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Maciamo
03-12-03, 08:38
The euro and Europe's blurring borders (http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/europe/3254764.stm)

On 1 January 2002 the experience of travelling in Europe changed completely.
The introduction of euro notes and coins, following the withdrawal of EU internal border controls, removed one of the key sensations of crossing from one country to another.

If you set off from Hamburg, Calais, Malaga, or Brindisi you can now drive for days without necessarily ever finding out how many countries you have passed through.

You pay in euros - and you can leave your passport buried in your luggage.

Europe's unity, or at least the EU's, is now almost as obvious as its diversity.


Click to see what European identity means to people in Berlin, Brussels, Warsaw and London


In pictures

How does this affect the way people think about Europe?

Opinion polls conducted for the EU in 2002 found about 60% of people in euroland agreeing that by using euros "we feel a bit more European than before".

Other polls show that when people are asked what the EU means to them personally, the euro is one of the most common answers.

"If your money talks Europe that has immense symbolic value," says Professor Thomas Risse of the Free University in Berlin.

"You cannot have European identity in the abstract, you need something concrete that people can see in their lives."

The existing markers of Europe as a civic or political entity (rather than a historical/cultural one) are the flag, and the currency.


Read the rest of the article on the BBC website (link above).

noyhauser
04-12-03, 00:59
Don't call this a return to the chitchat forum... Im only answering this political question and going back to my home in the political section so that no other "misunderstandings" happen

It is a difficult question to answer Maciamo, if you could then you would have the answer to the future state of Europe. I think there is though a lot of fanciful predicitions about the creation of a common European identity, which will probably never exist. I doubt in the EU will ever become a state in the traditional terms. There will always be regionalization present. A really interesting trend is the EU's effect on creating more national identities than it consolidates. The Scottish and Welsh Devolution in the UK, the Basque and Catalan Movements in Spain and the Corsican movment in France are all major identities that have reemerged because of the Presence of the EU. The weakening state identities and the the EU's regional policies have allowed the identities to assert themselves. The UK is the best example as the word British, has fallen of the lexographic map, now people are more prone to call themselves "Welsh" "Scotish""Irish" or "Orange". But even this trend doesn't knock state's preminence in identity politics, The creation of a "European Identity" has a very long way to go to become the dominant identy framework, if it does at all.

A major reason why this is because the EU is a very weak organization. Andrew Moracivik of Harvard University probably has the best perspective on this. He rightly claims that the EU gets the policy areas that governments don't want, and States vigorously defend against EU roachment into core areas of competence Look at the balance sheet. Most of the EU's budget is made up of... Structural Funds (regional aid to less developmed members of the Union) and Agricultural subsidies(like 85% i think?). The major policy areas are Agricultural subsidies, Strucutral funds, the European Monetary Union, Foreign Trade policy (but not foreign policy), enviromental legislation (including fishing) and the Schengen Aquis (border controls). They are really underwhelming. States still have control over, Healthcare, Tax policy, Defence, Education, Social programs, Foreign policy and Economics
Furthermore, if states still want to control over monetary policy, defence policy or border controls, they can opt out of them or not join the Aquis.

The major hindereance for the EU's identity is that it does not control the major areas that create state identity and probably never will. For example, States control Education. Education is vitally important for state Idenity because governments form little citizens every day at school. Ever wonder why we have to sing our national anthem every day? because its the government ingraning a social identity into you. no I am not some conspiracy theorist. Look at when the Modern nation state formed. France used to be made up of little pricipalities, such as Burgandy, Mergovinian, Norman ect ect. Even up to the 18th century people reffered to themselves as these groups. In france they died out after the revolution because the state started educating people and forming a concrete identity through education and popular culture. Furthermore social policy, such as welfare and healthcare are also firmly entrenched in states, not the EU. Look at canadians, one of the things we pride ourselves is National Healthcare. In Europe, social policy is so vital that the state remains as the locus of these policies.

The two main areas of identity instruments alluded to in the article, the Euro and Schengen (border checks) are opt outable, and are there because its the are attractive for cooperation. For example, European Monetary Union has been around for quite some time, just not officially. For quite some time states have pegged their dollar and their interest rates to the Bundesbank rate. The only difference is now people outside of germany get a say in the Bundesbank rates, and you have a new shiny Euro as pecuniary unit. the EU won't have for quite some time a common tax policy and its current finacial regulations are in such disarray that its likely they will be scrapped or loosend into irrelevance.

