And we're back!
Started by Tamas, April 16, 2021, 08:10:41 AM
Quote from: Zanza on April 16, 2021, 10:49:09 AMQuote from: DGuller on April 16, 2021, 08:57:06 AMHow do you reform an organization with Liberum Veto rules? Do all the big countries gang up together and threaten to leave EU and form EU2 if reforms are not accepted?Yes. Whenever something is desirable, but cannot be implemented due to internal resistance, it is done outside the EU structures as a international treaty between the willing countries. These countries then later vote to include this treaty into the EU mechanisms. Examples would be Schengen or the European Stability Mechanism.
Quote from: DGuller on April 16, 2021, 08:57:06 AMHow do you reform an organization with Liberum Veto rules? Do all the big countries gang up together and threaten to leave EU and form EU2 if reforms are not accepted?
Quote from: Sheilbh on April 17, 2021, 12:51:13 PMIf member states start eroding that, then I think there's a real fundamental problem.
Quote from: Crazy_Ivan80 on April 17, 2021, 03:35:28 PMalternatively the fundamental problem could be that especially at the EU level it's almost dogma that the EU needs to change into a federal state.I'd rather not end up in a one size fits none situation, we've got enough of that in Belgium as it is. And since the EU is far too often compared to a Belgium writ large... well, I guess you can see why that'd be a problem
QuoteAnger as ex-generals warn of 'deadly civil war' in France 1 day agoThe French government has condemned an open letter signed by active soldiers that said the country was heading for "civil war" due to religious extremism.About 1,000 servicemen and women, including some 20 retired generals, put their names to the letter.It blamed "fanatic partisans" for creating divisions between communities, and said Islamists were taking over whole parts of the nation's territory.Ministers have condemned the message published in a right-wing magazine.The letter was first published on 21 April - the 60th anniversary of a failed coup d'état."The hour is grave, France is in peril," the signatories said.Far-right leader Marine Le Pen, a candidate in next year's presidential election, has spoken out in support of the former generals.But the minister in charge of the armed forces, Florence Parly, tweeted: "Two immutable principles guide the action of members of the military with regard to politics: neutrality and loyalty."She earlier warned that any signatories still serving in the military would be punished for defying a law that requires them to remain politically neutral.What does the letter say?It warns French President Emmanuel Macron, his government, and MPs of "several deadly dangers" threatening France, including "Islamism and the hordes of the banlieue" - the impoverished immigrant suburbs that surround French cities.The signatories go on to blame "a certain anti-racism" for splitting up communities, and seeking to create "racial war" by attacking statues and other aspects of French history.They also accuse the government of seeking to use the police "as proxy agents and scapegoats" by brutally repressing the popular "gilets jaunes", or yellow vest protests of recent years."It is no longer the time to procrastinate, otherwise tomorrow civil war will put an end to this growing chaos and deaths - for which you will be responsible - with numbers in the thousands," the letter concludes.In a country which pays for several thousand former generals on the retired and reserve lists, the support of just 20 of them to such explosive language does call for a sense of perspective, the BBC's Hugh Schofield in Paris says.Nonetheless, that the letter was written at all is a sign of dangerous times, and the backing of Marine Le Pen means the themes will continue to resonate in the year of campaigning that lies ahead, our correspondent says.What has the reaction been?Members of the French military, whether actively serving or reservists, are forbidden from expressing public opinions on religion and politics, and Ms Parly has called for those who signed the letter to be punished."For who have violated the duty of reserve, sanctions are planned, and if there are active soldiers among the signatories, I asked the chief of staff of the armed forces to apply the rules... that is to say, sanctions," the minister told radio network France Info on Monday.Ms Parly cited the case of a former general in the Foreign Legion who was expelled from the military for taking part in a protest against migrants in Calais.Why is the timing significant?Minister of Industry Agnès Pannier-Runacher told France Info she "unreservedly condemned" the generals "calling for an uprising... 