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Researcher
27-11-11, 19:50
I would like to introduce myself. I am a student of European Studies at University Maastricht (Netherlands). At the moment I and 2 fellow students of our group are assigned to conduct a research on the "European Identity". We all live in a world of uncertainty, of social awareness, economic crisis and political efforts to improve the situation as a whole. Especially in these times of crisis, it is quite important to have the feeling of belonging in a group that shares common values, in other words, being united. Two main questions arise:

Whether you believe that European Identity exists?
Do you consider yourself European?

LeBrok
27-11-11, 22:20
Welcome to Eupedia. This is an interesting thread.
I believe European Identity exists, and consider myself European.
Though I emigrated from Poland and live in Canada now, I've picked this new country of residence, because it feels like Europe here, with language, political/social and economic systems, standard of living, traditions, etc.

Researcher
27-11-11, 23:00
Welcome to Eupedia. This is an interesting thread.
I believe European Identity exists, and consider myself European.
Though I emigrated from Poland and live in Canada now, I've picked this new country of residence, because it feels like Europe here, with language, political/social and economic systems, standard of living, traditions, etc.



It is so nice that people living in Canada are interested in Europe and don't forget the country they belong to. Do you think that European Identity is a transparent phenomenon, meaning that it is not necessary to live in Europe in order to be European and to belong to European Identity? It is not a kind of educated feeling from media or from communication with "Europeans", but it is a personal attitude and thinking?

francois14
27-11-11, 23:06
I think a European Identity is definitely present around Europe. We, as Europeans, share a flag and an anthem, uniting us towards the European ideal. Being French and living in Holland, I still feel there is a connection with other European peoples, whether it is in the city where I live or even on holidays in another European country. I do not get the same feeling when I am outside Europe however. I think it is because Europeans share a common culture and a common History, and that creates a link between us. After World War Two, the European Union managed to unite Europeans towards common goals - peace and reconstruction - and I think they were very successful. Such an experience and its aftermath united us as a people.

Today, I believe the European Identity should be felt all around Europe because once again we are united towards a common goal - reconstruction from the financial crisis. But the EU haven't made European values felt strongly enough. It seems more that blame has been put on individual Member States (Greece, Spain, Portugal) for all of the EU's problems. This has divided peoples around Europe and the European Identity has faded.

Cimmerianbloke
28-11-11, 00:13
As a Belgian having lived in Ireland, Spain, France and now Germany, I certainly feel European. I have witnessed the European identity everywhere I lived at different degrees. Germans and Belgians definitely have a strong bond with Europe as an institution. Spaniards are lukewarm, probably because they feel like they owe a lot to the EU membership, and Ireland has seen a big shift from enthusiastic pro-European feeling to eurosceptiscism. The French have always been critical of anything they did not fully control. As a global feeling, I think the enlargement was perceived like a threat to local employment and would lead to social welfare abuse, but eastern Europeans have proved to adapt very quickly and effectively to their new environment. Polish and Czech immigration has been a success in the UK and Ireland and most of these immigrants were economic migrants that tend in the majority to go back to their native country after some time. The tensions some expected to rise did not happen. However, islamic immigration is a factor that tends to make populism and nationalism rise. The EU would have a great card to play to push its agenda if non-European immigration, legal and illegal, would be tackled and severely controlled. Most people tend to see the EU responsible for the reckless islamisation of their major cities, which has a negative impact on the feeling of belonging to a European structure.
The main issue is to find a link between the geopolitical, cultural and historical Europe, which is a neverending list of wars, battles, tug-of-war games between superpowers and empires since the Fall of the Roman Empire, and the new structure the EU tries to create. What is the place of the citizen in a Europe where laws are being voted by people they did not elect, why are billions of Euros worth money jeopardized in a project that duplicates what every national government can provide? We surely all feel Europeans because of our past, but national sensitivities remain all the more central to us, for fear of losing our identities for the sake of building a supersized superstate, often perceived as a bureaucratic monster. The EU will face a great challenge to get the confidence of the citizens after the chaotic management of the financial crises. Resentment is heavy from some members towards others, and people will remember the crisis has been dealt with by Merkel and Sarkozy while Van Rompuy and Barroso looked like 2 idiots completely overblown by the occurences. National governments are likely to come out stronger of the crisis, and it will raise the question of the purpose of a political Union, which for many has no need to be.

Antigone
28-11-11, 07:30
I think a European identity definitely exists but I've no idea how it could be defined. It is a fairly loose and amphorous concept that seems to mean something slightly different to everyone. But there is a definite feeling of European unity, despite the squabbles.

Although, I'm not sure that anyone would define themselves as European, if asked where they are from. I think most would give their nationality or country of birth first priority.

kgnju
28-11-11, 08:59
I think there was a European identity based on ancient Greek culture and thought, Roman politics and empire, Chiristian ideology before modern times.Now you are rebuilding it!

kgnju
28-11-11, 09:05
Now one of the biggest question for European people is how to politicize and socialize this identity, I think.
But if colonists from different parts of Europe could build the U.S. in the 18th century, you can do it---build United States of Europe today too.

Gieljom88
29-11-11, 18:35
Now one of the biggest question for European people is how to politicize and socialize this identity, I think.
But if colonists from different parts of Europe could build the U.S. in the 18th century, you can do it---build United States of Europe today too.

However, is this desirable? How many feel European, or have a sense of European identity? I think that only a minor part of the 'European' people feel this way, because they are interested in European issues or they know that European matters. I think that a lot of people from the lower social classes don't feel this way, because they are just not interested in these European issues.

I think this whole 'European identity-based integration' is a top-down project, invented in Brussels. It's never going to happen..

LeBrok
29-11-11, 19:47
I think this whole 'European identity-based integration' is a top-down project, invented in Brussels. It's never going to happen..
True, but it is also true for all nationalities. Leaders uniting every country had to sell new identity, in form of education or propaganda.
Brussels or any other center wouldn't be able to create EU if it wasn't already in minds and hearts of many, especially influential people.

Mzungu mchagga
29-11-11, 20:52
I think we have to distinguish between a general cultural European identity (which is actually not that new), and an artificially created EU identity. I guess nobody in the world identifies himself with the EU. Or would someone from the EU, when abroad, seriously introduce himself with coming from the EU if asked where he's from???
Comparisons between a general European culture and anything else (LatAm, African, Arabic, Indian, in some cases even Russian or Pan-Anglican) on the other hand is more likely.

