Merler, Silvia, (2017), “European identity and the economic crisis”, Bruegel, 6 Μαρτίου
Ferrera looks into what it means to be a European, and argues that integration proceeded so as to favour the emergence of a pan-European elite identity, while the inherited weight and inertia of national cultural frameworks prevented the emergence of a deeper sense of common citizenship across the EU. The ‘econo-cracy’ and austerity politics of the recent crisis years have eroded what little sense of solidarity there might have been, particularly the equality principle among nations in the EU.
Ferrera suggests two options for the way forward: (i) a both symbolic and institutional reaffirmation of political equality as a principle in EU governance; and (ii) a reaffirmation of the importance of national liberal-democratic welfare states as the underpinning to the ‘European Social Model’.
Risse takes issue with the “no demos” thesis about the European Union. Empirically speaking, a “demos” requires a sense of community among the citizens, on the one hand, and lively public spheres in which political issues are debated on the other. Risse argues that first, a majority of European citizens has developed dual identities – to their nation-state and to Europe – and this Europeanisation of national identities is sufficient to sustain carefully crafted (re-)distributive policies on the European level. Second, the euro crisis has strongly increased the politicisation of national public spheres and has also led to their growing Europeanisation with regard to issue salience and to the actors represented.
The paper argues that the EU integration project has pushed citizens to value their national identities more and to look to their national governments to protect them. Poliakova and Fligstein examine the evidence for this in the context of the financial crisis and show that in countries most seriously hit by the crisis, national identities have increased dramatically and citizens with a national and European identity have decreased.
- Merler, Silvia, (2017), “Should we worry about Greek banks?”, Bruegel, 23 Φεβρουαρίου
- Onado, Marco, (2017), “In search of a European solution for banks’ non-performing loans”, VoxEu, 21 Φεβρουαρίου