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This blogspot was started by the participants of the 5th International Summer School of ECPYN in Chisinau, Moldova, August 24-29 2008.
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Tuesday, August 11, 2009

Europe between identity and integration

The Dutch-Czech Prof. dr. Hans Renner, historian at the Groningen University in the Netherlands, addressed the conference on the topic of 'Europe between identity and integration'. He started out by discussing the book 'The grand failure' by Zbigniew Brzezsinski and the grand failure of Zbigniew Brzezinski to go on to talk about two examples of supra-national identity (in the past), one of which was (and is) rather successful and one that was unsuccessful:
- the American identity and
- the attempt to create and identity of a new Soviet Socialist Man.
He went on to ask the question of whether there has ever been a common European identity, concluding that there has been a common Christian identity in Europe in the early Middle Ages.

At present there is, according to Renner, no identifiable European identity that is shared by a majority let alone all of Europeans. There are two components that can contribute to the evolution of a European identity: European enlargement and EU integration. He explained this by talking about the consequent enlargements of the EU and prospect enlargements, successes and disappointments of the enlargements of the EU.

His conclusion was that there has been a lot of enlargement, little integration and a non-existent or hardly existent European identity and that this identity can only come about when enlargement is accompanied by integration. This conclusion resulted in a lot of discussion.

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