exercises due: calendar week 5 (first lesson of the week)
A. European Identity
B. Development of the EU
- Read M2 as background information.
- Analyse why Adenauer was so keen on agreeing to Schuman's plan.
- Watch the video on the Lisbon treaty (voluntarily).
M1: Measuring European identity
Increased cross-border experiences are driving Europeanisation, particularly among those with a lower level of education, say EU-funded researchers. From having a friend in another European country to online shopping, people around the continent are developing a European mindset. This, in turn, means greater European integration. The EUCROSS project mapped Europeans’ cross-national experiences and sought to measure ‘transnationalism’.
The project was designed to find out whether these experiences contribute to a European identity, “a ‘we’ feeling”. If people identify themselves with Europe, this makes for a more unified, integrated Europe rather than a sum of different nations and nationalities following national interests as a primary goal, Recchi, the leader of the research team explains.
The team found that cross-border experiences – such as living or travelling in Europe or knowing someone in or from another European country – all contribute to a European identity. And the number of people with such experiences is quite high – 54 % of those surveyed (migrants not included) were familiar with another European country, while 17% have lived in one. “I think this is huge,” says Recchi. “It shows that Europe is becoming part of people's horizons.”
Democratising Europeanness “Education counts for a lot” in explaining differences between social groups, says Recchi. Highly educated people tend to be more pro-Europe, but they are also more likely to seize the opportunities created by the single market. But interestingly, cross-border experiences have an even greater impact on creating a sense of Europeanness among persons with a lower level of education than among the more educated. Transnational experiences therefore play an important role in democratising the sense of belonging to Europe, says Recchi.
Overall, physical and personal (e.g. friends in another country) cross-border experiences were found to have more of an impact than virtual or impersonal experiences. And as physical experiences are so influential, this finding makes a strong case for encouraging intra-European mobility among more disadvantaged Europeans, says Recchi.
And Recchi has another recommendation for policymakers: don’t be too obsessed with European identity. The EUCROSS project found cross-border experiences have led to a widespread sense of living in a multicultural and borderless society. “This is more important and forward-looking than declaring oneself European,” says Recchi.
Instead of focusing on creating an identity, policymakers should defend mobility, which, in the long run, will pay off in terms of social integration.
I HOPE that you all know Monty Python. If not - shame on you.
Anyways, in "The Life of Brian" (a hilarious classic of British cinema) there is a famous scene in which Jewish rebels discuss what the Romans have ever done for them. Someone used it to dub a British House of Commons debate. The result is .... ah well, watch for yourself... :-D
M2: Konrad Adenauer remembers...
"Blankenhorn handed me the letters in the cabinet room. One was a handwritten, personal letter by Robert Schuman. The other was an official covering letter for the project laid down in a memorandum which later became known as the Schuman Plan.
In essence Robert Schuman proposed to place the entire French and German production of coal and steel under a common High Authority within the framework of an organization that should be open to other European countries as well. Schuman explained that the pooling of coal and steel production would immediately provide for the first stage of a European federation, the immediate creation of a common basis for economic development, and for a comprehensive change in their development. The merger of the basic production of coal and steel and the establishment of an authority whose decisions would be binding for France, Germany, and the other member countries, would create the first firm foundations for the European federation which was indispensable for the preservation of peace.
In his personal letter to me Schuman wrote that the purpose of his proposal was not economic, but eminently political. In France there was a fear that once Germany had recovered, she would attack France. He could imagine that the corresponding fears might be present in Germany. Rearmament always showed first in an increased production of coal, iron, and steel. If an organization such as he was proposing were to be set up, it would enable each country to detect the first signs of rearmament, and would have an extraordinarily calming effect in France.
Schuman's plan corresponded entirely with the ideas I had been advocating for a long time concerning the integration of the key industries of Europe. I informed Robert Schuman at once that I accepted his proposal whole-heartedly."
(source: Konrad Adenauer, Memoirs 1945-53 (12th July, 1952))