As for Schengen, it too is an opt out, and states in the Schengen group are finding that its a lot cheaper to just patrol one section of border than the whole thing. Furthermore, Free labour movement hasn't really materialized like people believe most people say that economic factors factors prevent them and... National Idenity. Really all the talk about a European superstate is unlikely to happen anywhere in the near future. The current constitutional convention, if it even passes will be the last major conferences for some time. I suspect that there will be extreme difficultities in its ratification and it will probably not enter into force until 2008 like they say.

Iron Chef
04-12-03, 07:46
Interesting that freedom to work and travel ranks higher than the euro, peace, or a bigger voice in the world. That's a very practical mindset I think. Reading through the individual responses re: "What does European identity mean to you?", I found some to be very insightful and others... amusing.
:)

lineartube
04-12-03, 14:48
Ever wonder why we have to sing our national anthem every day?

I understand the example but to keep it accurate, I should say that this doesn't happen in Portugal. I've been into the public and private Education industry as a student and I never found this.
Of course that the national symbols are taught, thought they just don't brainwash kids every single day with them.

As for the topic at hand, I believe that the introduction of a common currency was very important to the sense of European identity and if it holds up, it will be very important for trade inside and outside the EU. Well, at least those who join the Euro currency. Still, I think it is too soon to see its economical and social impact.

So, we have one currency, one flag, one hymn, and soon there will be also a constitution, but... will this mesh of nationalities turn into some sort of "federalist" country? I would like to think so, but what I really think is that we won't see nothing similar in the next 20-30 years.

The more obvious obstacles are the different economic levels between countries and regions, and more important, the lack of a common language.

Maciamo
04-12-03, 17:46
Originally posted by noyhauser

States still have control over, Healthcare, Tax policy, Defence, Education, Social programs, Foreign policy and Economics
Furthermore, if states still want to control over monetary policy, defence policy or border controls, they can opt out of them or not join the Aquis.


This is not exactly true. Education has been standardised inside the EU, so that diplomas/degrees are equivalent from one country to the next, and university students can easily (and are encouraged through EU grants to) study in other EU countries. But I don't think the EU should uniformise education in all Europe. This should be left to the states and regions, as it is already the case in federal countries (even small ones like Belgium).

Healthcare is also somewhat standardised - with lots of EU laws regarding food safety, ecology, minimum medical requirements... Health insurance will soon be valid in all the EU with an individual electronic medical card with all your insurance info utilisable in any EU hospital or pharmacy.

There are already agreements about common Defence inside the EU that will be formalised in the Constitution soon. There is already a Foreign Minister for the EU (Javier Solana, I think) and he will normally replace all national foreign ministers once the Constitution is aproved.

Economics is controlled by monetary decision (the Euro and European Central Bank), as well as the economic agreeements of the former European Economic Community (free trade, etc.).

There are European Tax (for the EU budget, such as the agricultural subsidies), but it's true that national government still have the bigger part of it.



The major hindereance for the EU's identity is that it does not control the major areas that create state identity and probably never will. For example, States control Education. Education is vitally important for state Idenity because governments form little citizens every day at school. Ever wonder why we have to sing our national anthem every day?

There is already a European identity, as opposed to American, Indian, Chinese or Japanese, for instance. That of course depends on the people, but as the BBC's survey shows, I am not the only one to feel European (in average more than 50% of the EU population feel European).

As I said above, education should not be controlled by the national government, but by the states/regions, especially in Europe where each of them have a particular culture (including marked regional differences), language (including dialects), history or sensitivity.

BTW, I don't know any EU countries where people have to sing the national anthem everday (or ever) at school. I have studied in a few countries and never heard any anthem, even a single time. This is probably seen by many as too nationalistic, almost fascist to do so. Americans call it patriotism, but Europeans also did before it led to 2 world wars.

noyhauser
04-12-03, 17:50
Education systems are so very vital for national idenity. I'm just using national anthems as an example. The education of history is another, as well as a lot of different stuff. Did you learn portuguese history or European history when you were in grade 5? Brainwash is a bit of a strong word, A better one is that education is intended to develop and manipulate social consciousness.

