We like talking about identity here on Debating Europe. In the past, we’ve asked if a common European identity is possible (without a common language), and whether there are such things as shared “European values”.

In recent months, however, the whole issue has taken on a new importance. First there was the Brexit vote, which was seemingly a rejection of European identity; now we’re seeing nationalist rumblings in Catalonia. Much more than cold, hard economics, these events are being inspired by passion, emotion, and, above all, by identity.

We had a comment sent in by Alberto, who suggested the EU cannot survive without a common European identity. He believes we need something greater than mere bureaucratic institutions binding us together. Is he right?

To get a response, we spoke to Pier Virgilio Dastoli, President of the Italian Council of the European Movement and a member of the pro-federalist Spinelli Group. What would he say?

From my point of view, European identity is intrinsically linked to the political system of the European Union. To have a genuine European identity, we need to create a system establishing a link between citizens and the European system. For me, I am a federalist, that means voting for a European parliament with the knowledge that it’s going to create a European government. That is one element of European identity. Without that step forward in terms of a true European government, we cannot have a true common identity.

To get another perspective, we also spoke to José Luis Martí, Associate Professor of the Philosophy of Law at the Universitat Pompeu Fabra in Barcelona, whose research focus includes questions of democratic legitimacy. What would he say?

Having a common identity can happen at different layers. So, you might have an international common identity, a national common identity, or you might have a linguistic identity, and so on. So, I hope a collective of people doesn’t really need to have a very thick common identity in order to have a democracy. Because, if that is not the case, then many current democracies would be in serious trouble. So, it’s not true in the UK, or United States, or France, or let’s say Spain (maybe not the best example today); there are many examples of people who have managed to have a common democracy without having a common identity.

Some people argue that all you need for a common democracy is a basic agreement of common principles and values, such as agreements about what the constitution should protect, and so on. I would say that even this is, strictly speaking, not necessary in order to have a democracy. I think all that is required is some widespread will to live together and create that common structure. I think that is the only precondition that is required. Other than that, of course sharing certain things might help, and it might make it easier to get into understandings with people with whom you share the same language, culture, or history. But I think it’s not strictly speaking required. That cannot be the excuse not to have a democracy.

Can the EU survive without a common European identity? Do we need more than bureaucratic institutions to bind us together? Let us know your thoughts and comments in the form below and we’ll take them to policymakers and experts for their reactions!


IMAGE CREDITS: CC / Flickr – sgoldswo
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433 comments Post a commentcomment

What do YOU think?

  1. Oli Lau

    We have already a common identity. We are europeans, it is obvious, no need to explain it. What you have in mind is an identity totally dependent on European institutions to guarantee their survivability.

    While it should be the other way around. European institutions guaranteeing the European identity (or identities). then You wouldn’t have to wonder if they would survive or not.

    • Jane Tse

      Exactly! Identity issue serves only for politicians to earn support and to tear the union apart. EU is more a regional organization facilitating all communications and mutual support of the region for mutual benefit. It agrees totally the postwar “collective security” principle upholding by the international society of states. It is actually a subsystem insider the global system, a means for small nation-states to overcome challenges of the global era.

    • Ingemar Grahn

      Yes we have but unfortunately is to many not thinking like that but mutch smaller

    • Rémi Martin

      Tu parles français? Sinon, je vois pas ce que j’ai en commun avec toi!

    • Tarquin Farquhar

      @Rémi Martin
      The French language is too small and too sexist to be taken as a serious language in the 21st century.

    • Rémi Martin

      It’s time to call our armies around the world back then, no?

    • Jane Tse

      PEACE can always contribute to goodness of the people rather than war and confrontation.

    • Bódis Kata

      Yes. Diversity is our strength, not a weakness.

    • Ivan Burrows

      ‘Diversity in Unity’ is the old meaningless EU motto & as nothing to do with Europe, ‘One people, one Nation, One leader’ is the new EU motto.

    • Tarquin Farquhar

      @Dirk Schönhoff
      Your EU motto is oxymoronic as well as being moronic.

    • Dafnomilis Nikos

      Totally agree.European identity means diverse cultures to work together for prosperity and to defend our common values

    • Rémi Martin

      You can’t unite peoples with a flag, a common currency and laws they didn’t vote for, it’s a bit more complicated, look just history!

  2. Franco Suarez

    How does a family of brothers and sisters survive without a manufactured national identity to be Balkanized?

    • Rémi Martin

      Could you tell me a common point all the 27 members of EU are sharing? Nothing with language, culture, history… So speaking from brothers and sisters signify nothing. The non-members, how do they survive? You could have the same speech with Asia or Africa!

    • Bódis Kata

      The artificial one, being created by liberals.

    • Rémi Martin

      They tried the soviet identy in East, it didn’t work!

  3. Bódis Kata

    The EU has existed for decades quite well without an artificial common “European” identity.

    The reasons for the problems lie primarily in the massive mismanagement. >> The interests of the indigenous population are sacrificed for the interests of intentional capital groups as well as political ideology.

  4. Bódis Kata

    The EU has existed for decades quite well without an artificial common “European” identity.

    The reasons for the problems lie primarily in the massive mismanagement. >> The interests of the indigenous population are sacrificed for the interests of international capital groups as well as political ideology.

    • Rémi Martin

      It’s time to call our armies around the world back then, no?

  5. Andrew Potts

    No Europe has a diverse culture but Europeans recognise it and do not wish to have a common one we like our Europe diverse. We want our different nations different because that is what makes it work. We do not need our political overlords to tell us what it is or what it should be. Each European knows it in their heart

  6. Dino Boy Mican

    We re far fom having a common European identity that will supercede our national ones. I hope one day we ll have one. I hope that in the long process to this target, euro-fatigue won’t get the better of us.

    • Rémi Martin

      Just look at history, I bet it won’t work!

    • Rémi Martin

      After homo sovieticus, homo europeanus! A dream of a fews politicals…

    • George Frehden

      What you say about Arabeuros. germanicus fur echte leben ! a new mineral was brought from black hole.. The future is here, do not need to keep diet, learn to eat leaves! hhHh bye for now !

    • George Frehden

      What you say about Arabeurogenius germanicus fur echte leben ! a new mineral which was brought from black hole The future is here, do not need to keep diet, learn to eat leaves! bye for now !

    • Coralee De Fréine

      Not if the federalists get their way. They want to do away with our sovereign nationalities altogether:(

    • Rémi Martin

      The european people is something who doesn’t exist, they tried before by saying there was a soviet identity!

    • Rémi Martin

      Sorry, but I don’t see how Catalhuna could be independant by being in EU!

  7. Nikolas

    It’s very hard to build a strong EU without a common identity. We need to work more for the creation of a common identity which combines elements from all EU members.

  8. Max Berre

    Dumb question. How it runs depends mostly on how organized, competent and democratic its institutions are. THAT’S what needs attention.

  9. Marco Matani

    Eu can survive as far as there is no european identity. In the moment we have, we’ll destroy Eu to build the real european integration.

    • Rémi Martin

      The eternal dream of another Europe, but please, don’t think at us next time!

    • Rémi Martin

      I just want to keep my french identity, I don’t want your european identity, thanks!

    • Marco Matani

      I want to keep my italian identity as well. They are not opposite as they made us believe so far. This is the reason why I hate Eu: it says “Or italian or european”. While it should be: “European since italian”.

    • Rémi Martin

      This project isn’t a wish of peoples, so it’s dead in the egg, simply! ;)

    • Marco Matani

      I agree, Eu is dead, I’m the first that want to destroy it!
      But, after we destroy, we have to create something new and really different.

    • Rémi Martin

      Impossible, there’s nothing to federate all the countries.

    • Marco Matani

      I’m not talking about federations. I’m talking about fighting together great corporations, standing out together in the international policy to get rid of the yankees, handle together terrorism and so on. We have to share just what is convinient, not everything like currency ecc.

    • Rémi Martin

      We don’t need an union, a coorperation or what you want for that. Country-nations exist for that, where each country is finding interests; Airbus is a good example, nothing to do with EU…

    • Marco Matani

      If you don’t have cooperation on this you can charge Apple of Google as many taxes you want, but then you have an asshole like Junker which cuts down the taxes in Luxembourg and you’re over.

  10. Nijole Gulbinaite

    Klausimas: Ar diskutuojame apie bendra PASO ar Tapatybes korteles dizaino sukurima ES ?
    Manau svarbiausia kas parasyta tapatybes dokumente.
    MES,Europos gyventojai ir taip zinome,kad gyvename,dirbame ir vartojame EUROPOS ZEMYNO isteklius,todel ir vadinames EUROPIECIAIS. ESAME Unikalus kalbomis ( niekada nebusime vienakalbiai)!
    ESAME mokslo saltinis, todel daugiau sypsomes!
    Saugome ir Didziuojames Europos Unikalia Gamta.
    Tai lengviau daryti su bendru ES(EU) piniginiu vienetu EURO!
    Ponas J.C.Juncker, MES,Europieciai, didziuojames savo piniginiu vienetu EURO ir prasome padidinti JO kieki !
    Priezastis: spresti Europos saliu problemas !

