Nationalism and Transnationalism in the Context of the European Union

The twentieth century bears tragic scars left by the First and Second World Wars. Fifty million soldiers and civilians lost their lives in conflicts that left Europe in ruins. [1] In 1945 Europe faced the task to rebuild the European countries destroyed in war conflagration as well as reconstruct the peaceful relationships between the European states. People in different parts of Europe began to dream about a different kind of Europe.

Konrad Adenauer, the first Chancellor of post-war Germany, claimed that Europeans must break the habits of thinking in terms of national states, and look beyond the borders of their own countries, to be able to work in cooperation with other nations for true aims of humanity. [2] That was the dream of one of the founding fathers of the European Community. As president Vaclav Havel said: We must not be afraid to dream of the seemingly impossible if we want the seemingly impossible to become a reality. Without dreaming of a better Europe we shall never build a better Europe.

[3] And reality it became. A few years later, the first step to unification, with the aspiration to create a workable guarantee of peace on the old continent, took place. The process, which began over fifty years ago, resulted in emerging the European Union in 1992. [4] The building of a united Europe is undoubtedly one of the greatest historical undertakings of the century.

That process, though, has not yet come to an end. There are many challenges facing the European Union, and one of the most vital issues is the question of national sovereignty and the persistence of nationalism. It is also influential in the context of the European Union, which faces the discourse about the shape of the EU members’ domestic policies as well as relation between states. Nowadays Europe is facing the question: To what extent will assimilation of the European states emerge? Will the Europe of the future will be a Europe of institutional networks governed by sovereign states or will it constitute a common European State?

The ongoing debates about the future shape of the Union are concentrating on the form of constitution that the organization will adopt. [5] The prospects of that organization influence unquestionably the discussion on the role and position of nation states in the European Union, their legitimacy and their future. Aims and objectives During the First and the Second World Wars Europe had to witness nationalist rivalries, which led the continent to the catastrophe. For many, those wars meant the beginning of the end of the European civilization.

Others, a minority, drew from that the conclusion that the European capability to overcome aggressive nationalism which caused those tragedies, is achievable by adopting the idea of the united and peaceful continent as a common project. [6] That inspiration was to be insured by a share of common, European distinctiveness. However, this process implies the necessity to consider the impact of nationalism and the role of national states in a growing trend for a united Europe. As Anthony D. Smith predicts:

The Europe of the future, if it should ever emerge, will be one of the mass identification and loyalty to the European ideal, alongside or even in place of national allegiances and identities, such that large numbers of the inhabitants of the European continent will not only consider themselves to be first and foremost ‘Europeans’ but will be prepared to make sacrifices for that ideal. [7] We can assume that a common European identity should construct a parallel between the Union’s institutions and the citizens, making them feel that the economic and administrative regulations of the Union are something that have to do with their rights and duties, with their identity. As the president of the European Commission, Romano Prodi in his speech: “The Road to Europe’s Future” in Brussels, 7th November 2000 insisted, the further development of the Union has to be based on gradually building a shared feeling of belonging among “peacefully united Europe embracing all its diverse peoples.

”[8] From the perspective of public opinion, it seems as though the European integration process is taking place apart from citizens, who are sometimes not very well informed and confused about that course of action. [9] It could be said that the European unification can be perceived as purely political will, in conjunction with the rule: “Think and act in terms of interest defined as power” [10] to quote Hans J. Morgenthau. The European Union working as one organism will definitely accumulate more power then single European states.

Therefore, the enquiry, which would lead the survey of that paper contains the question whether the European Nation is possible to emerge or not. This is the main focus of this paper, however to get to the heart of the matter some additional questions are essential. Therefore, I will look into the ideology and history of the European Union and try to find out whether the idea of the United Europe with the European Nation is an entirely politically stimulated. Hence, when exploring these issues, I would like to look into the way that ideology influences the history of the process of the European Integration.

That process can be thought to challenge the concept of sovereignty of the EU member states and the absolute power of the nation state. The new situation will not automatically abolish states or nations as ”politico-cultural” communities, or will the nationalism attached to those communities be eliminated. [11] Perhaps, those circumstances may as well create a space for a new form of nationalism, adequate to the process of European Integration. The discussion about the need to re-define the concept of nationalism in the context of the Union will be also essential.

