they can exercise democratic self- 
determination only jointly, only if considered as indivisible group.41 The 
idea that democracy means the right for the people (in the plural) 
concerned by the laws to contribute to their deliberation and enactment is 
dismissed.42 Now, this is indeed a peculiar concept of democracy. It is 
based on a romantic idea of "people" or "nation, which has represented a 
reaction against the originally liberal concept of democracy, based on two 
basic pillars : individuality and public reason.43

In the romantic protest against liberal democracy, the very concept of 
political representation is deeply modified : representation is no longer 
expression of the concrete will of concrete individuals, but is rather 
expression of the existence of a community. In this second acceptation of 
representation, connected with a people idealised as a compact, tight and 
uniform ethnical entity, which has been cherished by "democrats" such as 
Carl Schmitt,44 even a dictator can "represent" a community, and in the 
end even a dictatorship may be legitimately be considered a... democracy. 
If, to have democracy what is required is on the one side a folk and on 
the other a special existential (ethnical) link between the folk and its 
leaders (this being the proper Repräsentation of the folk), then it is not 
at all contradictory to have an authoritarian and even a totalitarian 
leader and nevertheless "democracy".45

37 "Das Volk, welches das Grundgesetz als Legitimations- und 
Kreationssubjekt der verfaßten Staatlichkeit bestimme, sei das deutsche 
Volk"(BVerfGE 83, 60 [65].

38 See also BVerfGE 83, 37 : "Das Staatsvolk, von dem die Staatsgewalt in 
der Bundesrepublik Deutschland ausgeht, wird nach dem Grundgesetz von den 
Deutschen, also den deutschen Staatsangehörigen und den ihnen nach Art. 
116 ABS. 1 GG gleichgestellten Personen, gebildet".

39 Cf. BVerfGE 83, 37[40] : "Das Bild des Staatsvolkes, das dem 
Staatsangehörigkeitsrecht zugrunde liege, sei die politische 
Schicksalsgemeinschaft, in welche die einzelnen Bürger eingebunden seien. 
Ihre Solidarhaftung und ihre Verstrickung in das Schicksal ihres 
Heimatstaates, der sie nicht entrinnen könnten, seien auch Rechtfertigung 
dafür, das Wahlrecht den Staatsangehörigen vorzubehalten"(italics mine).

40 See, for instance, BVerfGE 44, 125 [142].

41 "Das demokratische Prinzip läßt es nicht beliebig zu, anstelle des 
Gesamtstaatsvolkes jeweils einer durch örtlichen Bezug verbundenen, 
gesetzlich gebildeten kleineren Gesamtheit von Staatsbürgern 
Legitimationskraft zuzuerkennen"(BVerfGE 83, 60).

42 See BVerfGE 83, 60 [72]. See also BVerfGE 83, 37[42].

43 Cf. D. GAUTHIER, Public Reason, in "Social Philosophy and Policy", 
1995, pp. 19 ff.

44 See C. SCHMITT, Verfassungslehre, 3rd ed., Duncker & Humblot, Berlin 
1957, p. 209 : "Repräsentation ist kein normativer Vorgang, kein Verfahren 
und keine Prozedur, sondern etwas Existentielles. Repräsentation heißt, 
ein unsichtbares Sein durch ein öffentlich anwesendes Sein sichtbar machen 
und vergegenwärtigen" (emphasis in original).

45 "According to this view, democracy and dictatorship are not essentially 
antagonistic ; rather, dictatorship is a kind of democracy if the dictator 
successfully claims to incarnate the identity of people" (U. K. PREUSS, 
Constitutional Powermaking for the New Polity : Some Deliberations on the 
Relations Between Constituent Power and the Constitution, in 
Constitutionalism, Identity, Difference,

Indeed, in a democracy the people is not given by a "authentic" demos, but 
by its citizens, that is, by those individuals who publicly share a common 
concern and adhere to the fundamental principles by which the democracy 
defines and builds itself. In a democratic perspective "people is rather 
only a summary formula for human beings".46 As a matter of fact, there is 
no "demos" without democracy, that is, without individuals who recognise 
each other rights and duties. A people in political and legal terms (a 
"demos") is a normative product : "populus dicitur a polis" o wrote Baldus 
de Ubaldis in the XIVth century ; it is not there to be found before one 
starts the difficult enterprise of building up a polity. A people in 
political and legal terms is the outcome of political and legal 
institutions : it christalises around them ("civitas sibi faciat civem" o 
said Baldus' master, the great Bartolus de Sassoferrato). A people in 
democratic terms, a demos, the people of a democratic polity, makes thus 
itself in as far as it aggregates along the rules of democracy. We can 
recall a famous phrase of Kant where he defines a constitution as the act 
of general will whereby a multitude becomes a people ("den Akt des 
allgemeinen Willens, wodurch die Menge ein Volk wird").47

The story going on between people and democracy is more or less the same 
as the one of the egg and the chicken. Which came first : the egg or the 
chicken, demos or democracy ? Now, as far as the latter pair is concerned, 
we can confidently solve the enigma : they were just born together ! In 
short, es gibt kein Demos ohne Demokratie.

This is another reason, and a fundamental one, why European citizenship is 
so important : because it is a stone, and a founding one, in the building 
of a European democracy. Democracy needs at least two poles : 
decision-making authorities and citizens towards whom those authorities 
are called to account for their decisions and the corresponding behaviour. 
If we have democratic citizens, persons endowed with a rich patrimony of 
rights, we should then have democratic political authorities. If we have 
democratic citizens, we already have a demos. And to have citizens in 
legal and political terms is only a question of common rights and duties.

In the organic view of democracy, we are confronted with a dangerous 
confusion of the notion of public opinion with that of ethnical and 
cultural homogeneity. This confusion unfortunately seems to be perpetuated 
in the "Maastricht Urteil" by the German Federal Constitutional Court. 
"Demokratie, soll sie nicht lediglich formales Zurechnungsprinzip bleiben, 
ist vom Vorhandensein bestimmter vorrechtlicher Voraussetzungen abhängig, 
wie einer ständigen freien Auseinandersetzung zwischen sich begegnenden 
sozialen Kräften, Interessen und Ideen, in der sich auch politische Ziele 
klären und wandeln und aus der heraus eine öffentliche Meinung den 
politischen Willen verformt. Dazu gehört auch, daß die 
Entscheidungsverfahren der Hoheitsgewalt ausübenden Organe und die jeweils 
verfolgten politischen Zielvorstellungen allgemein sichtbar und verstehbar 
sind, und ebenso daß der and Legitimacy. Theoretical Perspectives, ed. by 
M. Rosenfeld, Duke University Press, Durham and London 1994, p. 155).

46 B.O. BRYDE, Die bundesrepublikanische Volksdemokratie als Irrweg der 
Demokratietheorie, in "Staatswissenschaften und Staatspraxis", 1994, p. 

47 I. KANT, Zum Ewigen Frieden. Ein philosophischer Entwurf, in ID., 
Kleinere Schriften zur Geschichtsphilosophie, Ethik und Politik, ed. by K. 
Vorländer, Meiner, Hamburg 1959, p. 128.

wahlberechtigste Bürger mit der Hoheitsgewalt, der er unterworfen ist, in 
seiner Sprache kommunizieren kann".48

I find it correct to affirm that democracy, in the sense of majority rule, 
presupposes some fundamental pre-legal conditions as much as some 
fundamental normative (moral and political) principles, a vigorous and 
open public discussion and an influential public opinion. Democracy as a 
political institution needs, in other words, a civil society. But first, a 
civil society does not necessarily need to coincide with some 
Schicksalgemeinschaft, a homogeneous ethnical and linguistic community. 
(Suggestively enough when the German Court tries to establish a clear-cut 
separation between national citizenship and European citizenship does not 
find anything better than making recourse to their different level of 
existential tightness : "Mit der durch den Vertrag von Maastricht 
begründeten Unionsbürgerschaft wird zwischen den Staatsangehörigen der 
Mitgliedstaaten ein auf Dauer angelegtes rechtliches Band geknüpft, das 
zwar nicht eine der gemeinsamen Zugehörigkeit zu einem Staat vergleichbare 
Dichte besitzt").49 And, second, a civil society becomes a "people", in 
the sense of the sum of a polity citizens, only by interacting with 
constitutional rules and institutions. This point is clearly expressed in 
the following statement by Ulrich Preuss : "Neither pre-political feelings 
of commonness o like descent, ethnicity, language, race o nor 
representative institutions as such are able to a create a polity, be it a 
nation-state, a multinational state or a supranational entity. Rather, 
what is required is a dynamic process in which the will to form a polity 
is shaped and supported through institutions which in their turn symbolise 
and foster the idea of such a polity".50

Sure, a common language among citizens and between civil society and 
political institutions is needed in order to have public discussion and 
thus public reason. However, a common language can be a conventional or an 
artificial one. To be citizens, individuals should be able to communicate 
with political authorities : they should be able to understand each other. 
But this does not imply at all that to this purpose individuals should use 
their own mother tongue. Any other language will do, provided it is common 
to the parties.

It may be the case that in the European Union, we do not still have such a 
common language. Nonetheless, such a language can be found. We can think 
of a lingua franca emerging in the ongoing process of European integration 
or of a net of various national or regional languages employed each at a 
different level and for a certain occasion but allowing a continuous flux 
of information.51 Moreover, the common language does not need to be in any 
occasion the same. We could perhaps apply a kind of subsidiarity principle 
to the use of the different languages, choosing the one or the other 
according to the context and the dimensions of the issue at stake and the

48 BVerfGE 89, 155 [185], italics mine. For a powerful criticism of the 
constitutional Weltanschauung of the German court as expressed in this 
decision, see J. H. H. WEILER, Does Europe Need a Constitution ? 
Reflections on Demos, Telos, and the German Maastricht Decision, in 
"European Law Journal", 1995, pp. 219 ff.