The first time I felt a real European identity was when I was in East Africa, living among Africans, Indians and Arabs (and Cuban collegues). After intensive studies of pre- and post-colonial politics, history, religion, habits and (pop-)culture I started to ask myself what my roots are and what my own identity is. Sometimes I was getting really desperate in understanding the other people's way of thinking, whether it was economics, hierarchy, moral or any other sort of irrational thinking out of my perspective. One day, after I haven't seen a European for over a week, I walked down a street where I went into a barber shop and surprisingly met an Italian inside. Even though I never felt Germans and Italians as that alike before, all of a sudden now I felt understood by someone, followed by the thought "I am a European!".

Additionally, in Africa, European culture was often over-generalized. There is a term "Mzungu" (literally "aimless wanderer", but in the sense of "European"), applying for all Europeans AND those who follow the European culture and habits. Which sometimes also lead to the strange situation that even Afro-Americans who have lost their African cultural roots were considered as "Wazungu" (plural). Anecdote: an African friend gave me a CD for my birthday with alleged European Music on it, and I was surprised to find Snoop Dogg and 50cent as I listened to it... Strangely, American Hip Hop was regarded as a product of former African slaves exclusively influenced by European cultural heritage.

To the rest of the world Europeans often present a very paradox picture:

-once they tried to impose Christianity on everyone, now all of a sudden they say God doesn't exist
-once they fostered the sanctimonious little family with two parents and one to three kids, now they say we have to abandon families and live in sexual liberty
-once they talked about industry and progress, now they talk strange things about ecological sustainability
-their monarchs and dictators showed how to be successful and rule the world, now they talk about freedom and democracy and that stuff

To an outsider it itself seems irrational and inconsistend! But it shows very well that also European identity is not static, it changes over the centuries and even decades. So besides it's roots in Christianity and the Greco-Roman world, also these rapid shifts in culture and mentality is what makes European culture European.

francois14
30-11-11, 15:55
I guess nobody in the world identifies himself with the EU. Or would someone from the EU, when abroad, seriously introduce himself with coming from the EU if asked where he's from???


The first time I felt a real European identity was when I was in East Africa, living among Africans, Indians and Arabs (and Cuban collegues).One day, after I haven't seen a European for over a week, I walked down a street where I went into a barber shop and surprisingly met an Italian inside. Even though I never felt Germans and Italians as that alike before, all of a sudden now I felt understood by someone, followed by the thought "I am a European!".



To the rest of the world Europeans often present a very paradox picture:

-once they tried to impose Christianity on everyone, now all of a sudden they say God doesn't exist
-once they fostered the sanctimonious little family with two parents and one to three kids, now they say we have to abandon families and live in sexual liberty
-once they talked about industry and progress, now they talk strange things about ecological sustainability
-their monarchs and dictators showed how to be successful and rule the world, now they talk about freedom and democracy and that stuff

I think the fact that you did think to yourself "I am a European" reflects that you relate to Europe (when you are abroad). Of course I would not expect that you introduce yourself by saying 'I am from the EU, from Germany more precisely', but the fact that when meeting this 'other' European you reminded yourself of your roots, means that the bond between you and the EU is stronger than you thought.
It is also no surprise that you felt this "European-ness" when you were abroad. I don't think you would feel as European in Europe because most people here are obviously Europeans. But you did differentiate yourself from the natives in Africa as a European and not as a German, so it shows that in your case Europe does play a big part of how people define you and how you can define yourself to people. Pride in your roots plays a big part.

And the European Identity all comes down from this paradox picture that you describe. The European feeling was created in the times of the Crusades because of Islam as a 'common enemy'. Today, I guess you can replace the 'common enemy' tag by 'foreigner' or 'stranger', and people still identify themselves as Europeans when faced by an African (or other), just as in your situation.

To come back to the researcher's question, I think a European Identity definitely exists but it is a fragmented one. There is the general European Identity created culturally throughout History. But today this has evolved to a European Identity created by the European Union. Or at least an attempt at it.
Whether people identify with it is different depending on where you are from. Today most people must think there is too much of the EU and that after all, the financial crisis we are in was created by the Euro and the EU. So the European Identity at the moment is quite weak and Europeans are not united behind the EU, precisely because of the situation we are in.

Researcher
30-11-11, 22:11
I think a European identity definitely exists but I've no idea how it could be defined. It is a fairly loose and amphorous concept that seems to mean something slightly different to everyone. But there is a definite feeling of European unity, despite the squabbles.

Although, I'm not sure that anyone would define themselves as European, if asked where they are from. I think most would give their nationality or country of birth first priority.


Just thought about how I will answer the question "where am I from". From my personal experience, I could say that it is hard for me to define to which nationality do I belong. Being lived in one of the Baltic State countries, having three different nationalities in my family. Starting from Russians, Ukrainians, Lithuanians, having knowledge in all three languages, knowing the culture and folk of all three separate countries. For me it is quite hard to even identify myself with one particular. I can not claim I am one of these three because I never been to Russia, in Lithuania I do not either belong to Lithuanians, in Ukraine I am foreigner. For me being such a mixed one person, the best option is to identify myself with being European. However, I am still wondering how will I answer the question concerning my nationality.... It's hard...

kgnju
01-12-11, 04:02
After British embassy was assaulted by Iranian protesters, Germany ,France and Holland called back their respective ambassadors.What is this? Please note that U.S. did not do the same thing (which was called British natural ally) and Canada and Australia did not do the same thing (which are members of Commonwealth). What is this? This is just European Identity!

LeBrok
01-12-11, 04:07
Interesting kgnju, solidarity in the name of Europe.

Cimmerianbloke
01-12-11, 05:03
It seems that diplomatic solutions have been outstretched with the Iranian government, who openly insults the west in having the british embassy ransacked. The western world has been ridiculed by Iranian behaviour towards the IAEA for several years now. To people who use violence as a mean of communication, Iran might well be surprised when Israeli fighters flatten a couple of compounds. Europe is very unlikely to act as one in this case, because China and Russia will strongly condemn any foreign military intervention, and this crisis comes at the worst moment, with the European economy in shambles and Germany in dire need of Russian gas for the coming winter.