I think an interesting statistic or question for opinion charts would be to see how those things of what the EU stands for ranks against concernes for government. How high does freedom of borders rank against, oh Crime, or Healthcare, or security. All these things are provied by the state. Even Schengen is still done by national border troops through national training programs (the process of Subsidiarity), not some EU agency.And look at it this way, people are getting fed up with Schengen. The rise of Jean Marie La'Pen In france and Jorg Haidler in Austria has a lot to do with the illegal immigrant problem facing these countries. This has to do with Schengen. IF the Schengenland borders became even more porus and more illegal immigrants got through, then people will quickly turn on the program and re-institute national borders. The EU Isn't that strong at all.

Its still state power that drives the EU in major areas. Even the Constitutional convention isn't that important. Its funny because people are getting all upset over the reworking of the council and Commission, where there is probably the least change, and the overwhelming change in Pillar III (Justice and Home Affairs) has passed through unnoticed. The creation of a EU wide arrest warrant is a fairly substantial change (altough the common citizen probably will never realize it anyways)

noyhauser
04-12-03, 18:26
Again I used national anthems as a the most visible aspect of how an education system does create national consciousness. In the US you can see it every day, but its a lot more incipid than that.

Although experts like to brandy about statements like "light speed development" of a EU defence capability, when it comese down to it the defense stuff is pathetic. Its really nothing different than what they had in 1992, and really NATO is still the top dog. They aren't standing EU forces (national contributions IF the EU agrees to go to do an operation) The European Union is legally not premitted to defend itself against attack. Thats stunning if you ask me. It doesn't have a Article five clause that says in the case of a attack, all EU members must defend each other. NATO does. And no thats not a oops we forgot that situation, its been fiercely defended against by the UK, Spain Italy Netherlands and "New Europe". NATO is far and away the most important security apparatus in Europe, and its not going anywhere anytime soon. Foreign policy (not economic trade policy) still requires Unanimity, and the French know that they will not change that any time soon. Javier Solana is by no means an EU foreign minister, he is currently the "high representative of the CFSP" and although there is a plan to create one (and a president of the EU) it doesn't mean much. Look at how easily the US was able to pick apart the EU's Common position on Iraq. It learned long ago that if push came to shove, it can go directly to national authorities and get their support and then the common EU position falls apart in Foreign policy. The CFSP has been relegated to doing inoffensive missions that won't piss anybody off. It also has been relegated to being the cleanup crew for NATO. Taking over missions in Macedonia, the Police force role in Bosnia and Herzegovinia.

Monetary Union as I said already existed in the early 1970s with the European Rate Exchange Mechanism. It went through several failed stages. Just having a Euro instead of a D-Mark or a lire isn;t that big of a change. For nations like france, the change to the Euro gave them more say in monetary policy because before they just went by the Bundesbank rate set in Germany. Now at least they can sit on the board of the ECB and have a say.

There is No EU tax. And don't think that there will be any time soon. The EU has taken over the Value added tax on imports, but that is different. With the decline in tarriff rates due to trade liberalization that source of revenue will rapidly decline. Just the fact that the EU spends most of its own budget on agricultural subsidies is really telling of how important it is for the average citizen. So your healthcare card is valid in other countries, who provides the medical service? the EU or your national health authority? Its the national health authority (like the NHS). The EU has no authority to change the actual policies of any health service at all. The same goes for any other major area of government competence.

The EU has never touched the real areas of National Identity. Maybe money, and passport, but opinion polls show when people are asked to defined themselves as a group #1 is by a far margin, their national identities. And I schooling should still be in the national or regional authorities. I was raised up in a certain area of Canada (British Columbia ) and I am really interested in the history of the region. Had I of recieved a Canada wide standardized education, I would of never known the deep history of the Native peoples. Thats the reason why a lot of people do fear the EU, ESPECIALLY in the UK, its talk like "oh there should be EU wide curriculum." What about what makes the british distinctly british. Thats a valid concern that you can't just dismiss as historical fealty.