  11. Paolo Miano

    Conscious or not, willing or not, we already have a European identity originating from centuries of common history (wars included). Can’t you see the differences in values with the other areas of the world, USA included. This is what we have to defend together. Or do you still think like in year 1500 that Europe is the world and that our little homelands can keep up with giants like USA, China, Russia, India, etc.?

    • Rémi Martin

      There’s nothing common between side,population of a country and the HDI(Human Development Index). Russia and China are excellent examples. For your knowledge, last time Europe was united for 400 years, there was a nice war during 30 years…

    • Paolo Miano

      I think you missed every point of my comment

    • Rémi Martin

      Alors, parle moi en français ou en européen et pas en américain si tu avoues qu’une telle identité doit exister!

    • Cezary Roman

      Greek philosophy – Roman law – Christian faith nad morality this is european identity

    • Rémi Martin

      Mouais, c’est pas avec ça que tu arriveras à unir 27 peuples, il en faudra un peu plus…

    • Nelson


    • José Bessa da Silva

      Difference in values? To start witj you have two major political values in Europe even right now. Atlanticists and Continentalists, opposing countries like the UK, Ireland, Portugal, the Netherlands, Denmark, etc, to Germany, Spain, Italy, France, etc. If you don’t have, even in the political elite, a single thought, how come you’re telling me, that you share a common identity with me? No, you don’t.

  12. Μαργαρίτα Κυρίτση

    It’s kinda weird to expect to create the European version of United States by joining together people with different language… Different cultural background… people who face different enemies and threats.

    • Rémi Martin

      Simply, the european identity is something who doesn’t exist! I’ve certainly more things to talk about with Haitians, Algerians, etc… as with memebers of EU. What’s great, we’ve got a common language, it helps to understand us each other! ^_^

    • Dee O'brien

      The US was founded in completely different conditions

    • Rémi Martin

      By replacing peoples by migrants…

    • Karolina

      So why are Algerians bombing you in the streets of France, if they have so much in common with you, Remi? And what are you doing on a forum called Debating Europe if you have nothing to discuss with other Europeans?

      Can’t you see the contradiction in your own comments?

  13. Craig Willy

    European nations share in a common genetic and cultural identity, enough to cooperate and, with good will, share in an economic union and military alliance. But there probably is not sufficient European identity probably not, as of today, to live in a happy federal superstate (just look at Belgium, Spain: does not even work there). We could work to strengthen Europeans’ common identity – as the Catholic Church once did for a large part of Europe – but I don’t think the current methods – Arte and Erasmus – are anywhere near sufficient.

    • Rémi Martin

      Tu parles français? Moi, je ne parle pas l’européen, je ne sais pas ce que c’est!

    • Rémi Martin

      Oui, mais certainement pas mélangées, remuées, mixées ou jenecékoi pour créer une identité illusoire! On unit pas les peuples avec un drapeau, une monnaie commune et des lois pour lesquelles ils n’ont pas votées! D’ailleurs, il en parlait très bien: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=0Ldd5mZrelU

    • Craig Willy

      Je suis d’accord que l’Union européenne – et surtout la zone euro – fonctionne assez mal. Ce qui importe c’est protéger l’identité des nations et de la civilisation européennes. On peut améliorer ou se débarasser des institutions, s’il le faut.

    • Rémi Martin

      Ou juste les quitter, ça suffira pour la France, bon vent pour ceux qui resteront!

    • Rémi Martin

      And what are you doing here then? Just taking the money from our taxes?

    • Александр Запрещенов

      I assume you are European first and then French? And yeah, that’s what I am doing, I applied for nearly 60k in euro funding to design and build a 3D printer and start a start-up company. Failed to get funding this time, will try again. And yeah, I will be using your taxes to try and improve the situation in my country to the best of my abilities, that’s how the EU allows me to benefit from your taxes, and you are the ones who like it so much. You are basically our bitch, Western European taxpayer

    • Rémi Martin

      What’s european? I don’t speak it! The day France’ll leave this useless union, you’ll just find your right place in the world, nothing else.

    • Александр Запрещенов

      I’m not talking about a European language, I’m talking about a European identity and it superceding your national identity. And I believe I made you into a EU skeptic

    • Rémi Martin

      Because do you think I was waiting for Bulgaria to be euro realistic?

    • Harry Bell

      You need to be leaving the EU then.

  14. Marko Martinović

    Ifentity is not a main problem, totalitarian EU practices is. EU leaders should be prosecuted for aiding terror and for crimes against humanity, against their own people. EU is destroying itself already just to be politically correct

    • Rémi Martin

      It was the target since the begining!

  15. Marko Martinović

    Identity is not a main problem, totalitarian EU practices is. EU leaders should be prosecuted for aiding terror and for crimes against humanity, against their own people. EU is destroying itself already just to be politically correct

    • Rémi Martin

      Tu parles français? Moi, je ne parle pas l’européen, je ne sais pas ce que c’est!

    • José Bessa da Silva

      Visca Catalunya Lliure. Gora Euskara, Ceive Galiza, Abajo España. Que exploda a União Europeia!

  16. Bart Van Damme

    The EU constitution was forced on people after the few national referendums they did hold did not yield the desired result. The bigger EU countries have been known to hold their own private meetings while being at summits with all countries, and the moment Greece hit trouble there was talk of kicking them out. And we’ve just witnessed the EU’s failure to properly address what happened in Catalonia. With an EU for the elite and not the people, how do you expect there to be an EU identity?

    • Dee O'brien

      We had to vote 4 times on 2 EU treaties here in Ireland because we gave the wrong answer,it left a sour taste in Irish people’s mouths about the EU and it’s undemocratic ways

  17. Milos Kostovski

    No. Get on with it and create the superstate. I trust there are more positives in unification. Otherwise, the continent will revamp its ghosts of conflicts and divisions.

    • Ivan Burrows

      Pretty sure that’s what they said in Berlin in 1933. ‘One people, One Nation, One leader’ was also a favourite of theirs, seems you are repeating history.

    • Milos Kostovski

      I am repeating history?!?!? I am sure you have a more intelligent counterargument than comparison to the Third Reich.

    • Milos Kostovski

      Why not compare it to a functional union which can be better than US or other Unions. I wish you offered an alternative rather than critisizing the efforts.

    • Rémi Martin

      Can you speak of those others unions? Where and who? You can’t unite 27 peoples with a flag, a common currency and laws they didn’t vote for! US has nothing to compare to EU, one language, it helps to understand, an artificial construction, peoples who were living there were simply replaced by migrants!

    • Milos Kostovski

      You have a point Rémi. But what is the alternative? That is my question. Revert back to 19th and 20th century nationalism? And it is 21 century. With the current technology don’t tell me language is a barrier.

    • Rémi Martin

      Nationalism is the hate of the others, patriotism is the proud of your land! Are the countries who aren’t in EU nationalist? Certainly not, it’s something medias want to make you believe! Nothing changes, we’re just making wars outthere from Europe, it isn’t better!

    • Milos Kostovski

      Wording is irrelevant. One can attach these labels whenever it suits. Patriotism for the one is nationalism for the other. Countries outside EU have decided so or like in the case of the Balkans, are struggling to prove to you “westerners” that they have been on the continent since always and they are part of Europe equally. Even longer than some estblished member countries. The point is that our generations have a chance to make something better. Instead we are jumping again in the quicksand which almost drowned Europe in the past century. Since mentioning the nazis is a trend (check out Godwin’s Law btw), from the history books that I read it was actually the fear, poverty, and the feeling of victimisation that enabled nacism to flourish and brought Hitler to power.

  18. Pedro Jorge Lemos

    For sure not but the great problem is rebuild the european identity… seems more that eu is sinking, and the Us plane worked well. The Keys das Rússia and all the hate US spreaded against our friends contaminated and compromised all the stability

  19. EU Reform- Proactive

    Here we go again! Take another ride on the omnipresent EU conundrum carousel- where pondering never stops, theories galore occupy paid think tanks & politicians and the average youth (<25) unemployment rate in the Euro Area is a “celebrated” 18.9% at present.

    Of course, the “comparative” disadvantaged youth in the 'club med' countries led & still lead the pack, like: Greece at 43.3 %, Spain 38.7 % and Italy at 35.1 %.

    Severe chronic EU-ism youth syndrome? Surely, they must have caught the "lack of European identity" virus- or?

    Solution: Take two spoon full of JCJ's "EU identity medicine"- one in the morning & one in the evening! A miracle will happen!

  20. Ivan Burrows

    At least you are now admitting there is no such thing as a ‘European identity’, well done.

    • Rémi Martin

      Simply, they’ve replaced the peoples wo lived before to create it!

    • Rémi Martin

      Simply, they’ve replaced the peoples who lived there before to create it!

    • Ivan Burrows

      The USA is a Nation, Europe and the EU are not.

    • Faddi Zsolt

      Ivan Burrows the USA isn’t a nation! The Englanders, Irish, Scotish, Hungarians, Germans, Spanish, Chinese or Indians etc. are nationalities inside the USA, but there is no American nation at all. There is only a mixture of nations. The same goes for the EU too.

    • Coralee De Fréine

      Faddi Zsolt Best let the Americans know that you believe their pledge of allegiance is incorrect. “ONE NATION, indivisible, with liberty and justice for all” .

