Europeanism refers to the concept of, or assertion, that the people of
Europehave a distinct collective cultural identitywithin the larger context of Western culture.
Europeanism asserts that the citizens of Europe, and particularly the citizens of the
European Unionare in the process of developing a collective identity —one which will diminish any existing political and cultural barriers.
A proponent of Europeanism is a Europeanist. Similar terms that may imply a value judgment are "Europhile" and "Eurooptimist"
The efficacy (or validity) of the Europeanism concept is claimed to be predicated upon the existence of shared common cultural, political and ideological characteristics of the people.Europeanism asserts that there is or should be a European "people", that is a "European Public", meaning that their is a unique and distinct socio-psychological space within which the values and meaning of being European can be contested. Commonly, but not necessarily, associated with the demand for faster and deeper integration of the states of the European Union, it is an attitude whose prevalence among the people of Europe varies widely across the continent, with the
United Kingdomand the Scandinavian countries generally the most sceptical.
Europeanist thinking is, by definition, synonymous with support for
supranational unionin Europe, i.e. the European Union.
Some Europeanists believe that, in the present world where the
United Statesstands as the world's premier power, European unity makes more sense than ever, making a united and independent Europe more and more necessary, whereas a divided one would bring disadvantages in economics, culture, politics, society, science, diplomacy, military and other fields.
However positive the EU's benefits are, such a "quality/cost" calculation is not generally the only aspect that motivates Europeanists, as they also feel they belong to a common community of people.
Europeanists are usually not entirely satisfied with the organization and working of the EU institutions, but they think the solution lies not in destroying what has been built, but on the contrary to push for more unity, transparency and democracy.
Most Europeanists view the (as yet unratified) EU constitution as a mixed bag. Although welcoming its steps forward towards greater integration, they regret that so little power has been given to the
European Parliamentand generally feel that more could have been done to address the democratic deficitthat has disconnected many Europeans from the European Union. Regardless of this, most support it rather than risk encouraging Euroscepticism.
In the past, some Europeanists have been accused of
anti-Americanismbecause of their doubts about the sustainability of NATO, or at least their desire to see it become a more equal partnership between the US and the EU. They resent what they feel is American "sabotage" of attempts to strengthen common European defence through organisations such as the increasingly defunct Western European Union.
Some Europeanists support the idea of a European Union seat at the
United Nations Security Councilas part of the development of the EU's Common Foreign and Security Policy.
The intellectual origins of this
ideologyand consciousness are complex, but can be politically linked to the devastation of World War IIand the desire of the European people never to repeat such needless devastation. Nowadays, Europeanism is promoted by, among others, the European Commission, and especially their Directorate-General for Education and Culture. They promote this identity and ideology through funding of educational exchange programmes, the renovation of key historical sites, the promulgation of a progressive linear history of Europe terminating in European integration, and through the promotion and encouragement of political integration. All this is made possible by their role as the hybrid semi-executive, semi-bureaucracy of the European Union.
*Dr. Mário Soares
Europeanist Political Parties
European Democratic Party
Pre-1945 ideas on European unity
United States of Europe
* Potential Superpowers - European Union
Continentalism- the North American equivalent
* [http://www.proeurope.org Euroesprit - EU Flag & Symbols Site]
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