Maciamo
05-12-03, 03:25
Originally posted by noyhauser
education of history is another, as well as a lot of different stuff. Did you learn portuguese history or European history when you were in grade 5?

I think that most European learn world and European history, with maybe a little more stress on their own country/region's particular history. Everybody starts with Egypt, Babylon, Ancient Greece, Rome (all this at least 1 year), then the European middle ages and Renaissance (1 year), then the history of European colonisation (including American history, the independence, civil war, etc.), the repurcusion in Europe, then the 18th century Enlightement, the French Revolution (which changed for ever the destiny of all Europe), the Industrial Revolution, the rise of socialism/communism, the 19th century inventions, the 2 world wars, the 1929 financial crisis, the creation of international organisation like UN, NATO, then the history of the EU, etc. I studied economics at University, but we had to study first of all the European Legal system and institutions and the connection with our national government. I imagine this curriculum is similar in every EU country.


And look at it this way, people are getting fed up with Schengen. The rise of Jean Marie La'Pen In france and Jorg Haidler in Austria has a lot to do with the illegal immigrant problem facing these countries.

Immigration problems in Europe are much older than Schengen or even the EU itself. Most immigrants came to Europe during the decolonisation of the 1950's and 60's. In France, they are mainly from Algeria, Morroco and black Africa. Usually Le Pen's supporters don't think of other white people as immigrants because they don't look different. There are very few Asians in Continental Europe, and I have never heard of racism toward Chinese, Japanese or other East Asians in Europe. Indians/Pakistanis are almost all in the UK and they are much better accepted and adapted than most Africans anywhere in Europe. Le Pen's main idea is to drive (non-white) immigrants out of France or even Europe if he could. He wants France to get out of the EU just because he is too chauvinistic and believes in the supremacy of France over the rest of the world. Anyway he is an imbecile. Only old or uneducated people have issues with their country being part of the EU in Continental Europe.

bossel
05-12-03, 04:18
Although I agree with Noyhauser that the EU is still far from being one nation, I have to support Maciamo. It will take a rather long time to develop a feeling of EU-nationality, but I don't think this is actually necessary to be a nation.

I am European, I am German, I am Northrhine-Westphalian, but do I feel as such? Nope, these are far too abstract entities to identify with. I don't need to feel it, I just am.
First of all I am an individual, the only abstract entity I can somewhat identify with is my hometown, that's it.



Originally posted by noyhauser
Education systems are so very vital for national idenity.[...] Did you learn portuguese history or European history when you were in grade 5?[...] The rise of Jean Marie La'Pen In france and Jorg Haidler in Austria has a lot to do with the illegal immigrant problem facing these countries. This has to do with Schengen.

Education in Germany may be used as a counter-example. The German federal states have the sovereign rights regarding culture & education. The national gouvernment can set certain standards but even these have to be approved by the states chamber (Federal Council).

Actually, I learned European history in the 5th grade & later, although Portugal admittedly was only a minor subject.

Le Pen & Haider are pretty much unrelated, as are the immigration problems in France & Austria. Schengen is not really to blame here.

noyhauser
05-12-03, 04:51
Of course Education is different in every case. In Canada, its federal as well, and the curriculum in BC is completely different from Ontario (two different Provinces, Lander, or whatever you want to call it) I too learned European history as well in school but it was not as prominent as canadian history, or even BC history. The EU is hampered by the sheer fact that it has 11 official languages (or there abouts.) National literature through language classes are going to focus on national authors, The works of Camus and Hugo in france will always take precident over Shakespear.

I have generalized across European Education systems and I realize that, but its a useful one because it highlights one truth; there is no EU course curriculum, and states still are in firm control of education. And this theory about States using education to promote national awareness isn't something I concocted last night. This is a accepted theory, that has been proposed by many sociological and political theorists. Germany does it even more overtly through national military conscription, so don't discount that it doesn't do it through education.

Uhh actaully both Haidler and La Pen Attacked Schengen as a major reason for the influx of refugees. Even the late Pym Fortuyn is in this group as well. All three were overtly anti immigration, and have been called the "new right" in European politics.

Maciamo
05-12-03, 05:05
Originally posted by bossel

I am European, I am German, I am Northrhine-Westphalian...