Goga
01-12-11, 22:45
After British embassy was assaulted by Iranian protesters, Germany ,France and Holland called back their respective ambassadors.What is this? Please note that U.S. did not do the same thing (which was called British natural ally) and Canada and Australia did not do the same thing (which are members of Commonwealth). What is this? This is just European Identity!As far as I know there ain't no USA embassy in Iran since the seventies, lol.

Antigone
02-12-11, 05:41
Just thought about how I will answer the question "where am I from". From my personal experience, I could say that it is hard for me to define to which nationality do I belong. Being lived in one of the Baltic State countries, having three different nationalities in my family. Starting from Russians, Ukrainians, Lithuanians, having knowledge in all three languages, knowing the culture and folk of all three separate countries. For me it is quite hard to even identify myself with one particular. I can not claim I am one of these three because I never been to Russia, in Lithuania I do not either belong to Lithuanians, in Ukraine I am foreigner. For me being such a mixed one person, the best option is to identify myself with being European. However, I am still wondering how will I answer the question concerning my nationality.... It's hard...

I have a mixed heritage also and have a mixed marriage. We are a dual citizenship family and it is hard when questioned where you are from, especially when you can identify with more than one place. Depending on who is asking, of course, but I've found that just giving the country of birth as an answer is easier and quicker as most people are not interested in long explanations on heritage.

Antigone
02-12-11, 05:57
Europe is very unlikely to act as one in this case, because China and Russia will strongly condemn any foreign military intervention, and this crisis comes at the worst moment, with the European economy in shambles and Germany in dire need of Russian gas for the coming winter.

Which is exactly why it has happened now, because Iran know that Europe is in no position to do anything except whinge.

Although, does anyone know what the provocation was?

To hear the media, the British were just minding their own business when they were "attacked" but these things never happen without a reason. So what have the British been up to behind the scenes in Iran to cause this?

kgnju
02-12-11, 06:31
As far as I know there ain't no USA embassy in Iran since the seventies, lol.
Uhh,how about Canada and Australia?Anyway ,thank you for correction, lol.

kgnju
02-12-11, 06:41
I have a mixed heritage also and have a mixed marriage. We are a dual citizenship family and it is hard when questioned where you are from, especially when you can identify with more than one place. Depending on who is asking, of course, but I've found that just giving the country of birth as an answer is easier and quicker as most people are not interested in long explanations on heritage.
Europe was born on the battleground of Trojan War which was the first war between east and west and Greeks defined what Europe is since then. Maybe crisis in Greece now could give born to a new Europe. Who knows?

Antigone
02-12-11, 06:57
Uhh,how about Canada and Australia?Anyway ,thank you for correction, lol.

Just because Canada and Australia or the various EU countries are allies of Britain does not mean that they automatically must do as they are told or that they cannot make their own decisions on how to handle any crisis. They will either become involved or they won't and each will do what is best for their own national interests first.

Goga
02-12-11, 13:47
Uhh,how about Canada and Australia?Anyway ,thank you for correction, lol."Current relationsIran maintains an interests section at the Pakistani embassy in Washington, D.C.,[9] while the United States since 1980[citation needed] maintains an interests section at the Swiss embassy in Tehran.[10]"

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Iran%E2%80%93United_States_relations


"The Iran hostage crisis was a diplomatic crisis between Iran and the United States where 52 Americans were held hostage for 444 days from November 4, 1979 to January 20, 1981, after a group of Islamist students and militants took over the American Embassy in Tehran in support of the Iranian Revolution.[1]"

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Iran_hostage_crisis


you can read here everything about the Iran hostage crisis of 1979...

Cimmerianbloke
04-12-11, 00:48
The current crisis has its roots on the upgrading of the sanctions against Iran for its nuclear programme. The regime blames the west for not allowing it to pursue its civil nuclear programme, because it is common knowledge the programme is used to produce military devices, and that Iran has been repeatedly threatening its neighbours and Israel. The recent leaks in the press about an imminent Israeli strike on Iranian military compounds suspected to be part of the nuclear programme has made Iran extremely nervous.

Antigone
04-12-11, 07:58
And not without reason, this is yet another typical western witch-hunt.

Possibly when the west abolish their own nuclear programmes and disarm warheads they will be in a position to dictate to others whether they can or cannot have nuclear anything. But right now, the finger pointing and moralising at Iran is hypocritical in the extreme.

LeBrok
04-12-11, 09:47
In this case it's more about survival and peace dictated in western terms, than equality and morality. I hope Iran is smart enough to see it.

Researcher
04-12-11, 23:45
Mainly, it's a manipulation of media coverage. "They" just issue what "they" want as to know. And we will never ever know any details about this Iran conflict and nuclear weapon. This kind of making someone bad in eyes of public just results in a great support to start military operation in that region. Just remember Saddam Hussein. Actually, he was not as devilish as it was being told in media. However, people were kind of "occupied" with the mainstream media sources that daily were announcing the non-human plans of Baghdad against American people. And you all know about the result of this media manipulation. Iraq war.! I think in case of Iran the story is gonna to repeat. However, we are dealing with politics and media and I don't think about an identity in this case. Because neither British government nor Netherlands made a kind of referendum to decide whether withdraw an embassy from Iron or not. I am quite sure, many people will be against this. In this case there is no room for an identity to discuss. Everything is mainly about politics...

LeBrok
05-12-11, 00:39
Researcher, what do you think was the main reason to attack Iraq?

I don't think Iran war is going to happen, at least with ground troops. There is no money, in size of one trillion dollars, to finance it. If it comes to worse we will see air strikes ala Libia, that's all.

If Iraq war was done old fashion way, we would see US completely controlling Iraq and it's natural resources. They would already recouped the war costs and made lot extra to have funds for next war with Iran, or someone else. Well, it didn't happen. There was no money made on this war, except for few businesses supplying military. At the end it was all financed by US taxpayer, and taxpayer is poor like never before. Next war with ground troops? I don't think so. Actually we'll see reverse. Withdrawing from Iraq, then Afghanistan, reducing bases around the world, and reducing military budgets. All US attention will be concentrated on paying debt and reviving economy.

Cimmerianbloke
05-12-11, 02:13
And not without reason, this is yet another typical western witch-hunt.