Structure and Methods The objectives presented above will be analysed in the theoretical and empirical sections of this paper. This includes a theoretical discussion and an analysis of discourse as found in secondary data such as public opinion surveys, governmental documents, various official documents of the European Union and media archives. [12] Use of that method based on the secondary data has some drawbacks,[13] however, it seems to be sufficient for the purpose of this paper. This paper is organized in four parts.

Part one presents the theoretical construction, a discussion of the major concepts of nationalism. This theoretical overview focuses on the classical approaches to this matter, and offers also some criticism of those theories. The aim of this section is to display the range of possibilities and the extent of differences among those theoreticians. As mentioned above, the process of the European Integration compels us to redefine those classical approaches. Therefore, in a later section, the working theory of nationalism applicable to the new circumstances will be proposed.

Part two presents a historical context of the genesis and the development of the European Union. This part attempts to show briefly the process of building the European Community from its beginning. The major ideas of that period are introduced, and the following steps on the road to unification and the emergence of the European Union are reviewed. That excursion into the history of that process will be essential to reveal the historical background of this case study. In the third part, the classical concepts of nationalism will be tested in the context of transnational integration.

I will first present the theory of international relations relevant to the regional integration process in order to construct the further discussion upon the correlation between nationalism and transnationalism, understood as a process of repositioning or redefining nationalism in the context of European integration. Thus, the new theory of nationalism will be defined here. Part four attempts to bring those analyses together by highlighting the development of the EU integration and the decline of sovereignty of the member states.

I also focus on perspectives of that process in the future. This section will present a national debate over the prospects for the European Union and the form of constitution that the Union will adopt. Here, the leading question of this paper, which focuses on the possibility of materializing of the European Nation, will be investigated through the empirical data. Finally, there is a concluding section that outlines how far the study has met its theoretical and empirical objectives.

In this part I will try to answer the questions raised in the beginning of the paper. Choice of sources The theoretical section presented in this paper focuses on the theories of nationalism presented by Anthony D. Smith, Benedict Anderson, Eric Hobsbawm, and Ernest Gellner. Those authors are recognized as major theoreticians of this matter. Furthermore, in an attempt to redefine nationalism in the perspective of the transnational integration, additional theories by Rogers Brubaker, Hans J. Morgenthau, P. Jackson and J.Penrose, are reviewed.

This requires a presentation of the historical and contemporary tendencies of the process of European Integration. Being aware of the fact that a literature on that subject has grown significantly in the last few years, I have chosen to concentrate mainly on such authors as: Dusan Sidjanski, John McCormick, Jo Shaw, Brendan P. G. Smith, Heikki Mikkeli, Chris Show, and Joseph Weiler. Along with that, additional authors will be quoted. Furthermore, journal articles and Web site elaborations are used as well.

In a section devoted to the discussion about the future of the European Union, various official documents such as government documents, European Commission, European Parliament and Council of Europe documents, public opinion information’s, newspapers reports and publication concerning that subject, are used to develop the analyses on that matter. 1. Nationalism: Definitions, Concepts and Theories The theoretical framework featuring the classic concept of nationalism will be offered subsequently.

That presentation is given priority, recognising the fact that all research is necessarily theory driven. As said before, the enquiry that would lead the survey of the paper contains the question whether the European Nation as ‘nation’ is possible to emerge or not. Then, it is essential to define the aspects which the paper will explore. 1. 1. Defining “Nation” The history of nation formation is not a closed chapter in world history. Every nation has had different stages and moments of coming to self-awareness and manifesting their national personality.

Looking at the world today and its history one could distinguish the ‘old’ nations from the relatively ‘young’ ones. The theses of the origins of nations and their continuity allowed the countries to define their place in history. Some ‘young’ nations emerged at the end of the era of colonialism; therefore, they can be recognized as relatively recent forms. Some nations’ roots go deeply into the history of mankind; thus, they can be seen as ‘old’ ones. Some future nations are still waiting for their moment in time.

At that point the question emerges: What kind of collectivity can be recognized as a nation? To start the discussion, I will refer to Ernest Renan. That author rejects the static concepts of the nation in order to identify it as a form of morality: A nation is a soul, a spiritual principle. Only two things, actually, constitute this soul, this spiritual principle. One is the past, the other is the present. One is the possession in common of a rich legacy of remembrances; the other is the actual consent, the desire to live together, the will to continue to value the heritage which all holds in common.