49 BVerfGE 89, 155 [184]. Italics mine.

50 U.K. PREUSS, Problems of a Concept of European Citizenship, in 
"European Law Journal", 1995, pp. 277-278. Italics in the text.

51 See what Jürgen Habermas opposes to Dieter Grimm's defence of cultural 
homogeneity as legitimation for democracy (J. HABERMAS, Comment on the 
paper by Dieter Grimm : 'Does Europe Need a Constitution ?', in "European 
Law Journal", 1995, pp. 303 ff.).

people (and the languages) concerned. "Zweitens o as was pointed out by 
Edmund Bernatzik, a leading public lawyer of Austria Felix o kann man ja 
eine fremde Sprache lernen".52 In any case successful European experiences 
such as for instance the Erasmus Programme or the European University 
Institute in Florence (a university is an institution for which 
communication is of utmost relevance) show that it is possible at least to 
have a European university even without a European folk.

Europe admittedly is not a nation, European citizens as such either. It is 
high time perhaps that the one (Europe) and the others (European citizens) 
combine their plans, leaving the nation to its old-fashioned nightmares of 
blood and soil.

Belonging to a European polity

I am not so much concerned about the sociological evidence supporting the 
romantic thesis according to which peoples and nations are homogeneous 
ethnical and cultural entities. My stance towards this thesis is quite 
radical. Should it be true, should nations be Volksgemeinschaften, that 
would not still be a legitimisation ground for a genuine democratic 
polity. Since democracy is based on intersubjective discourses and 
representation, any process which would work without an explicit reference 
to individual and interindividual will formation, would not be appropriate 
to offer any democratic legitimisation to a polity. The demos of democracy 
certainly is not ethnos.

Yet, in order to defeat the foolish resistance, we might recall a 
historical fact : that in most cases the so-called Schicksalgemeinschaft 
is the outcome, an artificial product, of the State or of other reflective 
political processes.53 This was recognised in 1933 by Hermann Heller, he 
himself a strong defendant of nations as Schicksalgemeinschaften (and 
therefore quoted in the "Maastricht Urteil"),54 when he is confronted with 
the rise of the Nazi regime. "Weder das Volk noch die Nation dürfen als 
die gleichsam natürliche Einheit angesehen werden, die der staatlichen 
Einheit vorgegeben wäre und sie selbsttätig konstituierte. Oft genug war 
es [...] umgekehrt die staatliche Einheit, welche die "natürliche" Einheit 
des Volkes und der Nation erst gezüchtet hat. Der Staat ist mit seinen 
Machtmitteln durchaus im Stande selbst aus sprachlich und anthropologisch 
verschiedenen Völkern ein einziges zu machen."55 Peoples in the cultural 
sense, in some cases at least, are not prior but posterior to the State's 
(sometimes brutal) intervention. The "ethnical" homogeneity

52 E. BERNATZIK, Die Ausgestaltung des Nationalgefühls im 19. Jahrhundert, 
in ID., Die Ausgestaltung des Nationalgefühls im 19. Jahrhundert o 
Rechtsstaat und Kulturstaat. Zwei Vorträge gehalten in der Vereinigung für 
staatswissenschaftliche Fortbildung in Köln im April 1912, Helwingsche 
Verlagsbuchhandlung, Hanover 1912, p. 27.

53 Cf. what is said by Oswald Spengler, an author certainly not to be 
suspected of any "abstract", "formal", "thin", universalist liberal 
political views : « Die "Muttersprache" ist bereits ein Produkt 
dynastischer Geschichte. Ohne die Capetinger würde es keine französische 
Sprache geben[...] ; die italienische Schriftsprache ist ein Verdienst der 
deutschen Kaiser, vor allem Friedrichs II. Die modernen Nationen sind 
zunächst die Bevölkerungen alter dynastischer Gebiete » (O. SPENGLER, Der 
Untergang des Abendlandes. Umrisse einer Morphologie der Weltgeschichte, 
DTV, München 1986, p. 779).

54 See BVerfGE 89, 155 [186]. Cf. the sharp critical comments by Brun-Otto 
Bryde (B.O. BRYDE, op. cit., p. 326, note 37).

55 H. HELLER, Staatslehre, 6th, rev. ed., ed. by G. Niemeyer, Mohr, 
Tübingen 1983, p. 186.

of Pale in Bosnia could never be claimed as the outcome of an organic 
process of communitarian growth.

On the other side, as far as a European "demos" is concerned, we might 
affirm that, in spite of the lack of one (and only one) common language, 
there is something like a common European cultural identity. A common 
history, common tragedies and sufferance, common values, common "myths"o 
if you like56o have made of the French, the Italian, the German, etc., a 
common "people". Though a Sicilian can manifest some perplexity in front 
of a guy dressed in leather pants and a feathery hat drinking litres of 
beer, she will still identify him as a European like her, with more things 
uniting than dividing them.

In a democracy to be a citizen, to develop a sense of belonging to a 
democratic polity, one should overcome one's own rooting in unreflective 
communities, and be for a moment naked, a mere human being. Moving from 
this nakedness, one can then freely decide whether and how one wishes to 
cooperate. Only from this nowhere will persons be able to build up fair 
terms of co-operation, since in that hypothetical condition there will be 
no room for discriminatory grounds. Democracy as a polity of equals, 
should presuppose a kind of "transcendental" nakedness : "Democracy is a 
system of government according to which every member of society is 
considered as a man, and nothing more".57

The European identity meant as membership to a European polity can only be 
the outcome of a reflective adhesion to an institutional body ruled by 
democratic rules and offering a rich comprehensive set of rights. Thus, 
the European identity we are in search for passes through the 
consolidation of a meaningful European citizenship.

56 Cf. F. CHABOD, Storia dell'idea d'Europa, Laterza, Bari 1995.

57 W. GODWIN, Enquiry Concerning Political Justice and Its Influence on 
Moral and Happiness, ed. by I. Kramnick, Penguin, Harmondsworth 1976, p. 

From poetic citizenshipto European citizenship

Claire Lejeune

If I dwell from the outset on the fact that is in this reflection a matter 
of motives peculiar to a woman, a poet moreover, it is precisely because 
the citizenship of women and that of poets has been, at the very least 
since Plato, an object of exclusion. This is to say that both have on 
European culture and identity, or simply on identity, the other view, a 
different discourse which has difficulty in making itself heard in public 
debates. And yet, without it, there is no possible democratic dialogue.

Should we not begin by calling into question the very sense of the word 
"culture" ? The globalisation of the market economy has made culture a 
commodity, an object of production and consumption. To revitalise it is to 
give it back its function of well- thought-out action. In the situation of 
rupture that we are living at the end of the XXth century, cultivating 
one's mind means not only enriching one's knowledge of the heritage 
(patrimony) to be able to enjoy it and be able to transmit enjoyment of 
it, but chiefly becoming capable of generating a societal project of 
giving birth to the future ; literally, delivering our mentality of the 
XXIst century that it bears so painfully but which it is, however, alone 
in bearing. I am not of those who believe that "History has more 
imagination than men" : to trust history to invent the future is 
necessarily to go in its direction, let oneself go from upstream to 
downstream, in other words, leave it to its fatality, its determinism, 
whereas any creation supposes that thought resists the force of the 
mainstream, that it climbs back against the tide of the course of History, 
that it thinks about itself from downstream to upstream, that it returns 
to the sources of patriarchal History, not nostalgically to re-immerse 
itself in it, to find in it the ideal original purity, but with the 
ethical intention of bringing to light the foundations of this fratricidal 
civilisation the endless agony of which we are living through.

A desire for Europe

All those, men and women, who are set asking about the future of the 
planet through the collapse of the socio-political systems, the sudden 
growth of fundamentalist and nationalistic perils, agree that it will not 
happen without our mentality and behaviour undergoing genuine 
transformations. We know that the only power capable of undermining and 
undoing o from the inside o the supreme reign of money can only be born 
from the intensive development of conscience lagging frightfully behind 
that of science and techniques, in other words making each citizen aware 
of his/her responsibilities. That said, what is left is to put this 
awareness in hand, create and organise this network of resistance to 
generalised mercantilism, which culture will necessarily have to be in the 
XXIst century.

European citizenship does not exist when it is legitimised by a Treaty 
only ; when it has no other body than the lifeless body of law. For it to 
become lively and active it must be desired, it must be rooted in memory's 
emotional depths where desire reigns.

Creative citizenship cannot do without the order that comes from law any 
more than without the energy that comes from desire : it becomes of our 
daily aptitude to embody dynamically the conflictual relationship that the 
logic of reason and that of passion keep alive in us. From the beginning 
of our reflection lucidity obliges us to recognise that if Europe does not 
lack a body that makes law, it generally lacks the desire that makes 
sense, in other words passion, the emotional motivation that it needs to 
build itself. Without wanting to psychoanalyse our relationship with 
Europe, we shall have, for it to come to life, to feel it, to think it out 
in terms of feeling, and this feeling will have to find the words to 
spread. Between the murderous hatred of Europe that nationalism and the 
platonic love which inspires its bigots testify to, it is a matter for 
qualifying, embodying, humanising this European citizenship which is yet 
only an indispensable fiction.