Possibly when the west abolish their own nuclear programmes and disarm warheads they will be in a position to dictate to others whether they can or cannot have nuclear anything. But right now, the finger pointing and moralising at Iran is hypocritical in the extreme.

I think you miss the point. If Iran gets a nuclear weapon, it is the very survival of Israel that is at stake. After the Shoah (and despite Europe's passivity in the 6 Days War), Europe has a responsability towards the Jewish people. Notwhistanding that Europe will be within reach of the nuclear heads...

Cimmerianbloke
05-12-11, 02:18
I agree with Lebrok, and it is probably why Iran keeps hard building its bomb, they know western economies are on their knees and have others problems to deal with. Implicit support from China and Russia helps too. The most important problem for Iran now is buying time before Israel decides to strike. A full-scale war is not on the books.

Antigone
05-12-11, 08:06
I think you miss the point. If Iran gets a nuclear weapon, it is the very survival of Israel that is at stake. After the Shoah (and despite Europe's passivity in the 6 Days War), Europe has a responsability towards the Jewish people. Notwhistanding that Europe will be within reach of the nuclear heads...

IF (being the operative word) Iran is a threat to Israel. I think that is more hype to demonise Iran, via governments and through the media in order to scare populations into backing military action. This tactic has been used many times in the past (Iraq, Afghanistan and Lybia the most recent), and by your post it looks like it has worked again. The Europe will be within striking distance line has also been used before, remember Iraq and Lybia?

But overall I agree with both Researcher and Lebrok.

Franco
05-12-11, 16:22
Iran delenda est.

Researcher
05-12-11, 16:34
Researcher, what do you think was the main reason to attack Iraq?

I don't think Iran war is going to happen, at least with ground troops. There is no money, in size of one trillion dollars, to finance it. If it comes to worse we will see air strikes ala Libia, that's all.

If Iraq war was done old fashion way, we would see US completely controlling Iraq and it's natural resources. They would already recouped the war costs and made lot extra to have funds for next war with Iran, or someone else. Well, it didn't happen. There was no money made on this war, except for few businesses supplying military. At the end it was all financed by US taxpayer, and taxpayer is poor like never before. Next war with ground troops? I don't think so. Actually we'll see reverse. Withdrawing from Iraq, then Afghanistan, reducing bases around the world, and reducing military budgets. All US attention will be concentrated on paying debt and reviving economy.

Dear lebrok,
I also hope there gonna be no war. Unfortunately, the tendency of the past several years just proves contrary. In my opinion, America will not be directly involved in the military campaign, as it was in Iraq. This is due the difficult financial situation and the bankrupt of economy. However, it can manipulate Israel to start a war. yes it sounds a bit dramatic, but it's true. just remember the Georgia campaing against South Ossetia in 2008. Tbilisi will never ever start that war which killed more than 300000 of civil citizens, without any external support. And this support was found in America. It is hard to undersand in how far America is simply manipulating the government of other "independent countries". I am just worring that the story can happen again, but in this case with Iran and Israel. I hope for the best, the political elite will be rational and try to escape the horror of a military actions.

Christiaan
05-12-11, 17:23
I think you miss the point. If Iran gets a nuclear weapon, it is the very survival of Israel that is at stake. After the Shoah (and despite Europe's passivity in the 6 Days War), Europe has a responsability towards the Jewish people. Notwhistanding that Europe will be within reach of the nuclear heads...

Israel is not likely to be attacked by nuclear weapons by Iran. How do you aim a country half the size of the Netherlands with nuclear weapons without affecting bystanders? The fall out produced would probably contaminate the Palestinians and other surrounding Arabic countries as well... Iran would hardly win the hearts and minds of the Arabic people with this. But I agree Europe is probably a much more easier target to hit.

Nuclear weapons are mainly psychological weapons. The most annoying part to the West, Israel and allied Arabic countries like Saudi-Arabia is that it becomes very difficult to threat Iran by military means. It changes the diplomatic dynamics.

Besides Pakistan in my opinion is a far more dangerous nuclear power because of the conflicts with India and its internal instability.

Gieljom88
05-12-11, 18:01
It changes the diplomatic dynamics.



Exactly...the balance of power will shift. Because of the arabic-spring, countries in the northern part of Africa will have a major state-shift; as it can already been seen in Egypt with the elections. With these major developments and with the crisis within Europe itself, it will become harder and harder for Europe to act as one Union. ->and this has implications for the 'identity/integration-discussion' as well...

Researcher
05-12-11, 18:35
Dear all,
I think we shifted far away from the topic of this thread. The discussion is extremely interesting and it points out the main political as well as economic flows in nowadays world However, how do you reflect that to European Identity? Christiaan, You already mentioned, that Europe is the easiest target to hit? Could you please elaborate upon that? I mean, why Europe? You think it is not enough to resist?? I can assume that the Foreign and Security policy of EU in cooperation with NATO will preserve any attempt to hit Europe. Do you think that this "picture" of week Europe is due to the conflicts between European countries. That Greece is being blamed for the crisis on European ground. There is no unity any more? and everyone is just fighting for his own sake?

francois14
05-12-11, 20:17
How about the role of religion within this 'European Identity' ? Do you feel more European if you are Christian ? Are you less European as a Jew ? What I always ask myself is whether the generations of north African immigrants that came to Europe after the 1950s, consider themselves 'European' and whether their definition of European and Europe is the same as individuals who are fully rooted from Europe...
I think the European Identity is very much a Christian Identity, and it is no surprise to see European countries unite against a country like Iran, since they are defending the European Identity (as pointed out earlier by Kgnju) but are also defending the Christian values against Islamic ones. You know how people say History is like a cycle ? Well the idea is very true isn't it ? Christian countries versus Muslim countries, takes you right back to the 11th century doesn't it ?
But on another point - European solidarity does not always mean European Identity. Remember when French President Chirac refused to enter the war in Iraq less than a decade ago ? Well he followed French interests, yet other EU countries joined this war. France 'bailing' on the solidarity did not ruin the European Identity.

