Is Europe’s way of life under threat? The new European Commission could include a Commissioner responsible for “Protecting our European Way of Life”, whose portfolio would include issues related to migration. Many MEPs in the European Parliament are outraged, accusing incoming European Commission President Ursula von der Leyen of allowing racist “dog-whistle” language in a bid to quash growing support for populist and far-right parties.

The Commission President-elect has defended the controversial job title on Twitter. She argues that our “European way of life” refers to Article 2 of the Treaty of Lisbon, which sets out the values of the Union:

[…] Respect for human dignity, freedom, democracy, equality, the rule of law and respect for human rights, including the rights of persons belonging to minorities. These values are common to the Member States in a society in which pluralism, non-discrimination, tolerance, justice, solidarity and equality between women and men prevail.

Jean-Claude Juncker, the current President of the European Commission, has criticised his successor’s choice of language. Juncker points out that the job title makes it sound like welcoming migrants is against European culture and values.

Is there a European way of life? Is it just a euphemism that borrows from far-right rhetoric? 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: Flickr (cc) – European Parliament

44 comments Post a commentcomment

What do YOU think?

  1. avatar

    Yes, there is a European way of life, built on democracy, civil liberties, human rights and the Welfare State built on trust and check and balances between civil society and state; but also and much more i should add, related to the cultural identity of Europe, the way family and social life is structured – Manfred Weber said – and i really don´t support his political family – does anyone in Europe want the Chinese, African or American way of life?

  2. avatar

    There’s even regional ways of life within European nation’s.

    • avatar

      exactly, I am from around Hamburg and Bavaria is barbaria to me….

  3. avatar

    shure, fight al corrupted politicians

  4. avatar

    Not only there is but, with the exception of some medieval mentalities regional to southeastern Europe, it might be the best way of life currently on the planet.

  5. avatar

    Is there an American way of life? Same answer.

    • avatar

      There is one. That’s the problem.

    • avatar

      Stefanos we are talking ebout european way of life.

    • avatar

      Franco but it’s the same .we share the same values as Americans. And Australians. And many more

  6. avatar

    Yes there is. Yes they should and must be defended. Humanism

    • avatar

      Alexandre Caldeira Europeans have been there for more than 35000 years, humanism for less than 200.

  7. avatar

    i think YES and it has to do mostly with the Human Rights, Free press, Democracy, freedoms in general.
    In Europe, these values are taken for granted because all EU members have to follow the same Rules over Human Rights and Freedoms. In many other parts of the World, these values change depending on the Local Governments and the Laws they vote.

    • avatar

      Aris same in the Us and australia. Nothing special to Europe.

    • avatar

      Alexandra It is very different in Europe. I have lived in both… In the US, you do not go to the street walking late at night. Guns adn metal detectors are in schools. Food is much more conteminated with hormones, GMO etc…, In Europe you are still much closer to nature, culture, history. People are more educated (sorry) adn the streets in Europe were way more safe than in US. Unfortunatelly this safety is being “killed” as we speak as some ideologies want an Open Society forced on our culture. So we need to turn teh wheels back and protect our freedom and culture.

    • avatar

      Alexandra The USA, Australia, and Europe are the 1/6 of the World’s population

  8. avatar

    No. There are ways (plural) Europeans live.

  9. avatar

    Yes. Do not let the wolves take your sheep or the foxes your chickens, but the inverse is ok.

  10. avatar

    There is certainly a German way of life.

    • avatar

      Which one?
      The Bavarian? The Saxon? The Thuringian?

    • avatar


    • avatar

      That’s two for one!

  11. avatar

    not for long
    EU citizens do not like to have children
    new arab imigrants love to have children, (they usualy live on that income)…
    soon EU will have a new way of life

  12. avatar

    There certainly is a Western way of life, which did historically originate in Europe but is shared by other parts of the world where Europeans settled.

  13. avatar
    EU Reform- Proactive

    One can sense there is an internal discord brewing within the EU echelon- led by its past & highest responsible officer JCJ.

    Probably too far removed from reality by now. It is high time for him to disappear into retirement- enabling him to indulge freely in his personal desires.

