european-identityViviane Reding, Vice-President of the European Commission, often speaks about her belief that stronger “political union” will be needed if the EU is to survive the coming decades. During a series of Citizens’ Dialogue meetings between EU Commissioners and ordinary citizens from towns and cities across Europe, she has usually finished each meeting by arguing that a democratic and effective EU must be based on a stronger political union between its member states. It’s a question we discussed only last week here on Debating Europe, and it’s something that has divided our commenters since we launched.

Győző, for example, recently left us a comment saying the EU should “forget these plans of destroying nation states”, to which Joachim responded:

It is not about destroying nation-states… it is about including [them] in a greater group of different cultures and states with their European ideals in common.

It’s easy to claim that European unity should be based on common values and ideals (few people are seriously arguing against the value of ‘democracy’ and ‘human rights’ in 21st Century Europe), but is there a common European identity that can bind us together through the bad times as well as the good? Christos from Greece worries that an EU based purely on national self-interest cannot last:

Is the EU still only an economic bloc that countries join [only] for economic reasons? […] Will countries ever decide to join or stay in the Union because of the common good (if such thing exists) instead of their national interests?

We put Christos’ comment to Ivo Vajgl (a Slovenian MEP whose party belongs to the  liberal democratic ideology in our Vote2014). He was quite positive in his response:

We also had a comment sent in from Pedro arguing that a common European identity could be fostered through the education system:

I think there should be a class on ‘Europe’ since [an] early age. Having a common approach to these teachings everywhere on the EU would contribute [to] a common identity for all Europeans. It would be multidisciplinary: history, culture, sociology, etc.

We put this suggestion to Iuliu Winkler, a Romanian MEP whose party belongs to the  centre-right ideology in our Vote2014. He enthusiastically supported Pedro’s suggestion:

However, we also had a comment sent in from Sven, warning that this approach could easily be seen as pro-EU propaganda. Here’s how Iuliu Winkler responded:

In fact, classes on the EU may not be necessary
(and national curriculums are anyway the exclusive preserve of member-state governments). The available polling data suggests that many people in Europe already feel a certain sense of European identity, with Eurobarometer suggesting that 62% of Europeans consider themselves to be a “citizen of the EU” and 55% feeling their identity is both European and national.
European Identity01

IMAGE CREDITS: CC / Flickr – European Parliament

153 comments Post a commentcomment

What do YOU think? Can the EU survive if it is based on economic self-interest, or is a European identity needed? Do you see yourself as European, or do you think the various cultures of Europe are too diverse to have anything in common? Let us know your thoughts and comments in the form below, and we'll take them to policy-makers and experts for their reactions.

  1. avatar
    Christos Mouzeviris.

    European identity can only be formed with investing in education and culture. Investing in creating movies, a European music industry, art, education, and constant exchanges of culture and heritage.. It can only be achieved not by watering down any national pride or culture, replacing it with American movies and music or ideology. This results in the “Americanization” of Europe.

    But with constant cultural exchanges,with exposure of one’s culture to another. With an education that is Europe oriented and explains how EU works and what are our rights in it.

    No common currency, single market, EU ID cards or an integrated economy can create a common European identity. It is culture and heritage that bind people together, not a currency..

    Europe so far has failed to promote its own culture and relies mistakenly on the American stereotypes to create a multicultural society.. American culture is something foreign to me and to most of us.. I want to show other Europeans what Greece or Ireland have to give and contribute, and equally I have a great curiosity to find out what is going on in countries like Latvia or Poland or Hungary and Romania, that for so many decades we have been divided by an Iron Curtain.

    So if the European leaders want to create this “common European identity”, they better start investing not in saving the Banks, but promoting European arts, crafts, music, movies, literature, theater, education, combined with harmonizing the European economies and giving everybody the same salaries, opportunities, pensions and living standards.

    What is the point of having a few core rich nations gathering all attention, wealth and political power in Europe, then complaining that people from poorer nations emigrate to their countries and “sponge” them of their tax money. How can you built a common European identity with these divisions among the European population?

    Divisions that are created and supported by the media and governments that like the stereotypical portrayal of European people, just so to keep the current political and economic status quo.

    Just a few thoughts.

    • avatar

      You just said what I would have said.
      European culture should be taught at school with front lessons AND exchanges with other european countries. We did so last year (France-Italy for the entire month of march) and it was great.
      And stop following what America does…

  2. avatar
    Christos Mouzeviris

    Greek first, then European and the so many other things. Being European is my “second skin”.. It just is.. European cultures are very close and interconnected, yet so different. The only way to create a common European identity is through constant cultural exchanges and education. No single currency can ever achieve that!

  3. avatar

    I feel EUROPE=minorities
    Europe is a mix of minorities that have to renounce to the sense of property of a piece of the continent and assume ownership of the whole with total toleration and admiration to the culture of (at least) their brothers from EUROPE
    I do feel European as I am an X national born and raised in country Y now living in country Y but working for a multinational serving country X with serious plans of moving .. to country Z.. :) X, Y and Z belong to EUROPE and the multinational is transnational.. :)

    • avatar

      No, we do not want to give up 25% of our wealth so a minority of EUro-federalists can have their Eurosoviet pipe dream.

    • avatar
      William Gandemer

      And a TCK… ;)

  4. avatar

    It is too simple to view identity in a manichaean “either-or” way. The reality is that idenities are too complex to be categorised as “national” or “European”. For many people in todays world there is the possibility to have what Thomas Risse has defined as “Russian Doll” or “Marble Cake” identities, in other words a self-relevant hierarchy or synthesis of idendities. Just as regional identities can be incorporated into national ones (e.g. Bavaria), such ties are conditional to the benefits each person gets from such ties. A national and a European identity can coexist provided that people believe that they benefit both individually and as a group in such an arangement.

    • avatar
      Arjan Tupan

      This is a great comment. And it’s not just geography that determines identity. It can also be membership of other types of groups: company, profession, hobby, music preference, sports team, etcetera.

  5. avatar
    Τεπενδρής Πίπης

    Sorry i dont want to study german and british egoistic culture .
    I dont want each one to pay his beerand his souvlaki .

    i like paying for my friends when they dont have .. and them paying for me when i dont.
    i like talking to tourists their language..

    I am not German nor French … to obilige a tourist to speak the native language.

    Sorry.. I ll stay GREEK

  6. avatar

    The populations of EU member states have very diverse values, which indicates diverse cultures.

    The EU establishment completely ignores this and tries to impose its single “European values” top down. This is a major reason why people get increasingly critical of the EU. The increase of “right wing” votes is part of this resistance.

    To consider oneself as “European” is not the same as identifying with the EU. The 3% above of “only European” could even be the writing on the wall, because it is about the same number who considered themselves as “Yugoslavian” in Tito’s bygone multicultural state.

    European identity derivesnot from the EU but from living in geographical Europe AND having ancestors who contributed to the making of Western civilisation (on different levels of life).

  7. avatar
    Marie-france Dubois

    I’m worried about Europe..I see many people of EU countries comming to live and work in the countries who are a bit better in the economy,but we have our own people that is having trouble with finding jobs already.Also we have to agree with their views and habbits or we are easely called racists,but why can’t they respect our way of life.To be honnest,the last couple of months with all i read in the newspapers,i feel more and more a stranger in my own country.The new laws that are discussed now as well to ban people after 2 years when the don’t work make me live in fear.We don’t go in front.We go back in time.I don’t feel safe,i don’t feel happy in Europe.Sometimes i think Europe is a copy of what the United States are.We try to do the same,but it doesn’t work very well.I live in a small countrie and i believe we shouldn’t be similar to bigger countries that have more possibility’s for everything.Sorry..