Christiaan
05-12-11, 21:20
Dear all,
I think we shifted far away from the topic of this thread. The discussion is extremely interesting and it points out the main political as well as economic flows in nowadays world However, how do you reflect that to European Identity? Christiaan, You already mentioned, that Europe is the easiest target to hit? Could you please elaborate upon that? I mean, why Europe? You think it is not enough to resist?? I can assume that the Foreign and Security policy of EU in cooperation with NATO will preserve any attempt to hit Europe. Do you think that this "picture" of week Europe is due to the conflicts between European countries. That Greece is being blamed for the crisis on European ground. There is no unity any more? and everyone is just fighting for his own sake?

First of all Iran is not intending to start a war at all. Yes it is provoking and teasing its favourite enemies as they always do. However the only difference now it is developing nuclear weapons. And of course that is a bit headache for the region and the West. Israel and the US do not want to have power shift of that kind in the region at all. Because in the end it is all about oil and stability - everything that changes this status quo is a possible threat. Who is the next country in the M.E. that wants nuclear weapons in the region ...Saudi Arabia?

If a conflict would escalate on a nuclear level, which I think is very unlikely at the moment. Israel itself, how funny it might sounds, would not make a good nuclear target because of the collateral damage to its Arabic neighbours. So even Europe, if involved, would make a better target than Israel, being not near to Islamic nations. But again I don't think Iran wants to face the consequences of a nuclear war at all as you mentioned yourself with NATO and others.

On a defence level Europe is not that divided as you might think if they lets say would get attacked by Iran. No doubt even Germany would act appropriately. But on offensive level Europe is clearly divided. Britain is not particularly known for its pacifistic foreign policy in contrast to Germany with its much more cautious nature. The economic crisis is important, but not that important for this "weakness".

Uk is I think is the most EU sceptical country of all and being an island this will not change overnight. It wants the benefits of the EU, but not its burdens. I wonder what would happen if Wales and Scotland would become independent - would they join the Euro-zone?

Christiaan
05-12-11, 21:44
How about the role of religion within this 'European Identity' ? Do you feel more European if you are Christian ? Are you less European as a Jew ? What I always ask myself is whether the generations of north African immigrants that came to Europe after the 1950s, consider themselves 'European' and whether their definition of European and Europe is the same as individuals who are fully rooted from Europe...
I think the European Identity is very much a Christian Identity, and it is no surprise to see European countries unite against a country like Iran, since they are defending the European Identity (as pointed out earlier by Kgnju) but are also defending the Christian values against Islamic ones. You know how people say History is like a cycle ? Well the idea is very true isn't it ? Christian countries versus Muslim countries, takes you right back to the 11th century doesn't it ?
But on another point - European solidarity does not always mean European Identity. Remember when French President Chirac refused to enter the war in Iraq less than a decade ago ? Well he followed French interests, yet other EU countries joined this war. France 'bailing' on the solidarity did not ruin the European Identity.


No, it is not Christian values versus Islam at all. At most secularism against theocracy. And don't forget the oil that is at stake.

LeBrok
05-12-11, 23:43
Israel is not likely to be attacked by nuclear weapons by Iran. How do you aim a country half the size of the Netherlands with nuclear weapons without affecting bystanders? The fall out produced would probably contaminate the Palestinians and other surrounding Arabic countries as well... Iran would hardly win the hearts and minds of the Arabic people with this. But I agree Europe is probably a much more easier target to hit.

Nuclear weapons are mainly psychological weapons. The most annoying part to the West, Israel and allied Arabic countries like Saudi-Arabia is that it becomes very difficult to threat Iran by military means. It changes the diplomatic dynamics.

Besides Pakistan in my opinion is a far more dangerous nuclear power because of the conflicts with India and its internal instability.

Well, this is true, but only under assumption that Iranian leaders are logical, smart and generally good people. If they were though, Iran would be much different country that it is now. Therefore this assumption is out the window. If you connect it to the fact that Iran is run in big part by religious clerics then situation complicates even farther.
Besides, what stops terrorists from blowing the intended target plus tens of innocent citizens in collateral damage, and even their countrymen? In their mind it's not a tragedy. The killed bad guys went to hell, but the innocent good people went to heaven. Where is the harm?

Cimmerianbloke
06-12-11, 01:45
Bullseye, Lebrok, Iran is not the kind of regime you can negociate with. Dying for the cause is an honour for extremist muslims. As for demonizing them, there is no need, they can do a proper job by themselves:
http://articles.cnn.com/2005-10-26/world/ahmadinejad_1_israel-jerusalem-day-islamic-world?_s=PM:WORLD

LeBrok
06-12-11, 03:14
I think Iran is getting a A bomb mainly for these reasons:
- to feel more secure among neighbors, which already have A bomb.
- deterrent against being attacked by USA or Israel.
- huge ego and ambitions of Iranian leaders. This actually could be a main reason. There is still a popular mindset in middle east that to mean something in the world one needs to be a superpower. These countries have more numerous armies and spend bigger percentage of GDP, than most better off european counterparts.
- to suck out money from US and Europe. I know N Korea played similar game before. US and S Korea payed billions of dollars to North to stop developing nuclear weapons, plus supply of peaceful nuclear technologies for free. Well N Korea has the bomb now and billions of dollars. What a sweet deal!
Sucking out the ****** is also played by Pakistan, who is pretending to fight Taliban for 10 billion a year of US help. Iran is pretending not to build A bomb, obviously not for free.

Having said that, if I was in Israel and have heard, through years, assurances from Iran government about whipping me out off existence, seeing Iran's willingness to support terrorism against Israel and ongoing effort to built A bomb, what would I do? Asked people around "Iran is just kidding, right?", and prayed for the best?

Christiaan
06-12-11, 13:40
I think Iran is getting a A bomb mainly for these reasons:
- to feel more secure among neighbors, which already have A bomb.
- deterrent against being attacked by USA or Israel.
- huge ego and ambitions of Iranian leaders. This actually could be a main reason. There is still a popular mindset in middle east that to mean something in the world one needs to be a superpower. These countries have more numerous armies and spend bigger percentage of GDP, than most better off european counterparts.
- to suck out money from US and Europe. I know N Korea played similar game before. US and S Korea payed billions of dollars to North to stop developing nuclear weapons, plus supply of peaceful nuclear technologies for free. Well N Korea has the bomb now and billions of dollars. What a sweet deal!
Sucking out the ****** is also played by Pakistan, who is pretending to fight Taliban for 10 billion a year of US help. Iran is pretending not to build A bomb, obviously not for free.