The question is that of the existence in us o real or virtual, latent or 
revealed o of a "desire for Europe" (I say "a desire for Europe" as one 
would say "a desire for a child") with which the legislator has hardly 
been concerned up to now. If this desire exists, what does it correspond 
to in our imagination ? Does there exist between the strata of the 
individual unconscious a European unconscious as one says that there 
exists an African unconscious ? Does an initiation into European 
citizenship necessarily come through discovering the places of this 
unconscious, through a recalling of the European mythological sources 
(Judeo-Christian, Greco-Roman, Celtic, Germanic) ? We know today that 
myths are, in the memory, where high human energy is focused, the complex 
and very real places of a violence capable of both destruction and 
creation. Knowing the deep psychic manipulations that fundamentalism and 
nationalism, religious and political totalitarianism operate through the 
unequivocal and dogmatic interpretation of myths and symbols, what work of 
searching and critical analysis must be undertake, to become aware of 
these occult sources of history ? What work of deciphering and 
enlightenment to turn them into sources of creative energy for a 
transnational, transpolitical, transcultural Europe ? How shall we go 
about it so that traditions cease to be the prisons of thought ? How to 
open them ? What must we do for them to become the very sources of 
freedom, of the fertility of thought, i.e. of something truly new ?

Everything leads us to believe that it is to the deep level of myths and 
symbols that we must go back, with open eyes, to free European imagination 
o the entire imagination o from its historical conditioning, to put it in 
a position to desire both the diversity and community of its destiny, in 
other words to motivate conscience to invest its high energies into the 
construction of a decompartmentalized society. It is clear that if this 
work of deconditioning, of genuine secularisation of mentalities, is not 
done, planetary solidarity is doomed to remain a utopia. Humanisation is 
not self-evident : it is the fruit of working continually on oneself, in 
other words a culture in depth, in the most down-to-earth sense of the 
term. No doubt even, it could be said that one is not born human, but that 
one becomes so. It is of this work without respite of thought on the 
contents of memory that a society of persons with unlimited responsibility 
can become.

At the time when women allow themselves o how painfully o to speak on the 
scene of political disaster, one must know that this speech is new, that 
its forms of legitimacy are still to be invented. A woman's citizenship 
does not have to recreate a political- cultural space, but quite simply to 
create it for itself, for the first time, from the ruins of a History 
where she ever had only the right to speak in the name of the Father and 
of the Son, in the name of a sex which is not hers. What seems vital to me 
today is to rethink the very concept of identity, to understand that the 
identity principle is also the principle of third-party exclusion. The 
identity logic is that which invalidates any truth stemming from the 
crossing of the thought of I and that of the other. It is on the rejection 
of disturbing strangeness, of impurity, of all that is not white or black, 
masculine or feminine, dominating subject or dominated object, that the 
xenophobic History of Nation-States was based. To want to rebuild on the 
same foundations would be wholly irresponsible.

The human resources that the history to come can rely on are those which 
were inhibited, doomed, sacrificed by patriarchal History to ensure the 
stability of its Order. If life on the planet stands a chance of saving 
itself, of over-arising, it is in the repressed part of patriarchal 
History that it is buried. What twenty-first century thought is going to 
have to set off, i.e. cultivate to re-generate oneself, is precisely what 
Patriarcate has excluded, gagged, burnt to ensure the continuity of its 
domination. This treasure of the possible is buried in our memory. It is 
up to each of us (woman or man) to work on their own mental field, to 
cultivate it for it to become an oasis of true life, a space of creation o 
both of projection and reflection o in the pervading cultural wilderness.

To sex the question of identity

Faced with the ravages of the evil of exclusion, the most universally 
prescribed remedy in this fin de siècle is, of course, communication 
between people, sexes, ethnic groups, and cultures. The term 
"communication" enjoys a theoretical fortune without precedent and, on the 
other hand, the technical means that are available to us to attempt to 
communicate are today fabulous. But never, no doubt, has the hiatus 
between the virtual and the actual of communication been more gaping than 
today. It is in the daily passage to the act of communicating that 
communication breakdowns are the most flagrant, that powerlessness is the 
most tangible, the most dramatic. But it is nevertheless there where we 
strongly experience the difficulty of communicating, where we suffer from 
it personally in our flesh and in our heart, that desire lies, i.e. the 
chance of delimiting and overcoming it.

If communication is overabundantly provided with theory and technology, we 
are obliged to note that its ordinary practice is still in its infancy, 
that its language is still to be invented. The logos of communication are 
not the mono-logos, they are the dialogos, i.e. the language that is 
conceived and developed from the interactive knowledge of I and of the 
other. Dialogue is the communicating language, the interacting language, 
that which foils the principle of exclusion towards the impure third 
party. Now, dialogue o the dia-logic of included third parties o forms the 
subject of no initiation, no learning at school. It is increasingly 
manifest that a male or female citizen's dialogic capacity o his/her 
capacity of opening to the other o is the bête noire of all forms of 
religious and political fundamentalism since the latter can only reign 
through exclusion, through division, to begin with, between the sexes. To 
create spaces where this aptitude to opening, exchange, dialogue which is 
responsible citizenship is to create conditions indispensable to the 
advent of a real democracy.

It is no longer defensible today not to sex the identity question, to stay 
deaf to the nascent speech of the other subject who is the I of feminine 
gender. In the light of the recrudescent fundamentalism it becomes 
impossible to ignore that the very matrix of any xenophobia is 
gyno-phobia, and not the reverse. Now, gyno-phobia is not only the work of 
men. We have to note that women themselves can be the patriarcate's worst 
accomplices. The fear- alas understandable o that they have of being 
themselves, i.e. different ; to dare think, say and act otherwise than men 
is still far from overcome ! If the common stake is the advent of a 
society of persons with unlimited responsibility, this supposes that an 
end be put to the childish moral codes based on making one another guilty. 
An adult feminism can only be a matter of solidarity not only of women 
among themselves, but between lucid women and men, in search of a happy 
outcome from the patriarchal impasse.

It has not been well enough seen how much the health of the political 
depends on abolishing the rule of linguistic clichés, in other words, on 
the male and female citizen's aptitude to form one body, sexed body with 
his/her language. Everyone agrees that the great remedy to the ravages of 
hatred and indifference is love. Yes, but how can love be reinvented ? How 
to free Eros from the murderous empire of Thanatos ? It must first be 
understood that the eroticisation of the social body necessarily passes 
through the eroticisation of the body of the language and that the 
eroticisation of the body of the language necessarily passes through its 

In the architecture of a construction there is always o more or less 
conscious o a logic at work : a logic of closing or a logic of opening. A 
socio-cultural space is built according to the identity principle 
(xenophobic exclusion of the impure third party) or according to the 
solidarity principle (logic of inclusion of the impure third party). 
According to "eliquishness" or "workshop spirit". This is to say that an 
effective democracy can only come from an alliance without precedent of 
consciences where the humanity of the solidarity principle has prevailed 
over the inhumanity of the identity logic. It is at the level of the 
founding principles that the true political cleavage lies. We shall come 
alive out of this societal crisis, which most agree to qualify as 
structural, only if thought of the political becomes deeper o not without 
vertigo o till it gets right to the bottom of its rational and irrational 
foundations. A cultural act, if ever there is one !

In the current debates on the European Union's political structure, 
attention is often focused around the word nation. How can we revive a 
form of nation which is not a people's defensive withdrawal into itself, 
which is not in advance undermined by the demon nationalism ? The rights 
and duties of the European Union citizen will not be those defined by the 
Nation-States patriarchal History. The idea of a European fatherland must 
be given up. Europe will be a brotherland or will not be. To pass from a 
closed nation to an open one, of the fatherland-nation to the 
brotherland-nation will only be done through recognising the effective 
existence of two equal and different human genders, irreducible to each 
other. We no longer ignore that we are all bisexual, all impure, all 
half-castes. A woman's femininity is not a man's as a man's virility is 
not a woman's, which means that in the relationship between a man and a 
woman, there are four sexes in continuous interaction. If women's thought 
proves other than men's it is due not only to the cultural memory 
difference (the

feminine has not crossed history as dominating subject but as dominated 
object) but also to the difference in body memory. While a man keeps 
indelible the physical and emotional memory of having had a mother, he is 
deprived of having been the belly required by the generation of the other, 
this place not only of conception and gestation, but of expulsion of 
another. The link to otherness fostered by feminine identity is undeniably 
different from that fostered by masculine identity. To recognise this 
difference in natural and cultural memory between men and women, find 
words and images to make it noticeable and intelligible instead of 
continuing to ignore it does not go without giving thought what it needs 
to regenerate itself.

A postscript

In deciding to develop as a postscript to my introductory text the words 
that I spoke during the "Carrefour" I want to testify to that wave which 
passed among the participants and which Marcelino Oreja called : "the 
Coimbra spirit". For the European that I am, clearly there will henceforth 
be a pre-Coimbra and a post- Coimbra.

In the reflection document that Thomas Jansen has drafted, we are reminded 
that determining the "political finality" of the European Union must be 
done on in the perspective of a project of "world federation". I feel my 
European citizenship as an interface, as the indispensable mediator 
between my awareness of belonging to a local, regional community and that 
of belonging to the world community. European identity can make sense for 
an individual who wonders about what it means only in relation to a 
project of planetary citizenship. Even then this individual must of course 
be motivated to do so, which first assumes that he is wondering about the 
meaning of his own existence, in other words that he has reached a certain 
degree of maturity.

The concrete forms of the we can only be implemented if desired, imagined, 
thought up and meant by a multiplicity of I. A pluralistic world can only 
be built by communities of responsible singulars. Real inter-nationality, 
and inter-culturality can only be conceived and expanded on the basis of a 
well-thought-out and theorised practice of intersubjectivity which would 
be at the very basis of education.