    • Michał Borkowski

      It is not a question of ‘wants’. It’s a question of ‘needs’.

    • Rémi Martin

      You can’t unite peoples with a flag, a common currency and laws they didn’t vote for, so easy, just look at history! Michal, form which planet are you coming from? Never studied history in your life?

    • Coralee De Fréine

      Enric Mestres Girbal I’d prefer the sooner option. Before they completely dismantle our country’s hard won nation state status and create their superstate.

    • Ovidiu Moldovanu

      Dude, just shut up! They were very clear in saying that violence is not the answer to anything!

    • Rémi Martin

      Europe is peace, they said…

    • Miguel Bruni

      And also said that if a government needs eventually to use it is OK. It is like russians can hit once a year their women.

    • Tiromanzino May

      The only supporting violence are the Catalan Nazi-onalists. Just 4 real hurt from the 800 you fascist trolls denounced

  21. Ηλιας Παρασκευοπουλος

    Erasmus has helped a lot into forming a european consiousnes among european citizens.

    • Marc Mestres Ridge

      Only that these were not riots, just peaceful people armed with votes

    • Rémi Martin

      Europe is peace, they said…

    • Enric Mestres Girbal

      Peaceful people queue to vote, not blockade the entrance to the building HOPING the police will act. Not long ago people was sitting peacefully in Catalunya Sq. and they were dislodged with the same methods.

    • Antonio Casedi

      Marc Mestres Ridge people hampering police trying to do their job. Nothing peaceful about that

  22. Stefano Rossi

    it depends on what you mean by common identity. India is a federation with many more languages, religions and historical traditions than EU, nevertheless is a federation. If you look for an European “national” identity, you will never have it (hopefully), but Europe has a common identity based on constitutional principles which are very similar among the member States, so it can work as federation of states

    • Rémi Martin

      EU isn’t a wish of the europeans peoples, so the project is dead in the egg, nothing else!

    • Stefano Rossi

      EU is the reality for European people. European Federation is a wish for many European citizens

    • Rémi Martin

      As soon as we’ll leave it, you can do want you want! ^_^

    • Dee O'brien

      Stefano Rossi then they should have no problem in giving European wide referendums on its future,you know the right to self determination

  23. Hector Niehues-Jeuffroy

    There is a common European identity centred on democracy, social solidarity, and personal freedoms. You will never find this exact combination anywhere else in the world (maybe with the exception of East Asian democracies).

    • Rémi Martin

      Tu parles l’européen? Pas moi!

    • Gemma Vazquez

      La lengua común no es fundamental. Lo son los valores y principios.

    • Rémi Martin

      Je comprends rien!!! Je vais vous quitter, je ne veux pas participer à votre nouvelle tour de Babel!

    • Hector Niehues-Jeuffroy

      Language is important, but not a necessary condition for a common identity. In China, for example, most people in the southern provinces don’t speak Mandarin (they speak Cantonese instead). yet there is no question that they identify as Chinese.

    • Ivan Burrows

      Apart from Austria, New Zealand, Canada, the USA, etc etc … ? ‘democracy, social solidarity, and personal freedoms’ have nothing to do with Europe or the EU.

    • Hector Niehues-Jeuffroy

      Austria is in the EU. I agree that Canada, Australia and New Zealand could also be seen as “European”, which is hardly surprising given their history. But to include the US is just ridiculous. Please live in the US and tell me more about their level of social solidarity.

    • Rémi Martin

      In your example with China, you’ve just forgotten the history of China… Blood was given to belong to the country

    • Hector Niehues-Jeuffroy

      Rémi Martin You really need to work on your communication skills. What do you mean?

    • Rémi Martin

      Sorry, but globish isn’t my first language, maybe you could try to speak french, because it’s easier to learn french than to understand a French speaking globish! Alors je reprends, il n’existe aucun pays qui honore un drapeau sans que du sang a coulé ou une histoire a été faite pour ce drapeau, tu me comprends mieux là?

  24. Jens Erik Lehmann-Poulsen

    Our European identity is the christian founded cultural and it will survive, as long as we feel, its there/here. Its also a long cultural journey who identify european values. All this make it to a human value and european, when we open our heart and soul for it. We therefore have to believe in it, as we believe in our neighbours in the other countries. :-)

    • Rémi Martin

      Actually, you’ve to think worldwide, not to isolate you with your neighbours! I feel myself nearer from a Haitian, Algerian, Ivorian… than with a Danish( ;) ) , Romanian or I don’t know who from EU, it’s just a fact, sorry!

    • Jens Erik Lehmann-Poulsen

      Rémi Martin I think it is a 3 stage id. First according to Denmark, then according to Europe and then according to the rests of the world. And I have to work on the last :-)

    • Rémi Martin

      Sorry, but I’ve never worked on the second, didn’t know it could exist! A construction based on the race, why not, but without me!

    • Jens Erik Lehmann-Poulsen

      Our culture in our western world are based in european values. All humans are born equal, and in that respect all races has to be handled equal. :-)

  25. Gaotu Davids

    Yes , definitely The EU will become a stronger organization without the hindrances of excess baggage.

    • Rémi Martin

      You can’t unite 27 peoples with a flag, a common currency and laws they didn’t vote for! Do you believe once we’ll erase 1500 years of history just for a wish of some politicals? Seriously…

    • Gaotu Davids

      I think it’s possible to be part of an organization without sharing the same opinion on every issue, as long as the core European christian principles are shared all the countries can prosper from the economic alliance.

  26. Tiromanzino May

    EU must invest more in promoting tolerance and brotherhood between European countries.

    It is my humble opinion. Just adding new countries without consolidation of current relationships won’t work.

    • Rémi Martin

      Which brotherhood? There’s no union, each country tries to defend his own interests, EU isn’t a wish from peoples, so it can’t work. You can’t unite 27 peoples with a flag, a common currency and laws they didn’t vote for, it’s a bit harder!

  27. Dee O'brien

    Being honest I find the whole “European identity” a bit creepy with its makey up flag and stars,it reeks of the USSR,then you have the EU doing their damn best to try to get us to think of ourselves as Europeans first and foremost, nationalism is bad,but EU nationalism is good..

    • Dee O'brien

      Remi Rémi Martin I know this video well…that what’s scares me

    • Joël Landais

      We all know that the EU is not democratic (or democratic enough), but comparing it with the Soviet Union is simply ridiculous… Just one thing: where are the European labour camps ? Where is the European Gulag ?

  28. randomguy2017

    How can Europe be Europe?

    When EU is favoring Arabs/Turks/Africans
    instead of Europeans including Germans, Slavics, Latins?

    Immigration should be reduced and controlled.
    The US became a power by integrating immigrants who worked hard.
    The EU is throwing in people who live in camps, ghettos, and so on.

  29. Máté János

    Well the European identity consists of common historical and cultural heritage but not an artificial identity stuffed with orwellian newspeak pc slogans…

    • Rémi Martin

      Could you tell me a common point(history, culture..) the 27 members of EU are sharing? I don’t see very well…

    • Máté János

      Rémi Martin Maybe a bit less Remy Martin and a bit more history knowledge would help. Some suggested topics: Christianity, Crusades, Reneissance, Enlightment…

  30. ironworker

    I’m not so sure what a “common identity” really is. I’m pretty sure that a “european identity” doesn’t exist, in fact, I suspect behind just financial and economic prey and predators. What do I have in common, for instance, with Merkel’s or Macron voters? EU becomes nothing more than a “rich got richer and poor got poorer” hypocritical monster organization.

    • Karolina

      Here is a definition of cultural identity from the Cambridge reference dicitonary (http://www.oxfordreference.com/view/10.1093/oi/authority.20110803095652855):
      “The definition of groups or individuals (by themselves or others) in terms of cultural or subcultural categories (including ethnicity, nationality, language, religion, and gender). In stereotyping, this is framed in terms of difference or otherness. See also ethnic identity; gender identity; identity; lifestyle; national identity.”

      So, if you look at the components of the definition of cultural identity they are actually mostly shared throughout the EU: ethnicity=everyone identifies Europeans as people of a specific appearance; nationality=there is now such a thing as an EU national, a status that allows people to move across borders without the need of a visa and be subject to common laws as well as a common elected parliament; language=the overwhelming majority of languages spoken in the EU are members of the Indo-European language family and share a common ancestor, some of them are mutually understandable (exception are Hungarian, Finnish, Estonian, Basque and Maltese – perhaps 1 or 2 more that I have failed to mention here; religion=traditionally most people in the EU have been Christian, although Judaism and Atheism are also considered European nowadays; gender= this tends to be selective nowadays in the EU, not something tolerated in other parts of the world. So, there is such a thing as a common European identity, even thought it may be somewhat vague. There are other things that come into it in my view, such as common history, art culture etc.

  31. catherine benning

    Can the EU survive without a common European identity?

    What they are now asking for is your permission to have a multi cultural society made up mostly of third world cultures and ethos. In other words your permission to commit cultural and political suicide. To agree to do away with your heritage. And they are asking this because all the complaints about the spread of ethnic lifestyles taking over from the indigenous host culture complain that they were never asked if they agreed to this project of theirs. They are afraid they are being accused of white genocide. And now they want to cover their ‘ahsays.’ Just in case they are finally held to account, akin to the Nuremberg trials, for war crime. Genocide is a ‘war crime’ even when a shot isn’t fired.