Having said that, if I was in Israel and have heard, through years, assurances from Iran government about whipping me out off existence, seeing Iran's willingness to support terrorism against Israel and ongoing effort to built A bomb, what would I do? Asked people around "Iran is just kidding, right?", and prayed for the best?
I agree with you they are not generally good people. When Ahmedinedschad smiles, milk turns sour and a spotless blue sky gets clouded instantaneously, but this far he is obviously logic and smart enough to stay in power. You can only stay in power when you are not in the hereafter. So a comparison with terrorism is not well chosen, because you can't get away with a nuclear war. It sums it up like this: Iran building a nuclear bomb is a win-win situation for the regime. Whatever its enemies do it will get those in trouble who try and try not. It is choosing between two evils and it will escalate if they think have nothing to loose any more.

And do not forget Iran struggles with its own internal problems. With all the new developments in the M.E. the end for this regime could be in sight very soon. Maybe after the next presidential elections (2013?) people in the cities will rise again like they did in 2009.

LeBrok
06-12-11, 23:00
I hope Christaan that you are right. And only hope we have, because if we can learn from history, most european politicians didn't believe Hitler's speeches nor his book. In spirit of hoping nothing was done in advance to stop Hitler, who shortly proved them wrong in a very ugly way. Steep price for humanity for not believing a person in power.
If Israel strikes Iranian military sites, can we blame them for not wanting to rely on hope only?

Elias2
17-12-11, 01:30
People arn't seeing this through Israel's perspective. Hezbola is a proxy of Iran, Iran doesn't need to fire a nuke at Israel, they just have to let Hezbola do it, or just give them a dirty bomb. Israel has been in hostile relations with its neighbours since its inception, they had many wars and conflicts throughout its life. People that don't live in this kind of environment can not judge this correctly, if you were a jewish/Isreali citizen living in Israel, would you want Iran to have a nuke? Iran doesn't have a responcible government, they don't deserve this kind of technology.

I think there will be a armed conflict with Iran, what nature it will be I can only guess. America moved all its troops out of Iraq so they won't be potential targets by Iranian forces, or to deploy them into Iran. Unless we work in the Amercian government or secret services, we don't know 100% of what goes on diplomatically in the Middle East, only what the news sources tell us.

I'm a strong supporter of a nuclear-free Iran.

Spion Stirlitz
17-12-11, 04:50
Well, well, well...

This thread started well, trying to find the normally elusive (but sometimes evident according to the situation, as Muzungu well explained), and now we have it deviated to the "need to bomb Iran", because of the insistace of Kgnju.

By the way, recently the mayor-general Zhang Zhaozhong said explicitly "China will defend Iran even with WW III if necessary"... so I don't know why precisely "Kgnju from Beijing ( 北京 )", brings that theme.

:(

http://www.eutimes.net/2011/12/chinese-general-threatens-us-with-world-war-3-over-iran/

Then, we have here some supporters of the idea that Iran should be bombed, and there are given some "bold" arguments about that.

(Curiously, Elias2 that is Jewish is the most moderate of all).

The things that I find most unconfortable, are the following two...


A. While I agree that Europe (specially Germany) is somehow moraly indebted with Israel - as Cimerianbroke said - I don't believe that that indebtness should be expressed as enmity against other peoples.

I know that the theme of Jews/Israel is very sensitive inside Germany, they are very sensitive about things like Holocaustleugnung (negation of Holocaust) which one can comprehend, and some others that plainly do not make sense when seen from outside (Holocaustrelativierung).

But after all, that are internal German laws and politics, which one should respect.

However, as the recent voting in the UNESCO showed, other peoples (the majority) in regard to the Palestinean-Israeli theme, do not feel any "indebtedness" or "Schuldkomplex" and they plainly vote as its own (according to me, more objective) concousness dictates.

http://www.guardian.co.uk/world/2011/nov/01/unesco-countries-vote-palestinian-membership

+++++++++++++++++++

B. The other thing in which I feel compelled to comment, is this statement of @LeBrok:


In this case it's more about survival and peace dictated in western terms, than equality and morality. I hope Iran is smart enough to see it


Maybe they see it clearly, and they refuse to obey?

(... In the name of the Crown X, I declare this land to belong to the Kingdom Y... ) :D

Remember that the Iranians just landed a 30 million USD drone (the most advanced and expensive type) taking electronic control of it, the first time it tried to violate IRANIAN airspace.

You may not like them, but they have their pride.

And rights.

And if many people do not see it, believe me: Some others do.

Some do it because it appeals to their inherent sense of justice... others because they cannot prevent but to see themselves in Iran shoes (Russia? China?).

Regards.

Elias2
17-12-11, 21:36
Well, well, well...

This thread started well, trying to find the normally elusive (but sometimes evident according to the situation, as Muzungu well explained), and now we have it deviated to the "need to bomb Iran", because of the insistace of Kgnju.

By the way, recently the mayor-general Zhang Zhaozhong said explicitly "China will defend Iran even with WW III if necessary"... so I don't know why precisely "Kgnju from Beijing ( 北京 )", brings that theme.

:(

http://www.eutimes.net/2011/12/chinese-general-threatens-us-with-world-war-3-over-iran/

Then, we have here some supporters of the idea that Iran should be bombed, and there are given some "bold" arguments about that.

(Curiously, Elias2 that is Jewish is the most moderate of all).


I'm not Jewish, I can see things from many perspectives. Its very evident that the arabs/muslims don't want peace with Israel, they want Isreal off the map. Religion is still a big tool in the Middle East, it can and does manipulate people, Hezbola literally tanslates into "Army of God". The same can be said with Israel wanting to annex the west bank, which they are doing slowly over time, to fulfill their ancient dream of Judea promised in the Torah.

We are not politicians, we can talk directly with each other. Neither side wants peace with each other, they both have their malicious goals motivated by religion. Where the "West" is incorporated with this is similar to the events of the Iraq-Iran war, any conflict that disrupts oil exports hurts Western economies, in todays recession this is not an option. Of course the Jewish lobby does have a huge influence in American politics, combined by the fact that the "west" has been struggling with Islamic terrorism has caused a very anti-Islam mainstream thought in North America and Europe.


B. The other thing in which I feel compelled to comment, is this statement of @LeBrok:



Maybe they see it clearly, and they refuse to obey?

