The european identity

We hear the word & A ; lsquo ; European ‘ connected to other words like & A ; lsquo ; civilization ‘ , & A ; lsquo ; individual ‘ and & A ; lsquo ; individuality ‘ about every twenty-four hours. But what does this construct of being & A ; lsquo ; European ‘ mean? Is it about geographics, political relations, or something else? In my essay I will seek to detect if there is such a term as & A ; lsquo ; European Identity ‘ and if it exists so how we can associate ourselves to it. I will look briefly through the history of Europe to happen some background for the thought of incorporate Europe and pull some decisions about what I have found out.

First of all I would wish to discourse the inquiry what is individuality and how we decide to which individuality we belong. Sir W. Hamilton defined Identity as & A ; lsquo ; a relation between our knowledges of a thing, non between things themselves ‘ . So technically the manner we identify ourselves is in our caputs and there are no rigorous regulations about how to make it. In my sentiment people largely identify themselves by the topographic point where they were born, the linguistic communication they speak from the birth, the faith, the history they have learned, the topographic point where their parents from, the people they were surrounded by. It appears that a individual does n’t truly contemplate to his/her thought of her/himself, it is being embedded in them by milieus. In a world-wide graduated table people are defined into states, but sometimes it is hard to make, because if your parents are from one state and you were born and raised in another it is non the easiest thing to denominate yourself to one state. That ‘s why I think some people may state they are European.

Identity consists of forms by which something or person is recognizable or known. Turning to Europe and its individualities, though G.Delanty wrote that & amp ; lsquo ; to be European is a lifestyle defined by the manners of behaviour feature of the people in the West ( Borneman & A ; Fowler cited in Delanty 2005 ) ‘ , I do non hold that people from Asia or America would be able to acknowledge & amp ; lsquo ; European ‘ by behaviors. Despite the fact that there might be some common runs of behavior of people who live in Europe ( and here there is another job of where Europe begins and ends ) there are still excessively many differentiations in pique of different states. Another controversial construct in this statement is the West. S.Hall wrote that: the West ‘s sense of itself – its individuality – was formed, non merely by the internal procedures that bit by bit moulded Western European states into a distinguishable type of society, but besides through Europe ‘s sense of differences from other universes – how it came to stand for itself in relation to these others ( Formations of Modernity, 1992, p.279 ) .

But in this instance the thought of what it means to be & amp ; lsquo ; European ‘ should be explained exactly because & A ; lsquo ; Europeans are non peculiarly united among themselves ‘ ( Delanty, 2005, p.19 ) so we can non truly specify these others. Europeans do non portion common history, civilization, linguistic communication – all the standards by which they can be designated into individuality. Today ‘s European Union ‘s slogan is & A ; lsquo ; United in diverseness ‘ , so even from this we can do a decision that Europe is internally really assorted, it consists of different states, different outlooks which barely can be put under one roof. And & A ; lsquo ; individuality ‘ can be assimilated with & A ; lsquo ; sameness ‘ and here we see no sameness at all. Each state has its ain traditions, linguistic communication, civilization and what is the most of import history on which all the other factors are based.

Ones may state that there is a common European history but in this instance it is defined more in footings of geographics than civilization. But if we are seeking to happen united Europe in history it is impossible, at least until nineteenth Century when the first thought of incorporate Europe appeared, but after that there were two universe wars which both were engendered in Europe and after the 2nd one Europe was literally separated for more that 40 old ages. And it happened in Europe, today united and seeking for prosperity, integrity and peace. Returning to history, there were ne’er thoughts to do Europe a incorporate power. There ever were wars and contentions in the chase of power and extension. We might state that in the period of Roman Empire Europe was about united by the power of one state, but it was non a brotherhood every bit much as invasion and conquering of insatiate and powerful swayers. And under these subjugations there was no thought of distributing the civilization or set uping economic or political dealingss. In this instance I can state that the conquers of Alexander the Great had more exalted background. However he went non to the West but to the East, he had the thought of uniting the lands under one civilization and power, he likely might hold succeeded to make new land and new individuality but it did non go on. When the Western Roman Empire disintegrated the Eastern, Byzantine Empire became dominant and Constantinople was the Centre of Europe, economic and cultural, all the trade paths were traveling through it, accordingly it became a multicultural metropolis. It was besides another Centre of Christendom, apart from Rome. And today Constantinople ‘s name is Istanbul and it is Turkey, which is non considered today as a European state. & A ; lsquo ; Giscard d’Estaing claimed on 9 November 2002 and argued that because it is non Christian, Turkey can non fall in the EU ‘ ( Delanty, 2005, p.14 ) , so another consolidative factor of Europe, as some say, is Christianity, but if we take a expression at the demographic state of affairs of, for illustration, France we can non state that it is strictly Christian, though it is decidedly European. Another thing is that Christianity originates from Palestine, which even geographically is non included in Europe, so can Europe truly say that Christianity is European? Although, we can non reject the fact that Christianity has been a great force in Europe. But in world it has been non spiritual and religious power but more political, economic and even military.

In the Middle Ages, clip of ageless wars and conflicts the Church had highly influential power. For the swayers of different states it was really profitable to hold Church ‘s support as it was a mark for civilians that God blessed their state and people at that place. Nevertheless it appeared that God ‘s approval and forgiveness could be easy bought, so the Church was really commercial and had some sufficient financess. Then there were the Crusades which were organised by the Christian universe and brought them a batch of hoarded wealths and more power in Europe. The Church extended its influence further to North and East. This might be treated as unifying Europe under the mark of Christendom but really it was once more all about power and money, this clip though the agencies to acquire them were used more sagely. Christian religion was established in Europe by the menace of wars and force, and we will ne’er cognize what would hold happened if they had non been seeking for power.