Cool ! We've been neighbours. :wave: I used to live in Liege (Luettich) in Belgium, which is just 30min from Aachen or a bit more to Cologne/Koeln.See, we can both say we are Europeans, but seeing a German flag didn't tell me we were actually both from the same Rhine-Mosel-Meuse (Moes) region. Regional identity is for me as important as national identity, as I usually feel something special when I am outside Europe and meet people from neighouring countries less than 1h away by car/train (from Belgium that could be 4 countries). For Americans and Canadians I guess that would be similar to the feeling a resident of American Niagara Falls meeting a resident of Canadian Niagara Falls, or even someone from Seatlle with someone from Vancouver maybe. However I don't know if Americans and Canadians feel as close as European neighbours, eventhough they share the same language.




Education in Germany may be used as a counter-example. The German federal states have the sovereign rights regarding culture & education. The national gouvernment can set certain standards but even these have to be approved by the states chamber (Federal Council).


In Belgium, it's even more dramatic. The education systems is the country's 3 tiny regions are completely separated legally, though not so different and of course "compatible".

I don't know about the US or Canada, but generally in Europe each school has some feedom to choose its own curriculum, options, etc. as long as it satisfies the minimum requirement of the EU and national governments. That means that even in a same town or village 2 schools will rarely have exactly the same subjects (number of hours for each + content + optional subjects vary) and even if they do, teachers also have some freedom to teach their lesson the way they want (i.e. they decide the books, other materials, which chapter/part to skip or stress, what should appear in tests, etc.). Even so, there are differences of speed from one class to another with the same teacher, as one group of students might be quicker to understand and therefore proceed more quickly in the curriculum and learn additional stuff at the end of the year, while other classes won't.

The contrast in Japan is immense, as all (public) schools must teach exactly the same thing at the same time everywhere in Japan. Teachers can't adapt the curriculum, can't add anything that is not in it, or miss anything that is in it, and must keep pace with all other teachers of the same subject nationwide, whatever the brightness of their students.

What about the US, Canada or other countries ? Is it more like Europe or Japan ?

bossel
07-12-03, 05:16
Originally posted by Maciamo
I used to live in Liege (Luettich) in Belgium, which is just 30min from Aachen

:wave: We were probably closer neighbours than you might think: Originally I'm from Mönchengladbach, 20 min. to the Dutch border, 20 min. to Aachen.

I agree with you on regional identity. Actually, I feel closer to any Dutchman than to a Bavarian. Although this may be because I used to watch a lot of Dutch TV when I lived in MG (sadly in Düsseldorf I don't have the possibility to do so).

What you sayed about the autonomy of schools in Europe is exactly the situation in Germany. Every school, sometimes even the individual teacher (on minor subjects), can decide which textbooks to use. This can be quite annoying, though, if you change from one school in your town to another. You may find that you lag behind a 1/2 or even a whole year, only because your previous school set different priorities.

Just like you I would like to know how it is in USA, Canada & others.

bossel
07-12-03, 05:52
Originally posted by noyhauser
The EU is hampered by the sheer fact that it has 11 official languages[...]

And this theory about States using education to promote national awareness isn't something I concocted last night.[...] Germany does it even more overtly through national military conscription, so don't discount that it doesn't do it through education.

Uhh actaully both Haidler and La Pen Attacked Schengen as a major reason for the influx of refugees. Even the late Pym Fortuyn is in this group as well.

The point about languages is right, I think. This is a major obstacle in building a European identity, but as I said before, I don't think it's absolutely necessary to have one identity to be one nation.

I don't say this educational theory is wrong, but it doesn't really apply in Germany. Not national awareness is promoted in German schools, but the political system of a "social market economy". Having a conscript army is not contrary to that. We have this kind of army because the politicians are afraid of too independent forces. Furthermore, even in the political lessons of the army the political system is the major topic, the symbol to be defended, not so much the nation.
Although, I must admit, this is outsider knowledge, since I served only 2 weeks before I decided that being a soldier is not my way of life. :angel:

Yeah, Haider et al. attacked Schengen, but that does not mean Schengen is the cause of their (partial/temporary) success. All their parties are right wing, but you can't really put them in one drawer. Take Fortuyn as an example: I can't imagine him in charge of FPÖ or FN, for being openly gay.