(... In the name of the Crown X, I declare this land to belong to the Kingdom Y... ) :D

Remember that the Iranians just landed a 30 million USD drone (the most advanced and expensive type) taking electronic control of it, the first time it tried to violate IRANIAN airspace.

You may not like them, but they have their pride.

And rights.

And if many people do not see it, believe me: Some others do.

Some do it because it appeals to their inherent sense of justice... others because they cannot prevent but to see themselves in Iran shoes (Russia? China?).

Regards.

Iran can choose to follow what course it wants to, but it has to be responcible for the outcome. Now we are entering into a double standard politic, domestic vs. international. Iran doesn't repsect the wishes and represses its own population who do demand for better rights, but on the other hand your arguement is that we should show them the same rights they don't show their people? I don't agree with this. If Iran was a fully democratic human rights persueing nation then yes, I would support the Iranian nuclear program. But the Iranian government is a theocratic dictatorship with psuedo-elections. In my opinion this type of government doesn't deserve nuclear technology.

China and Russia won't support Iran for the simple reason of economics, they don't have anythign to benifit from it. China export market is America, and Russia is about to enter the World Trade Organization, they both have zero to gain for straining relations with the worlds biggest markets.

Yetos
17-12-11, 22:08
when EU gets embassies as EU and not as countries then we might speak of a clear European identity,

until today we all are Europeans, but first we are our private nation ID,

meaning that each one of us trust first his nation and then the neighbor european and then the rest,

a good example of that is that at least all EU countries have their own embassies at foreign lands

Spion Stirlitz
18-12-11, 16:01
I'm not Jewish, I can see things from many perspectives. Its very evident that the arabs/muslims don't want peace with Israel, they want Isreal off the map. Religion is still a big tool in the Middle East, it can and does manipulate people, Hezbola literally tanslates into "Army of God". The same can be said with Israel wanting to annex the west bank, which they are doing slowly over time, to fulfill their ancient dream of Judea promised in the Torah.

Certainly we have a religious differences here. But many times these real differences are used as a "smoke screen" to hide other reasons for conflict between Israelis and Palestineans/Arabs. But I agree with what you said above and I will leave it at that.


Iran can choose to follow what course it wants to, but it has to be responcible for the outcome. Now we are entering into a double standard politic, domestic vs. international. Iran doesn't repsect the wishes and represses its own population who do demand for better rights, but on the other hand your arguement is that we should show them the same rights they don't show their people? I don't agree with this. If Iran was a fully democratic human rights persueing nation then yes, I would support the Iranian nuclear program. But the Iranian government is a theocratic dictatorship with psuedo-elections. In my opinion this type of government doesn't deserve nuclear technology.

I think that Iran should be compared with other Muslim countries in the Middle East, and you will see that something do not fit with the argument that "Democracy" is a factor of the especial hostility of the West towards them.

For starters, against whom have Israel/West done or manaced with war in the last years?

Lebanon, Palestina, Syria, Libya, Iran... precisely against the most modern regimes, the ones that give/gave women and religious minorities more rights, in most of which there was/are actually elections.

On the contrary, everything (and I mean everything, including massacres of defensless peaceful proterstors) is allowed to the medieval monarchies of the Middle East. And we know that the real reason is not "democracy", "right of the women", and so on, but simply because they are docile with the West or accomodating to the Israli policy.


China and Russia won't support Iran for the simple reason of economics, they don't have anythign to benifit from it. China export market is America, and Russia is about to enter the World Trade Organization, they both have zero to gain for straining relations with the worlds biggest markets.

Israel is now very angy with Russia because it just supplied S-300 and "Yakhont" to Syria. The Russian and Chinese (at least until now) block a UN resolution against Syria. At the moment no one could say if the Syrian regime will survive with the last-hour support from Moscow and Beijing. The fact is that they are supporting it, not only against the West and Israel, but also against the corrupt arab Monarchies.

Why do they do that? :thinking:

"Hey!! Why could we just not drop all our guns and live like a one big happy family!!" :heart:

( Yes you drop your guns... and we will do the sacrifice to arms ourselves to "protect democracy and free markets".... :grin: )

So like in the mass media of the West the effort is done to show the Palestineans as "Arab fanatics" that hate Israel just for the fact of being populated by Jews, so in said madia really very rarely is shown the reasons why Russians and Chinese (or Iranians, or many others) have reasons to distrust the West.

Why have just the Russians put "Iskander" missiles in Kaliningrad/Königsberg?

These crazy Russians over-react at the slightest thing? They do that because they want to distract their own population of internal problems? Or is it that the West pushed them and finally they were left with no choice?

You say that the Russians and Chinese should follow "an economical logic" and "self interest" in their international relations.

Who tells you they have not followed them since many years ago?

Regards.

Elias2
18-12-11, 17:36
I think that Iran should be compared with other Muslim countries in the Middle East, and you will see that something do not fit with the argument that "Democracy" is a factor of the especial hostility of the West towards them.

For starters, against whom have Israel/West done or manaced with war in the last years?

Lebanon, Palestina, Syria, Libya, Iran... precisely against the most modern regimes, the ones that give/gave women and religious minorities more rights, in most of which there was/are actually elections.


Democracy is not the only factor about the hostilities with Iran, but it does give the "west" the moral high ground. The practical reasons we have discussed before. I also have to disagree with you about the concept of "modern regimes". These regimes arn't cracking down on religious extremist because they disagree with them, but because they see them as a threat to their rule. I would disagree when you say they also gave religious minorities rights, I would term it more as protection. Mubarak would intervien against the violence against the coptic christians, but he wouldn't promote their rights. Many laws under mubarak did not change that supressed the coptics. The same can be said with Assad and the Orthodox and catholics in Syria.


On the contrary, everything (and I mean everything, including massacres of defensless peaceful proterstors) is allowed to the medieval monarchies of the Middle East. And we know that the real reason is not "democracy", "right of the women", and so on, but simply because they are docile with the West or accomodating to the Israli policy.


There is a double standard of american policy. Saudi Arabia ia aurguably the worse human rights violating arab country but nothing bad is said about them:confused2: Turkey also has repression and violation of freedoms but they are a key American ally so nothing bad is said about them either. It's a double standard.


