The year 2000 will be and have already been pivotal for the European Union. Ten new countries became full members of the Union and Turkey is on his way to the membership. But the 2005 failure to make all the countries sign the project of European constitution asks legitimate questions about the European identity. We are going to study the roles of nationalism and regionalism as far as the construction of the European identity is concerned, to see that they can act respectively as obstacle and alternative. A group of people cannot be defined as a group on really simple and basic criteria such as the lone fact of being together most of the time. Being a group means more. A social group can be called so when the individuals who compose it feel a particular feeling of belonging. In other words, if the group is basically constituted by the individuals, the group still has its proper and significant social life for itself.
[...] As far as the other is still labelled of otherness, no integration in a wider common entity is possible Alternatives to the European identity If the European identity isn't successful in emerging out of the conglomerate of the national identities, it's also because the European identity has to face another challenge, coming this time from the other identities, which at the same time do not necessarily compete with the national identities Regional identities We have to acknowledge first that the concept of region is still to receive a clear cut definition that could be used universally. [...]
[...] After years of cooperation between the Swedish and the Danish side, no common identity was really created, and f it was the case, the identity would be more Öresund related than European related. Another interesting case to be studied is the case of the regional separatism as you can found for example in the Basque Country in Spain or in Corsica in France. We've assumed that Europe is the sum of its nations. As some elements in those regions don't feel like belonging to an existing nation, how could they feel European? [...]
[...] Making so is according to Löfgren (Löfgren is the starting point of the creation of a common identity. Indeed, the more or less homogenous block formed by the first 15 countries has been weakened by the arrival of 10 newcomers, most of them former communist state, and by the possible adhesion of Turkey. I don't mean that creating a common identity would have been effective with 15 countries, but I would obviously have been easier, as far as for the moment, the ten newcomers are still far from the economic and cultural European standards. [...]
[...] Conclusion Nationalism and regionalism both act as hindrances to the creation of a common European identity as an obstacle and an alternative. It seems like the European level doesn't manage to find its place in the belongings of the European citizens. The recent addition of ten culturally different and economically less developed doesn't help find similarities between all the Europeans. One hope can be that the adhesion of those new countries benefits them as it benefited Spain and Portugal for example, that is to say increases their global wealth. [...]
[...] the scholars tend to agree on the matter of a double process of one the one hand differentiation from the others and on the second hand identification with the similar, in the process of creation of an identity. In this perspective, we can analyze, the most popular and the most effective means of creating what is usually called the boundaries of a group, that is to say to say its limits (Cohen, 1989). You have here also to refer to two kinds of means. [...]
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