The mental revolution which can be expected to lead to the advent of a 
world democracy is occurring at this moment within the family, school and 
university. The numerous signs given by the current mutations are still 
being perceived and interpreted as negative signs of disarray, signs of 
the monological order of the patriarchate collapsing. The high psychic 
energies o repressed by history o which these mutations are delivering 
will be translated by acts of destructive violence as long as they do not 
have available the tools of thought which enable them to transmute into 
creative power, as long as they have not found the language that 
actualises the strangeness of each man and each woman (the real object of 
xenophobia) as the very essence of their universality. Over a century ago, 
Arthur Rimbaud wrote in : La Lettre du voyant : "to find a language ; o 
besides, every word being an idea, the time of a universal language will 
come ! /.../ This language will be soul for the soul, epitomising 
everything, scents, sounds, colours, thought catching thought and pulling. 
The poet would define the amount of unknown waking up in its time in the 
universal soul : he would give more o than the formula of his thought, 
than the annotation of his march to Progress ! Enormity becoming norm, 
absorbed by everyone, he would truly be a multiplier of Progress."

The first condition of the advent of an adult Europe, responsible both for 
her own future and that of the planet, is that she worries not only about 
informing but about forming her citizens, not only about their access to 
the multiplicity of knowledge, but about their initiation into the act of 
thinking for oneself. Finding a language to express the strangeness, the 
continual newness of this self-generating thought, necessarily passes 
through the capacity of imagining, the development of the resources of the 
personal field and the collective field of our imagination. One is not 
born a creator, one becomes one. Even then one must discover the logics, 
the dialogics of creation and communication, the tools of interactive 
thought and learn to use them. Only a culture of intersubjectity will 
enable us to overcome the spiritual and affective handicap of modern 
mentality distorted by the exclusive reign of scientific objectivity.

What the thought of our times most evidently lacks is neither faith nor 
reason, it is vision. But visionary speech is the fruit of that logic of 
creation o logic of the included third o which poïetics is (poïein : to 

To Hölderlin's question : "Why poets in times of distress?" I would answer 
first : because the poets who think the world pre-see how a utopia 
destroys itself, an "ideal City" which excludes them, and how a "real 
City" which integrates their turbulent presence can be built. "Poetry will 
be in front", and "the poet will be a citizen", writes Rimbaud when 
prophesying the real democracy he longs for.

Blind faith in a "lendemain qui chante", without that visionary lucidity 
of which René Char tells us that it is "the wound closest to the sun", can 
never lead humanity to anything other than a utopia doomed sooner or later 
to collapse.

I hasten to say with Lautréamont, another prophet of real democracy, that 
"poetry will be made by all", which means that everyone will have to 
awaken in themselves the poet that western civilisation has excluded to 
found its order.

There is only one vision of the future which can pull us out of the belly 
of the past, project us ahead of ourselves. We must be able to imagine the 
future ; see it revealing itself (in the photographic sense of the word) 
on our inner screens ; we must be able to give birth to a picture of the 
common future which is specific to us, which is particular to us for it to 
mobilise our deepest energies.

Spiritual foundation

Re-enchanting the world at which a pedagogy of creation and communication 
aims o a pedagogy of the inter-and of the trans-passes through questioning 
thought about its tools.

What makes the difference between the logic of the divisional (of excluded 
third) and that of a visionary thought (of included third) is the 
coordinating conjunction of opposites. For the logic of knowledge and 
power I can be only I or the other (the inter is interdicted, i.e. unsaid) 
; but when I enter the field of creation and communication, I

am both I and the other, co-existing in an analogical relation which 
underlies their dialogical link : I am to you as you are to me. According 
to the principle of pure reason, A is A and B is B : I cannot be another. 
Between identity and alterity, all impurity, all ambiguity, all common 
ownership o all strangeness o has to be deprived of active citizenship.

Europe, said Husserl, cannot forget her spiritual foundation which takes 
root on the Greek soil of philosophy. I believe that the very notion of 
"poetic citizenship" cannot be grasped and shared but by the double 
reference to Plato who excludes it and to Rimbaud who predicts its 
resurgence. Let us first remember that Plato, in the name of the principle 
of reason, sees it as his duty to put the poet out of his republic. Like 
women, children and lunatics, the poet is excluded from taking part in the 
business of the "ideal City" ; his (magical) thought is deprived of 
legitimacy, i.e. of citizenship. This is what Plato writes in The Republic 

That was, I went on to say, what I meant, returning to poetry, to justify 
myself for previously banning from our republic so frivolous an art : 
reason made it a duty for us to do so. Let us also say to it, so that it 
may not accuse us of harshness and rusticity, that the dispute between 
philosophy and poetry does not date from today. Notwithstanding, let us 
protest strongly that if imitative poetry which has pleasure as its object 
can prove for some reason that it must have its place in a well-ordered 
society, we will bring it back into it wholeheartedly.

As to Rimbaud, he predicts the return of the poet in that prophetic letter 
which was called la Lettre du voyant :

Eternal art would have its functions, as poets are citizens. Poetry will 
no longer punctuate action ; it will be ahead. These poets will be ! When 
the infinite bondage of woman is broken, when she lives by her and for 
her, man o so far abominable -, having given her the sack, she too will be 
a poet ! Woman will find things unknown ! Will her worlds of ideas differ 
from ours ? o She will find strange, unsoundable, repulsive, delicious 
things ; we will take them, we will understand them.

Cross-checking these two texts, twenty-three centuries apart from one 
another, the one the founder of our civilisation, the other predicting its 
end, is, in the current sociopolitical context, prodigiously enlightening.

That you invited me to speak among you, I, poet and woman, both delights 
me and makes me feel hugely responsible. I must find the images and words 
capable of expressing my own vision of the world being born, knowing that 
this risks disturbing yours, but at this cost only does it have a chance 
of acting, of inciting you to find whatever words and images will express 
yours and contest or meet mine. He who comes into the world to trouble 
nothing, says René Char also, deserves neither consideration nor patience.

For a real dialogue, an effective democratic game, to occur there have to 
be at play two different speeches and two different listeners, who affect, 
respect, greet one another, who cease being indifferent to one another. A 
conflictual relation can start generating a trans-personal, 
trans-cultural, trans-national, trans-political thought only by means of 
this quadrivocal dialectic which prevents communication from getting 
bogged down in the rut of consensus, from being trapped in the 
homogenisation where what it is to-day agreed to call "la pensée unique" 

Perception of oneself (conceiving of oneself)

I attempted to make you see in my speeches how links between my poetic 
citizenship and my European citizenship are woven ; so, these speeches are 
of the order of the testimony.

Thirty-five years ago occurred in me the illumination o the poetic 
experience o where I was initiated into my own existence and into the 
vital need to find a language to express that disturbing strangeness which 
suddenly served me as identity in a basically xenophobic and misogynous 

The instant before this literally apocalyptic instant (of revelation), I 
was present neither to myself nor to the world. The instant after my 
patriarchal imagination was in ruins, I had, on pain of death or madness, 
to build another one, a dynamic, self- generating imagination. Starting 
from the desire to become who I really am, I had to re-create for me a 
love imagination, a family imagination, and a social imagination. To put 
it in other words, I had, by means of visionary thought and of the work of 
writing, to save myself from chaos : no saviour would do it in my place. 
Let us say, briefly, that my spiritual dimension o verticality made up of 
height and depth o was born of this wild initiation into the genesis of 
consciousness. Conceiving oneself is experiencing the primeval 
consubstantiality of space and time, of I and the other, of both the woman 
and the man that I am ; it is reaching the lightning nucleus of SELF of 
which André Breton said that it is : the POINT of the mind from where life 
and death, the real and the imaginary, past and future, what can and 
cannot be communicated, top and bottom, cease being perceived 
contradictorily. He added: the point in question is a fortiori the one 
where construction and destruction can no longer be brandished one against 
the other.

I understand that the Europe of today too is seeking to know herself, to 
know her soul, to become aware of who she really is in relation to the 
world and to put in a token appearance in it ; to express her project of 
post-modern future. In other words, Europe is more or less confusedly 
seeking to become an adult we, i.e. a community of persons and nations 
with full and entire responsibility.

It is indispensable for us to produce symbols, images, metaphors, said 
Jérôme Vignon. We must give tools of communication other than conceptual 
but which can be linked to the conceptual to revive it, to re-nature it, 
to re-humanise it. We must bring into the world o beyond the great 
hardships of History o a new understanding of the real.

Of this post-modern thought born of the reconciliation of poetry and 
philosophy, I like to say to myself that it is post-socratic, in the sense 
that it recalls that prodigious presocratic thought which was current 
before they split.

Thinking as a poet is being able to put oneself into the other's place, 
being SELF (consubstantially I and the other), but also being able at the 
same time to embody, from the smallest to the largest, all the circles of 
collectivity I belong to. What would

be the soul of a people other than the one their poets gave them ? If I 
think Europe as a poet, I identify with her, I espouse her cause, I form 
one body with her present, I lend her the strength of my visceral 
resistance to all forms of totalitarianism ; thus I commit myself 
personally in her quest for a non-fatal outcome to the unprecedented 
impasse where she is at the end of this century. Let us say that I see my 
own experience of emancipation as an illuminating metaphor of the trying 
search for herself which Europe is pursuing today. I draw from this 
analogy not only my motivation but the daily energy that is needed to 
provide this project of a transnational, trans-cultural Europe with a body 
of writing radically other than her "body of laws" which will never have 
anything but a set language ; that is to say, with a poetic existence 
without which it will stay a dead letter. Only the influence of an adult 
poetry o in the sense that it has freed itself from the condition of minor 
thought where western philosophy confined it -, irresistibly confident in 
its real power to change life, could truly re-enchant the world.