  8. avatar
    Maria Spirova

    It is not about your language or where you were born. And not about your parents, either. It is about how you think and what your values are. Blood and origins are archaic ways to determine our identities – they may be important, but ultimately they limit us if we let them rule out lives and our choices. If anything, Europe’s colonial past have demonstrated how crippling national and racial ideologies can be. I am European because I value the social responsibility of the state, the fundamental equality between the genders and the ethnicities. I value education as a human right, international humanitarian efforts and peace. I value the ability to be a citizen, to protest, to dissent, to achieve justice and fear nothing. I believe that no one deserves oppression, censorship, poverty, hatred and prejudice and that democracy is the least bad form of government. I come from Bulgaria, I live in Oxford, I speak Italian and I adore French literature. But what makes me European is my worldview, not my origin and preferences.

    • avatar

      This is arbitrary, anybody can have such a “worldview”. You basically define European identity as an ideological belief.
      And what in case your children will not share your views? Are they then not “Europeans” anymore?

    • avatar
      Daniel Kalchev

      I really love these liberal comments, my dear. I love them more when they come from my own volk. Oh, excuse me, I used the “archaic” word “volk”, I’m sorry. Do you think that we can leave behind thousands of years of social order based on the national countries and begin to believe in a false humanism, which denies your right to distinguish and to consider yourself as a part of a unique nation? You know what’s the difference between the Western Europeans and us? A French can adore the Spanish literature but he will cherish the French one as well. That’s the diffrence… and I feel sorry about that. Have a nice day, don’t need to answer me.

    • avatar
      Daniel Kalchev

      I really love these liberal comments, my dear. I love them more when they come from my own volk. Oh, excuse me, I used the “archaic” word “volk”, I’m sorry. Do you think that we can leave behind thousands of years of social order based on the national countries and begin to believe in a false humanism, which denies your right to distinguish and to consider yourself as a part of a unique nation? You know what’s the difference between the Western Europeans and us? A French can adore the Spanish literature but he will cherish the French one as well. That’s the difference… and I feel sorry about that. Have a nice day, don’t need to answer me.

  9. avatar

    It is not about your language or where you were born (although I must point out that Debating Europe seems to exclude non-English speakers form the debate, which is hardly workable). Being European is not about your parents, either. It is about how you think and what your values are. Blood and origins are archaic ways to determine our identities – they may be important, but ultimately they limit us if we let them rule out lives and our choices. If anything, Europe’s colonial past have demonstrated how crippling national and racial ideologies can be. While it is certainly true that European nations have truly different cultures and widely divergent expectations regarding what Europe is about and how the EU should function, we seem to ignore the web of common attitudes that we share in favour of bitter bickering. It is as though the two World Wars never happened. I wonder why we forget such shocks so easily?
    So, speaking for myself, I am European because I value the social responsibility of the state as opposed to the free reign of “market forces”, the fundamental equality between the genders and the ethnicities. I value education as a human right, international humanitarian efforts and peace. I value the ability to be a citizen, to protest, to dissent, to achieve justice and fear nothing. I believe that no one deserves oppression, censorship, poverty, hatred and prejudice and that democracy is the least bad form of government. I come from Bulgaria, I live in Oxford, I speak Italian and I adore French literature. But what makes me European is my worldview, not my origin and preferences.

    • avatar

      Why don’t you feel European first ?

  10. avatar
    Tarquin Farquhar

    The idea that an EU citizen could feel as European as a US citizen feels American would be great but there are several hurdles that should be overcome:

    Will the French ever accept that English is the dominant European language?Will the Italians accept that the French are the masters of European cuisine?
    Will the French accept that the Spanish are the greatest visual artists in Europe?
    Will the English accept that the Spanish are the best footballers in Europe?
    Will the Swedish accept that the British are the best musicians in Europe?
    Will the British accept that the Germans are the best Engineers in Europe?
    Will the Spanish accept that the Italians are the best-dressed in Europe?
    Will the Greeks accept that Finns are the best educated in Europe?
    Will the Polish accept that the Scottish make the best Vodka?

    NIMLT perhaps?

    • avatar
      Alban Shtjefni

      Good point and excellent metaphore. I could bring something akin to this point: once a friend of mine was saying that nowadays it is still too hard to imagine french soldiers following orders of a german official and the other way around, same as they woudl have been under an official from their own country. Unity, even the one made while keeping the nationa identities, needs to see beyond national pride, to see

    • avatar

      Nice questions :)
      but the french have one of the worst cuisines ever. I’m half french half italian and travelled all over europe and most of the french dishes are copy of italian dishes (socca, gnocchis, raviolis, pistou, just to name a few) or really nothing special. The best cuisines in Europe are the spanish and the italian ones, and greek and scandinavian cusines are still better than the french:)

  11. avatar
    Antonio Amaral

    We forged more EMPIRES than any other region in the world, imagine if we unite instead of laying back waiting things to happen!

  12. avatar
    Diogo Simões

    I’m Portuguese first, now and forever… and I can say that everyday I feel less and less European…

  13. avatar
    Mugur Cristian

    Yes I do feel very much European and like the diversity. I really hope for a stronger political union and soon to will be able to elect directly the President of EU.

  14. avatar
    Natasa Jevtovic

    Yes, I’m definately a European, as I have three EU citizenship, speak five languages and work in a multicultural environment.

  15. avatar

    The European citizenship is a state of mind and education !!!!!!!!

  16. avatar
    Jutta Inauen

    I always considered Europe as “home”. I feel “home” no matter in which european country I am. So, yes, I have an European identity.
    And, if I may add, I agree with Mugur Cristian. I want the “United states of Europe” with one president and a strong and powerful parliament.

    • avatar

      I don’t, because I love democracy and thus hate the Eurosoviet Union.

      I do not want your Eurosoviet Union.

  17. avatar
    Unimatriks Ziro

    we are all humans. therefore we must have something in common. Americans are far more diverse and still they are one nation (USA)

  18. avatar
    Anocas Rosinha

    we are all humans. therefore we must have something in common. Americans are far more diverse and still they are one nation (USA) <- LOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOL

  19. avatar
    Ricardo M Lopes

    I feel that Europe, as a political organization, has grown to two separated realities : one who finds prosperity and which citizens have a great quality of life; and another one, smashed by the bigger economies, where people are struggling to provide for them and their families. Not until this unbalanced reality is vanished will we, Europeans, feel as if we are one, live like we are one.

  20. avatar
    Cláudio Manuel Duarte Oliveira

    In my opinion, of course I’m european, there is no other way to think. Ok, we have our countries and we love them, but only thinking together we can grow up as citizens and as a solid continent (in terms of science, economie and so on).
    Therefore, I am european because, I don’t need to worry with the borders of european countries and I feel welcome in every country where I travel.

  21. avatar
    Pauluxita Anahatha Santos

    I am an European cause Portugal belong to the Europe continent … so what’ s your deal??? we don’t need to be in the EU… and if goes like this in a few decades it will change the name to EUROABIA !!!!!!!! that’s why i DON’T BELIEVE IN THE E.U. !

  22. avatar
    Eduardo Branco

    Of course I feel european! Being european is what connect us to our ancestors, the majority of which never shared our present nationalities, but all shared our european heritage. European identity exist for more than 3000 years and have always been able to preserve its essence, despite being extremely dynamic, always ready to reinvent itself.