These parties have different environments & circumstances that led to their existence or up-turn. Their common ground is being against (exorbitant) immigration, but there is not really a common background.

BTW, the Germans already gave up their most precious national symbol: the D-Mark. If they abandoned this, they won't have so much of a problem to give up their (anyway un-loved) federal parliament/gouv. & their manifested provisional arrangement of a constitution.

Maciamo
07-12-03, 09:34
Originally posted by noyhauser
The EU is hampered by the sheer fact that it has 11 official languages[...]

I agree with Bossel. I am even convinced that language has little to do with national identity, as I come from a country with 3 official languages and there are many examples (and counter-examples) of multilingual nations. In Europe alone I can think of 6 countries with more than one official language (UK, Ireland, Belgium, Luxembourg, Switzerland, Spain) and a few others where non official languages are also spoken (France, Italy, Romania...). Switzerland has 4 official languages, but the Swiss national identity is as strong as any other monlingual nation, if not more. BTW, the US have no official language and Spanish is spoken more than English in some regions of the South-West. Noyhauser, as a Canadian, you should know that it is possible to have 2 official languages and still feel part of the same nation and proud of it (even if some Quebecois want their independence because they feel their language being theatened by the overwhelming presence of English in North America, but Europe being more balanced linguistically, with roughly the same number of English, French, Italian and German people, such problems shouldn't occur).

My typical example of a multilingual and multicultural country where national identity is not to be proven, is India. It has 17 official languages (including English, which is the most widely spoken with Hindi), more than 800 other languages, 5 main ethnico-linguistic groups, all religions one can imagine, but still after 5 months spent in India I know well that Indians have a strong national identity. The whole of Europe (not just EU) has barely half the population of India and much less ethnies and languages. I think that if India (or Indonesia or China or Brazil or even the USA) is a nation, Europe can very well be one too. Most Europeans from neighbourig countries have more in common ethincally, historically and in some way in their education level and way of thinking than a bunch of New Yorkers or Californians, who might come from any ethnico-cultural background.

noyhauser
07-12-03, 11:37
India nearly tore itself apart in the early 1980s over a a punjabi homeland. The Indian army storming of the temple on the Ganges (can;t remember its name right now) This led to the killing of Indra Ghandi and brought the country to the brink of civil war. The french canadians in 1996 voted at 49.6 % to separate from canada, in 1970 a referendum held was at 45 %. If you were to factor out non french voters, both pass 50% and 1996 actually reaches 66%... a qualified majority. Its only a matter of time they succeed.

.I''m using language as part of a framework argument that says it will be difficult to foster a unitary idea of Europe. Language within itself is not an identy cleavage, but it does help deliniate identies it formed around racial lines.
You are right to say that it can be worked around BUT it is a difficulty that must be addressed otherwise you will have problems. Look at the Welsh identty now. Less that 10 % of the population 25 years ago could speak welsh. Now with an upsurge of nationalism including mandatory classes in welsh for kids its up to 40% (off the cuff but I will check them in the morning) and welsh nationalism is soaring with the devolution of power to the welsh home office.

You use the swiss, but thats my point, the swiss have a very very strong system to instill national pride. Schooling is one aspect, as well as mandatory military service. ITs kinda like Israel as well. Germany is another, and you say it is not Bossel but it is a policy of the German government to do so. IT definately is for the German army and conscription. That is the whole reason why conscription is being maintained, iis as a a way of instilling a national identity. You can't argue with that because it is official policy.And if the german army says that, I'm almost sure that the Education minsitry does so as well. I'm almost positive I have also read that its included into the education as well. It doesn't mean curriculum is strictly regulated as in japan, but national regulations may be used to make it so. I'm going to find it and reference it in the morining.