If, like Ariadne, I undertake to pursue the metaphor to better understand 
all that was exchanged thanks to the Coimbra forum, I say to myself that 
Europe will get out of her crisis of growth, will become a big adult woman 
only if she dares to call into question the dogma of economism which 
threatens any moment to "topple her over from the market economy to the 
market society" : a striking formula which Zaki Laïdi gave us of the peril 
which is threatening us. Put differently, Europe will not recover from her 
disaster unless she appropriates the freedom of self-determination, the 
freedom to choose the model of globalisation to which she wishes to 
belong. We heard Mario Soares tell us forcefully that he "does not want a 
Europe exclusively determined by economic and monetary demands but a 
political, social Europe, a Europe of citizens, a Europe of participation" 
; not a Europe that we would have to suffer, but a Europe that we have to 
make happen. From the moment that the European Union knows not only what 
she does not want, but what she wants to be, she must change her history, 
i.e. her relational logic ; she must pass from the identity principle 
based on the exclusion of the third's strangeness which determined the 
building of xenophobic Europe, to an interactive dia-logic based on the 
integration of this strangeness, on the actualisation of all mediation 
between identity and alterity. Only the development of a such a 
citizenship in the process of building the Union can save Europe from the 
twofold peril which threatens her : homogenisation or atomisation.

It is urgent to understand that a democratic space can only be built from 
a mentality structured by the "solidarity principle", a principle of the 
interactivity of opposites. Subject A is to object B what subject B is to 
object A : I am to you what you are to me; logical translation of the 
principle of Christian charity : love (respect) the other as you love 
(respect) yourself : a universal formula of a laity to which any religion 
of love can rally without betraying itself.

The game of interactivity

As soon as we understand that there are really at play in any human 
relationship at least two subjectivities and two objectivities, two 
identities and two alterities, i.e. four elementary truths, the problem of 
thought is completely transformed. "Telling the truth" supposes from that 
moment that our four truths recognise one another, interfere, interact, 
that a dialogical language is invented able to translate not now the 
duplicity but the quadruplicity of the real. In this great dynamic game of 
interactivity, all horizontal, vertical, diagonal relations are 
authorised. What disappears in the dynamic structure of real democracy is 
the inevitability of exclusion. All aesthetic, ethical and political 
revival, all possible regeneration of the social body, will proceed from 
this metamorphosis of the structures of our relational imagination.

The identity of the European Union should appear as that of a societal 
model which not only succeeds in safeguarding entitlements, but in 
integrating the great historical, political, economic, technological and 
ethical upheavals. Which supposes the conception and the implementation of 
a logic of construction which is a logic of integration of differences.

The image that I have of the Europe to come is less that of a continent in 
search of an intellectual leadership able to face up to the rise of the 
(economic, political and religious) fundamentalisms than that of a living 
and thinking organism, capable of metabolising what has happened to it and 
what continues to happen to it for better of worse ; so as to be able to 
build for itself a great contagious health the influence of which works 
not only to relieve but to heal the extreme misery from which the world is 

I see the European building site as the main, if not the only, chance our 
planet currently has of saving itself from the perils which threaten it, 
of building with new tools of thought its first "real City", its first 
adult democracy, its first trans-national phratry on the ruins of 
xenophobic patriarchate.

L'identité européenne comme engagementtransnational dans la société

Rüdiger Stephan

European identity as a transnational commitment in society

A terminology debate is of no value in the face of the real challenge. The 
term "identity" is merely a starting point. Psychologists would say that 
it covers both continuous identification with oneself and permanent 
adherence to certain traits of character which are specific to a group. On 
the one hand, identity appears as a criterion for acts intended to provide 
a synthesis of the self, while on the other hand it signifies a feeling of 
solidarity with a group. Thus, there are two aspects :

o identity is linked to the individual, the person ;

o identity reflects a state of existence, an outcome, the end of a path.

On this basis, what is the answer to the original question, how can we 
express this identity which must take on a European dimension ? First of 
all, it is the individual, the European citizen, who must both give and 
receive the reply, in the context of his relationship with himself and his 
environment. The citizen should be able to express this identity, which in 
turn must be developed together with the citizen. Furthermore, if the 
identity of the individual is a fulfilment, the sum of a personal history, 
then European identity is made up of a huge and varied heritage. European 
identity appears here as being linked to the past, and the future is not a 
factor. To express European identity through heritage only, however rich 
this may be, would be to limit oneself to conservatism without a future.

Europe needs visions which relate to the future. The development of a 
European identity can play no part other than through a European 
consciousness, bringing in itself movement and evolution, a European 
consciousness which captures the national identities in their diversity 
and conceives them as having a common future. Expressing this identity o a 
forward-looking European consciousness o implies the abolition of 
antagonism between national and European identities. European identity- 
consciousness is founded on national identities, and finds its expression 
in cooperation and interaction. We need this European 
identity-consciousness in order to avoid wars among ourselves or with 
others, to pool our resources, and to join forces in the face of the 
challenges of our time, which transcend national and continental 
boundaries. We draw this identity-consciousness from a heritage which 
expresses what is common to us, or what we recognise as being common to 
us. We draw it from history, the common European traits of which we are 
rediscovering, after two centuries of nationalism and nationalist 
interpretation. We draw it from the memory of the past, our memory banks o 
what are our European memory banks ? We draw it from the symbols which we 
have succeeded in creating and which we shall be capable of creating in 
the future. We find it in the democratic institutions and rules which 
structure and define life within our societies, the relationships of the 
individual and society, and the rights and duties of the citizen.

The European Union has neither a political nor a social structure which 
would give it an "identity" and allow it to develop a citizen's European 
consciousness, or which would allow the citizen to develop a European 
consciousness. The Council of Ministers is not European, but 
inter-governmental. The European Commission acts as if it were 
inter-governmental. In order to have our voice heard, we must use the 
channels of the national representations or even national bodies. The 
European Parliament, the political representation of the citizen, is not 
truly recognised as such, because its powers, responsibilities and image 
do not correspond to what the European citizen, accustomed to the role of 
his national parliament, can or wants to expect from it. Nevertheless, it 
is the European institution with which the citizen can identify most 
easily, because it is supranational, or European, and because Parliament 
fights to give legitimacy to Europe, which also gives it symbolic value. 
However, there are forces within society which are not representative of 
national interests and are non-governmental, non-State and transnational 
by nature. First of all, there is the economic sector, or at least the 
bulk of it. Industrialists spend all day telling us that their vision is 
no longer national or even European, but global. The economy creates its 
own identities o corporate identities, which are neither national nor 
European. This is what is called the "IBM identity". The question remains 
as to whether, with the single currency, the economic sector can also help 
boost European identity.

There is, however, another sector of society which is developing rapidly. 
It is known as the "Third Sector", a term which is both vague (in that it 
takes in the most diverse forms of organisation) and precise (in the sense 
that it refers to non-governmental organisations). Civil society 
translates the will and aspirations of the citizen and quite naturally 
goes beyond the national context o in fact increasingly so. As every 
domain of society is affected by, or is open to, international pressures , 
these organisations nowadays all engage in activities which to a greater 
or lesser extent go beyond national confines.

This "Third Sector" o the expression has come to represent organisation, 
solidarity and community o represents the commitment of the citizen within 
society and through society. The Third Sector is not a third country, but 
a sector of present-day society which should become an increasingly 
important communication partner, a forum for proposals and for 
implementing new solutions needed to resolve the major problems facing us 
today. If we wish to develop European identity-consciousness, this 
movement towards more Europe, in and with the citizen, if we wish to 
organise participation and interaction, we must find, or in my view 
create, a way of organising relations between the Third Sector and the 
European institutions.

As the social and cultural organisations of the Third Sector reflect this 
commitment on the part of the citizen to non-State and non-public forms of 
organisation and institution, it is necessary to create a space in society 
giving the citizen a voice outside the national framework, a European 
space in which the citizen's commitment to society can be expressed. This 
societal space should be able to communicate regularly with the European 
Parliament, whose powers would have to be extended, and with the European 
Commission. Participation and interaction could be expressed and organised 
around major subjects of civilisation, such as work and integration into 
society, national and European memory banks, European citizenship training 
for the younger generation, and the development of a European language 

Security and a common area

Adriano Moreira

One way of analysing comparable transitions from unity among nations to a 
united Europe is to see it in peaceful terms as the setting of a boundary 
against a hostile power which threatens freedom and integrity.

Let us say that as a general rule the fact of being subjected to the same 
climate of aggression generates a common defence system and the emergence 
of an identity through the feeling of security experienced in relation to 
the threat. Although Toynbee regards the West as the present-day 
aggressors, identified as such from outside by the peoples of the former 
colonial territories, the fact of being surrounded by a common threat has 
more than once united Europe.

This was the situation in Western Europe for more than half of a century 
dominated by the military pacts (NATO and the Warsaw Pact), until it came 
to an end in 1989 with the fall of the Berlin Wall, and yet Western Europe 
was involved in defending a plan to unite the area from the Atlantic to 
the Urals. It thus firmly refused to be "le petit cap au bout de l'Asie", 
as Valéry used to put it.

A political era

Identity implies a common area which has a geographical form, but this 
will only have a border if, for unambiguous reasons of security, 
solidarity among the peoples involved and well-established sociological 
proximity, that identity is assumed. Article 0 of the Maastricht Treaty 
lays down that any European State may become a member, but it does not 
attempt to define a European State.

In fact the supposed common area is divided by various formal frontiers 
which do not coincide but were laid down for pragmatic reasons with a view 
to achieving the overriding objective. The European Union has 15 members 
since 1995 (when Austria, Sweden and Finland joined) and is considering 
admitting another 12 at the beginning of the next century, which is nearly 
upon us. The Council of Europe has 39, including Russia since 1996, which 
should make us wonder whether the area is broadening out or joining up. 
Meanwhile the Organisation for Security and Cooperation in Europe (OSCE) 
has 54, which raises the very same question in a more complicated form.