  23. avatar
    Vladan Lausevic

    Europe is equal with diversity. There cannot be a single European identity since not even single national or local identities are existing. It is because every person regardless which part of Europe you live in have their own personal identity and different perceptions of national identities. I regard myself as a person with multi-polar identity which means that you have a local, regional, national, continental and global identity. As a citizen of Europe I want to be a part of the Unions decision making by voting, debating, writing to politicians etc. Even I live in Sweden where the economic situations is good I still feel regret for young guys and girls in Greece, Spain, Italy, Portugal and other pats of Europe where youth unemployment is high. In today’s world which is global for bigger amounts of people than 20-30 years ago there is a need for cooperation and integration. Europe can do much more if there is tolerance, mutual respect and belief that Europeans can do more for themselves if they are thinking outside the national perceptions.

  24. avatar
    Luis Jesús Gómez Saiz

    This is not Europe this is the 4th reich of Angela Merkel, of course I dont feel European, why in some countries we have such low salaries and high prices and in others high salaries and slightly lower prices than in Spain? If this is Europe we should be playing with the same rules, not each country with their own rules. I want to go back to our former currency, when you could buy bread for 0.15 ?, not for 0.60 ? and raising. We don’t want to be slaves of northern countries, if that implies not to be europeans then we DO NOT want to be europeans.

  25. avatar
    catherine benning

    I am an English European. I love being European because I deeply admire our combined history, art, civilisation. It is extraordinary as well as beautiful, physically as well as intellectually and artistically.

    However, living in the UK makes it very difficult to feel part of Europe in the real sense. We are divided from ourselves by so many fragmented, as well as tormented, segments. As a people we are finding it very difficult in spirit to be a unified country, let alone united as Europeans with a European direction. We are bombarded by American culture to the extent of self annihilation and separation, which we are finding maddening in its intensity.

    We feel at war with ourselves and blame Europe for the confusion, partly because we are being led to that analysis by political chicanery. This makes it difficult to centre on the advancement of our collective European heritage and the pooling of our exceptional connection.

    I wish we were allowed to enjoy and revel in the greatness of our European mentality much more than we are. As only that will unite us in our need to be one force together for the advancement of human potential. Presently we are stultified and that is to the detriment of mankind not simply to Europe.

  26. avatar
    Irina Caprita

    I do not want euthanasia in my country to change the law somehow NUUUUUUUUU, to take care of them, to sterilize them to make programs for shelters for adoption, drastic measures against Abandonment …
    Not interested in other countries killing dogs and cats in shelters in my country .. I DO NOT WANT and not alone … an advocate for animals, a normal lawyer … petitions public opinion needs to be done? In Romania do not want euthanasia to be legally killing dogs> NO+

  27. avatar
    Dr. Florin J. Russu

    YES, I feel, but when we travel to other country (outside ROMANIA) some restriction are, our nation suppose to be in Schengen space for the last 2 years, but political animosity between fraction of the Parliament was making this sure step a big debate. I like all Romanian representative to have on single voice, and every body to understand than does not exist second class citizen. If we have this status (but I like not to consider) than it was EU responsibility to do is best to bring every year RO and BG to some high standards. I do not consider fair to punish all people because of minority, and/or EU do not like some of ours leaders.

    • avatar
      Tarquin Farquhar

      @Dr. Florin J. Russu
      Your country’s attitude towards corruption has made Romanian’s 2nd-class EU citizens.

      Treat your Roma fairly, stop taking bribes, hammer corruption [political, judicial, business and police] and in another 50 years you may well garner the respect from other EU countries that you think you deserve now.

  28. avatar
    Harald Leschke

    what is connecting is, that we are all human beeings living under the same sun, the moon and the stars on the same planet – and we have all the same responsability for living on this planet :)

  29. avatar
    Ivelina Belcheva

    Only by getting to know and getting to understand each other better- the other people, the other countries – can we achieve the goal to create a new European identity … E.g – the Bulgarian path starts with getting to know and like our EU neighbours Greece and Romania better and these are not just words but also have to be the content of every single international event and venture we start?

  30. avatar
    Miron Panaitescu

    Finnish culture and Greek culture. What do they have in common? Swedish traditions and Bulgarian traditions. What do they have in common? Norwegian way of thinking, living and behaving vs. Italian way of thinking, living and behaving. What do they have in common? Only communism tried to force people be the same. The dillution of anyone’s personality. And it failed. The only ones who feel “European” are those who had to leave their country and live somewhere else. And they do not know who they are.

  31. avatar
    Miron Panaitescu

    Finnish culture and Greek culture. What do they have in common? Swedish traditions and Bulgarian traditions. What do they have in common? Norwegian way of thinking, living and behaving vs. Italian way of thinking, living and behaving. What do they have in common? Only communism tried to force people be the same. The dillution of anyone’s personality. And it failed. The only ones who feel “European” are those who had to leave their country and live somewhere else. And they do not know who they are.

  32. avatar

    Of course I’m European. But I’m also Alsatian. Don’t need nothing in between.

  33. avatar
    Catarina Ribeiro Santos

    I believe the idea of being European is to be united in diversity. We’ve been making an effort to use our differences and similarities to make something good out of it. It’s not about identity, that is where we came from, it is about the way we live or choosed to live – united – because it is believed to get problems easier to be solved, and easier to get good things to be improved.

    • avatar
      Mikko Ulander

      Beautifully put Catarina – and very much to the point. European Union indeed should not be about identity. It should be about us making the choise that we can create something extraordinary together despite our different identities, or perhaps even because of them. We do not need to portray an European or EU identity. Nor should we be up in arms about defending such imaginings. We need to make a much stronger value proposition. A proposition that states that we stand together and united no matter what, despite our divergence. United, not becauce it is inherent in our identity somehow, but because we believe it is worth. For a better tomorrow for us all. European Union citizens, not by heritage/lineage, but by choise. Not through a sense of duty, but trough a sense of inspiration, excitement, aspiration and shared determination.

  34. avatar
    Gergely Hideg

    Europe is too broad to be a foundation of an identity, but could enrich that of its citizens to a meaningful extent, to increase solidarity across EU nations. The guarantee of long standing peace in Europe is a shared identity.

  35. avatar
    Gergely Hideg

    Europe is too broad to be a foundation of an identity, but could enrich that of its citizens to a meaningful extent, to increase solidarity across EU nations. The guarantee of long standing peace in Europe is a shared partial identity.

  36. avatar
    Peter Husztik

    having a European identity requires having a firm national identity in the first place — we are members of this big family through our closer – national – families. Unless people can develop a healthy relation to their national community, they will never be able to develop such ties towards Europe.

  37. avatar
    Banditu Coroiu

    A nation, as well as a union of nations is foremost AN IDEA. Without the idea, everything acts centrifugal and disensembles.

    THE IDEA is that of (1) COMPETENCE and (2) CIVILISATION.

    Maybe you have had interaction with tour operators – to tell you that they prefer european tourists because “they are civilised”. It is not to say others are not, but that europeans are perceived (at first glance) as “frequentable”.

    Another interaction is with consumers – they prefer japanese and european goods. Why that ?… they are chic, good quality, have idea, approach, design.

    As long as EU has something to offer it will be shielded, nobody wages war with their partner of interest.


    These materialise in a number of directions:
    – ORGANISATION: all are interested in professional organisation conducive to
    productive, profitable activity in a number of fields. Joint ventures are
    ideal both for profit and security reasons.
    – DESIGN: investment in technology and art will be an avenue for the future. It is
    current practice to keep design in technology and fashion as crown
    jewels – this in order to ripe high profits. It may come a time to speed
    up progress and sell (for energy, or security) design and fashion, then
    swiftly replace what is lost with a new generation.
    – RELIABILITY OF CREDIT VEHICLE: any nation or union of nations should not
    participate in speculative profiteering involving financial vehicles. Most
    importantly vehicle of credit. History shows how the Hanseatic League
    fared, vs. the Lombard League in this respect. Said vehicle of credit
    needs be internationalisable – in exchange for security.
    – QUALITY of reasonable level at affordable cost is an export asset of prime value
    that secures preference in commercial relations. An ample network of
    agencies union wide, that keep in check quality, is a must. Cutting on
    quality, for profit, is an avenue for 3rd world !