Maciamo
07-12-03, 17:55
Noyhauser, I don't know why you are so obsessed about the German conscription system. Have a look at this world map of conscription systems (http://www.geocities.com/twnwoc/2nationality.html#conscription) and you'll see that no European country except Albania has forced military service. Israel, Korea and lot's of South American and Middle Eastern countries have, but no Western countries. Interesting to note that lots of English speaking countries (UK, Ireland, Canada, Australia, India, Malaysia, South Africa...) don' have any conscription at all, while almost all European countries have "conscription with unarmed or civilian service". I personally think this has little to do with "national identity".

noyhauser
07-12-03, 19:16
Because its an example of a policy of a government to create a national idenity, and its the German government who is doing this. Its the most outstanding example of a nation overtly maipulating the social conscioussness to create a national identity. The Budeswehr knows retaining conscription is bankrupting the armed forces but keeps it for the idea of fostering national identity. It is litterally ruining the armed forces by bloating its Human resources budget and taking away from its capital budget. I work with a Luftwaffe Airforce major, and he believes that conscription should be retained for those very reasons (which is the statements of the Bundeswehr)

I keep pushing these points because I am putting forward examples of how a European Identity is hindered from being created by national authorities. To go back to my earliest point, the EU does not have control over core areas of government competence, which are the ones strongest to national identity. Defence is not controlled by the EU, neither is Education, Health care social programs. The only one was monetary policy (in reality the Euro for idenity) and for germany bossel it still dominates the ECB so losing the deutchmark wasn't that bad.

I think a better question will integration go as far as getting into these core areas, because if it doesn't there won't be a European superstates in anyway, and there will not be a European Identity.

bossel
07-12-03, 20:48
Originally posted by noyhauser
Its the most outstanding example of a nation overtly maipulating the social conscioussness to create a national identity. The Budeswehr knows retaining conscription is bankrupting the armed forces but keeps it for the idea of fostering national identity.

I don't know how well this officer is informed of German interior politics (as an officer he actually should be) but I really don't see how conscription is manipulating the social consciousness, esp. since only a minority is drafted.
Really, I have seen the promotion of national identity almost nowhere here, except for the integration of East Germany, that is. The political system is promoted, not the nation.

Giving up the Mark actually was a major sacrifice for Germans. The majority does not see the Euro as an equally valuable currency. Maybe the German influence on the ECB is above average, but that's only a minor consolation for Germans & after the latest troubles with financial stability even less.

I don't think anybody here disagrees in that it is still a long way ahead to a European nation.
I agree that integrated defence is one major area of cooperation, but even there I don't see such big a problem. Close cooperation already exists (eg. German-French brigade) & will be even closer in future.
The adjustment of social systems will be the major problem, though, but this only takes time, not more.

Yesterday I found some interesting links regarding political education in Germany, but my Scandisk has eradicated all my bookmarks today (stupid me didn't do a backup). If you are able to read German, Noyhauser, I will try to find the stuff again.

noyhauser
13-12-03, 09:01
(Finished my thesis this morning and I have a bit of time, before my next essay and exam)

I take offense to what you said above Bossel... The fact is that this man has a Masters in German Law, and is a exchange officer at a Academic instution. That should be indicator of how much he knows. I think your perceptions may be skewed because certainly his isn't and he is articulating the policies of the german government as a german offficer... can you say that you can do that?

This is the website of the German Defence ministry.... I'd like to point your attention to...
http://eng.bmvg.de/bundeswehr/wehrpflicht/grundlagen/index.php

"uring the past 40 years, more than 8 million young men have served military service in the Bundeswehr for the good of their country and have thus made a personal contribution to the protection of Germany against external threats, to the safeguarding of peace and freedom and, ultimately, to German unity.

Through conscription the Bundeswehr remains in close contact with every segment of the population, particularly the younger generation. Especially in the new Laender, conscription is instrumental in anchoring the Bundeswehr in people's minds. It promotes the exchange of young people from the eastern and western Laender. The Bundeswehr thus also contributes to Germany's internal unity."

Hmm internal Unity... IE social consciousness. I think you should maybe reassess whats your perceptions about your government. The franco german brigade is a minor unit, maybe making up less than 2 % of the entire armed forces.

DEFENCE IS NOT INTEGRATED nor will it ever be in the future. The french want it to be, but The UK will never agree to it, neither will Italy, Portugal, Denmark, Spain, the Visegrad Four, the Nordic Council, Ireland Netherlands or a whole host of other countries. Why? Because it has the propensity to upset NATO which most nations don't want. The EU Spends pittances on defence compared to the US, and therefore most countries would rather have the US provide security rather than the EU. Visegrad states see the US as their liberators from the Cold war, not the EU and the "Civillian Power" paradigm. Neutralist states don't want to see a defence identity either as it takes away from the Civillian power mentality that they want to promote. They vetoed the creation of permanent military structures in the Nice Treaty because they didn't want to have too much military structures in the treaty structure because tehy thought it would take away from the civillian power model of the EU.