60 years to the day after the generals' putsch against General de Gaulle".The failed coup d'état involved generals seeking to prevent Algeria - then a French colony - from gaining independence.But French nationalist politician Marine Le Pen welcomed the letter, calling on the generals to join her in "the battle of France".Her response came on the same day as a fatal knife attack at a police station south-west of Paris, which is being treated as a possible terrorist attack.France has proposed a controversial bill to tackle what President Emmanuel Macron has described as "Islamist separatism".However, some critics in both France and abroad have accused the government of targeting Islam.QuoteWhy Marine Le Pen backed the letterAnalysis box by Hugh Schofield, Paris correspondentMany in the French media are expressing surprise that Marine Le Pen came out in support of the generals.Cosying up to would-be putschists is what her father was supposed to specialise in. He was the one who was close to the anti-Gaullist hardliners of 60 years ago. He was the one who loved to flirt with illegality. Not Marine and her new-look National Rally.So has she miscalculated? Some think so.Coming out for a group of ex-generals - even of the armchair variety - who are so obviously overstepping the bounds and dabbling in politics - this makes it much easier for President Macron to paint her as a traditional French reactionary, heir to her father, Vichy and the rest.Voters from the mainstream right, who might have been tempted by her apparent recent conversion to the EU and sound money, will perhaps be thinking twice.But looked at another way, maybe Marine Le Pen felt she had no choice but to back the letter. After all, no-one thinks there is any serious chance of a military coup, so she didn't think she could be accused of encouraging insurrection.And the analysis of France's travails was identical to her own. If - in her view - the analysis is also one shared by a silent majority of the French, then she could hardly disown it.
QuoteWhy Marine Le Pen backed the letterAnalysis box by Hugh Schofield, Paris correspondentMany in the French media are expressing surprise that Marine Le Pen came out in support of the generals.Cosying up to would-be putschists is what her father was supposed to specialise in. He was the one who was close to the anti-Gaullist hardliners of 60 years ago. He was the one who loved to flirt with illegality. Not Marine and her new-look National Rally.So has she miscalculated? Some think so.Coming out for a group of ex-generals - even of the armchair variety - who are so obviously overstepping the bounds and dabbling in politics - this makes it much easier for President Macron to paint her as a traditional French reactionary, heir to her father, Vichy and the rest.Voters from the mainstream right, who might have been tempted by her apparent recent conversion to the EU and sound money, will perhaps be thinking twice.But looked at another way, maybe Marine Le Pen felt she had no choice but to back the letter. After all, no-one thinks there is any serious chance of a military coup, so she didn't think she could be accused of encouraging insurrection.And the analysis of France's travails was identical to her own. If - in her view - the analysis is also one shared by a silent majority of the French, then she could hardly disown it.
QuoteFrench soldiers accuse government of trying to 'silence' warnings of civil warSecond letter from military staff says threat of punishment 'quite perverse' and repeats: 'Civil war is brewing in France'Kim Willsher in ParisMon 10 May 2021 11.04 BSTLast modified on Tue 11 May 2021 05.10 BSTServing members of the French military have fired a second salvo at Emmanuel Macron's government in an open letter accusing it of "cowardice, deceit, perversion", just weeks after a first letter said the country was heading for "civil war".Like the first letter, it appears in the rightwing magazine Valeurs Actuelles. It was reportedly signed anonymously "by active military personnel" and is appended with a petition on the magazine's website for others to sign.The letter's signatories refer to the seventh verse of La Marseillaise, the French national anthem, that refers to the "avenging" slain elders or following them to "their coffins".It was published in support of the first letter, published on 21 April, the 60th anniversary of a failed coup d'état against General Charles de Gaulle over his support for Algerian independence.Signed by a number of retired generals as well as at least 18 serving soldiers, including four officers, the initial letter warned of the "disintegration" of France evoking what it called the "perils" of Islamic extremist and "the hordes from the banlieue".It also accused anti-racism groups of creating "hatred between communities" and cautioned that "lax" government policies could spark chaos requiring military action to "protect our civilisational values".Afterwards, furious ministers accused the signatories, who were supported by the far-right Rassemblement National party leader, Marine Le Pen, of breaking military rules and threatened legal action against them. The armed forces minister, Florence Parly, said: "The armies are not there to campaign but to defend France", while the interior minister, Gérard Darmanin, accused Le Pen of having her father Jean-Marie Le Pen's "taste" for the sound of marching boots.The second letter, published late on Sunday evening, batted off threats of punishment and launched an all-out attack on the government, accusing it of "trampling" on veterans' honour and "sullying" their reputation "when their only fault is to love their country and mourn its visible decline"."To quibble about the form of our elders' tribune instead of recognising the evidence of their findings, you have to be cowardly. To invoke a misinterpreted duty of reserve in order to silence French citizens, one must be very deceitful. To encourage the army's senior officers to take a stand and expose themselves, before angrily sanctioning them as soon as they write anything other than battle reports, one must be quite perverse."Cowardice, deceit, perversion: this is not our vision of the hierarchy. On the contrary, the army is, par excellence, the place where we speak the truth because we commit our lives."It concluded: "Once again, civil war is brewing in France and you know it perfectly well." By 10am Monday morning, Valeurs Actuelles claimed 76,461 people had signed the petition.It brought a swift and damning response from the French government and politicians across the spectrum. Darmanin said it was a crude manoeuvre in the run-up to regional elections next month and denounced the lack of courage of its unnamed authors."These are anonymous people. Is that courage? To be anonymous?" Darmanin said on BFMTV. "What a strange and courageous society that gives such a voice to anonymous people. It's like being on social networks. I think I know that when you're in the military, you don't do this kind of thing on the sly."Former president François Hollande told France Inter: "Where is the professional code ... how can we let people think that today the army would be driven by such feelings and by such a desire to challenge the very principles of the Republic?"Jean-Luc Mélenchon of La France Insoumise (France Unbowed) said: "They are seditious and cowardly. I'm not afraid to say my name and what I will do if I'm elected and that's to purge the army of its dissident members."Olivier Faure of the Socialist party said the letters were worrying and that the left should "reflect on all these threats".
QuoteIt was reportedly signed anonymously
Quote from: Sheilbh on May 11, 2021, 01:50:07 PMAnd again - meanwhile Barnier (who's definitely running) suggested a 3-5 year pause of all non-EU immigration to France while discussing solutions to Schengen (by which I mean Romanians and Bulgarians) with other European leaders. I've said before but I think there is a real risk of Europe taking a civilisational turn
Quote from: Jacob on May 11, 2021, 01:54:30 PMWhat sort of civilizational turn are you thinking?
QuoteWhat does it mean to be "pro-European" today?As champions of the EU see a growing threat to the continent's culture and civilisation, whiteness may become even more central to European identity. BY HANS KUNDNANI In continental Europe and especially in Germany, people will often proudly say: "I'm European". I frequently heard this from my former colleagues at the European Council on Foreign Relations (ECFR), which has offices around Europe. I could never identify with what sounded to me like a somewhat aggressive assertion of European identity. In fact, it made me uncomfortable. Since I could not see how one could identify with, let alone love, the European Union itself as an institution or set of institutions, it seemed the idea of being European expressed identification with a culture or civilisation – or even an ethnicity.My view of European identity is undoubtedly to a large extent a function of my Britishness. British people tend to think of themselves primarily either as British (or as English, Scottish, Welsh, etc), or perhaps as part of the English-speaking world, or alternatively, as "citizens of the world". But few think of themselves primarily as "European" as many in continental Europe do – in other words, as having something in common with other Europeans that sets them apart from the rest of the world. Few Brits see Europe as a Schicksalsgemeinschaft, or "community of fate", in the way Germans do.In my case, though, my inability to think of myself as "European" also has to do with my ethnicity. I was born and grew up in Britain, but my father is Indian and my mother is Dutch. "European" therefore never fully captured my identity, as it excluded the Asian part of it. I think this is true for many other non-white British people too – my sense is that if you are of African, Asian or Caribbean origin you are even less likely to identify as "European" than white Brits. (What I don't know is whether non-white people in continental European countries think of themselves as "European".)At ECFR, when I heard people call themselves European, I immediately thought of what that meant in a colonial context or, for example, in apartheid South Africa. In those contexts, "European" meant white. Whiteness seemed to me more central to European identity than it was to the identity of any individual European nation state, whose identities were defined in opposition to each other (British identity, for example, as the historian Linda Colley has shown, emerged in opposition to, and was defined against, France). So when people expressed pride in being "European", I heard an echo of a white identity.