    Imagine !… when such are in place (and Europe is really close to above state of
    affair) cohesion happens spontaneously.

    Just as a man and a woman cannot be coherced into liking each other, no 2
    nations can be “stimulated”, “forced”, or “Engineered for Consent” into cohesing.

  38. avatar

    Yes, I do feel I am part of the European community and this is the best way I can integrate myself towards the others. Right now I benefit of an Erasmus grant and I am currently living in Lithuania. I am originating from Romania and the fact that we are in the EU changed all my professional perspectives. I can now study abroad more easily, can travel all over Europe and find professional opportunities in countries that before had the doors closed towards Romanians.
    From this point of view and from my personal believe that nationalism brought many bad feelings among people, I do consider that there is an urgent need for a closeness among European people in order for us to evolve peacefully.

  39. avatar
    Rui Oliveira

    In my opinion, being an European Citizen, is to became a part of a huge family, and a unique state. The mix of cultures, has changed Europe for better, and has improved the institucional and personal relations, as also the professional field. Europe is very rich, due to the various kind and different thoughts; lets make Europe, a continuous state of mind, that allow us to grow as an aduts and responsible citizens. What makes Europe unique, is the diversity of nationalities, aproaching everyone from several countries, in order to contribute with proposals and beliefs, to improve the European nationality. I believe in a better future, but only with a strong and a really union of efforts, from the assembly of nations, tha composse the European Union. Combined good skills by making the difference, because is in the variety of opinions that Europe can be a better place to live.

  40. avatar
    Ana Georgieva

    I live in one of the oldest European countries but I don’t feel part of the EU, I feel discriminated by its policy.

  41. avatar
    Rui Oliveira

    In my opinion, being an European Citizen, is to became a part of a huge family, and a unique state. The mix of cultures, has changed Europe for better, and has improved the institucional and personal relations, as also the professional field. Europe is very rich, due to the various kind and different thoughts; lets make Europe, a continuous state of mind, that allow us to grow as an aduts and responsible citizens. What makes Europe unique, is the diversity of nationalities, aproaching everyone from several countries, in order to contribute with proposals and beliefs, to improve the European nationality. I believe in a better future, but only with a strong and a really union of efforts, from the assembly of nations, that compose the European Union. Combined good skills by making the difference, because is in the variety of opinions that Europe can be a better place to live.

  42. avatar
    Pavlos Vasileiadis

    First of all, the creation of the EU served the interests of particular bankers, industrialists and politicians form Holland, Belgum, France, Luxemburg and Germany, who believed that economic co-operation could contribute to the maintainance and promotion of peace in Europe, that is a safe enviroment to conduct business. Let’s us not forget that the memories of WWII were still fresh (the Cold War was in full swing) and it was common ground that something had to be done so that the conditions that brought about two global bloodsheds would cease to exist. But economy still was the driving force.
    Gradually the EU became quite appealing due to the economical stability, the prosperity and the political and national security that seemed to offer because of its close attachment to NATO. Additionally, the social benefits towards the middle and the lower classes proved to be a very strong mound against the Soviet bloc, which, by taking advantage of bad economy conditions in european states, was trying to increase its influence. This is how the EU expanded so much. As long as the financial needs were met and the common enemy was there, people gladly would consider themselves as european. On an international political level, however, the EU shined through its absence durig the entire Cold War.
    The emergence of neo-liberalism in the 80’s and the collapse of the soviet oppent stripped the marketS and all banking activity in EU of any restriction. The Union adopted ruthless capitalist traits and tactics. The Europe of peoples became the Europe of markets, not to mention that the relationship with NATO became ridiculously closer (being a NATO member became a prerequisite to join the EU for some countries). The rich got richer, and the weak weaker. The euro currency proved to serve the interests of the former. Greater dept for Spain, Portugal, Greece is transformed into greater profits for Germany, Luxemburg, Holland, Dennmark etc.
    I don’t want to sound so blunt and gloomy, but I don’t think that is possible to expect that the EU in its current form will last. The very basis of its creation must be re-defined, but the result will still be uncertain. And I am explaining my self.
    1) The EU is a union in which states joined as a means to promote their own financial and political interests better. Ofcourse, very few people are seriously arguing against the value of ?democracy? and ?human rights? in 21st Century Europe, but when a major crisis erupts and survival becomes the main goal, will there be any country to go like a lamb to the slaughter for the sake of an abstract Union? A common ground, combining national and european interests, has to be found. But what would that be apart from economy?
    2) Democracy and human rights are the very ideological core of the EU, at least that is what we want to believe. However, galloping corruption has constituted them a dead letter. We worship democracy like the soviets worshiped Stalin and Lenin in the Red Square. Too many words, too much ostentatious promises and speeches, but no substance. Corruption and bureaucracy (starting from Brussels) are actually having their own way. We do elect our representatives on a local, national and pan-european level, but sadly we do not elect the bankers, the industrialisits, the media owners, the editors, the high-class lawyers and the stock markets, which tend to control our leaderships (irrespective of ideological affiliation) by means of corruption or extortion. Even now a Eurogroup member can shape the policy of an entire EU member state, totally irrespective of the fact that its people never actually saw him or voted for him/her (eg Greece). Imagine how joyful these elites would be, if EU was going to be politically united. So, before talking of political unity, we should try to talk who is going to benefit from it the most.
    3) A union cannot survive, when there is no sincerity among its, unless they all agree to be dishonest. But in the EU we have to come clean about certain issues: The EU says that defends human rights, but at the same time ignores the increasingly high child labour which provides its firms and its societies with all the necessary products, insists on exploiting the wealth of african countries adopting almost colonial policies and ridiculously tolerates various forms of aggressions that result in thousands of people killed or deported. The EU says it defends democracy, but how is it possible to get its own way, every time when a memeber state has a good reason to disagree? How is it possible to let itself be dominated by the interests of a clique of states?
    4) Ethnic and cultural diversity within the Union should be protected and promoted. Being united in diversity is a very good slogan, but I’d like to see it implemented. What is happening now is rather the other way round, EU acting like a melting pot. It would be a blessing to use the virtues of each nation to achieve a common cause, profitable to everybody, but this requires mature and wide education, as well as common grounds of communicating. The EU could forge a unitary system of understanding and exchange of opinions among its various nations that would allow more people “to get into the european game”, not just the traditional elites. However in the last decades the EU issues only edicts (concernig education, farming, fishing policy, economic policy etc.) that are more or less imposed on the peoples with the following pattern: “This is my model. Accept it or…perish”.
    5) I don’t see why the EU could not function as an economic confederation of independent states. All this political stuff serve more as a facade to hide the problems. As Frank Zappa put it: “The illusion of freedom will continue as long as it’s profitable to continue the illusion. At the point where the illusion becomes too expensive to maintain, they will just take down the scenery, they will pull back the curtains, they will move the tables and chairs out of the way and you will see the brick wall at the back of the theater”.
    But it all comes down to its citizens. The citizens feel that the EU policies in the last ten years leave a lot to be desired. If it still continues to place the interest of its elites above the greater good of its members, then everybody will be happy to see it go.
    And don’t connect european identity with the EU. You don’t have to belong to the EU to feel european.

  43. avatar

    I am Greek; therefore by default European…. we have no choice on the matter :)

  44. avatar
    Paul Reichberg

    An identity must be based upon a common humanitarian ideology without nationalistic implications.

