Forming of European Identity Within Framework of National Culture Policy

Topics: Culture, European Union, Europe Pages: 6 (2168 words) Published: June 11, 2012
One of the most important contemporary and circulating discourses of the forming of common policy, economics and transnational connections in European Union is European identity as a very important basic formation for the future development. Beyond the existing icons of Europeanisation, there is a circulating idea on the need of consciousness of European identity which is being systematically sponsored by the Administration of the European Union. A European identity is necessary for the European Union to avoid "fragmentation, chaos and conflict" of every kind (military , social, economic and political) and to help achieve cohesion, solidarity, subsidiarity, concertation and cooperation. Almost all potential sources of a European identity are welcome: political and ideological beliefs, economic theory, culture, history, geography, ethnic common destiny, etc. That’s why European identity is often called a Culture Caravan. With it’s advantages and also disadvantages, with coexistence of bigger and smaller nations and ethnical groups. Now when we are speaking about a common, unique European identity, EU policy can not forget to ask a question whether national identities can be supplemented or transformed. We can’t forget that European identity must be seen in relation to entrenched national identities. Does a European identity have to supplant the national ones? Can it supplement or transform these? How much of a transformation is necessary? Will a European identity be a novel, post-national type of identity? Where in the common system stands such a small nation as Latvia? Historically speaking, nation building has been marked by struggle, by people actively seeking recognition for their particular culture, history, language, and identity. Western metaphysics has always naturally furnished European consciousness with the concepts and the conceptuality of European identity but also with principles of space and time, in other words, with the basic principles of geographical history. The European Union is based on a large set of values, with roots in antiquity and in Christianity which over 2.000 years evolved into what we recognize today as the foundations of modern democracy, the rule of law, and civil society. Every nation is a historically, culturally and politically formed community which is based on a form of solidarity. National identity - as a mode of identification with a unique and distinct community - is given institutional recognition and sustained by each individual self-professed nation-state, as well as in the internationally established legal code or ‘law of the peoples’, that provides the criteria for designating and formally recognising states. European identity has to crystallize. Europeans have to increase the feeling of belonging together, sharing a destiny, a community of values, community of life, economy, social policy, environment and most importantly – sharing responsibility. Otherwise the threat of dissolution will come from both inside and outside. First, there exists the need for identity at the level of the Union. Such identity has to be perceived as clear and distinct from both inside and outside. Secondly, there is the need to respect existing national identities of the Member States. Charta of European Identity defines several essential items to the growth of a European identity within the framework of the European Union and one of them emphasizes the need for a common cultural and education policy to foster a sense of European identity in the European Union and its member states, promoting unity in diversity and common values for all citizens. Being a European is not a question of birth, but of education. The concept of culture can be utilised in either a narrow or wide sense. Narrow, because it can be restricted to being defined by the arts, literature, music and philosophy. In its wider sense, however, culture refers to a complexity of values, customs, ideas, and political and social...
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