The sea frontier is extremely long, from the North Sea down the Atlantic 
seaboard to the Mediterranean, a fact which raises the opposite question 
to the one about the Council of Europe, i.e. whether the European identity 
has the effect of fragmenting the Atlantic identity which is still best 
expressed through NATO.

This multiplicity of formal frontiers, outlining areas which do not 
coincide, points towards a definition of a political area demarcated by a 
series of common threats facing

it and a common determination to confront them. In Europe's experience, 
historical internal conflicts are identifiable as such and are not to be 
confused with external threats.

Title V of the Treaty of Maastricht defines as one pillar of the European 
Union a common foreign and security policy, leading eventually to a common 
defence policy, but does not make a distinction between the internal 
frontier formed by the threat of the recent past and the external panorama 
constituted by a world context in flux.

It should be remembered that the founding fathers of the new Europe, Jean 
Monnet, Adenauer and Schuman, had in mind to free Europe forever from the 
spectre of civil war, with Germany and France in the leading roles, and in 
the area of security it is WEU which reflects that rivalry most clearly : 
the United States came over to Europe to fight twice in the same 
generation because of that historical conflict, and the object of WEU was 
to define a restrictive arrangement for the entry of the Federal Republic 
of Germany into NATO.

The external threat is a different issue, and that was reflected in the 
Atlantic Alliance for the half-century when the world was divided into two 
opposing camps.

Europe and the Atlantic Alliance

At the present time, when diplomacy conducted as a Nixon-style strategy, 
with the three pillars formed by the United States, Russia and China, 
seems once more to be to the fore, the question of a European identity in 
the political field of security and defence, which will be responsible for 
defining whatever geographical frontier is eventually adopted, seems to be 
couched in the following terms :

o a return by Russia to the historical nation-based strategic concept, 
with the idea of a "near-abroad" (the former satellite countries), and an 
attempt to reconstitute the geographical borders prior to 1989, in 
response to the creation by the Atlantic Alliance and Europe of "near 
friends" from the Baltic to the Mediterranean, a development made very 
clear by the Barcelona Conference this year ;

o the Western security organisation, to which the former Eastern European 
bloc is applying, and NATO, a group of countries which all aspire to be 
admitted to the European Union as well, thereby showing that they treat 
the two frontiers, the economic and political frontier on the one hand and 
the security frontier on the other, as autonomous ;

o in the Mediterranean region, NATO is also being pressed to provide a 
security frontier by the countries in the North African corridor, while it 
is from the EU that they also seek support for their political, economic 
and social development ;

o NATO is consequently being forced to give thought to adopting a new 
profile : -in addition to the collective defence objective, it now 
provides logistical and military support for the peace-keeping operations 
flowing from the UN's Agenda for Peace of 31 January 1992 ;

-it has laid bridges for cooperation with the East such as the North 
Atlantic Cooperation Council of 1991 and the Partnership for Peace of 1994 

-against this background, WEU has once again been brought into action as a 
point of reference for the Europeanisation of defence.

Here it seems that the ongoing overhaul of the United States' strategic 
concept and the process of formulating a European strategic concept which 
is now under way are bound to acknowledge that the European security 
frontier and the NATO security frontier are still tending to coincide. In 
that case, the common defence policy, or any common defence system for the 
European Union which emerges, is clearly first and foremost an internal 
question for the Atlantic Alliance, following half a century of 

Neither Reich nor Nation another future for the european union

Roger De Weck

What is it that keeps us Europeans together ? What is it that links the 
British, who so love to rage against the Continent, to the Poles or the 
Portuguese ? What do we have in common ? What are the differences, which 
not only divide but also unite us ? Is there a European identity ? The 
very fact that we raise the question of identity betrays the European in 

The French philosopher, Edgar Morin, speaks of Europe's "manifold unity" 
or "unitas multiplex". For all the variety of North America, its binding 
forces are obvious to the observer. The most striking feature of our 
continent is its diversity.

Certainly, the whole of Europe shares the inheritance of Christianity ; 
indeed for centuries awareness of "Christendom" was much stronger than the 
notion of "Europe". But as Europeans desert the Christian churches in 
their droves, this last vestige of the Western heritage loses its 
relevance. Christianity no longer unites Europeans, but nor does it divide 

As time goes by, our other great legacy o the Enlightenment o becomes less 
and less specifically European. Other regions of the world have long drawn 
on this inheritance (just as other continents have become more Christian 
than our own).

But more importantly, if the spirit of the Enlightenment forms part of 
European identity, then this particular part has been damaged since the 
Holocaust. The interplay of nationalism, imperialism and totalitarianism, 
which, sad to say, is all too European, brought disaster. Europe proved 
incapable of saving itself by its own efforts. We had to be liberated. Our 
fate hung on the United States, and that has undermined our self- 
confidence. In a century that has seen the most terrible of wars, the 
North Americans too have often gone astray. But they have always rejected 
totalitarianism. The United States is not only stronger as a result, but 
also more decisive. There was no American Voltaire, but nor was there an 
American Hitler.

What is not European

All of us in Europe have at least one identity, which we experience again 
and again and which can sometimes break right through to the surface o I'm 
talking here of a "negative identity". We may not know exactly what it is 
to be European, but we are quite sure of what is not European. We 
Europeans have never had hard and fast criteria for determining what 
counts as Europe. Our continent is ill defined both politically and 
culturally. Not even geography can help us o does our Eastern border 
really run along the Urals ?

During the Cold War, many Westerners forgot that the "far-off" countries 
of Central and Eastern Europe were utterly European in character. Despite 
all the anti-American feeling prevailing at that time, they felt much 
closer to America and still do. Even so, seldom do we feel as European as 
when we watch an American television series, which may explain why they 
are so successful. They are foreign to us and yet familiar.

According to one of the classic interpretative models used by 
psychologists, identity stems from negation. Europeans are hardly ever as 
united as in their determination to marginalize others. But there must be 
more to Europe than that, for in the long run negation is not enough : it 
offers a weak identity in which we protect our own egos by demonising 
others. For example, the British make a habit of "splendid isolation" and 
the Swiss nurture their "hedgehog" mentality. It is as if the 
Confederation would collapse were it not surrounded by enemies : the 
rabble-rousers on the Swiss right brand the EU as the "Fourth Reich" and 
one Green politician has waffled on about the "Empire of Evil".

Expressing a common sense of purpose

Europe is in fact made up of former enemies. When British Prime Minister 
John Major picks a fight with the European Union, his crisis team in 
London is immediately dubbed the "war cabinet", proving that the past is 
still close at hand. And yet wherever Europeans have finally come 
together, they now live in peace. New wars in Western Europe are virtually 
unthinkable and the Cold War is history. However, war and civil wars will 
remain a distinct possibility in Eastern Europe until its countries are 
able to join the European Union.

The German Chancellor Helmut Kohl was right when he observed that 
ultimately the European question is still a question of war and peace. And 
just as Switzerland sees itself as a nation created by an act of will, 
there is in Europe a growing identity, both in the literal and in the 
figurative sense, that is also based on an effort of will. The vast 
majority of Europeans share an "identical" and hence "identity-forming" 
will to establish a peaceful, united Europe. What is at work here is a 
positive identity : the twin concepts of will and reason are very much 
European. No doubt, the European Union will face many setbacks in future, 
but it will hardly sink to a point so low that disintegration could mean 
destabilisation and even lead to war.

This is because of the workings of what the French call "le sens de 
l'histoire" o in both senses of the term : Europe is moving in a certain 
"direction" and in so doing is giving itself a "purpose".

Individuals object to having an identity foisted on them. Identity cannot 
be decreed from above by nation states or by the European Union, for it is 
something organic, which develops from small beginnings and either thrives 
or withers away. The EU is simply a powerful expression of a common sense 
of purpose shared by many Europeans, who, after centuries of war, have 
finally become aware of their responsibility for their own continent. A 
Europe of the nations may be the rallying- cry for some, but Europe is 
first and foremost a warning against the hubris of these same nations.

"Verfassungspatriotismus" o or loyalty to the constitution o is a familiar 
concept in Germany. Underpinning the European idea is a kind of "loyalty 
to peace", which, however, is now fading away fifty years after the end of 
the Second World War. As time goes by, the younger generation which was 
spared those horrors has less and less sense of purpose and, in this 
respect, resembles the directionless and disoriented Swiss, since they too 
escaped the heavy toll in human lives.

The EU Member States were not far enough down the road to a common 
security policy to prevent the carnage following the break-up of 
Yugoslavia. If Europe had been up to the task, the question of identity 
would hardly be raised any more. Identity is also a matter of success.

Competition between world regions

Is success at all possible in an era of mass unemployment where the virus 
of social disintegration infects everything which is not already geared to 
out-and-out economic warfare ? Globalisation (internationalisation) 
threatens both national and European identities o as if one day the only 
remaining form of identification will be that of the worker with the 
mega-firm that employs him.

Yet the EU is not perceived as a force for order and moderation which is 
striving (for example through monetary union) to control the forces of 
globalisation and, logically, to steer in the opposite direction, 
something the nation states have long been incapable of. On the contrary, 
the EU is seen o albeit unjustifiably in many cases o as one of the 
mainsprings of the globalisation process which is oppressing countless 
individuals. This provokes national resentment. National politicians 
heighten the mistrust by claiming for themselves the credit for all 
political successes and laying the blame for failures at the EU's door.

