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Redefining the Community of Belonging : the European Union, Education, and the Emergence of a Euro-communitarian Identity

Eurostudia, vol.1, no. 1, June 2005
Deutsch | français
Isabelle Petit, Université de Montréal-McGill University
In the interest of stimulating the development of a euro-communitarian identity, a feeling of belonging to the Union among the citizens of the different member-states, the Commission of Brussels has been attempting over many decades to elaborate a common cultural framework or a system of notions shared by European citizens. In opposition to the strategy of the founders of nation states who based this framework on cultural homogeneity, the Commission focuses rather on the respect - or even a certain apology - of difference, whether national, regional or due to migration. This apology of diversity does not necessarily stand in contradiction with the emergence of “an ever closer union among the peoples of Europe”, and so, for various reasons. Mostly, by acting in that way, the Commission helps to deconstruct the particular conception of belonging being imposed in numerous member states and consisting in the exclusive belonging to one group. In favouring this deconstruction, the Commission opens the possibility for Europeans to think their belonging in a multidimensional perspective: as being both part of one of the member states and the “imagined community” of Europe.