World News: EU Elections Quickly Approach with the Brits Doing the Hokey Pokey

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As the vote to renew the eponymous parliament approaches, it appears that the European Union is struggling to establish a common thinking and ideology. A prejudicial deficiency that prevents her from advancing as she would like. Explanations.

What to expect from the European elections that will be held from 23 to 26 May in the member states, including, paradox oh so surprising, in Britain when the United Kingdom is on the departure. What to expect?

Actually elections as such should not expect much ... But the European Union certainly a lot and the upcoming vote must be (and will it be?) The opportunity to recall what is the European Union. A gigantic free trade area, an area protected by a single currency pillar of an economic architecture built in 1957, ...?

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The examples are not lacking but what is probably lacking today in the European Union is a sense. Not necessarily a direction or a heading, although it would not be totally useless, but rather a reason for being, and for each European belonging to the Union, to wonder what is today European.

Paralysis and Identity

And to emerge the question that has been bothering historians and sociologists for almost six decades, is there a European identity? Question that paralyzes the European Union as it is easier to influence the interest rates of the European Central Bank than on the psyche of individuals.

And if we had to wait for something from the European Union, it is this: this ability to define a European identity, a global and unique feature that would end up on the shores of the Atlantic on the Russian-Polish border, which would go beyond the concepts of nationalities.

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As early as the nineteenth century, Victor Hugo had evoked the idea of ​​creating the United States of Europe with a natural reference to the United States of America. But the author of Les Misérables had evaded the North American peculiarity built on a unique language, unique founding fights and a history that helped to make the people of the United States a people in their own right.

Is it the same in Europe? Not exactly because the continent fragmented national identities still alive, the rise of populism is the proof, hardly to gather behind a common idea. To sum it up in broad strokes, we will say that Western Europe, composed of the founding countries and others (Spain, Portugal, Greece, United Kingdom, Denmark, ...) are working on a concept of unification when the countries of Eastern Europe, integrated in 2004, are still strongly marked by their recent history.

State of War

It is not useless to recall, and the recall is also an explanation of certain behaviors considered by the countries concerned as suspicious or restive to the European Union, that many of the Eastern European countries are from 1940 to 1990 Nazi occupation and dictatorship to the ideological occupation (even physical) and communist dictatorship printed by the Soviet Union during the Cold War.

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And for these same nations, the state of war finally ended with the fall of the Soviet Union. In doing so, these same countries have fed a sense of self-protection that today drives them to entrench themselves in a form of frenzied individualism (Hungary and Poland are the two most striking examples), hardly compatible with the idea of collective cooperation promoted by the European Union.

Is this the only reason? Not obviously. The Union is advancing, albeit at a slow pace, all the more so with the British question, which continues to get bogged down, but it is moving forward. But can we be satisfied with advances, whatever they are, if we fail to define a European spirit, a common essence that would serve us as a cerebral cortex, an ideological motor?

The task is difficult because it will ask each state, each citizen to question what is a European spirit, how is it characterized, who wears it and feeds it? Who will provide the effort?

Many questions that summarize the current situation quite well: The European Union has developed physically but without a spirit to control the movements. So difficult to advance right ....



Bio: Olivier Longhi has extensive experience in European history. A seasoned journalist with fifteen years of experience, he is currently professor of history and geography in the Toulouse region of France. He has held a variety of publishing positions, including Head of Agency and Chief of Publishing. A journalist, recognized blogger, editor and editorial project manager, he has trained and managed editorial teams, worked as a journalist for various local radio stations, a press and publishing consultant, and a communications consultant.

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