    • avatar
      peter l mcphee


  45. avatar
    Mikko Ulander

    We should move away from these phony identity nominations per se. There is no point to being of European identity, nor Greek, Polish, French, German or anything else such. We are citizens of European Union and we have rights thereby – of which we shoud be proud, as long as they reflect out values. Similarly we are citizens of our nation states and we thereby have a common interest on national level. There is absolutely no need to define these things as a “common identity”. I hope people of European Union gradually become too well educated to believe in such classic nation building propaganda. We are unified by our common respect for each other, the shared political process and throught our rights as EU citizens. I truly hope we can rise above this sort of identity building rhetoric prevailing e.g. in the US. European Union should be about new possibilities and new kind of constructive dialogue between leaders and citizens and amonst them. It should not be about some age old notion of imaginary shared identity that has historically been mainly used to manufacture a sense of duty and blind obedience. European Union deserves better. And she can do much better.

    • avatar

      For use of this conversation I have to state that I am a European Union Citizen born in Poland and currently living in Ireland.
      I understand your point and it would be great for everybody to grasp the idea of outdated tags and to get comfortable with it. I sounds well in theory, but how would you make it happen?
      I share your hope for open, truly Citizen-oriented Europe looking ahead instead of contemplating it’s horrors and divisions that gave birth to them.
      Reality is different, as it always tends to be…
      One of our states’ backbones is the idea of a nation and naturally the “(national)Identity factor” dominates perception of the state itself simply because it’s easy and you don’t really have to think much. It’s comfy, it’s something we’re used to. We can’t forget that humans are social creatures with strong herd instinct and the need to identify, group and name ourselves sits inside us.

      Do I feel part of a common European identity? I do, but I’m not sure if it’s so common after all.
      I’m proud of our civilization, our freedoms and cultures, our complicated history and wealth of languages. I respect the idea of Europe for what it gave us, and for what it took away from us. Sometimes it’s glorious, sometimes revolutionary, pure beauty or bone-chilling horror… I love being European – if I wasn’t I wouldn’t be myself!

  46. avatar
    Omar Mateiro

    Unity in diversity seems to me as a good moto for the time being…

    • avatar
      catherine benning

      Omar Mateiro,

      Your line is an oxymoron, one cancels the other. Therefore, your so called ‘motto’ is political correct nonsense. One of the reasons Europe is falling apart is because of madness in this style of thought imprisonment, adopted by so many who have no sense of free thought.

  47. avatar
    Jakub Kovacs

    I fell like European and that is my nationality (citizenship is different, but many countries do not now that). Also what wold be better: direct election, no more roaming in any way, better school integration and standards, cultural exchanges, less Americanization… We can not have utopia overnight, but we can build it step by step by not making the same mistakes over and over.

  48. avatar
    Matteo Vespa

    I think we should start to analyse the two situations: which is the European Union DNA? Is it an Economic or a Political Union? If we come back to the origins, to the European Coal and Steel Community, the principal goal was to prevent another war by creating a common market of those goods for which would have been likely to cause a war to seize them; the market was regulated by a supranational authority; therefore, even though the principle of the Common Market was still in the very first community, it was neither the aim nor the greatest innovation of the project: the former was to build a durable peace, the latter was the creation a supranational authority to regulate this market. In fact, as in the Schuman delcaration is said: “Europe will not be made all at once, or according to a single plan. It will be built through concrete achievements which first create a de facto solidarity… The pooling of coal and steel production should immediately provide for the setting up of common foundations for economic development as a first step in the federation of Europe.” So, as several European thinkers such as Altiero Spinelli wanted, the core of the European Project is not economical, but truly political. Also the events happened in these last years made it clear that no monetary, nor economical union can endure without a political coordination and government. This brings another question:”If we need a European governance, and we want it to be democratic, what are the conditions to make this happen?” Besides all the reforms to have a truly democratic (thus federal) European governance, all of them cannot last for long without a process of citizenry-building. In order to tackle the issue of the European identity as the basis of a democratic governance, we can start to analyse the already formed situation of the actual Nation States. One of the main tasks of the State is to hold policies of redistribution, which should be also one of the tasks of the federal European State. The policies of redistribution are addressed to the citizens, and here starts the issue: who should be citizen, thus benifiting of such policies? This question arises as our societies are becoming more and more multicultural, thus questioning the concept of citizenship and nationality. Here we have two main theories: the national liberalism and the post-nationalism. The first one thinks that citizens of a State are willing to give their money to the State for policies of redistribution only to help someone with whom there is some bond of solidarity: according to them, historically the nation has created this bond, thus citizenship should be given only to those who share the values, language and traditions of the nation (this leads to the jus sanguinis citizenship). The post-nationalists think that this link between nation and citizenship is not automatic, and the modern State should free itself from this bond, replacing it with a more rational concept of “constitutional patriotism”, as Habermas says, based on the sharing of the basic political principles and values expressed in the Constitution: this leads to a new concept of citizenship, called jus nexi, which implies to give the citizenship to those who are effectively affected by government policies. How are all these things linked with European identity? To create a European democracy, we need a European demos: to create a European demos, it is needed that European citizenship creates a truly European citizenry, whose members truly feel the participation to this new political community. Basing on the previous theories analysed, we can choose a “liberal national” approach to the issue, or a “post-national” one. As we cannot obviously create a “European nation”, nonethelss we can stress the commonalities and common roots of our cultures, on which these commonalities are based on. But what are these roots? Are these the always mentioned “Greco-Roman” and “Judaic-Christian” roots? If they were, then the proposed 2004 European Constitution would have mentioned them: it didn’t because they aren’t, or at least they are not the only ones. Let’s analyse the Greco-Roman roots: Classic mythology, concepts, philosophy and right were the basis of European Culture and values, but at the same time the Polish historian Karol Modzelewski wrote “The Europe of the Barbarians” to stress the fact that to this Occidental-European concept of the continental identity has to be added the heritage that barbarians left on culture, attitudes and right. About Judaic-Christian roots: in the XIV-XV century, the concept of Europe as a political space replaced the concept of Christianitas, which was meant as the brotherhood of the Catholic countries, thus excluding Greece and all the Orthodox States; at the same time, this new concept of Europe excluded Turkey and the territories of the Ottoman Empire. As it is clear, historical identity is based on several evolutions and changes in History and was always based on the common defence against an external enemy (namely during XIV-XV century the Ottoman Empire). This shared historical and cultural commonality didn’t prevent World War I and II, however. Let’s analyse the postnational concept of Europe: even though we have a common history and background, which is yet to be truly studied by scholars, we must focus on the second half of the XX century, thus in the project of European Union as the first attempt to create a postnational, supranational political entity based not on a nation, but on the rule of law, peace and human rights. As this is the path we are following, we should truly develop it: if European citizenry cannot be based on a controversial set of roots, history and values (we cannot even talk about a common language), it should be based on the sharing of the same political principles, as asserts the postnational theory. This leads to the rebuilding of European citizenship: now it is granted only to those who have also one of the Member States nationality: European citizenship should be granted also to those individuals who live in the territory of the Union for a certain amount of years, creating thus a sort of European jus nexi. But will it be sufficient to create such a strong sense of solidarity that enables the federal State to create redistribution policies? Maybe not, nor they must be considered as “European” only those whose parents have a different nationality: a farmer born and raised in Sardinia has to be considered as European as an anglo-belgian boy living in Tampere. In conclusion, what we need is the presence of three factors:
    -Continuing building a post-national European entity, to prevent any conflict on being part of both national and European communities, thus rethinking the concept of EU citizenship according to jus nexi and strenghtening and adding the rights associated with;
    – Contributing to the development of local, regional, national and trans-national items of European culture, based on the concept of subsidiarity and our motto In varietate concordia;
    -Starting a truly in-depth scholar research and debate on all the roots of European culture, thus creating a true, historical basis and narrative for this new political entity.