***Most "pro-Europeans" are baffled or outraged when I say any of this. They think of the European project – that is, European integration leading to "ever closer union" – as the opposite of a white or racist endeavour. They see the EU – and by extension European identity – as an expression of cosmopolitanism. But this is in a basic sense wrong. The EU is, of course, not a global project but a regional project. What the EU stands for is neither nationalism or cosmopolitanism but something in between: regionalism. Thus to say "I'm European" is to express a regional identity.The misleading characterisation of the EU as a cosmopolitan project is itself an expression of a Eurocentric tendency to mistake Europe for the world. The European project has integrated and to some extent overcome differences between the countries of Europe (though in the last decade it has sometimes seemed as if European integration, in particular the single currency, was increasing conflict between EU member states). But regional integration is quite different from global integration. Although internal barriers to the movement of capital, goods and people were removed, external barriers remained – particularly to immigration from outside the EU.The emergence of the myth of EU cosmopolitanism may lie partly in the way that, from its beginnings as the European Coal and Steel Community in the 1950s, the EU has been based on the lessons Europeans learned from the history of relations between European countries – the centuries of conflict culminating in the Second World War – rather than from Europe's relations with the rest of the world. European integration began in the 1950s – at the exact moment of decolonisation – yet the narrative of the European project is silent about the history of European colonialism and its implications.The myth creates a blind spot in pro-European thinking, which views the European project as a way to overcome the nationalisms that had caused conflict in Europe. For Germans in particular, it is a way to overcome the nation state, with which they have had a particularly disastrous experience.Because of this rejection of nationalism, however, pro-Europeans tend to assume that almost anything the EU does at a regional level is separate from the problematic currents in European history before 1945 – after all, it is through the EU that Europe has navigated these currents. Thus concepts considered problematic at the national level – such as the "community of fate" – magically become unproblematic at the European level. When EU member states sought to restrict exports of PPE at the beginning of the pandemic last year, it was criticised as nationalism. But when the EU itself restricted the export of PPE beyond Europe, it was viewed as a triumph of European unity.In reality, however, regionalism can be as bad as the worst nationalism. The centrality of the nation state in the past two centuries means the world has had less experience of regionalism as a powerful force, and it does not therefore have the same negative connotations as nationalism. But a regional identity can define itself against an Other, too, and be just as exclusionary as national identities historically have been. In fact, regionalism may have the potential to be even worse because regional blocs tend to be bigger and more powerful than single countries, and so capable of doing more harm to the rest of the world.The tendency to elide Europe with the world is also concerned with the evolution of pro-European thinking. European integration was initially driven by an internal European logic in the context of the Cold War and decolonisation. But its apparent success and the enlargement of the EU after the end of the Cold War led many pro-Europeans to see the EU as a model for the world.Implicit in this idea was a kind of "civilising mission" – though few pro-Europeans would think of it in those terms. In other words, there was a continuity of sorts between European colonialism and the "European project". But the EU was considered a relatively benign civilising mission, seen as a "civilian power" that would elevate international politics and export its depoliticised model of regional governance along with the "European social model", which included a generous welfare state.A good example of this in policy terms is freedom of movement. In the 1990s and 2000s, many pro-Europeans could still see the evolution of freedom of movement within the EU as a precursor to global freedom of movement – the removal of borders within Europe as a first step towards a borderless world. Even then, things looked a little different in practice – in the UK, for example, membership of the EU led to a relative decline in immigration from the former colonies and a relative increase in immigration from Europe.However, after a decade of crises, and in a changing world which many Europeans see as increasingly hostile, the idea of the EU as a model is now giving way in pro-European thinking to the idea of the EU as a competitor, as the EU has struggled to figure out how to resolve