However, Europe is not merely a scapegoat, but at the same time the exact 
opposite : the hopelessly overburdened standard-bearer of hope, which is 
bound to disappoint, because so many people would like it to disappoint. 
Europe acts as a blank screen on to which the Frenchman can project his 
yearning for "grandeur", the German his deep-seated need to belong, the 
Briton his uncompromising cries of "I want my money back", and the Eastern 
European his desire for stability and a guarantee of democracy, the rule 
of law and human rights.

While we are on the subject of human rights, in the vast globalisation 
process now under way, the old European claim to universal values is 
rebounding on Europe itself. Now that our continent is no longer at the 
centre of world events, Europeans must face up to the competition of 
values and identities. Just as the Swiss always feel the urge to retreat 
into their little corner, many Europeans also tend to withdraw into 
themselves in order to protect their own egos.

Yet if there is one single characteristic that defines Europe, it is that 
curious capacity for openness, which our continent displays time and again 
and has contributed to the "infinite richness in a little room" that so 
delighted Marlowe. Europe has left its mark over the whole globe, but it 
has also proved to have a voracious appetite itself, being perfectly 
capable of absorbing influences from all over the world and positively 
devouring foreign ideas, without surrendering any of its own identity.

However, globalisation unleashes the forces of homogenisation. It also 
throws open the question of the balance of power between continents. Must 
o indeed can o Europe summon up the will to compete as a united force 
against other regions of world ?

Since the passing of Charlemagne, the diversity of Europe has been ranged 
against the concept of a single European power. Our instinct is not to 
concentrate, but to divide, spread out and split up. Our logic is not that 
of a single centre, but of multiple centres. The concept of a "European 
nation", which is ultimately bound up with power politics, is a 
contradiction in terms. Balkanisation is the real danger. The European 
Union lies somewhere in between.

For far too long, Europe has swung between Scylla and Charybdis, between 
the Reich and the nation. The EU does not fit into this pattern ; it 
breaks the vicious circle. It is neither Reich nor nation and hence truly 
modern. Perhaps European identity is actually to be found in the new and 
lasting phenomenon of networks, which was first developed by the 
generation of '68 and took off with the electronic revolution. In many 
ways the European Union is o and is at its best as o a network. What the 
Swiss fail to understand, as outsiders with little first-hand experience, 
is that the EU has something more important than its institutions : the 
network of connections, the day- to-day working relationships remote from 
diplomatic channels, the exchanges. And these exchanges give rise to the 
"manifold unity", which according to Edgar Morin is the life-blood of 

Identity is a process

Our generation has experienced both the integration of Western Europe and 
the disintegration of Eastern Europe. In the West the decades-long 
enthusiasm for the unification process o identification with the EU o has 
been somewhat dampened, particularly where closer union has degenerated 
into homogenisation. In the East, many people see Europe as providing an 
ersatz identity. This is just one of many examples that identity is not 
something static and does not always remain what it was.

Identity is more of a process, and processes have driving forces, 
restraining forces and opposing forces. Identity always springs from 
contradictions and never becomes fully

o and inhumanly o coherent. On the contrary, identity contains within it 
crisis in the original Greek sense of "krisis" o decision. That is one of 
the reasons why the European Union often cuts a poor figure, just as the 
Swiss Confederation presented an unflattering picture for most of the 550 
years before the founding of the Federal State

o civil war, treachery, pacts with foreign powers, intrigue and 
ineffective parliaments.

It is actually growth which prompts the outbreak of identity crises. In a 
brilliant essay for the literary supplement of the "Weltwoche", Adolf 
Muschg recently asked « How much identity does Switzerland need ? ». 
Similar questions on the quantity and in particular the quality of 
identity could be asked about Europe. However, Muschg also went on to ask, 
« What is it that Switzerland still has to protect from Europe ? » Perhaps 
the difference is that Europe is looking for a new identity, while 
Switzerland is trying not to lose its old one.

What does it mean to be a European ? Preliminary conclusions Jérôme Vignon

From the very outset, at the preparatory meeting for the Coimbra Seminar, 
the historian Gilbert Trausch warned us that the task we faced was one 
fraught with difficulties and risks. "Though the search for a European 
identity is a classic exercise, indeed almost a commonplace for the social 
science disciplines, the quest for an identity specific to that very new 
arrival among the ranks of political animals, the European Union, is a 
much tougher proposition." In other words, to the historian's mind, the 
shaping of a collective identity is a long process, in contrast to the 
brief span of time occupied by the integration of Europe so far. Let there 
be no misunderstandings on that score.

With this caveat ringing in its ears, the Coimbra Seminar proceeded to 
business. Advancing in stages, it started with what it means to be 
European as a general concept, then moved on to the challenges raised by 
political unification of the European continent in the here and now. The 
discussion progressed by way of the idea of a "European project" which 
arose spontaneously as participants made their contributions. Alongside 
the centrality of the political necessity of 'the European project', four 
other main categories emerge : legitimacy, necessity, the project and 


Was it proper, for the proponents of an integrated Europe, to seek to 
mobilise the many facets of a European identity o history, culture, values 
and so on o to their own advantage, so as to construct some kind of 
political legitimacy for themselves ? In so doing, were they not falling 
into a double trap ?

o A collective identity was the outcome of an approach which needed to be 
seen in context and in proportion. If it was supposed to appeal to 
"ordinary people", then it could only be from the standpoint of their 
particular perceptions and experiences where we stand now at the end of 
the XXth century.

o To seek to exploit the material traditionally used to forge national 
identities was to ignore the special qualities of openness and 
multiculturalism, which were the marks of a truly European identity.

Jose Vidal Beneyto disposed elegantly of these two posers. Reminding his 
listeners of the academic achievements chalked up by the sociology of 
knowledge, he stressed that there was no going back on what the experts 
now agreed on : "Like individual identities, collective identities exist 
de facto. It is not improper to refer to them,

provided we recognise that the European identity evolves in step with 
whatever age we live in : it is a moving thing, not a thing established 
once and for all. And it goes much further than that : a collective 
European identity is bound to encompass not just variations but o 
especially o contradictions, contradictions which must be managed, and 
that is the job of politics. The purpose of a 'project' is just that, to 
reconcile contradictions, at the same time using the lessons we have 
learnt from the past and from a shared culture."


The bond between the identity of the European Union and a common project 
is not something which has come about in a void, simply through the 
inspiration of a few founding fathers, or a historical accident. It also 
owes its being to necessity, and to the will to which it gives rise.

Here, the Coimbra Seminar brought out a telling parallel between the 1950s 
and the 1990s.

We are, in a sense, entitled to say that there was more to the setting up 
of community of countries belonging to the Western European camp from the 
time of the Hague Conference onwards than a deliberate plan by the Fathers 
of Europe. This community of belonging also sprang up and developed under 
pressure from a political necessity, the necessity created by the 
East-West dispute. An economic integration process, one might say, was a 
way of responding to a geopolitical necessity, in which case the brainwave 
of the pioneers of European integration was to harness this economic 
vehicle up to a prior objective which went much deeper, a plan for 
solidarity and reconciliation which went beyond the immediate geopolitical 
challenges. This was the sense in which Filippo Pandolfi was able to say 
that "it was only after 1989 that the full scope of the European project 
could be seen, its raison d'être, if you like."

Marcelino Oreja reminded us that today, it was economic constraints, 
bringing with them the nagging challenges of competitiveness, which were 
the driving forces in integration. The progress made from 1985 to 1991 led 
to a political leap, the Economic and Monetary Union, which was itself 
reinforced by the geopolitical demands of enlargement. The 
Intergovernmental Conference now under way ought to graft a collective 
project adapted to meet the challenges of the present day.

To put it another way, in the 1990s as in the 1950s, pressure of necessity 
created an opportunity for a new collective departure. If there was a 
secret behind the identity of a Political Union, it was that it should be 
capable of giving a generally accepted sense to the sweeping changes 
occurring in the European continent, over and above the geopolitical 
momentum behind them.

The project

What should such a project consist of, "now and for the future", if that 
shared sense was to unfold ? What, in other words, was to be the telos, 
the ultimate objective ? Are we not entitled to expect an answer to this 
question from those responsible for European integration, from those who 
govern, but also from the intellectual elite ?

o Some speakers stressed the importance of overhauling the European social 
model, threatened as it now was by its inability to reconcile opening out 
to the world with maintaining social cohesion (José Vidal Beneyto). 
Bonaventura Sousa Santos, in fact, proposed focusing our efforts back on 
restoring the State and the community once the other pillar of the 
European social model, the market, had outgrown itself.

o Others wanted to go still further along the path of reshaping the model. 
Defining their stance in relation to the global challenges of the 
environment and population growth, they saw a contemporary European 
identity as an awareness of the urgent need for changes in lifestyles and 
patterns of consumption. Edy Korthals Altes, for example, saw it as a 
moral awareness with the capacity to answer the questions about the 
meaning of life. The same global view of developments in Europe today 
would, in the eyes of Zaki Laïdi, seek to identify Europe with efforts to 
act as an effective mediator for the world. President Mario Soares went so 
far as to say that the world needed a Europe capable of translating the 
spirit of democracy which was the only foundation it had at the present 
time into acts of international solidarity.

o Those who identified the European Union with a way of giving a deeper 
dimension to democracy alluded to a project which was as much a cultural 
as a political exercise. In the words of Massimo La Torre, it was a matter 
of establishing, by law, a genuine European citizenship. Freed of any ties 
to the prior possession of a particular nationality, it would be the 
seedbed of an identity linked directly to democratic ideals, a sort of 
constitutional patriotism in the pure state. For Claire Lejeune, the 
Political Union should be one where the implicit subjection of men to 
women would have been overthrown.