[14] As mentioned above, Renan’s theory rejects some very important stable elements. He claims that when a group of people have a common desire to be a nation, despite other differences, such as different race or language, they should be able to form the nation. In his opinion that desire should be based on common glories in the past and a common will in the present. On the other hand, he states that such formation is not something eternal. “They had their beginnings and they will end. A European confederation will very probably replace them.

”[15] Here, a space for a new European Nation is offered. As this author claims, a common willpower can be a foundation of a new nation. Ernest Renan’s definition of nation is one of the classical ones. Similar to other definitions, that one also has been formed from an individual perspective, and because of that it seems to be not fully representative. In his opinion ‘nation’ is a sense of solidarity sustained by distinctive historical conscience, as a form of referendum. When saying ‘yes’ is enough, then a new nation is born.

I do not wish to disregard the role of will in nation-formation, but when studying history it becomes clear that people need something more that a pure desire to form a nation, and when the nation is formed, it cannot be easily forgotten and replaced by another ‘option’. In the following section I will try to contemplate, if the future Europe will adopt the idea of European Nation, or more probably, to what extend that proposal is applicable to the form of regional integration taken by the European Union. Another definition is presented by Anthony Giddens.

His description of nation concentrates on ‘visible’ elements of that formation. According to this author: “A nation only exists when a state has a unified administrative reach over the territory over which its sovereignty is claimed. ”[16] In his definition, he follows Jones’ approach, which consists of four elements: allocation, delimitation, demarcation, and administration. [17] Allocation refers to the collaborative political decisions taken among states, and about the distribution of territory among them.

Delimitation concerns the identification of specific border sites. Demarcation refers to how borders are actually marked on the physical environment. Administration refers to the level of administrative control over its population, which its governing authorities deem proper and necessary. [18] Referring that theory to the process of European integration, it must be said that Giddens’ approach relates evidently to the classic concept of the nation. Emergence of the European Nation, considering that approach, is rather unlikely to happen.

According to Anthony Giddens, a nation-state is a kind of ‘bordered power-container’ in which a set of institutional forms of governance can maintain an administrative monopoly over the territory, but which cannot necessarily be recognized as a nation. [19] That tendency to equate nation with state has to be reconsidered, because two of the very important elements for a nation such as self-awareness and self- definition are disregarded. A different perception of ‘nation’ is presented by Anthony D. Smith, who claims that:

A nation is a named community of history and culture, possessing a unified territory, economy, mass education system and common legal rights. [20] He places the nation in history as a form which has always been present; a part of a national order, even when it has been only submerged in the hearts of its members. Smith’s definition presents the ‘ideal’ type of a nation, which seems to be most relevant nowadays. His approach can be seen as a sociological one, evidenced by the way that he stresses the emotional ties of ethnic solidarity in every nation.

Smith views a nation as a historical formation, which embodies a number of analytically separable processes. According to him, this construction is not a once-for-all, all-or-nothing concept. [21] As an ongoing process, it can be sometimes slow in its development and some other times faster. What should be also emphasized at this point is the fact that Smith rejects the modernists’ view on nation, which will be presented subsequently as a fifth and the last one. One of the last concepts of a nation as a modern formation is suggested by the ideas of Ernest Gellner and Eric Hobsbawm.

They claim that the nation is a relatively modern form which has been established by nationalism. According to Gellner “It is nationalism which engenders nations”[22]. Eric Hobsbawm agrees with him, seeing that “Nations do not make states and nationalism, but the other way round. ”[23] In my opinion, some nations are far from being modern because the roots of some nation’s history are going much further. The discussion of the subject of interrelationship between nation and nationalism will continue in the following sections of this paper, which are devoted to the concept of nationalism.

Ernest Gellner’s definition claims furthermore, that because of the stress and uncertainty of the early industrialization process, people were seeking comfort in common identity and language. That state of mind made it possible for intellectuals to draw members of their language group behind the project of creating the nation. [24] Those three approaches to the definition of “nation” offered by Anthony D. Smith, Ernest Gellner and Eric Hobsbawm are developed in the following section of the chapter. There, the various concepts of nationalism will be presented.