its own deep internal problems and to respond to what appear a growing number of external threats. It is not just that as the EU has become more embattled, pro-Europeans have become more defensive. The way they think about the European project has also changed – in worrying ways.The idea that the EU would transform international politics now looks less plausible than it did a decade or two ago. Rather, the debate among pro-Europeans now focuses on how the EU can adapt to a world in which great power politics seems to have returned. Ursula von der Leyen promised a "geopolitical [European] Commission" when she became its president in 2019. Pro-Europeans have now embraced the idea of "European sovereignty", a concept they had historically opposed. Thus the EU, which was once seen as a "normative power", in other words a model, is now aspiring to become a much more traditional power – and so pro-Europeans urge it to develop a "defence union" or even "strategic autonomy".The idea that the EU could export its technocratic model of governance has also become less plausible during the last decade, especially since there has been a backlash within Europe against this depoliticised model. In fact, scholars such as Chris Bickerton have shown how populism is to a large extent a reaction to technocracy. The idea of a "European social model" also looks less credible; since the euro crisis began the EU, driven by Germany, has done much to dismantle the welfare state in the so-called periphery of the eurozone in the name of ensuring a "competitive" Europe.***Many pro-Europeans believe this rethink of the European project reflects a new realism. But against this background, the relatively benign civilising mission in earlier pro-European thinking, based on its political-economic model, appears to be giving way to a more civilisational discourse based on the uniqueness of its culture. The cultural or civilisational element of European identity has become more dominant – and is often expressed in terms of "European values". To put it another way, the EU's earlier civic regionalism is evolving into a more problematic cultural or even ethnic regionalism. Pro-Europeans increasingly think in terms of protecting the continent from threats that they view in increasingly cultural terms. Thus what has emerged is a kind of defensive civilisationalism.The refugee crisis of 2015 may have been the critical juncture in this civilisational turn in the European project. It made it clear to Europeans, if it wasn't already, that the absence of internal borders required hard external borders. In the past five years, the EU has taken a number of measures to increase external border security, including an expansion of Frontex, the EU border agency, that many see as a militarisation of the EU's borders. Far from ushering in a borderless world, it is now clear that freedom of movement within the EU has simply meant that borders have been moved from one place to another – and further away from Germany.The most striking expression of this pro-European civilisationalism is that, as part of Von der Leyen's "geopolitical Commission", the EU now has a Commissioner for Promoting our European Way of Life (it was originally "for Protecting our European Way of Life"), Margaritis Schinas. His main responsibility is to coordinate the Commission's approach to asylum and migration, which is largely about keeping migrants out, often using brutal methods that violate human rights. This makes the EU's civilisational turn explicit: migration is now seen not just as a difficult issue to be managed but as a threat to the "European Way of Life".These developments reflect a growing tendency to think about international politics in civilisational terms. Europe increasingly defines its "values" against a rising China as a geopolitical threat, and against Islam, Europe's historic Other, in the form of migrants and terrorism. In his 1996 book The Clash of Civilisations, the American political scientist Samuel Huntington predicted conflict between the West and China and Islam. But even though the initial impetus for European integration came from the United States through the Marshall Plan, the EU has also long sought to define itself against the US – and as the US becomes a minority-white country in the coming decades, whiteness may become even more central to European identity.The figure who, more than anyone, embodies this synthesis of "pro-Europeanism" and civilisationalism is the French president Emmanuel Macron. His vision of a "Europe qui protège", or "Europe that protects", initially sounded like a progressive vision – offering people protection from the market – but this has increasingly given way to a focus on cultural, rather than economic, protection. In particular, since the murder of the teacher Samuel Paty by an Islamist terrorist in October 2020, and under pressure from Marine Le Pen's Rassemblement National, Macron has taken steps to stop what he calls "Islamist separatism". Last October, he introduced measures to increase state control over mosques and imams in France to "defend the republic and its values".Macron