    • Karolina

      An interesting comment by Catherine. Exactly because there is a European identity people across the EU are reacting to the importation of non-Europeans with hostile views and practices contrary to European ones. People actually feel quite strongly about this identity.

  32. Ian Stock

    European identity can happen, despite the obstacles. Look at Switzerland – four languages, at least three indigenous cultures and the country works extremely well. It is federalised to keep accountability local, and it is not without its internal stresses – but it still works.

    The main prerequisite for an identity is that you take it on voluntarily, then in time it will happen. It cannot be forced. In order to do that, you have to know your neighbours, and I mean properly, not just spending time in their hotel resorts. Knowledge is power – and the antidote to suspicion and fear. However, I regret that too many of my countrymen not only don’t have that knowledge but even (think they) don’t want it.

  33. Michael Paraskevas

    There is no common identity when the strong fuck the weak. Europe was not meant to be the 4th Reich of Merkel.

  34. Alex Tselentis

    “Common European” identity ?? What does that mean ?? Europe has been populated by “Europeans” for a couple thousand years .. What if youre not in the “EU” you not European ?? LOL

  35. Harry Bell

    Without core commonalities throughout the bloc you cannot have a ‘common identity’, half the continent is low waged economies where those with skills need to migrate to achieve a living wage leaving behind their own struggling fellow ‘citizens’ without the money to either retrain or migrate, all you’re going to end up with are poor regions on the periphery and cheap labour for the big players like Germany, you’re in a race to the bottom regarding wages, more immigration means less in the pot for the indigeneous workforce of each nation state as we have here in the UK, presently being bled dry through financing house building in Romania due to our welfare state, meanwhile the Romanians who came consist mainly of thieves and pickpockets, the only migrants we have here worth having are the Polish as none of the others appear to want ‘work’. Socialism is great till other peoples money runs out to pay for it all, apart from being homo sapien we aren’t all the same regardless how the elite view all of us, the ethos didn’t work in the USSR and sure as hell won’t work in Europe.

  36. randomguy2017

    European identify used to be white European and Christianity.
    sure it had conflicts, but against common enemies,
    alliance were created and invasions were defeated.

    Today, a white European identity is seen as “racist” (its not).
    Christianity is being attacked, suppressed, and the percentage is falling.
    Families are breaking up, there are fertility rate problems.
    All this was done to please some minor groups who claimed to be “normal”.

    • Dee O'brien

      And that’s the great thing about it!

  37. Karolina

    No, it cannot. However, there already is a common European identity which has existed since pre-historic times.

  38. Joël Landais

    Je réponds à mon compatriote Rémi Martin en français !!!!!!

    Oui, je parle européen.
    Je parle même quelques unes des principales langue de l’Union: allemand, italien, espagnol, anglais… et même grec moderne ! (désolé, pas lituanien… hélas)
    Impossible bien sûr à la plupart d’entre nous de maîtriser les 24 langues officielles de l’UE, même si elles sont toutes intéressantes, voire passionnantes.

    Mais la solution n’est pas non plus l’anglo-américain (ou le Globish, appelez-ça comme vous voudrez) qui peut nous américaniser encore un peu plus, mais ne nous donnera pas une identité européenne. Si c’était le cas, cette identité serait évidente pour tous depuis les 60 ans où nous utilisons l’anglais.
    Nous rêvons de l’Amérique et c’est cela qui nous empêche de construire l’Europe.
    Or l’identité européenne existe depuis longtemps déjà, mais nous ne la voyons pas car nous avons le nez dessus. Il suffit de prendre un peu de recul, de vivre quelque temps en Afrique ou en Asie pour comprendre à quel point nous sommes européens, pour prendre conscience que l’Europe est notre civilisation commune, que nous avons la même vision du monde, la même philosophie, les mêmes valeurs: l’humanisme, les droits de l’homme, la démocratie… etc., etc.
    On ne résume pas en quelques mots 2500 ans de civilisation européenne…

    Je pense que la question de l’identité européenne est fondamentale; j’y ai d’ailleurs consacré un article en 3 langues:
    Mais je crois que le problème est que la plupart des Européens (y compris leurs dirigeants) n’ont plus qu’une seule motivation: l’argent… money, money, money. Comme chacun sait, l’argent n’a pas d’odeur: qu’il soit chinois, indien, américain ou européen, c’est pareil et c’est toujours bon à prendre… Mais la pensée de Lao Zi ou de Confucius… (fascinante) et celle de Kant ou d’Aristote, ce n’est pas du tout la même chose.

  39. Joël Landais

    I still don’t understand why most people here write in English, while we could have a nice discussion in French or Lithuanian… but not to offend them, I will translate my previous message into English (=

    Yes, I can speak European.
    I can even speak some of the main languages of the Union: German, Italian, Spanish, English, French of course… and even modern Greek! (Sorry I can’t speak Lithuanian… which I deeply regret!)
    But it is impossible for most of us to speak the 24 official languages of the EU, even if they are all interesting, … fascinating.

    The solution is not Anglo-American either (or Globish, if you prefer) which can americanize us a bit more, but cannot give us a European identity . If that was the case, this identity would be obvious for all of us since we have been using English for 60 years.
    We have been dreaming of America and this has prevented us from building Europe.
    As a matter of fact, European identity has already been existing for a long time, but we can’t see it, though it’s right under our noses. It would be enough for us to step back a little, to live in Africa or Asia for a while, to understand how much European we are, to become aware that Europe is our common civilisation, that we have the same world view, the same philosopy, the same values: humanism, human rights, democracy… etc., etc.
    You can’t sum up 2500 years of European civilisation in a few words…

    I think that the issue of European identity is fundamental; I have even written a 3-language article about it:

    But I think the problem is that most Europeans (including their leaders) have only one motivation today: money, money, money…. Money has no smell, as everybody knows: whether it is Chinese, Indian, American or European, it’s always the same, it’s always a boon… But the thought of Lao Zi or Confucius, which permeates life in China… (how fascinating it may be), has nothing to do with that of Kant or Aristotle.

  40. Ginster Plantagenet

    I call myself a European as nationality, however I have more and more difficulty to say so, regarding Poland Hungary etc.

    • Marko Martinović

      They are the only sane ones in EU. They are the only ones who protect their people and without terrorist attacks. Rest of the EU is enabling terror and working against its people

    • Ivan Burrows

      ‘Europe’ is just a collection of 51 Nation States on the western Peninsula of the Eurasian continent nothing more, so ‘European’ is not and never will be a Nationality, its just a geographical term..

    • Jakub Rozdżestwieński

      Britain is just a collection of X counties on one island, nothing more, so ‘British’ is not and never be a Nationality, it’s just a geographical term

    • Dietmar Hartmann

      Ginster Plantagenet what you call bullshit, is the view of most citizens of our country. We call that democracy. You can call that what you want, who cares ..

    • José Bessa da Silva

      Sorry lady but “european” is not a nationality. If you don’t revise yourself in your nationality that is your problem but the fact is you’re polish.

    • Ivan Burrows

      Jakub Rozdżestwieński And yet without the ‘British’ people you would now be a citizen of the Third Reich, not bad for a people that do not exist lol. Give it time though as you EU fanatics are once again going to give yourselves up to Berlin like lambs to the slaughter, this time we will not save you.

  41. Ivan Burrows

    A ‘common European identity’ would infringe on peoples right to self determination and lead to further conflict amongst ‘Europe’s 51 Nation States, In short it’s a barking mad idea that as been tried before and lead to 60 million dead & the the destruction of most of ‘Europe’s great cities, do you really want to do that again ?

    • Liz Lyz

      Said the Chinese woman!

    • Nuno Oliveira

      A confederation of nations is wrong? So rip that union jack and dissolve the UK since by your own arguments it is an even more tyrannical arrangement

    • Manuel Alonso

      How many millions of dead & destruction was carry by the Bristish over his empire?

    • Ivan Burrows

      Nuno Oliveira Your attempt to conflate Great Britain with the pointless EU is idiotic but amusing however the ‘European’ ideologies of fascism, Nazism, Communism and now Europeanism do share many things in common.

    • Ivan Burrows

      Manuel Alonso Are you putting that forward as a reason to forcibly unite 27 European Nations under one flag ? Maybe you should think a little before typing lol

    • Ivan Burrows

      Liz Lyz Your managed to be both raciest and sexiest in one comment, how very EU European of you.

    • Manuel Alonso

      Ivan Burrows Thanks for your answer. Do you think that you country having colonies in Europe in this 21 century is a good for anyone? … Anyway is enough of wars for having one Empire all over the world. Now is the time for one open and sincere European collaboration.

    • Ivan Burrows

      Manuel Alonso Pretty sure most of Southern & Eastern Europe would be better off within the United Kingdom or even as part of the Commonwealth as opposed to the mess Brussels has made of them. ‘sincere European collaboration’ ? That’s pretty much what Adolf & Joseph said in the 1940’s. The EU is an attempt to solve the problems of the last century by locking warmongering European Nations together in ‘trade, it has no place in this century in a fully connected world.

