Synthesis Philosophica 26 (1):117-132 (2011)

European identity can be considered in its objective dimension, as being the top-down project and also the bottom-up process of building the genuine form of the trans-national political community, as well as in its subjective dimension related to the identification of the individuals and groups – the Europeans – with this new political community and in addition to their already established identification with a certain nation-state. The third dimension, related to the relevant interpretative models – ethno-cultural/Euroscepticism approach, European constitutional patriotism, pluralist/multiculturalism approach – has also been important factor of European identity-building. New type of political community opens new questions – whether it is a Europe as the family of nations, a Europe of citizens, a Europe which is going to be built through common practices, a Christian Europe or a Europe of mutual matching and crossing civilizations, a secular Europe or Europe of religious Christian heredity and/or different religions. Founding Treaties define European identity politically, starting from the motto “Unity in Diversity”. However, this motto is differently interpreted by communitarians/Euro nationalists, ethno-nationalists/Euro skeptics, liberals and republicans/European constitutional patriots. Controversial character of political identity has to be kept in mind always again. The politics of identity, the misuse of an ethnically concieved concept of identity with its war-like consequences, has represented one of the most destructive potentials of a contemporary politics, including the region of Europe . On the other hand, political communities cannot survive without homogenizing force of a common identity, and it is especially valid for proposed democratic communities, including European Union. When European identity is regarded, it is most important to define its meaning in a sense which will empower a democratic capacity of the European Union, which will contribute to overcoming its democratic deficit, and will also contribute to escaping particularist, xenophobic, Euro skeptic tendencies and sentiments
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