  49. avatar
    Nikolai Holmov

    I am by default European as the concept of geographical borders dictates as such. That does not mean I have much in common with a citizen of Cyprus any more than one of Slovakia and neither should it.

    It is possible to find similarities and huge differences within the composite national histories upon the European continent ever since history was recorded. Some of that history is cyclical, some of it runs in parallel and some of it absolutely insular to a specific nation/kingdom/empire as the centuries rolled by.

    Therefore there are cultural and historical differences as well as commonalities. Perhaps the norm with any neighbours regardless of societal scale and whatever parameters on identity we want to look at ourselves through.

    In political science terms, there are a large number of cross cutting cleavages that unite – but there are also a large number of insular and identity forming characteristics that do not.

    However, the question to be asked is why is there a need to have an all-encompassing “European identity” that necessarily goes deeper than the ovarian lottery that placed me on the European continent?

    For what plausible or tangible purpose is there a need to create a “deep” and “consolidated” “European identity” over and above that of simply being born in Europe?

    There is certainly no need for the EU to exist for any citizen born on the European continent to feel “European” – that is a default of the geographical concepts we recongise and embrace as individuals or we don’t.

    If a “European identity” is to be generally accepted not only by those within, but also by those without Europe, then it is going to be one based on shared ideology and values rather than dumming down the concept of sovereign nationality or hyping a quasi-de facto continental “supra-nationality” by attempting to smudge historical and cultural differences.

    If I wanted my “European identity” to mean anything to anybody, it would mean tolerance, inclusiveness and law abiding above all else – with or without the EU.

  50. avatar

    The European Union isn’t Europe; Europe is not even a continent but simply the indigenous land of Caucasian people that is not just the main region we know as Europe today but also extends someway into Russia and as far as Iceland. Whether you are living in Moscow, Oslo or Glasgow you are living in Europe. Moscow and Oslo are not in the EU; Glasgow is but its not on the “mainland”.

    I am from SE England; I am a European, not just by blood, but also by homeland. Europe is not a country but made up of countries. I am English; England is a country within the UK and the UK is currently a member of the EU.

    My “constructed” identifications in order are; England, UK then EU but regardless of any of this, I will always be ethnically European (Caucasian), my homeland will have always been European and provided I stay within Europe, I continue to live in Europe.

    Separate to this; although my constructed identifications are England, UK and EU, this does not mean I am happy with their political competency / policies. Actually I am very dissatisfied with the politics and policies in all three of these categories.

  51. avatar
    Paul X

    There has been rivalry and wars between different parts of Europe for over 3000 years. Quite how a load of over fed and over paid failed politicians in Brussels think they can force everyone to feel and act like one happy family in just 60 years is beyond me

  52. avatar

    People would feel “European” if they could better see which benefits Europe brings in their usual daylife, and not only the problems. Europe pays for Erasmus, has allowed us to travel without visas, to change country without paying for a money conversion, to have exports not being taxed in every country…

    But Europe should also have all the same rules for all the countries, and not specificities for UK, e.g. And Europe should protect its companies and allow the national states to help their national companies, instead of claiming it is an illegal state aid. If Europe could have again strong IT companies (instead of letting the US buying them-e.g. Nokia, Skype), strong telecommunications companies (instead of letting them being almost dead because of loss of money and competition of Google/Samsung/Apple that wish to offer the same services-Alcatel, Ericsson, national operators); spend more money on our interests (unemployment, social benefits, help for companies) instead of interests of other countries, promote its actions and include citizen in the debate, then people would feel European and be proud of it.

    I believe that only people coming from multicultural families, having lived in different countries, speaking a few languages, understand what “European” means. But Europe should also once stop and think about the enlargments and the common points between all these countries. If the enlargment goes on, then people may not think European anymore, because they won’t be able to see, in the diversity, the common points. And that is something we should think about and make clear. LOts of countries share the same history, but few people are aware of it.

    • avatar

      There are no benefits to the Eurosoviet Union.

      Everything is paid for by national governments. The Eurosoviet tries to take credit for things national governments did.

      The Euro is destroying our wealth (it benefits only the rich, corporations, banks and the EU elites). The EU itself is undemocratic.

  53. avatar
    Wigbert Boell

    European Identity is a much more normal concept, when you live outside Europe. When I lived in New York, many of my friends were (and felt) “Europeans” from various countries.
    As some pre-commenters said above, Europe is all about “unity in diversity” and a true developing European Identity will have to center around certain shared values and beliefs (e.g.: human rights, democracy, etc.)

  54. avatar
    eusebio manuel vestias pecurto

    Sim eu sito-me europeu e vivo na Europa e em Portugal e por outras palavras os cidadãos civilizados da Europa devia-mos esvaziar essas plataformas populistas dos antieuropeus e retroduzir no jogo politico europeista e saudável as democracias liberais dentro da Europa

  55. avatar
    Vicente Silva Tavares

    A common language would help to create an identity. It cannot be any alive language which would hurt the national feelings of other Peoples. Therefore we only have to choices: Esperanto or Latin.

  56. avatar
    Matt dovey

    English first, British second. Never european

    • avatar
      catherine benning

      @Matt Dovey:

      It’s bizarre that you would associate yourself with the term British, when that means absolutely nothing as a human profile. Yet, you reject our blood connection of European. Unless of course you are an immigrant to my country, or, from a family of immigrants who came from outside our European borders.

      Either way it is an odd take on your true status.

  57. avatar
    Guy Weets

    I am Belgian and I see my country as an “experimental Europe”. I am more and more convinced that nation states in Europe are either too small to address effectively global issues and too big (even for small Belgium) to address effectively local problem and preserve the democracy ( the link between the citizens and their representatives). I am definitely strongly pro-European. The EU does great things but the communication is poor

    • avatar

      Great things? Like what? Destroying jobs by signing free trade treaties? Destroying our wealth with the banker-tool called Euro? Tax exempt jobs for the likes of Europolitburo chairman Mao Barroso?

      You can stick that Eurosoviet Union in the trashcan. We do not want it.

    • avatar

      Belgium is a good example of a failed state.

  58. avatar
    Matt dovey

    @Catherine Benning I did say English first did I not. With regard to human profiles that has not interest to me. When I think of Britain I think of the United Kingdom and the common wealth. The term Great Britian was used before the term United Kingdom.
    Part of my family was from Italy. But that was a gerneration ago so has no relevance to me. I was born in England so I am English.
    Europe is a landmass, a continent. It is not a country. It does not exist as a nation state. It’s a political construct.

    • avatar
      Guy Weets

      all nations are political construct… and very often thanks to bloody wars. EU
      is a peaceful political construct that is the difference!

    • avatar

      The EU’s goal is the destruction of national democracy and the destruction of people’s wealth (all to be transferred to the rich).

      The Euro is already succeeding in impoverishing many of us.

  59. avatar
    Guy Weets

    @marcel The Eu institutions have done more to correct financial imbalance than most or even any Member States but all vetoed by the MS mainly UK but also sometimes France

    • avatar

      By stealing from us…

  60. avatar

    I’m not sure that it’s possible to really feel European more than part of a nation because European nations have such long histories. European countries have created a separate national identity over hundreds of years so it’s ridiculous to forcefully change the borders and force a new identity on people. Identity is a combination of many things including history, culture, language and ethnicity. These are much stronger than a passport or government lines.

