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Nationalism and Regionalism in the era of the making of a common European identity

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  1. Introduction.
  2. A common European identity?
    1. The making of identity.
    2. Can we speak of a common European identity?
  3. Obstacles to the making of this common identity.
    1. Nationalism.
    2. Ethnic and religious tensions.
  4. Alternatives to the European identity.
    1. Regional identities.
    2. Hybrid identities.
  5. Conclusion.
  6. Bibliography.

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? [...]

[...] But it is still too early in m opinion to speak of a clear, structured common European identity Obstacles to the making of this common identity If the European identity doesn't develop itself more deeply for the moment, the main cause seems to be that the mind f the citizens and the sentiment of belonging is turned to something else. In this section I'll try to analyze two of the most important obstacles we can find so far in Europe, nationalism and ethnic and religious rivalries Nationalism The majority of the European still continues to refer to the nation as their belonging. [...]

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