Does the EU need a European Identity? Why? Why not? Use concrete examples to support your line of argument
- The term identity
- Does the EU really need an European identity?
- Identity as a moving concept
In a European Union under construction, speaking about European Identity is essential. If it exists, it should be the expression of a dynamic link between Europeans. This identity is or would therefore be the creator of art and culture, a common political ethic, European citizenship, and common education. The first objective is then to know whether a European Identity exists. The answer seems to be "no". Of course, the European Union is not completely devoid of a common Identity, but "So far, the identity of the European Union has predominantly been defined politically" (European Values and Identity, 2007). According to the Treaties, the EU is founded "on the principles of liberty, democracy, respect for human rights and fundamental freedoms, and the rule of law" (Article 6 TEU). In accordance with the principle of "unity in diversity", it shall promote the diversity of its cultures, while "bringing the common cultural heritage to the fore" (European Values and Identity, 2007)
[...] This declaration emphasized the need to encourage the feeling of belonging to a common culture in order for the EU to be successful. ?Nowadays this issue is back to agenda due to the Enlargement and all confusion it will cause. In order to overcome all the barriers EU has to find a uniting factor, that will be stronger then prejudices in people's minds about each other?. (European identity topic, 2005). Two enlargements occurred since 2004. The ambitious enlargement of 2004 (the largest in the EU's history), by which eight countries from central and eastern Europe and two Mediterranean islands (Cyprus and Malta) became ?European Members?, and the adhesion of Romania and Bulgaria in 2007 made the EU more diverse. [...]
[...] The line of argument of the EU is, of course that we can have both identities, and that multiplicity of identities will lead to a richer Europe. According to European Union Leaders, a European Identity does not contradict national or regional identity. For instance, Article F of the Maastricht Treaty reads "Union shall respect the national identities of its Member States", Europe needs to be closer to its citizens in order to achieve its goal of deepening European Identity. Identity is based on the sharing of common values. [...]
[...] According to Piotr Sztompka, a Polish Professor of Sociology, more obvious foundation of the European Identity is its common history, and Europe has its origin in three great traditions? (2004, p.7). In his opinion, actual Europe is built on three pillars, which are ?ancient Greece?, ?ancient Rome? and ?Judaism and Christianity?. Due to these pillars, Europe, and so European Union is based on the same tradition of art, law and legal culture, concept of human dignity and the idea of freedom. [...]