    • avatar

      They tried for 84 years to create such a ‘common identity’ in Moscow. And it failed. Because people eventually didn’t accept the ‘Soviet’ identity Moscow tried to push. And even if on the surface some people (nominally) did, in their hearts and minds hardly anyone identified as ‘Soviet’.

      For other examples, see Yugoslavia, Iraq, Austro-Hungarian Empire etc… in the end it always fails, and always for the same or similar reasons. You cannot just arbitrarily throw a few groups together and from above decide they have to live together as part of the same ‘country’ or ‘(con)federation’.

  61. avatar

    I am European , from a country that is not part of the European Union , that is Russia. I wish we were because we are very European.

    • avatar

      @Marcel you overlook a few important points: none of those you mentioned were democracies: no respect for minorities, for local cultures etc. Adhesion to the EU is a long democratic process. The EU has never forced a country to join! And a country since the last treaty is free to leave ( it is likely to happen with UK)

  62. avatar

    This is a two-sided issue for me. On one hand, I feel very European. I’m Dutch, but I have Danish and German and British and Belgian and French ancestors. On the other hand, I do not think the European Union has anything to do with a common European identity. The European Union is based on a cultural fiction that assumes we’ll all rally behind one anthem and one flag, and that is not going to happen in my lifetime.

  63. avatar
    Guy Weets

    @Tarquin it is also because of this terrible history that I rejoice being European and I include Russia

    • avatar
      Tarquin Farquhar

      @Guy Weets
      What an illogical response!

  64. avatar

    Well then i m obviously the more grown up person for i m not going to go down this ww2 path ;)
    Free healthcare ,free universities,social security,intact infra structure>arms (or as i like to call it,the American complex of a small ****)
    I totally dislike this neo liberal concept of “everyone should pay for himself” which is pretty common in the US and the UK.IMO it would be the best for both if the UK would leave the EU as i m afraid the UK could influence the EU and introduce this neo-liberal policy in the EU also.I m also against bombing ramdon countries(though i m member of the reserves) and the UK and US regularly do that.
    Hope Germans and French display a tide front against that kind of policy.

    • avatar
      Guy Weets

      I fully support your view Alex like most people in Belgium

    • avatar

      Free? Absolutely free? No one has to pay for them, then?

  65. avatar
    Matt dovey

    Alex the eu is leading to ww3. People are being forced into this “European” happy family. None of us have any real say in what happens in the eu. Our votes are mostly worthless. The eu masters are going to do what they want any way. The rich country’s are continuing to pay for the poorer ones. This isn’t going to stop with continued expansion of the eu. We are not all the same and in a lot of cases we have little in common. This not a recipe for peace and harmony.
    You mention free healthcare, free university’s, social security, etc. These things you so cherish were not created by the eu. These thing are provide by your nation states through the hard work of generations that have gone before you. They are not a right. They are a privilege.
    Just a reminder that if it wasn’t for the USA the continent of europe would not be free. They liberated europe from the nazis and stopped it being over run by the soviets during the Cold War.
    I work hard. I don’t see why the fruits of my labour should be used to support someone else. You make your own way in life.
    One thing I do agree with is the UK should leave the eu. It should leave as soon as it can

  66. avatar

    IMO the US will start ww3 by taking one friendly nation by the other from the Russians and Chinese that will force them into a corner(Nato expansion) and will lead to an imbalance of power letting them a very little choice of options(This anti nuke shield would take the only left ones).Russians already feel like beeing surrounded.
    Thats why i think a 3. block with the EU out of nato would also be useful for the balance of power.At the moment the west is way to strong.Split europeans from the US and you have 3 more or less equal powers.

    Well i m ok with paying for other countries and we also pay for the good old gdr…
    There is a solidarity at least in Germany.The people are ok with giving the money to the Greek.In this case it s not about the money,but about the attitude.Give them the money they need it,but what i expect us to do is to parent them into the rigth direction.This countries made some mistakes that got em into this mess,so it is about us to keep them from doing the same mistakes again.

    • avatar
      marie-france dubois

      Did you ask all Germans if they are ok with giving money to the Greek?Now that’s the same old problem:1 is speaking on behalf of a whole country.And why Always mention WW3 like it will be?And power?It’s just power that is dangerous.The poorest countries would have gotten help even without the EU thing out of solidarity.Look around you,how many healthy countries left over since the EU?The big solidarity is bringing us all down.Because the people pay not only for this but also for all other needed countries in the world.We get forced to do what the EU is telling and it’s just more and more like getting into communism where people have just to do what a couple of leaders are saying.And to be honnest,i don’t want Russia in the EU.Not as long as they treat gay people like they do now.Now i’m not gay but i hate this way of basching human rights and i don’t want to see our countries degenerating into this.Our ancestors fought too hard to get human rights so i don’t want to see them going lost.I also hate to be associated with countries where they even don’t respect animals lives and kill them in the most horrific way’s.When it gets them to habbit it tells enough about a nation and i dislike to be associated with such countries.I was more happyer before the EU thing.Money is all we hear this day’s.There’s a lot more in life then just ‘money’ and ‘power’ to be happy.My english is not that good,so sorry if i have spelling mistakes.

  67. avatar

    @Marie the AFD Alternative für Deutschland the only anti euro party in Germany got like 4,7% in the September elections.We re not happy with the Euro as it is,but this low number shows that there is still a big majority who likes the idea of european integration and also sees the advantages of the common currency.

    • avatar
      marie-france dubois

      Ok,this is more like it when you say you aren’t happy with the EU as it is now.I’m not anti EU as to go in such party’s neither.I’m not an extremist.I just post what i think and it would be very nice if the EU would listen to more then their own voices.It’s not enough what they do right now to make it work and it isn’t sure the right time to think of adding more countries in the EU right now.And i don’t want to even think on a WW3.

    • avatar

      And of course, this big majority either ignores or is unaware of that Germany will have to surrender at least 20% of its wealth.

      Or are you against fiscal union? Because you cannot be for fiscal union and Germany keeping its wealth. Fiscal union means fiscal transfers.

  68. avatar

    @Marcel sorry Marcel but fiscal union is about creating a level playing field for our companies it not at all about fiscal transfer. It is a win-win solution for me medium an long term but for this to happen we need courageous politicians……..

  69. avatar

    Other people are like 500% poorer then we and i don t think they feel that there lives suck,nor did i when i was living in kazahstan,cause if you have grown up under the conditions it s normal for you.In diffrent words it s sound for you unacceptable to give away 20% it sounds to me though too ,but for those generations after us it would be normal and they would not consider themselfes poor or so.The long term benefits of a single european state are just more important ,then the single generation that is going to whine about the “good old times”.IMO we Germans are to a certain point “verwöhnt”.We have just lots of luxury that we were raised with and what we consider to be absolutly necessary to have a nice live.Is it really necessary to go to lorrett every year or every 2 years only to stay on a beach and get probably l**d after picking somebody up in a club?
    Jeez just get in your car and drive down to a dutch campingsite or rügen.I know many people are going to tell me this is outrages but you re not going to die if you only fly to mallorca 1 time in 5 years and stay the other 4 at a place in your country…

  70. avatar

    I feel citizen of the world. In the era of European Integration the development of a European citizenship is a natural step towards the construction of better cooperation between the citizens of the different member-states.

  71. avatar

    I’m European, even if I was born in France. My family is so mixed, my mom is Belgian, her mom comes from Holland, her dad comes from Germany, my father is french, but his dad comes from Sweden, and his mom comes from Italy. Still, even if I’m an extreme exemple, being European is much more than having various nationalities. I have a lot of philosophical and cultural values similar to people from other places. You cannot talk about an European country’s history without mentioning at least his neighbors. The Euro is the currency for many countries, and those countries that have economical difficulties are helped by other countries. It is not like an American identity, but I truly feel European. To me being French belongs to the idea of being European.