also sees European foreign policy in explicitly civilisational terms. In a speech to a gathering of French ambassadors in Paris in August 2019, he spoke about the need for the EU, led by France, to pursue what he called a "project of European civilisation". It should "rebuild sovereignty" and become a "balancing power", particularly between China and the US. If the EU did not take bold action, he said, "Europe will disappear".The current debate among European foreign policy analysts almost sounds like an international political equivalent of immigration debates based on the fear of the "great replacement". In his 2011 book Le Grand Remplacement, which has influenced the far right in Europe and the US, the French writer Renaud Camus argued that the presence of Muslims threatened to destroy French culture and civilisation. When my former colleagues at ECFR say the EU must become more strategic or "sovereign" or talk about "European power", I hear the analogous idea that, unless Europeans unite and assert themselves, they will be replaced by other (non-white) powers.Hans Kundnani is a senior research fellow at Chatham House and the author of "The Paradox of German Power"
Quote from: celedhring on May 12, 2021, 03:43:24 AMHeh, can't say I agree with the ramifications of saying "I'm European". The affirmation was born as a way to trascend local nationalism given that one of the main things that people nagged about the EU was, precisely, that "the EU will fail because there isn't an European identity" I think the author tries too hard to push the theory that the EU taking an identitarian turn was somehow inevitable.
QuoteThe meaning of pro-Europeanism – a response to Hans KundnaniCivic principles – from liberal democracy to international law – are the cornerstones of the EU, not a particular ethnicity, religion or culture.One of the unexpected by-products of the 2016 Brexit referendum was the birth of an enthusiastic pro-Europeanism, which all of a sudden went from being an abstract, intellectual project to one that captured people's hearts as well as their heads. Millions took to the streets waving European flags in the UK while opinion polls showed record support for the EU across the Continent. People only understood how much their European identity meant to them when they realised it could be taken away.Hans Kundnani, in his recent essay on pro-Europeanism, does not share this sense of loss. As a British citizen of Dutch and Indian parentage he was never able to think of himself as "European" because, to him, it is a (white) civilisational project. "When my former colleagues at [the European Council on Foreign Relations (ECFR)] say the EU must become more strategic or 'sovereign' or talk about 'European power'," he concludes in the essay, "I hear the analogous idea that, unless Europeans unite and assert themselves, they will be replaced by other (non-white) powers."As the director of ECFR, and so one of Kundnani's former colleagues, I read his essay with a mixture of sadness and confusion since my experience – and the accounts of non-white colleagues and friends – are so different. As the child of a British father and a German-Jewish mother who was born in hiding in France, I did not need Brexit to feel European – it is my European identity that gives shape and meaning to my fragmented family history.National identity is difficult to disentangle from blood and soil. A multinational identity, by contrast, is much less tightly bound to ethnicity because it is by definition multi-ethnic. Kundnani argues that the EU is a "regional project", and that although "regionalism" does not "have the same negative connotations as nationalism", a "regional identity can define itself against an Other, too, and be just as exclusionary as national identities have historically been". Kundnani implies that Europe's "Other" is the non-white population.But to the founders of the EU – and people like myself – Europe's primary "Other" is its own past. The entire European project is an elaborate attempt to transcend a history of nationalism in Europe and imperialism in the wider world. Thus the EU has in its DNA a rejection of the violent ethno-nationalism that led to the death camps. Like many across the Continent, I am a member of the first generation in my family not to face war and exile, let alone extermination. The EU deserves at least some of the credit for this.As Kundnani points out, the EU was also founded "at the exact moment" European empires were unwinding. Just as it was a way of dealing with competitive nationalisms among its members, it also provided its constituent nations with a new focus after decolonisation, helping European governments to move on from their rapacious colonial pasts. In his history of decolonisation, the German historian Jürgen Osterhammel makes the point that the bureaucrats who might otherwise have been administering European colonies ended up building the European bureaucracy in Brussels. In that sense, the EU also has in its genetic make-up a rejection of colonialism.It's true that the EU has done a much better job of facing up to the