If you want an essay on the security strategy of the EU just ask, I have just completed one and I can give it to you at a moment's notice.

bossel
13-12-03, 14:46
Originally posted by noyhauser
This is the website of the German Defence ministry...
"uring the past 40 years, more than 8 million young men have served military service [...] The Bundeswehr thus also contributes to Germany's internal unity."

Hmm internal Unity... IE social consciousness. I think you should maybe reassess whats your perceptions about your government.


Sorry, I can't see how I could offend you by saying that this officer actually should be well informed about German interior politics. Anyway, being major in Law doesn't necessarily imply competence regarding interior politics. BTW, one of my friends graduated in Law last year. :p

The Defence Ministry site is propaganda & promotes the gouvernment view that conscription is necessary for the very reasons I described above. They want (or at least say so) to create a social consciousness (BTW, even on this site you don't find them mentioning "national identity", at best "national unity"), & I didn't say they don't try. What I say is that they don't succeed.

Maybe 8 million out of more than 80 million (I'm not in the mood to calculate births, deaths & migration now) have served as conscripts. This is what I call a minority & having been there I can tell you that conscripts don't get very much of a social consciousness by being drafted.

EU defence is not yet integrated & may never be, just like the EU as a nation may never come true. We may have a core Europe (one nation) in the future with associated countries (like it is now). So, only the core may have an integrated military. An even greater union is possible, but this will take a lot of time.

"propensity to upset NATO" Oh well, not really to upset NATO but the US, I suppose.
"The EU Spends pittances on defence compared to the US" Who doesn't? The US defence budget is inflated to a ridiculous degree.

João Frazão
15-11-13, 18:21
Well, I'm from the 90's generation, born in 1995. This is the generation that in a few years will be controlling the administrating, political, economic and management issues all over Europe.
It will be the next global control generation and I can speak for many of my acquaintances that the concept of a united EU is, at least in our mind, very present, as I've met a lot of people my age that feel the same european belonging sensation I do.
That's the core reason for me to believe that, in not that long time, we will drop down the international borders within the EU. We were born in a time that the euro, the economic eurozone, the EU flag, the anglo-saxon culture and language and the transnational experiences are becoming way more intense than the nationalisms that could apart those.
Globalization is a logical consequence and we can't reverse it.
The generation's coming is a multilingual, multicultural and multidisciplinary mass that developed fastly the idea of Europe, rather than national country, where the eurozone is a whole feeling of belonging. Many of my friends do Erasmus, learn german, italian or russian, travel and go to festivals all around Europe, listen to french and italian music, see spanish, czech or swedish movies and know people all around the European zone, mainly.
So, despite all the benefits and prejudices, I'm sorry to disappoint many of the reactionaries that dislike the idea, but I see it coming in not that long period of time, due to the fast adaptation of the young generations to the idea of na european confederation and the notion of european identity opposed to others (the sharing of common history, of multicultural tolerance and diversity, of cultural global mark, etc.).
Of course this is, then, enhanced by the existence of transnational concepts that unite us together, such as feminism, the green politics, gay, animal or human rights and the hability of Internet, mass media or low cost travelling to decrease the virtual geoborders that apart us before.
Regarding the language adopted, I don't see it constituting a major problem, as the cultural diversity is accepted and welcome, so each minor state would maintain its original idiom, with the clear obligation of learning, at least, english and one other european language. Pretty simple.

Garrick
17-11-13, 12:58
I think the idea that EU (Europe) become one country has a lot of positive sides. But the half-solves are not good. In other words, EU (Europe) to become one state it must have all the prerogatives of state. Maybe one of problems is mental, for people who had for generations used to live in nation states is not easy to accept a supranational creation. But EU (Europe) as one state, with all the institutions that make up a state (including finance, police, army etc.), is necessary for European competitive position, small European countries has not a chance to compete with the giants on the world stage, in economy and to anything else.