The age of Enlightenment superinduced some important alterations to the thought of United Europe. The ideas of Enlighteners destroyed the thought that power could be got merely by force and force, they introduced the importance of cognition and that everything could be solved in a civil mode. Rousseau thought that one twenty-four hours there might be a Europe where & A ; lsquo ; there are no more Gallic, German, Spanish, even Englishmen whatever one says, there are merely Europeans. They all have the same gustatory sensations, the same passions, and the same manner of life ‘ ( cited in Delanty 2005, p.17 ) . In my sentiment it is impossible to accomplish as the gustatory sensations and passions are formed by non one twelvemonth of common civilization and history, sometimes we can non happen such a integrity in states that are more than a hundred old ages old. Another thing is that to portion these gustatory sensations and passions people have to talk one linguistic communication, though English I may state has become a lingua franca but merely people who travel and work with people from other states can talk it good. From here flows the thought of cosmopolitanism, people as citizens of the universe, here of Europe and Delanty agreed that & amp ; lsquo ; Europeans are citizens with a universe mentality ‘ , explicating that it means that & amp ; lsquo ; the citizens of one state see citizens of another & A ; lsquo ; one of us ‘ ( 2005, p.18 ) . And here I would to reason, make they? Truly? Do people earnestly act friendly towards dwellers from other states? Then why the migration is such a large inquiry in the prima states of Europe? We all are the citizens of Europe, we should esteem each other and welcome each other with all the cordial reception. But today it is non a platitude everyplace in modern-day Europe, so I will ne’er hold with E.Burke that & amp ; lsquo ; No European can be an expatriate in any portion of Europe ‘ ( cited in Delanty, 2005, p.17 ) . Peoples can be, they can experience exiled in their place state, what to state about Europe, full of differences and contradictions.

After the thoughts of Enlighteners there two most violent wars in the history of the World and in the twentieth century one baronial adult male came up with the thought of unifying Europe, he was George Marshall, the leader of American military and the secretary of province in US. I can non state it was a bad thought, it was a great one, but it was given by the adult male from the top of society, non even a European society. Equally good as the thought of Enlighteners it was non the thought of ordinary people. Delanty wrote:

The thought of Europe was largely derived from & A ; lsquo ; above ‘ and non from & A ; lsquo ; below ‘ in concrete signifiers of life and political battles. It has chiefly been the political orientation of intellectuals and the political category. As such it has tended to be a counter – radical political orientation of the elites, those groups who claim to be the representatives of society. ( Delanty, 1995, p.6 )

So, after old ages of struggles and battles the Union of Common Economic Market was created. And here we see that Europe was foremost united in order to widen the market, to derive net income, to do economic dealingss between states closer. Further these dealingss spread into political universe. T.Hobbes said in the seventeenth century that human existences are highly egocentric but still rational and it is one of the grounds they decide to co-operate with other people and subject the power to maintain themselves safe. ( Vitkus, 1998, p.89 ) In my sentiment that is what happened in the twentieth century ; people were afraid of what may hold happened in future so they decided to unite. In footings of economic and political state of affairs it was and still is a really wise thought, the Union prevents people from wars, it enables states solve the jobs in a peaceable manner and gives the chance for and open-trade market. But the nucleus thought of making European Union was non to unite people from different states, there was no societal or cultural background in the thought of it. It is more of a effect that people got the chance to go and interact with other civilization than the ground. I can non deny that today civil people get a batch from EU in footings of acquiring acquainted with other civilizations, but it besides can be called & A ; lsquo ; net income ‘ . Therefore, they travel, they communicate with each other, they learn other histories, but they have non become a new individuality. It might be possible in future but today if we are speaking about European individuality it can be merely economic and political individuality, these are the Fieldss were European states are united, though still hold some confrontations.

To reason, my sentiment is that there can non by such a construct like & A ; lsquo ; European Identity ‘ in footings of something that has got common forms by which it can be recognized socially or culturally. Although I do non deny that today ‘s Europe is united and that there might be an economic and political individuality as Europe has got common market, Torahs and even parliament and these factors unite people. Overall, I think Europe has a long manner to travel to be considered as united economically and socially, politically and culturally and treated as one incorporate province.


Delanty, G. ( 1995 ) . Inventing Europe: Idea, Identity, Reality. Basingstoke: Macmillan

Delanty, G. ( 2005 ) . & A ; lsquo ; What does it intend to be & amp ; lsquo ; European ‘ ? ‘ Innovation, 18 ( 1 ) , pp. 11-22

Hall, S. ( 1992 ) . & A ; lsquo ; The West and the remainder: discourse and power & A ; lsquo ; in S.Hall, B.Gieben ( explosive detection systems ) Formations of Modernity Cambridge: Civil order

Van der Dussen, W. J. & A ; Wilson, K. ( 1995 ) . The History of European Integration. London: Routledge

Vitkus, G. ( 1998 ) . Politologija ( Political Science ) Vilnius: Danielius

Webster ‘s Revised Unabridged Dictionary ( 1913 ) ( hypertext transfer protocol: // )