    There are enough other EU supra correct politicians who are hell bent to deny that all folks in Europe generally & the EU specifically still have a constitutional right to their traditional way of life- (please refrain from distraction & labeling) as defined by their National Constitutions & their traditions- not by alienated career Eureaucrats!

    ……as if some in the EU realize a “social Ombudsman” is required to safeguard the EU from itself, disintegration & self-destruction? Women (may) have some extra senses- missing in man.

  14. avatar

    European way of life is definitely under attack

  15. avatar

    Of what century. . When pax romana held away…or middle ages when feudal laws were in place (Inc serfs ).maybe in the 30/40s when facism was all the vogue ..or the latter half of 20th c when 1/2 europe was under the dead weight of communism….in 50 or 100 yrs….who knows what we’ll think of our time now ?

  16. avatar

    Present its so unattractive, people keep recalling local 70s & 80s way of life lead by common ethnic values.

  17. avatar

    There are european values and that includes diversity.

  18. avatar

    A possible list of what we believe in and respect:
    human dignity
    the rule of law
    respect for human rights
    minority rights
    free market
    equality of the sexes

    • avatar
      André de Crombrugghe

      Yes, I believe there is a “european way of life”, which includes the european social model. It has nothing to do with immigration.

    • avatar

      so why are there so many corrupt semi-criminals even among the new candidates???

    • avatar

      Maren we also accept semicriminals and criminals… but not too many and only if they steal EU funds….

  19. avatar

    Europe is a continental landmass,not a culture,you might as well ask is there a Asian way of life or an African way of life.

  20. avatar
    H H K

    When travelling abroad you know that our Eurpean way of life exists.
    There are many aspects of course but for me it is also a feeling. In Europe I feel at home.
    We have also to defend our common interests in a geopolitical way. Our relationship with Africa, middle and Far East, China, Asia, North and South America. Think of it…

  21. avatar

    Yes expending the money in wine and women

  22. avatar

    Of course there is a European way of life and should be protected. The European way of life is the freedom of speech, democracy, respect for the laws, respect for human rights, arts, education freedom of choice, equality between the sexes. respect and equality regardless of sexual orientation, colour or religion. Europe is facing challenges recently. However whoever moves to Europe should abide by the European laws and adjust to the European lifestyle otherwise no reason to live in Europe.

  23. avatar
    Adam Gerencser

    A way of life is an anthropological complex, a mosaic of memes, traditions, language, historical memory and other constructed and congenital elements of identity. It is constantly in flux and how it is experienced differs for each individual. However, this doesn’t invalidate it as a cultural concept. What is different in Europe from its former colonies in Northern America and Oceania is that Europeans live surrounded by layers of their past. Neolithic landscapes (and the odd menhir, e.g. Stonehenge), Greek and Roman city locations, medieval urban layout in town centres, Gothic churches, Renaissance art, 19th century folklore dotting villages from the Alps to the Pyrenees. The European way of life is a state of mind, more than anything. Being able to say that “my ancestors built this fortress, tilled this field, planted these orchards”. Finding our genealogy in the parish records of a picturesque rural hamlet in the Dolomites. Gazing at the stone-hewn cross of a baroque chapel and knowing that one’s bloodline contemplated the same altar three centuries ago. Europeans are guardians of history, custodians of the good and the bad, the cultural memeplex that conquered the world, then fought itself, then learned from its mistakes and forged the European Union. The European way of life is continuity.

  24. avatar
    catherine benning

    Is there a European way of life?

    The Chinese way of life is outlined here.

    The African way of life is next.

    The Indian way of life:

    The South American way of life.

    I could go on of course.

    However The European way of life is not to be examined for fear it may be considerednaughty to do so. I wonder why that is? As so many, from all parts of the globe, flock to it for solace.

    And you know what, like all the others listed, we want to keep ours the way it alwas was, familiar and beneficial to us. Just the same way they, quite rightly, don’t want mass colonisation of their homelands changing their way of life.

    You don’t want an answer then dont ask the question.

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