    • Manuel Alonso

      Ivan Burrows Europe or the European Union has not a shape of a rectangle or either a circular shape from where you can define easily where is the north and south and the center. During millenniums the west coast of the Iberian peninsula was the WEST. England was in the 5 to 15 century at the Central European politics and wars and not in the West of Europe. England moves to the west to catch Portuguese and Spanish adventures over all the 7 seas. England used all their pirates and nasty politics, to put European against Europeans. If you dream that, we the Hispanic people will any day to kneel or to surrender to you, then you have lost your mind.

    • José Bessa da Silva

      You spaniards love to speak in the name of us portuguese even though we’ve showed you time after time that we just don’t like you at all. There’s an old portuguese saying that goes “From Spain neither good wind nor good marriage”, and it is bloody true. Sorry, you are enemies and you will always be. Portuguese are not “hispanic” and we have nothing in common with you. Stop trying to compare yourselves to us or to make a “group”. It’s ridiculous!
      By the way, stop being an hipocrite and return Olivença to Portugal, that you colonized 200 years ago. Stop making a fuss out of the EEZ around Selvagens archipelago. Stop not following the Treaty of Albufeira that you signed. Stop burrying nuclear waste near our border, etc. In a nutshell, stop being dishonest, corrupt international criminals.

    • Manuel Alonso

      Dear José it look like you are very upset and very frontal. These are not typical Portuguese characteristics. Portuguese, if they are upset they, do not show it and avoid obvious confrontation. You had very good “Spanish” marriages in Portugal starting by the mother of the first king of Portugal, Dona Teresa in the 12 century. She was, if I remember, the Grand daughter of one Hispanic Emperor and it was the aunt of another Hispanic Emperor. These are medieval Emperors. Each time they conquer a very important city to the muslins invaders the Pope of Rome accepted the title of Emperor. Other Spanish women where very good to Portugal, was the second Queen of Portugal named Dulce de Aragão, not very famous. Only here you can see the first King of Portugal (D. Afonso Henriques) was the son of a Spanish Queen, and his son (D Sancho) married another Spanish woman… and so on… And Isabel de Aragon? the Holy Queen of Portugal? do you remember? was a Spanish woman… sorry for me open the book of history but you where very unfair to Spain.

    • José Bessa da Silva

      Sorry, none of those were spanish. Spain is a newborn country. You need some proper history lessons lad.
      You’re speaking about people that lived in different countries, that were actually enemies for a long, long time, well before Spain was even a dream. You spaniards tend to confuse pre-spanish history as being “Spain”. No lad, Spain does not exist since that time, Spain was born yeasterday.

      PS: Arguing with a spaniard is not a typical portuguese characteristic either. A typical portuguese would have beat you already to a pulp and sent you back to your country. So, be happy I’m not the typical portuguese.

    • Manuel Alonso

      Spain is a newborn country? seriously? it is to much protestant that of “new born again” for a country like Spain :) The catholic people do not born again, they confess to a priest, pray few “ave marias” and then are ready for doing the same mistake :)

    • Ivan Burrows

      Manuel Alonso You cannot kneel to the British as you have already sold your soul to the Germans, they now own you. The rest of your post is the usual racist nonsense we have come to expect from pro EU fanatics so will be ignored.

    • Manuel Alonso

      Ivan Burrows the white anglo saxon and protestant people will never defeat the hispanic people, write it down to remember…

  42. Marko Martinović

    No! That would be tyrrany. EU is already enabling terror and working against its people and culture. Most of the EU leadership should be jailed

    • Nuno Oliveira

      You’re confusing a government with the concept of the EU

    • Manuel Alonso

      The terrific terror that terrorize everything but not the terrorist :)

    • Ivan Burrows

      Nuno Oliveira The concept of democratically elected government is hated by the EU, which is why you are ruled over by an unelected European Politburo.

    • Uli Czeranka

      I think marko and ivan are the same person

    • Marko Martinović

      Nope, but it does not matter. Argument is an argument

  43. Emrah Can

    I think this European identity is already shared by the majority . Even those who are against EU , act together on European level lol . European identity will be felt more abd more in the future .

    • José Bessa da Silva

      Right. Keep lying to yourself. Nothing in common between us lad…

    • Nuno Oliveira

      One of the things that is common among ourselves Jose, is the longest peace period in the continent in centuries. That should count.

    • José Bessa da Silva

      Not really. Portugal is at peace ionly since 1974 and it has nothing to do we the rest of Europe. Try again!

    • José Bessa da Silva

      Not really. Portugal is at peace only since 1974 and it has nothing to do we the rest of Europe. Try again!

    • Ivan Burrows

      Nuno Oliveira NATO has kept the peace in Europe, not some imaginary European identity.

    • Emrah Can

      Ivan Burrows , you are wrong . We do not talk about peace in Europe because of being against Soviet union We are talking about BETWEEN European countries..

    • Emrah Can

      Peace between European countries . Nato or not , a war between European countries is almost impossible Because 70 years of EU changed mentalities in Europe . Before EU , Europe has been battlefield . Millions of European died . Only During the 19th and 20th century , 20 milions people died in Europe . Because of nationalisme and populism…

    • José Bessa da Silva

      The EU will be the reason of the next war in Europe. Mark my words. All paneuropeism lead to war, the EU will be no different.

    • Emrah Can

      It was not paneuropeanism that lead to war in Europe but guys like Napoleon or Hitler who tried to conquer and control all Europe by violence . Now PanEuropeanism in Eu was build on rejection of violence..

    • Dee O'brien

      If I was a betting man I’d bet the farm it’s not shared by the majority..

  44. reynaerd

    there has never been a European identity. Compare it with the USA where everyone is proudly hamging their flag outside. I don’t know anyone who proudly put an EU flag or say that they are European. No we are Dutch, German, Italian etc. History teaches us that artificial group identity (like the USSR) creates problems. The slogan of the EU always have been “unity through diversity”. The diversity should be cherished.

    Again a strange topic. These kinds of discussions will feed the Euro-scepticism even more. Be realistic, go away from the dreambubble of a big Europe. Look to the problems that really matter and spend there time and money.

  45. José Bessa da Silva

    Europe can, the EU can not as it will never build one either. Take Spain’s example. What is born the wrong way, will end in an even worse…

    • Nuno Oliveira

      An EU as a confederation of regions would surpass these issues

    • Manuel Alonso

      Take Spain? You wish that… but will will be not lucky :)

    • José Bessa da Silva

      I don’t wish anything, nor do I. Spain is simply a mess.

    • José Bessa da Silva

      Nuno, the EU is already a confederation and it is clearly not working. It’ corrupt, incompetent and anti-democratic…just like Spain!

    • Manuel Alonso

      José Bessa da Silva This text will be not easy to read for your Protuguese pride. But is not fair that you fight against Spain. You say that Spain is a Corrupt country, maybe like the last prime-minister of Portugal was? and the many ministers Portugal are convicted in court? or corrupt like the big banks owners in Portugal? How many European people are in public office in Portugal? I give you the answer: zero, because if you do not understand the “system” and do not accept it you will be excluded. The corruption in Portugal is not a isolated case is a problem from top to bottom of the ciety. What people discuss is the big corruption. The little corruption is so natural in Portugal that no Portuguese can see it.

    • José Bessa da Silva

      I know this comment will be hard for you to read but…
      Yes, we have a prime-minister and ministers and other politicians and bankers jailed for corruption. That is exactly the point. We punish corruption. How many has Brussels and Spain? Zero.
      That is the difference between us.
      By the way, the EU is so corrupt it even legalized corruption under the name of Lobbying. Many of the crimes given to our former prime-minister, namely all those under de name “Tráfico de Influências”, would be legal by EU’s rules.
      So, I know you spaniards love to show how ignorant you are, but I’ll be here to see when and how will you arrest Mariano Rajoy, Urdangarín, etc. We all know you already absolved the King’s sister and you don’t even charged Juan Carlos. Rita Barberá died of old age without being sent to jail. Feijoó has liks to the drug mafia and sill rules over Galicia, etc.
      By the way, there are many europeans in public offices in Portugal, starting by all those working in the European comission and European Parliament that have ruling powers over this nation.

    • Manuel Alonso

      José Bessa da Silva I believe that Portugal do not punish for big corruption. If you steal a sweater from a supermarket in Portugal you will be obliged to pay a fine, or have few days on jail. If a top public officers or a top minister or deputy in the parliament are caught in corruption, then they are tried in court, yes, but the trial lasts for decades. If you see how was the world 50 years ago, then the European Union was doing his best for democracy and peace and 50 years ago the Portuguese where in a long war against the black people of Africa. In that time Spain was starting his process for the soft transition to democracy. But in the Portuguese-African colonies the black people where fighting against the Portuguese for the simple right to have a bird certificate, a paper. Maybe more than 90% of African Portuguese people they did not have any documents or education. In the EU 100% of people had documents and minimum education. The same values for Spain. The Portuguese fascist government not giving documents to the people was a clever way of controlling and a way of corruption. I’m sorry but Portugal is the same county, either fascist or democrat. Portugal has improved a lot in democracy and justice in the last decades but is not an example when compared with the European Union.