While invoking the urgent need for the European project to have a telos, 
those attending the Seminar stressed that the demos must be involved in 
the work of putting such a project together. In other words, to give 
expression to a European identity today meant embarking on a process of 
exchange, of listening and of interaction.


Warnings against the risk of overintellectualising came from intellectuals 
themselves. Heinrich Schneider pointed to the risk of totalitarianism 
lurking behind the concept of an avant-garde, if it were one enlightened 
not by reason but by a moral consciousness. Truls Frogner spoke of what 
the most deprived groups in Europe really expected in terms of jobs and 
unemployment. Maryon McDonald insisted on what made sense to people. This 
brought the meeting back, when it came to what it meant to be a European, 
to the sphere of "communicating", to "how to share, listen and receive", 
to "how to inspire and deserve trust". This was the point in the Seminar 
at which speakers' contributions became more specific and closer to the 
work being done by the European institutions. Under the subject heading of 
an interactive identity, four aspects were discussed : the institutions in 
the strict sense of the word ; communication ; new forms of mediation ; 
and, lastly, the need to foster interaction between the Member States and 
the Union.

1. Heinrich Schneider, a veteran of the battle for federalism, thought it 
was time to build something new out of the old federal mould. The 
institutions should be judged less against the yardstick of unity than on 
the basis of new criteria : whether the executive inspired confidence, 
whether joint action was effective, whether someone was visibly answerable 
for the exercise of power. It would have been hard to find a better 
definition of some of the challenges facing the IGC.

2. In the view of Elemer Hankiss, who was Head of Hungarian Television 
from 1991 to 1992, what the European Commission needed to overhaul was not 
so much its messages (though these, he said, were still not getting across 
strongly enough in his country) as its methods. Opportunities for working 
out what European integration meant in the present day needed to be 
provided in the shape of hundreds of forums like the Coimbra Seminar, 
where intellectuals, people from cultural and scientific backgrounds and 
journalists would debate the underlying issue, the raison d'être which 
Filippo Pandolfi had referred to. One was reminded of Denis de Rougemont 
saying that the search for Europe was itself Europe.

3. Many participants felt that the Commission did not allow enough space 
for mediation by associations acting as relays to develop, meaning the 
many hundreds of NGOs already structured into European networks which were 
capable of expressing the European sense of an operation carried out at 
local level, not to mention acting as the expression of a moral 
consciousness. Edy Korthals Altes spoke for them when he spoke of the 
practice of dialogue between religions at the European and Mediterranean 

4. We should stop acting and talking as if the Union and the nations in it 
were in competition. Nations were part of what it meant to be European, 
Maryon McDonald maintained. Bearing in mind the immense symbolic 
challenges posed by a single currency, we should leave it up to the 
national apparatuses, with their huge capacity to influence and respond, 
to talk to European people about Europe. Nor should we forget that 
farmers, students, textile workers, bosses of small businesses, doctors 
and trade unionists, in the publishing business, experienced Europe in the 
first instance through their day-to-day occupations. When the debates were 
over, some self-criticism emerged. Perhaps our group had taken too much of 
a consensus view. Had it allowed enough space for the anti- Maastricht 
protest voice to be heard ? Did it reflect the doubts and bewilderment in 
the minds of some grassroots voters ? The unconscious temptation to preach 
to the converted was certainly there, and we should bear it in mind when 
later Seminars came up. But a Seminar on Science and Culture was not there 
to do the work of a parliament : what it aspired to do was to think 
matters through and go back over the experience of the past. In that 
sense, Coimbra was a great help to us.


A dialogue on unemploymentbetween Truls Frogner and his Neighbour

You have not yet heard the trade union voice.

Some people think that trade unions are fading away. Well, in Europe we 
have the ETUC, the European Trade Union Confederation, with member 
organisations from 33 countries, after the enlargement eastwards last 
December. Now, some 55 national organisations, representing more than 50 
million members, come together in the ETUC to discuss and decide on common 
matters and then take care of our joint interests in the European Union 
and the European Economic Area (EEA).

Do you know any other and more representative non-governmental European 
organisation ?

In the European Union's search for its identity, a trade union has a 
relevant message. In my context, to be in a union means to take care of 
each other, knowing that acting together may give better results for all 
than acting individually.

Let me also add that in Norway, community has a more positive connotation 
than union, since my country, for many years, was the weaker part in 
unions with other countries. A union in Norway is also associated with 
foreign rule.

In our discussions today, I have heard that the magic words "European 
identity" contain the concepts of diversity, legitimacy and transcendence. 
My neighbour in Norway does not understand this and seldom speaks of 
identity. But he lost his job some months ago, and I can see this is doing 
something to his identity.

I told my neighbour last week that I was going to Coimbra to discuss the 
"European identity."

-What is that ?, he said.

-Well, we are supposed to find out, I replied.

-Do you have to go to Coimbra to find that out ? Why not here ?

-No, it is easier to see what you are from the outside. In Sweden, I feel 

In Brussels, I feel Scandinavian and in Tokyo, I feel European. When I'm 
in a

pub in Boston, I'm still in Europe.

-I understand. As an unemployed person, I feel the importance of a job...

-So, my friend, what is the European identity to you ?

-Nothing ! Does it create jobs ?

-It depends...

-What do you mean ? Does it or does it not ?

-It creates peace. What kind of employment policy is possible in Bosnia ?

-Stop ! The European Union did not prevent war in ex-Yugoslavia.

-Agreed, but in the old days, local war spread through all of Europe. The 

Union, together with NATO, made this impossible.

-OK, peace is a natural thing now. War will not happen in Europe again.

-Are you sure ?

-To be honest, no. I'm not sure of anything. Without a job, I don't know 
where I

belong. How could I identify with the European Union if it does not create 
jobs ?

-European Union made a report on "Growth, competitiveness and 

-Reports are not reality. The European Union is a marketplace. Growth and 
competitiveness yes, jobs no !

-With 20 million unemployed in Europe, it seems you are right. On the 
other hand, the European Union may change its treaty and enshrine 
employment in it.

-Interesting, but paragraphs don't create jobs. Moreover, national 
governments don't follow up.

-Should the European Union be the scapegoat if national governments fail 
in their economic policy ?

-I admit you have a point. Moreover, unemployment is high outside the 
European Union, too. Except in Norway where it is 4% and the inflation 
rate is below 1%. But still, these positive figures don't help me.

-We take you seriously. Within a short time, you will be offered a job, a 
labour market (professional training ?) course or another active 
alternative. And this is not mainly thanks to oil and gas, but to our 
social model and cooperation for employment.

-Why can't the European Union do the same ? Isn't cooperation a part of 
what you call the European identity ?

-Good question. Maybe because... eh... maybe...

-Well, Truls, come on !

-I'm not really sure why the European Union has not used its potential.

-Can't you ask them in Coimbra ?

-I will.

-Do you know what I think ? I think the European Union pays too little 
attention to the social dimension and too much to economic matters, or 
they have too narrow a concept of economy.

-Yes and no. Where else in the world will you find such close relations 
between the social partners and politicians ?

-Now you're talking me around again. It doesn't help me if you, on the one 
hand, speak of a fine European social model in a global context, and on 
the other hand, you have welfare cutbacks and rising unemployment.

-It is a part of the European political identity to say one thing and do 
something else.

-Ah ! Now I know what the European identity is : contradiction over unity.

-It's true, but it could also be unity over contradiction.

-Please tell me, Truls, why should I o being unemployed o identify with 
the European Union ?

-The answer is both simple and complicated ; at one and the same time, the 
European Union identifies with you and with 20 million more people without 

-In that case, I will wait and see.

-Oh no, this time I will challenge you. Why should you wait to see what 
the community can do for you ? Shouldn't you also ask yourself what you 
can do for the community ?

-Hmm... let's make a deal. I will, in spite of unemployment and a poor 
private economy, keep my trade union membership and join the European 
Movement. But you should take an initiative to strengthen the European 
Union with what is important to my identity o employment. In practice ! 
Not only in fine words.

-Agreed. You have a deal.

-Not quite. Only a temporary deal.

-Of course. Europe is not finished yet. Identity is something moving and 

o an Unidentified Flying Object !

List of contributors

Tom Bryder, Senior Research Fellow, Institute of Political Science, 
University of Copenhagen

Truls Forgner, Director of Political Affairs, Federation of Professional 
Associations in Norway, Oslo

Thomas Jansen, Adviser, Forward Studies Unit, European Commission, 

Ingmar Karlsson, Ambassador and Head of Policy Planning Unit, Swedish 
Ministry for Foreign Affais, Stockholm

Edy Korthals Altes, former Ambassador of the Netherlands; President, World 
Conference on Religion and Peace (WCPR), New York

Claire Lejeune, Poet; Secretary General of the Interdisciplinary Centre 
for Philosophical Studies at the University of Mons-Hainaut, Cléphum, 

Maryon McDonald, Appointed Senior Fellow, Department of Social 
Anthropology, Cambridge University, Cambridge.

Adriano Moreira, former Minister, Professor, Technical University of 
Lisbon Heinrich Schneider, Professor Emeritus, University of Vienna

Mario Soares, former President of Portugal Rüdiger Stephan, Secretary 
General of the European Cultural Foundation in Amsterdam

Massimo La Torre, Professor, Department of Law, European University 
Institute, Florence

Gilbert Trausch, Professor Emeritus, University of Liège

Jérôme Vignon, former Director of the Forward Studies Unit, European 

Brussels (1989-1998). Director for the Strategy, Délégation à 
l'Aménagement du Territoire et à l'Action Régionale (DATAR), Paris

Roger de Weck, Editor of "Tages-Anzeiger", Zürich

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