EU’s identitetsprojekt: Et igangværende puslespil af universale værdier og nationale normer og traditioner

Annette Resen Egelund Jørgensen

Student thesis: Master thesis

Abstract

As part of its effort to create a common European Union (EU) identity, the EU introduced a common currency, the euro, and a union citizenship to make the EU more noticeable in the every-day-lives of the EU citizens in the hope that this would bring them closer together. This has, however, not worked so far as the EU citizens still favour their national identity above the EU identity which then begs the questions, how can a common EU identity then be promoted and what are the EU citizens lacking in order to enable them to identify with the EU? I presuppose that a Common EU identity should not be created as an elitist project but rather focus on the EU rights and duties and finding social cohesion between the EU citizens which will ensure trust and solidarity across the member states’ boarders. In order to either verify or falsify this hypothesis and to identify the problem(s) and find a suitable solution to the European identity crises, I compared sociologist and philosopher Jürgen Habermas’ Constitutional Patriotism, to professor of Nationalism and Ethnicity Anthony D. Smith’s Ethnosymbolism as well as doctor of Political Science Tamara Ehs’ Civic Concern on the basis of two case studies. The first case focuses on the financial crisis’ effect on the solidarity between the United Kingdom, The Republic of Ireland, Germany and Greece and the citizens of these countries. The main question behind this case is whether the euro can be perceived as a common EU symbol which I aim to answer by analysing the structure and history of the European Monetary Union, the four member states’ welfare regimes and economic traditions as well as opinion polls conducted by Eurobarometer. The second case is based on the European Court of Justice’s (ECJ) ruling in the Zambrano case which continues the line of dynamic rulings made by the ECJ. In my analysis of the case I aim to find out whether the introduction of the union citizenship and the way in which the ECJ has moved from for a moderate approach towards a liberal one in its rulings have bound the United Kingdom, The Republic of Ireland and Germany closer together on the basis of an analysis of the countries’ domestic nationality laws and their judicial and democratic traditions. I seek to point out that the answer to my initial question is that the EU citizen’s diverse cultural traditions together with the countries different welfare regimes complicates the EU identity process because the EU citizens do not have a common understanding of the EU’s universal values. Nor can they be said to share common norms and values. The analysis is furthermore based on Michael Böss’ and Thomas Pedersen’s ideas of social cohesion, solidarity as well as vertical and horizontal trust. I argue that the Constitutional Patriotism is not a suitable model for a European identity as it does not take the EU citizen’s diverse cultural traditions and norms into consideration and therefore are unable to detect the true cause of the lack of both vertical and horizontal trust on a national level as well as on a European level. I therefore suggest a model that combines Ethnosymbolism with Civic Concern and builds on a civic community of political rights and duties bound together by common EU cultural values. This, however, this raises a new question: How far are the EU member states and citizens really prepared to go in order to realize the European Dream of an ever closer union?

EducationsMA in International Business Communication (Intercultural Marketing), (Graduate Programme) Final Thesis
LanguageDanish
Publication date2011
Number of pages81