    • José Bessa da Silva

      You may believe whatever you want but the fact is we have ministers, prime-ministers and bankers in jail. You don’t.
      Portugal is an example compared with most of EU countries, let alone the EU.
      Comparing the EU with the Portuguese Colonial Empire was actually nice. They are at the same level indeed.

      PS: If you think not giving portuguese citizenship to colonial subjects is corruption, you sir need to pick up a dictionary. By the way, pay your taxes, because unlike Portugal, which has one of the highest tax collection rates in OECD, your country ranks among the worst and that is petty corruption lad.

    • Manuel Alonso

      José Bessa da Silva in the Portuguese Africa the african people where in the bush fighting against the Portuguese. Do not compare. Never in the Portuguese parliament we see or saw a black person, and up today, and … millions of africans where robed and violated during centuries… you have no idea… sorry… this is a few letter on facebook, but you must try to understand the meaning of “good will” that the european union has!

    • José Bessa da Silva

      Yes, Portugal had a colonial empire for 600 years and killed and enslave millions. So? Should I cry? I couldn’t care less what happen before I was born. I care about now. What I do is my burden to bare and what others do to me as well. There are no longer a Portuguese Empire but there are an “European Empire”. The last is my burden and my fight. It must be destroyed just like the Portuguese Empire was.

      “Good Will”? Let be me be blunt. Either you’re completely stupid or very naive if you think a corrupt institution, sold to banking and multinational interests, has any “good will”.
      The EU is an anti-democratic union and it’s only will is to enslave europeans to capitalist interests.

    • Steve Pock

      I’m not I had this fake B.S. EU identity forced on me against my will.

    • Ivan Burrows

      George Guydosh How does it feel to be owned by a foreign Capital …… again ? You have learnt nothing from your history..

    • George Guydosh

      Me and some Hungarians did. Those like you didn’t.

  46. Breogán Costa

    I don’t think we need any common identity, our diversity is something very nice. What we need is some common values, what is called “European values”, that are being bounded by politicians, that try to gather power making European citizens hate each other.

  47. Nuno Oliveira

    Because we are diverse it is possible to be of a region, of a culture and of Europe without contradiction. But I think for all one day, that Earth is our home and that Human is our culture.

  48. Josep Salvador Iborra

    European reality make possible to create an identity based on some values: protection of civil rights, liberal economy with a certain degree of wealth redistribution, appreciation of culture and the usage of English as lingua franca. However, that European identity has to coexist with movements promoting other sources of identity such as dissimilar ethnic traits, christianity, “race” or imperial nostalgia.

    • Manuel Alonso

      Lovely imperial nostalgia… maybe nostalgia of the Napoleonic wars…

    • José Bessa da Silva

      “…protection of civil rights…”

      Said the guy that lives in a country where a person can be killed for voting. Clearly those are not shared values by all europeans.

    • Josep Salvador Iborra

      Civil rights are not granted just because a country has a democratic government. Protection of civil rights is an endless endevour of the society.

    • José Bessa da Silva

      You’re country’s society is fascist and your government is a false democracy…and you like it!
      Sorry. Not my dream. Better to be out of the EU than with lunatic fascists…

  49. Valentin Nebunescu

    EU is going to be an federal state or it will brake in two separate political entities :the Eurozone and the Visegrad group.If that is happening is the politicians lack of vision fault.And ours that we let them to govern us with our approval.

    • José Bessa da Silva

      It will never be a federal state. It will simply be the reason of the next war. I already have mu gun chatged for ever federalist of that war…

    • José Bessa da Silva

      It will never be a federal state. It will simply be the reason of the next war. I already have my gun charged for ever federalist of that war…

    • Valentin Nebunescu

      We will see.Federalism will prevale in Europe eventually. So it did in the 18th century in America.

    • José Bessa da Silva

      There is a difference. A Texan and a New Yorker were both english and spoke english. Europe is a continent and me and you have nothing in common.

    • Valentin Nebunescu

      I know that Jose.I was there.I can tell the difference. The administrative and judicial system can be adapted to the political and ethnic reality.

    • José Bessa da Silva

      No it can not. You and be belong to different countries and so shall it be in the future because you and me have different cultures, different priorities and different ideas.

    • José Bessa da Silva

      I speak portuguese and you speak romanian. I’m an Atlanticist and you don’t even have Atlantic (you’re a continentalist). I want my country’s sovereignty and you want the EU to immigrate to my country, etc…

    • Valentin Nebunescu

      Who is taking your own sovereignty? How about freedom of movement?Portuguese and romanian are Latin languages. I live in Germany for the last five years. I invite you to my house in Transilvania, Romania.If you don’t like it I let you say everything you want about me ,Europe or romanian people.

    • José Bessa da Silva

      Latin is a Latin language. Portuguese is a Latin based language. I couldn’t care less if your language is Latin based or not. I don’t understand a single word. Why? Because it
      is a different language.

      I also couldn’t care less about “freedom of movement” either.

    • Valentin Nebunescu

      Ok.You got your point.Let me tell you something Jose:we are contemporary with events beyond our will. EU as federation of states will become a reality in a matter of years .Why is that?Because of the economic pressure. The economic factor will prevale against the political one.We will talk about it in five years from now. You know where to find me.

    • José Bessa da Silva

      The EU will end with a war as people are growing tired of it’s corruption. The UK is out, my country is asking to the the same, France just barely escaped a fascist government, the Visegrad Group is growing stronger every time, net contributwrs are growing tired of paying more than the others, etc. The EU will meet the same fate as the USSR, quite soon. Economically the EU was a disaster and that means we are poorer today than we were before the EU. In oder words…

    • Valentin Nebunescu

      If you give me your email address I will send you an economic analysis about Portugal, before and after EU adhesion.Stop manipulating datas.

  50. Vassiliki Xifteri

    Define first the term common identity and then give some example. Only then I can answer you straight. Lately, I am having difficulties seeing commonalities among family members let alone a nation or a league of nations.

    • Steve Pock

      And still has divisions

    • Carmelita Caruana

      Steve Pock but mainly not amongst former Europeans

    • Dee O'brien

      The US was founded in completely different conditions and circumstances,Europe is made up of ancient people’s,languages and different cultures…good luck trying to federalise that

  51. Konrad Kowalski

    Is euro-shirt this nationalism? No . This is “banal nationalism”. But the text in this article is nationalism, in my opinion

  52. Val Anderson

    the EU will survive and will become the powerbase of the New World Order & the upcoming antichrist

  53. Andrej Ruščák

    We have common identity and we can the EU on it, but that would not be too politically correct I am afraid, as our common identity is based on things that the Left usually hates.

    • José Bessa da Silva

      No we don’t. You’re eastern and I’m western. You’re czech and I’m portuguese. You are pro- EU and I want the EU to explode. You’re a racist globalist (funny irony), and I’m a portuguese nationalist. Etc…

    • Andrej Ruščák

      José Bessa da Silva Screw you for the ‘Eastern’ thing.

    • José Bessa da Silva

      It’s what you are. You live beyond the Iron Courtain and thus you’re eastern ;)

    • Andrej Ruščák

      José Bessa da Silva It is what ignorants like you think about what we are. We are Central European, FYI we neither write in Cyrillic or are Orthodox. The East-West divide is older than 1945, but some uneducated jerks like you failed to notice that.

    • José Bessa da Silva

      “Central Europeans”, that is a nice one but there’s only west and east among the cardinal points…no “centre”. Therefore you’re eastern.

    • Andrej Ruščák

      José Bessa da Silva What can you know about this? Your argument is that there is nothing like Central Europe. CIA Factbook disagrees, for example. So does Wikipedia, Encyclopedia Britannica or other resources – it is easy to prove that this region as a coherent one exists. You only say that it doesn’t, and that’s it. Which says nothing about Central European existence, but a lot about you being a prejudiced, racist jerk.

    • José Bessa da Silva

      I can pick a bussula and show to you “centre” does not exist. Should I?

    • Andrej Ruščák

      You know damn well this has nothing to do with a compass, does it?

    • Andrej Ruščák

      It has a lot to do with the fact that our country is, for all terms and purposes, better than yours despite the years under Communist occupation and now the only thing that is left for you is to bark and pretend to be a Western European Übermensch..

    • Andrej Ruščák

      José Bessa da Silva Well, go troll someone else. שלום.

    • José Bessa da Silva

      Me? You’re the one trash talking and I’m the troll? I’ve just pointed a simple geographic FACT.

    • Andrej Ruščák

      From the very beginning, you insult me by calling me Eastern European and you have to know that this IS an insult. I am just not playing nice with trolls, that’s it.

    • Andrej Ruščák

      I am not, and even if I were, would that mean that I am less European than you? No. And just in case you would consider us worse Europeans than yourself, you would be kind of a nazi.

    • José Bessa da Silva

      By the way troll, where is your country in the Quality of Life Index? Behind mine.


      Safty? Oh right! Behind mine.


      Education? Behind mine in reading and sciences and tied in math.


      I fail to see the base of your “better” trollish argument. Maybe you meant economically I assume? Too many Finantial Times news or what?

