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Nationalist Intermezzo and renaissance of the European - the identity of Europe in five identifications

Vol.1, No.2, December 2005
Deutsch | français

Pim den BOER (University of Amsterdam)

Following the long nationalist Intermezzo (1815-1945), there was a renaissance of the European and a strong movement for learning how to share sovereignty emerged. For a historian the notion of European identity is an a-historic concept belonging to metaphysics or psychology. The present article addresses instead how the idea of Europe has changed through the centuries. Over the years, Europeans have identified with different ideas of Europe: a Europe of freedom, a Europe of Christendom, a Europe of civilization, a Europe of diversity, and a Europe of democracy. Europe as a superpower is a new idea shared by only a minority of European citizens.