citizenship education

Topics: European Union, Europe, European integration Pages: 15 (4505 words) Published: April 20, 2014

Is it possible to establish trans-national forms of citizenship? Discuss in relation to European citizenship. Introduction
In this essay, I will argue that it is impossible to establish trans-national citizenship and I will make this argument in relation to European citizenship. There are mainly five aspects supporting my argument. To begin with, as education exerts a great influence on the establishment of European citizenship, it is necessary to describe the current status of the education for European citizenship and investigate whether these educational activities are of help to its establishment. Education for European citizenship is so important as European citizenship is not a shared cultural heritage that Europeans will automatically identify themselves to. Rather, it is established on the basis of a shared democratic culture that Europeans recognize themselves as citizens of Europe. Therefore, for young people in Europe, educational initiatives are of great importance in facilitating the process of establishing European citizenship. These educational actions have been carried out in a large number of areas such as language, history in order to enhance and promote their sense of belonging to Europe, which contributes to the establishment as well as the development of European citizenship. In this regard, many efforts have been made to accomplish this goal, the details of which are included in the body part, however, it remains unclear that how much it has been done and whether it is effective or not. Hence the efforts that have already been made seem not to facilitate the establishment nor encourage the development of European citizenship. Secondly, according to Sobisch(1997), there are three definitions presented in order to meet the requirements of the establishment of European citizenship. They are "political-legal, civic-virtue and European identity" (Sobisch, 1997, p.74). Due to the failure to meet the last two requirements, the possibility of European citizenship is minimum. The definition of "civic virtue" (Sobisch, 1997) signifies the normative aspect of European citizenship, which refers to those good qualities of citizens. But there is almost no literature that can be traced to have recorded the specific duties or obligations connected to European citizenship, nor there are many opportunities for Europeans to perform their duties in the context of transnational concept-Europe, which means that the "good qualities of citizens" are not specifically regulated in any relevant literature. With regard to the facet of European identity, evidence is provided in the body part. Thirdly, it is obvious that the recognition of the similarity in cultures and values is vital to establish EU citizenship just as Jean Monnet says "If we were beginning the European community all over again, we should begin with culture" (as cited in Schlesinger, 1987, p. 222). Due to the fact that there exists deep diversity in both cultures and values within the European countries, it hinders the process of the development of European citizenship to some extent. In Eder and Giesen's theory, "collective identity" (Eder & Giesen, 2003) comprises the foundation of the formation of European citizenship. Due to the reason that there is no relative common cultural heritage that is considered as a crucial element for establishing collective identity can be found after all, through looking back into the European history, therefore, there is a lack of solid foundation in the establishment of European citizenship as the common shared cultural heritage is so little. Fourthly, the support of the public plays an indispensable part in the establishment of European citizenship. When European citizenship was included in Maastricht Treaty, many debates questioned its functionality, to be more specific, the benefits it can bring out to European public and the rights it can grant citizens since its establishment. With regard to this, European Union has...

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