    • Manuel Alonso

      Andrej Ruščák Going inside this discussion about the west versus the east and versus the center of Europe.
      First the the east of what?
      Finland is on the east side of Europe or in the west side?
      Portugal is in the west side or in the south of Europe?
      Our European Borders are a big confusion, then any geographical and scientific reference fails.
      BUT If we go back in time to the start of Europe, we will see that it has a logic.
      Around the 6 or 7 century Europe was born, from the fall of the Roman Empire.
      The priest, the bishops and the Christian Chruch made the idea of Europe.
      They study the world and decided that center of the world was Jerusalem (yup, that holy city).
      Then the Christian church decided that Europe was at the WEST of Jerusalem, all Europe was the WEST, including Greece, and Bulgaria, Romania, maybe Russia too. In the 7 century or so the WEST and Europe was the same. The EAST was India, China and Japan. Near EAST wast Israel, Persia, maybe Turkey. The south was not Sicily, it was Libya, it was Mauritania and It was all Africa.
      Then my good fellows, can we go back to the good old times of Medieval Europe? where all Europe was the West?

    • José Bessa da Silva

      Significa perda de soberania. E a UE é um antro de corrupcão anti-democrática. Perder soberania para tão vil instituíção é o mesmo que pedir que Salazar se levante da tumba.

    • Cila Gonçalves

      ora … interpretou mal o que escrevi!

  54. Vitor Grenha

    Esta questão só é possível depois do brexit porque na Inglaterra não há BI só há passaporte residencial.

    • José Bessa da Silva

      Esta questão não é possível nunca porque eu sou português não sou suéco.

    • Vitor Grenha

      Eu sou poutugues e cidadão do mundo

    • José Bessa da Silva

      Eu sou português e aldeão do mundo. Sou português porque sou de Portugal e aldeão do mundo porque vivo numa aldeia localizada no mundo…

    • José Bessa da Silva

      Não é um problema, é um facto. O problema é seu que acha que as palavras “cidadão do mundo” têm um qualquer significado político. Não têm, são meramente geográficas.

    • Manuel Alonso

      E eu a pensar que já não havia fascistas Portugueses, afinal há um José :)

  55. Chris Pavlides

    Primarily lets give a a straigh “common identity” description to talk about. To citizens location, bio & cultural profile, histrory or language come on top to politics which is the euro weakness. With accounting, financial colonization and dominace you will never bring together to a productive sunthesis some of the most important civilazations compete on earth.

  56. Ggheatza Gheţău

    there is no common eu identity, there is diversity like on any other continent on the globe. this is what must be protected, of course against corporative capitalism who would do anything to exploit and assure their market

  57. Patricio DeLibre

    Many european moved anywhere in the world, so sure there is
    no real european idendity, just a big mix of MANY culture,
    that make europe Great.

  58. Sevie

    Nation states are man made. Did not always exist and they were not always as they are today. Europeans share a lot of common values, principles, history, ideas. Democracy, respect to human rights, peace, freedom, and much more. You feel it even stronger when you live outside Europe. You feel it when you talk to the Erasmus generation and yes there is an Erasmus generation, where everybody learns, adapts, becomes curious and share the same concerns for a short period, which is determining. You are not the same when you return. This the hope and the strenght of the European future and its getting stronger despite the challenges

  59. Mirela Balde Baksa

    Diversity is an excellent idea but the fact that the standard of living and difference in salaries is unequal is the saddest reality in EU

    • Ivan Burrows

      Like everything else to do with the EU “united in diversity” was a lie.

  60. Shirley Oliveira

    We never had a common identity, never will. And that was Your mistake. We are individuals and have various cultures and ways of living. You do not control the people, you never will!

    • Liz Lyz

      That is your opinion. Stay by yourself . Don’t speak for everybody!

    • Shirley Oliveira

      Neither should they. For they do not speak for the People or on our behalf. We the People have the right to choose and to speak out.

    • José Bessa da Silva

      Her and mine and most in our country that are getting fed up with the EU and it’s fat cats.

  61. Geoffrey Howard

    The diversities are the real strengths and our commonalities (which are many)… is the glue of our unique social construct!

  62. Цветан Колев

    Forming of a common identity should be a natural process not a GMO product of some central Ministry of Propaganda or whatever… And if your idea of “common European identity” is depicted on this picture, please give me a break… or give me brexit better :D That’s the situation – you like it or not.

  63. Yordan Vasilev

    The EU has a common identity. These are the values of the freedom, the democracy, the free market; the values of the Renaissans and the Enlightmen. This is no an area of a common language or of a common ethnos, but of a common culture, a western culture.

  64. Terry Tovey

    European people will get along fine by respecting each others’ differing cultures. Interference by EU burocrats will eventually see the end of the EU.

  65. Carlos Branco

    if you Love Europe, than you dislike EU. if you Love EU it means you dislike europe and europeans.

    • Ivan Burrows

      You do know your pointless EU and Europe are two different entities don’t you ?

    • Carlos Branco

      EU is entreprise crested in USA/aipaic. anyone that Love Europe need to join the fight against EU-dictators.

    • Carlos Branco

      Ivan Burrows yes, ur right, we know that, all to well.

    • José Bessa da Silva

      “Stuff and nonsense, sory to be blunt”.

      It is obviously a problem we are not the same people, sorry.

    • Manuel Alonso

      We can start speaking “Esperanto” :)
      Ĉu vi komprenas?

    • Ivan Burrows

      Manuel Alonso lol, we could but we won’t.

    • Iasen Kostov

      English is lot easier to learn and is spoken by most multi-lingual people so why reinvent the wheel ?

  66. Franz Moisi

    For citizens in order to decide to be in a common political construct, be it a state or whatever, they need to have something in common.

  67. Jokera Jokerov

    It has survived for thousands of years. But if you have in mind a EU – identity, it is bloody nauseatic.

  68. Josip Čajkovac

    If the EU is to last.. its citizens, no matter which member nation-state they are from, must have the wish AND will to make it so.. from that, a common identity could be born..

  69. Milos Kostovski

    It needs a better marketing and promotion strategy. One positive example is to invent EU superheroes and in every movie you install the EU flag. Imagine if everytime James Bond jumped out of a flying plane he opens the parachute and instead of the UK flag you have the EU banner…huh?

  70. George Guydosh

    You must be hacked that this Ivan antiEuropean bot is always amongst the first to comment.

  71. Michail Panchev

    It is not so long ago,we all witnessed how the forced common Soviet and Yugoslav identities ended. Sth tells me the European identity will end the same way.

  72. PG

    Europe developed because of competivity and creativity between the countries , without it the European union will stagnate and disappear from the International scene.
    Citizens across the Eu , do not want federalisation without consultation , and seeing the incompetence of current politicians and their unaccountability , people do not want a superstate .
    politicians across the world will have to accept legal accountability in a court of law for their decisions and actions , along with limited term posts .
    We have seen what happened to superstates like Russia and what is happening today in the US and China , the superstates will collapse because of the political system

  73. Octavian Damian

    But we have an European Common Identity. Despite looking for every minor difference between EU Nations, just go out of the continent ( no matter where ) and look back. All differences we know between Greeks and Finnish, or Polish and Spanish – you name it – fades compared with the contrast we have with the rest of the world. The only real issue is our pride cannot be easily redirected from country level to an continent level without a serious approach. The different languages should not be an issue as we are all comfortable in English, apparently – how ironic, the English just left the boat. At this point I need to say it is something good about Brexit, not everything is bad. I mean, continental and British systems are quite different. Just say the British law system is more close with US than Continental EU. An so on. Including currency. I cannot imagine UK adopting EURO against Pounds. Metric system is imperial. Brexit just removes all these barriers and wide opens a window to move ahead. Not easy tough, as local politicians .. have something to lose.

  74. Michael Hales

    This “identity” thing is redolent of outdated thinking: kings and queens and emperors etc, armies, flags, anthems, religions etc. Basically most people are content if they have a decent standard of living and a fair share of what’s available.

  75. eusebio manuel vestias vestias

    Yes I am Europe Union

  76. Nacho

    Of course it can. EU has been surviving without a common European identity since the beggining, because nobody care at all about that European identity. Is it now, when some politicians want to create and build that European identity that people is rejecting the project…
    EU has to survive without that common European identity, has it has always do.

    • Ivan

      Very few people care about the EU at all. The next MEP elections will be the decider & I predict a massive increase in anti EU MEP’s being elected. It will be interesting to watch the pointless EU fall apart.

    • Uli

      Ivan the parliament is irrelevant for its survival

    • Ivan

      Uli Which means there is no democracy in the EU and it really is just another European dictatorship and will fall even quicker.

    • Nacho

      Ivan That’s not my case. I believe in European project, but as an economic project, it is a fact that economy has grow in Europe thanks to EU Single Market, and I also think some common social policies are needed, only if they improve EU Citizens lifes. What I don’t like is the federalization project, assuming that we all are part of a common identity and culture… And I find a bit useless European Parliament, because I think that the Council of European Union is a stronger and better decision maker Institution. A Parliament where MEP’s aren’t elected almost by anybody, and supposedly representing the people of a State nobody believes in… We elect our Governments and our Governments representant our countries, wheter if we like them or not, unknown MEP’s don’t represent us and European Parliament doesn’t represent a European identity…

    • Nacho

      Well, Ivan Burrows, I personally think there’s no real demo anywhere at all…

  77. Bódis


    The problems in the EU are not about identity. Much of it has to do with the growing inequality created by the eurozone and by the liberalextremist social policies oppressed upon the population.

