Many in the West seem to have forgotten why nationalism came about and only seem capable of viewing it as an inherently evil concept. A quick tour of the world’s badlands serves as something of a reminder of the basic purpose nationalism serves.
Nationalism acts to unite a diverse society around a common cause, which transcends a multitude of divisions in society and facilitates social and political cohesion over large territories.
When countries with weak national identities encounter periods of economic difficulty, scarce resources or political instability their citizens have no common bond and simply revert to other other collective identities; be they ethnic, religious, tribal, social or political.
There has clearly been a failure to create cohesive national identities in much of the developing world. It is no coincidence that these are some of the most persistently violent places, riven by civil conflict.
If the EU wishes to transcend national identities it must forge a true European identity that serves the same purpose. This must come before, not after, the creation of a European super state.
Systematically stripping away power from national governments (often in an underhand manner) will not forge a European identity, it will only exacerbate tensions.
The EU needs to slow down integration dramatically and spend far more time and resources fostering a common identity, which gives people common purpose and a firm commitment to its political institutions. This will take decades.
If the EU in its current form is ever going to work the European demos must be given immediate and total electoral control of the EU’s governing institutions.
A democratic deficit will persistently undermine all attempts to forge a common European identity. The European Commission must go.
This comment was left by Terri Coverley at Financial Times - No link available for commenter Terri Coverley
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