extermination of people within its continent than to its colonial history. Countries such as Belgium and France have struggled to come to terms with their dark imperial pasts, while institutions in Brussels rarely acknowledge them. Some central and Eastern European member states see themselves as victims of Soviet and Ottoman colonialism rather than perpetrators. Many are blighted by racism, as we have seen in the abuse hurled at footballers in recent matches. The 2015 migration crisis has also sometimes brought out the tendencies of a "Fortress Europe".Yet while there has been a frightening upsurge of ethnic politics in Europe – as well as around the world – there is nothing intrinsic about European identity that makes it antithetical to diversity. In fact there are many reasons why it should be easier for European identity to acquire a post-colonial sensibility than the national identities within Europe.First, every nationality is in a minority at a European level, and so a core part of the project is about protecting the rights of minorities and finding ways for them to live together in peace. Why is Viktor Orbán so critical of the EU? Precisely because it provides a platform for protecting the rights of minorities such as Roma, and the religious freedom of Muslims. To frame European-ness in ethnic terms is to ignore what Europe is today: a continent that relies on diversity and immigration.Secondly, because European identity is not rooted in a single ethnicity, it can only be defined in terms of laws and values. ECFR has been at the forefront of defining an agenda on European sovereignty based on civic principles rather than ethnicity, religion or culture. The goal is to defend international law against power, liberal democracy against populist majoritarianism, privacy against surveillance capitalism, and human rights against surveillance states.Kundnani characterises the EU as a regionalist, rather than cosmopolitan, project. I do not see these two categories as incompatible. It is perfectly possible to have cosmopolitan projects at a global, regional, national or local level. The EU – in keeping with its Enlightenment roots – has always been a universalist project. It is because of the pushback abroad from Putin, Trump and Xi Jinping against Enlightenment values that the EU has become more "regionalist", preoccupied with at the very least defending these values at home.Lastly, Kundnani's critique implies the existence of a single European project, but there have always been competing conceptions of what Europe stands for. He takes the ideas of the proto-fascist Renaud Camus about whiteness as the dominant version of European identity, and then implies that this is the concept of Europeanism supported by Emmanuel Macron, Ursula von Der Leyen and even think tanks such as ECFR. Such an elision makes as much sense as allowing Nigel Farage to define what it means to be British and then accusing Sadiq Khan, Nicola Sturgeon and Caroline Lucas of supporting his Little-Englander ideology.What it means to be "pro-European" today is not fixed but is perpetually being shaped and challenged. Identities are necessarily sites of conflict and the European story is still being written. Rather than repressing its history of colonialism, the EU needs to do more to help its member states find ways of confronting their pasts. Just as Europe has had to face and transcend the 20th-century nationalisms that destroyed the European continent, it needs to do the same with the challenges that imperialism has left in its wake in the rest of the world. A civic European identity provides a powerful framework for former imperial nations to face their own demons and instil pride in future generations.
QuoteI side more with Sheilbh in this, the EU will be what the governments want it to be, and we're in the middle of a resurgence of localism. I see Macron's efforts as born out of pragmatism rather than belief, a way to make a sense of identity compatible with the European project, but I think it's misguided. Not that I have great ideas about how to tackle the issue, mind.
Quote from: celedhring on May 12, 2021, 03:43:24 AMHeh, can't say I agree with the ramifications of saying "I'm European". The affirmation was born as a way to trascend local nationalism given that one of the main things that people nagged about the EU was, precisely, that "the EU will fail because there isn't an European identity"
QuoteAs Kundnani points out, the EU was also founded "at the exact moment" European empires were unwinding. Just as it was a way of dealing with competitive nationalisms among its members, it also provided its constituent nations with a new focus after decolonisation, helping European governments to move on from their rapacious colonial pasts. In his history of decolonisation, the German historian Jürgen Osterhammel makes the point that the bureaucrats who might otherwise have been administering European colonies ended up building the European bureaucracy in Brussels. In that sense, the EU also has in its genetic make-up a rejection of colonialism.
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