  78. Ivan

    No it can’t and given there is no such thing & never will be a ‘common European identity’ means the EU cannot and will not survive, its just a matter of time.

  79. Kirstie

    I’ll stick with my own very unique, can’t be replicated identity thanks.

    • Michael

      Identity can be multilayered. I myself have an European, a German and a regional identity. That is the power of being raised in a federal state.

    • Ivan

      Because the EU is a 1950’s attempt attempt to solve problems of the 1930’s, it is irrelevant in the 21st Century.

    • Michael

      On the contrary. The European nations try to tackle global problems of the 21. century by their own. You truly live in the past.

  80. Attila

    Diversity of independent nations union make E.u. stronger….
    Leave the common identity issue in the past….or for USSR …
    Hypothetical Neocommunist way of thinking make me angry.

  81. David

    No we are all neighbors and as the neighborhood moves along so does the common identity.

  82. Lulzim

    All countries that are for peace, development, free moving that are against the war should join the EU. If you are seeing World Map you will see that we are tied up to one another, EU has built a bridge for an easy trading and collaboration, we have to secure this World Bridge for the goodness of humankind and not to” mine”. In the Parliament can be discussed about common identity, security ….

    • Ivan

      And join the EU army ? doesn’t sound very peace loving to me. The EU only makes trade easier within the EU while excluding the rest of the world which is a very stupid idea. Given nobody in the EU was asked if they wanted a European Parliament it is clearly nothing more than the rubber stamping department of the unelected European Commission in an attempt to give the EU a fake claim of being democratic when in reality it is just a modern day dictatorship. Fascism, Nazism, Communism and now European-ism, different flags but the same crazed lust to rule all ‘Europe’. Thank god we are leaving :)

    • Lulzim

      Ivan I agree with some point of view but not at all. EU is built from Member States, the countries that you say are excluded some of them trade under the umbrella of WTO, or have to pay taxes. I should not mention the countries which are not in the EU but they are becoming world trade gigantic that means that Europe has not banned them. The president of the EU does not exist how can rule the Europe. My desire is in the future you to be President of the European Commission .

    • Ivan

      Lulzim The EU is not built by the member States, it was created by successive treaties which were not put to the people for their acceptance because the pro EU fanatics know when the people are asked they say no, as the French did in 2005.

      For the EU to have real legitimacy it must ask the people of all 27 member States if they want ever closer union, but they won’t so like all ‘forced’ political ideologies it will crash & burn.

    • Lulzim

      Ivan you are right somehow but you may be wrong when you say to ask the people. People with their vote elect the representatives in order to fill their requirements.Most of voters are captured by the daily politics and they move as their leader of political party wanted they can not give a right decision but only can make a chaos and expenses nothing more. For very difficult issues as in your country for Brexit etc. I agree when you say that people have to be asked. Therefore I like the democracy and democratic states because I don’t want to to fall under the influence when the decision is not for the goodness of the nation and the country.

  83. Yannis

    Europe is destined to survive.. The Bull that brought her in this land knew what he was doing.. Europe will transform when the inhabitants learn WHAT THE NAME EUROPE MEANS. The name Europe had all the guidance… This suspicious project called “EUROPE UNION” will collapse and a new will rise… Based on the values of her husband.. The White Bull…

    • Ivan

      ‘Europe’ will survive but the EU is all but finished, it’s time has passed.

    • Michael

      I agree. Let’s reform the EU into a federal state to cherish European diversity through a true European democracy with high autonomy for the member states through the subsidiary principle.

    • Yannis

      Dear Michael It is pointless to talk about a theme without knowing the nominal meaning of the object

      First we ask our selfs If we anyone in the “Parliament” or here in this site, to tell us what” “Europe” means as a word ..Do you have an idea ?

      Why do we call the place that hosts us EUROPE? What is the reason?

      The secret is hiding under the name of EUROPE … The reason why the fascist experiment called EU is going to collapse is because the initiators of this problematic undertaking used the weapons of their opponents. The weapons of the name-givers:


      This words that have been given, have a reason-dynamic. You can not be a cardiologist if you do not know what the word CARDIA means. Words are the basis of knowledge because they describe nature. The story is repeated … why? We got from the parents all these words to use, without asking them what they meant and we created another Babel because we are lost in translation. Simple! Back to the base … back to the Greeks …

      It is pointless to talk about what Europe should be if we first understand the reason for its existence. It is pointless to talk about something that we do not understand what it is … Back to the base … back to the Greeks. .

      An English Speech in Greek

      By Xenophon Zolotas***�Kyrie,�It is Zeus’ anathema on our epoch and the heresy of our economic method and policies that we should agonize the Skylla of nomismatic plethora and the Charybdis of economic anaemia.�It is not my idiosyncracy to be ironic or sarcastic but my diagnosis would be that politicians are rather cryptoplethorists. Although they emphatically stigmatize nomismatic plethora, they energize it through their tactics and practices. Our policies should be based more on economic and less on political criteria. Our gnomon has to be a metron between economic strategic and philanthropic scopes.��In an epoch characterized by monopolies, oligopolies, monopolistic antagonism and polymorphous inelasticities, our policies have to be more orthological, but this should not be metamorphosed into plethorophobia, which is endemic among academic economists.�
      �Nomismatic symmetry should not antagonize economic acme. A greater harmonization between the practices of the economic and nomismatic archons is basic.�
      �Parallel to this we have to synchronize and harmonize more and more our economic and nomismatic policies panethnically. These scopes are more practicable now, when the prognostics of the political end economic barometer are halcyonic.�
      �The history of our didimus organization on this sphere has been didactic and their gnostic practices will always be a tonic to the polyonymous and idiomorphous ethnical economies. The genesis of the programmed organization will dynamize these policies.�
      �Therefore, I sympathize, although not without criticism one or two themes with the apostles and the hierarchy of our organs in their zeal to program orthodox economic and nomismatic policies.�
      �I apologize for having tyranized you with my Hellenic phraseology. In my epilogue I emphasize my eulogy to the philoxenous aytochtons of this cosmopolitan metropolis and my encomium to you Kyrie, the stenographers.�
      �*** The last of the two monumental speeches by Xenophon Zolotas, at the World Bank, October 2, 1959.

  84. George

    No way! No! But what you mean Common European Identity ? What european countries have in common as identity?

  85. Max

    The Habsburg Empire lasted 1000 years. And had had its national anthem in 7 official languages by the end. And now debating europe is asking whether an political union who occupies a lot of the exact same space is viable because of internal differences?

    Does not compute

  86. Jason

    As you are in Brussels, please can you ask to give us referendum on changing the look of the silly flag?

  87. Octavian

    We have an European identity no matter we are not always aware of it. You only notice about it when you step outside Europe. Do we need it to survive ? Not sure, probably we can survive. But to get better, definitely yes. And we need to cherish it as today some of us are starting blame or deny it. Do we need some more bureaucratic institutions ? Not more than one panEuropean TV and Radio, EU Constitution and legal system, European Army, single vote at UN, EURO everywhere, single foreign offices, unified taxation and few little more things.

    • Ivan

      You can call me English or you can call me British but calling me European is meaningless & insulting. Goodbye pointless EU & hello free world :)

    • Liz

      In fact Ivan is Chinese.

  88. Joao

    Of course not. But, for you DE, what defines an european identity?

  89. José

    No, is What they are trying to do, taking out our values and our people.

  90. Jerzy

    The identity of Europe, to some extent common, was created by history, but it is now ruined by politicians, due to mass migration of people from islamic countries.

  91. Simon

    Common European identity is a myth. What matters is shared values

    • Michael

      Which can lead to a common identity.

  92. Béla

    Is there common identity in the US or in the UK? Germany? Do they collapse?
    We have things in common, yet we are different. Fine as it is, the future of the union has nothing to do with forcing everyone to be the same.

    • Michael

      The US and Germany are both federal states. That allows political union with different identity. And before the people complain now: bavarians and saxons can be very different. And the US is basically made of tons of different nations a and immigrants.

  93. Leonardo

    The EU motto is “united in diversity” – Not only we do not have a common identity, we dont need one. I dont want to stop being Portuguese, or have the French stop being French, and so forth – but that doesnt mean i dont recognize a need for us to work closely together for our common voice be heard in the world stage.

  94. Georg

    Wasnt it Hannah Arendt who said, that she is close to her friends but not to a country? I agree with Simon , human rights, policital rights, economical rights are creating things which matter to us, We can call those matters values.

  95. Belamie

    promote the EU benfits and people will want an EU identity without losing their national one.

    • Janko

      Which benefits? You mean te expensive EU-parliament? NO THANKS!

  96. James

    I have had enough of been told I am not Irish but European.

  97. eusebio manuel vestias

    Yes I am Europe Union

  98. Anonymous

    If by a ‘common European identity’ we mean collective masochism and pathological altruism, then we’d be better off without it.

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