    • avatar


      I appreciated your comment. Me too, i am mixed culturally. I speak english and french and have lived in a few European countries. May i ask in which country you live now? Because, i find it hard to not move and stay in one place. Kind regards,

  72. avatar

    We cannot leave Europe, because the EU needs us, needs our opinion in European matters. We offer pragmatism which Europe needs.

  73. avatar

    well not at all,… I live in Holland I’m from Spain we need more consious about it…. I think so thi could be better but also somtimes I think that no,….

  74. avatar

    I notice from all comments that the ones that feel themselves European are the mixed ones..I’m born in Belgium from both Belgian parents.My mother was Flemish,my father Walloon.I’m Belgian first.I’m born here and i will die here and my country is in Europe but if people ask me from where i come,where i live i Always say Belgium.Never Europe nor that i am European.And i don’t like the idea of being called European as the animal abusers from certain countries where the EU doesn’t a thing for to help them.As long as the EU will not change THIS and make better laws for all animals i will remain just Belgian in the world.I have quite enough of all the money stuff.Only the money stuff.And liking eachother.As long as all EU countries don’t take care for their animals,i will trust no one of them and sure don’t want to be associated with them.It’s not only money that counts.

  75. avatar
    eusebio manuel vestias pecurto

    Sou Europeu desde 1986 e hoje defendo uma Europa mais justa e mais democrática há que acabar com essas de politicas de circo dentro dos estados membros da UE Eu no passado comentava e hoje comento que o Parlamento Europeu deve ter mais autonomia e com mais direito ao veto total A Europa terá que lutar contra o vento contrário

  76. avatar
    eusebio manuel vestias pecurto

    Sou da Europa desde 1986 e defendo uma Europa mais justa Democrática onde todos os cidadões Europeus possam ter o seu bem estar dentro do espaço Europeu

  77. avatar
    Just Got Europe

    I now consider myself European, if Europe is too diverse and uncommon at the moment it’s only because people don’t understand what Europe is and what it’s going to be, they don’t understand or even want to understand at this time (This comes from how I used to feel about it all). If people won’t hear the truth then let them hear each other, do something about our langue problem.

  78. avatar

    I’m am of course European. I am Portuguese by birth. I was born in Lisbon. However, I feel the EU is too diverse to last much longer. As much as I would like it to work it doesn’t seem like it will at all. Our histories and politics are just too diverse and different for it to work. Not to mention the austerity measures that have pushed a number of countries further into debt. France and Germany are battling over who the EU will be modeled after while the UK is debating whether or not to stay in. All this while countries like Switzerland and Norway remain out by choice. I think the idea behind the EU while noble will not last but I hope I’m wrong.

    • avatar

      We all hope you’re wrong.

  79. avatar

    Albeit some ups and downs, the EU was embraced with enthusiasm for decades, until it a few years ago.
    Since the beginning of 2000s the pace has slowed, if not reversed.Remarkably, it is a US Government site ( US) which gets quite strongly to the bottom of things with the conclusion that Europe will stall if its citizens don’t find the answer to the question “what does it mean to be European?”.
    Europeans are proud of the Shakespears, Göthes and Michelangelos but that alone and the absence of war will not hold the EU together.
    II have no answers to the question either. Policy and the European institutions do have their role, but they cannot provide for the framework of living together. The answer to the above question must be given by the citizens of the EU, which requires Europeans knowing of each other, not on the headline news level, but through the daily grape wine: what does a person in Southern Finland, say, need from someone in the North of Spain, why should a Bavarian visit the South of Romania?
    At the current rate of things, Europeans would get to terms in about ‘two thousand years ‘.
    My sister and I have created a site to foster pan-european learning from one another to collectively find the answer to “what does it mean to be European?”:
    I don’t know if it will help, but it doesn’t harm trying.

  80. avatar
    Adrian Leszczyński

    My European Identity is rather strong, because most of my family live in different countries in Europe so I have contact with other cultures and nationalities. And I agree with many comments that we should learn about Europe in school, but rather basic knowledge in order to know our history and heritage better.

  81. avatar

    I’m a Pole and I live in Europe so I’m a member of one. I quite feel like I’m an European member but I don’t feel so much like a member of the European Union. For me Poland is much more different country than the others which are in the European Union. A lot of Polish people also have a negative attitude to the European Union. I would say that Poland still remains a country which sticks to its own traditions, religion, culture, history and so on. Such attitude still has some influence on whole Polish society. And the difference is still seen. Compare Poland to other countries in Europe. Compare Poland to such multicultural countries like Germany or England. There is a very, very huge difference on the grounds of race, religion or nationality. More and more European countries has become much more multicultural because the one of EU’s aim is to make other countries of the Europe to feel European, to feel the unity with others countries of Europe. Maybe because of it (because Poland is not rather mutlicultural, in fact not yet) Poles don’t feel European members, we don’t feel this unity with other countries. For me we shut ourselves in and close off Europe. Of course not everyone but still it is a majority of Polish people. We like things which are known for us.

  82. avatar
    Nikos Themelis

    There is no EU and therefore no european identity.There are only creditors and debtors with the creditors having all power and flogging endlessly the debtors.
    This is no EU,it’s a prison.
    Europe has lost all’s just a continent.

  83. avatar
    Stephen Pockley

    What common identity there isn’t one and never will be
    what world do these people live in and who would even want this anyway .I have European friends from various countries and there cultures are great but separate and should always remain so .Be allies yes ,but all one definitely not

  84. avatar
    Kaarlo Suotamo

    To me european identity is natural. EU has some part of it but being mostly commercial in its appearance, i need much wider and deeper backround. Nationalism has its dark side with hate and war, so it needs counter balance. That is the very necessary european identity. Its rational but it is based with history , developement of economy, the rich european art, the food and people.. Those people, from different countries, who became my friends are the most emotional and most important factor in my european identity.

  85. avatar
    Ilias bafounis

    I am writing an essay on “how public opinion can be more responsive to a common european identity”. I found a lot of interesting points in this debate. Feel free to add any more comments

    • avatar
      Stephen Pockley

      How have you found the responses.
      By the way I’m British and I hate the EU and do not have a European identity at all in my view.I’m British and British only.
      I’m not saying I hate Europeans;just EU

  86. avatar

    The European identity is not something you can change, adopt and create overnight. It’s not a matter of your own decision, neither of decision of EU beuroctats. It is our more than thousand years of history of in between countries dealings and relationships. USA was formed ALMOST overnight in comparison to history of Europe and had some horrible atrocities behind the scene happening on its own native habitants. Europe was never should be about creating something artificial like European identity. It is a mother empty word that eurocrats are trying to push in to blend us all into one easy to manipulate horde of donkeys. Europe is It’s history. And ours history in Europe predominantly is CHRISTIANITY. It’s hundreds years of some countries being occupied by others , some still are. It’s one have better deals with others. You can scrape it and say you’re European now .

  87. avatar

    I have never classed myself as European and never will. I am Scottish first and Celtic second…I don’t even class myself as British.

  88. avatar

    Do you think it would be a good idea if we try to make one EU team for the futur football WorldCup in Russia. In order to prove that EU is only one big country ….

Your email will not be published

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.

Notify me of new comments. You can also subscribe without commenting.

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

More debate series – Debate on the future of Europe View all

By continuing to use this website, you consent to the use of cookies on your device as described in our Privacy Policy unless you have disabled them. You can change your cookie settings at any time but parts of our site will not function correctly without them.