Israel is now very angy with Russia because it just supplied S-300 and "Yakhont" to Syria. The Russian and Chinese (at least until now) block a UN resolution against Syria. At the moment no one could say if the Syrian regime will survive with the last-hour support from Moscow and Beijing. The fact is that they are supporting it, not only against the West and Israel, but also against the corrupt arab Monarchies.

Why do they do that? :thinking:

"Hey!! Why could we just not drop all our guns and live like a one big happy family!!" :heart:

( Yes you drop your guns... and we will do the sacrifice to arms ourselves to "protect democracy and free markets".... :grin: )

So like in the mass media of the West the effort is done to show the Palestineans as "Arab fanatics" that hate Israel just for the fact of being populated by Jews, so in said madia really very rarely is shown the reasons why Russians and Chinese (or Iranians, or many others) have reasons to distrust the West.

Why have just the Russians put "Iskander" missiles in Kaliningrad/Königsberg?

These crazy Russians over-react at the slightest thing? They do that because they want to distract their own population of internal problems? Or is it that the West pushed them and finally they were left with no choice?

You say that the Russians and Chinese should follow "an economical logic" and "self interest" in their international relations.

Who tells you they have not followed them since many years ago?

Regards.



Yup, all this points to a conflict in the near future. We can discuss the validity of all this but it won't prevent it. Though I want to ask you to clarify what you mean when Russia and China were pushed into this senario. The only people that should worry about dictators being disposed is other dictators. Or China and Russia want to play some power politics with America? we will see.

cheers.

Spion Stirlitz
19-12-11, 18:18
In reality my participation in this thread came from the need to express my points of view, in the sense that it should be noted that in these themes many people in and outside Europe perceive the things very differently from the mainstream media.

I really don't want that my participations in these forums - while they last - orient too much to these polemic themes.


Though I want to ask you to clarify what you mean when Russia and China were pushed into this senario. The only people that should worry about dictators being disposed is other dictators.

Elias2, for knowing that, you (or anyone else) that really want to know why Russians and Chinese are uneasy, they need just to take the effort to search for it in Internet. Is really three clics away.... these people ARE NOT MUTE.

It is just that many westerners do not take the effort to go to Russian, Chinese, Syrian, or Iranian sources, and many believe that what appears in their own mainstream media is "all that it is", or that there are not other sources that even contradict what appears in said media.

Regardig the thing about dictactors... it have been said many times: "Who decides who is a dictator?"

Regards.

Riccardo
16-01-12, 16:45
I feel European more than any other thing, more than Italian. I don't believe too much in national sense of belonging. I recognize my blood and part of my heart is Italian, but there are many factors that contribute to build an identity...Blood, heart, reason, experiences. It would be limitative to say I'm just Italian, Europe (as an union of cultures with common roots, not as E.U. of course) is what really represent me better.
This is a good balance of my feelings about identity, not too strict, not too large and dispersive. It is something that I really feel: my place in the world is Europe.

RJay
27-02-13, 15:59
I feel very European. In fact, if I could trade in my NL passport for a full EU passport i wouldn't think twice.
When I look at Europe and the products we put on the world market I gain a sence of pride. Be it the Dutch handling of water, the Champagne from France, the major motor companies (VW, BMW, Ferarri, Lamborghini, Aston, etc, etc) the Airbus aircraft, and many more! i fill with pride when i'm overseas to enter a country outside the EU and hand over my EU passport (be it the dutch version of it) for a stamp.

Nordsee
29-04-13, 22:09
I think a European identity exists and is in a growing process (could end if EU falls apart). But I think this European identity feeling is not big at this time. National thinking is still way more present. We are still many small countries on a small piece of land on the Earth. We have lots of cultural and historical things in common but still we are very different. I can not imagine how to realize a successful european state with the U.S. as model. So many languages, cultures and interests.

First I feel as a German, maybe northern German or Frisian or Low German or even Germanic. This European feeling is not very important to me, because most Europeans are not like me and my volk (culture, traditions, language et cetera). I feel home and related to people who are as much like me as possible and share the same background. I think that's natural. If I would have a passport what only says on the cover "Europäische Union" and inside "Europäer" and hand it over I would not be as proud as when I hand over my passport what says on the cover "Europäische Union Bundesrepublik Deutschland" and inside "Deutsch". Because "Deutsch" just tells more from my person, about who I am, where I am coming from and gives people a clearer view on me. If I would only be a European, wow awesome, I could come from Portugal or from Albania, from Iceland or from Cyprus... countries and volks I almost know nothing about, can't identify with them (maybe except Iceland [Germanic]). Next European generations could see it in another way, if the EU is doing a good job with creating a strong European identity feeling and at the same time doing a good job with eliminating national identity feeling.

I hope I don't get missunderstood and get understood at all. Had not much exercise in English since I'm out of school.

albanopolis
30-04-13, 21:22
To me European Identity is a little complicated. I don't identify myself with everything European. I feel European outside Europe but once inside it I don't feel European anymore. What I really mean by it? I mean, being European I have to be proud of my predecessors Newton, Galileo, Beethoven etc.. And I am not. I feel like English should be proud of Newton, Italians of Galileo and so on... I remain Albanian for good or for bad. When I identify myself as European I do mostly out of necessity, because most people don't know where Albania is. To put it simple to me Europe is a big building where I have my own apartment.

Michel Gilson
18-05-13, 18:45
Question: Does anyone think it is possible to have an European identity though they were born in America of European immigrants? Though living in the States I seem to identify more with Europe that my native land, hence my interest in this site and forum.

Jackson
18-05-13, 19:47
I would like to introduce myself. I am a student of European Studies at University Maastricht (Netherlands). At the moment I and 2 fellow students of our group are assigned to conduct a research on the "European Identity". We all live in a world of uncertainty, of social awareness, economic crisis and political efforts to improve the situation as a whole. Especially in these times of crisis, it is quite important to have the feeling of belonging in a group that shares common values, in other words, being united. Two main questions arise:

Whether you believe that European Identity exists?
Do you consider yourself European?

I believe it exists, although as much less important than national identity for most people. I would think that people would feel more European if they were of mixed European heritage and upbringing, and if they believed that there should be one European people rather than an amalgamation of nationalities.

That being said, i feel European in that i am on the same continent with ethnically and culturally fairly similar people, but it is not really a big deal. National identity is far more important, and i have no ill will towards other European nationalities.