I will also attempt to highlight the aspects of those approaches in connection to the process of European Integration. The discussion over the need for redefining the concept of nationalism in the context of the Union will continue in the part three of the paper. To conclude the discussion of the definition of the nation, a final one will be presented. According to the Dictionary of International Relations, a nation is: A social group which shares a common ideology, common institutions and customs, and a sense of homogeneity.

‘Nation’ is difficult to define so precisely as to differentiate the term from such other groups as religious sects, which exhibit some of the same characteristics. In the nation, however, there is also present a strong group sense of belonging associated with a particular territory considered to be peculiarly its own. [25] When presenting the discourses of these definitions, I was aware of the fact that none of them captures the whole picture of that issue because they concentrate on various aspects.

Ernest Renan’s characterization focuses on the conscious choice of human beings to define or redefine themselves as members of nations. He defines nation building as a consciousness-raising process. Another description presented was that of Anthony Giddens, who pictures a nation as a static form, centralized, professionalized and territorialized. His definition stresses the political aspects of the nation, and equates nation with state as an administrative power over the cultural sense of sovereignty. In Anthony D.

Smith’s opinion, a nation is a permanent form in the history of mankind. His approach focuses on subjective symbolic and socio-cultural elements, such as ethnicity, myth, identity and memory which provide the nation with their essential ‘core’. The last definitions presented in this section are from the modernist’s perspective. Such approach states that past is something irrelevant and nation is a modern form, a product of ideology of nationalism, which is an expression of the modern, industrial society itself.

According to modernists’ ideology there is no need for ethnic heritage, since nations – despite being attached to history – exist here and now. The aim of this presentation was to show the various approaches to the concept of “nation”, how they differ from each other, and how difficult it is to define the essence of that. But these definitions of nation, in the context of the European Union, and the idea of creation the European Nation, seem not to suggest an organized framework for the new situation. Therefore, the proposal for the new approach is essential, and will be offered in the part three of this paper.

1. 2. Concepts and Theories of Nationalism What is nationalism? According to Albert Einstein, “Nationalism is an infantile disease. It is the measles of mankind. ”[26] Going further, Danilo Kis describes nationalism as paranoia, a collective and individual paranoia. [27] These opinions clearly concentrate on its negative aspects. When looking at its positive side, nationalism can be seen as a sense of identity with the nation. It is similar to tribalism, and, like family, is held together by the sense of kinship.

According to Liah Greenfeld’s theory, nationalism can be defined as “an image of social order, which involves the people as a sovereign elite and a community of equals. ” [28] To show a different approach to this case, I want to refer to a classical definition by the historian Elie Kedourie: Nationalism is a doctrine (…), which pretends to supply a criterion for the determination of the unit of population proper to enjoy a government exclusively its own, for the legitimate exercise of power in the state, and for right organization of a society of states.

Briefly, the doctrine holds that humanity is naturally divided into nations, that nations are known by certain characteristics, which can be ascertained, and that the only legitimate type of government is national self-government. [29] This division limits nationalism simply to a political doctrine, narrowing our understanding of it. However, because that definition stresses the role of political principle, it might be applicable to the concept of the European Nation since such a structure, if it ever emerges, will be mostly politically created.

Some of the approaches I will present in this section tend to define nationalism in a restricted way, as an extreme phenomenon in human history. Others tend to explain it as a feeling of loyalty towards a nation, a particular kind of attachment to society. The theories I will refer to, that is, those by Anthony D. Smith, Benedict Anderson, Eric Hobsbawm, and Ernest Gellner, can be categorized into three approaches: ethno-symbolic, constructional and socio-cultural, which aim to define dominant forces in society responsible for the creation of nationalism.

My focus here is on some of the ways in which social scientists have projected and defined nationalism. Ethno-symbolic concept The concept developed by Anthony D. Smith emphasizes the importance of ethnic identity in the rise and expansion of nationalism. This author claims that: By relating national identities to prior ethnic ties, and showing the influence of the subjective dimensions of shared symbols, myths and memories, ethno-symbolism throws light on the continuing hold exercised by modern nations over so many people today. [30]

This approach focuses on the cultural or ethnic elements of nationalism which are perceived as the basis of nationalism. Those components of the ideology are recognized as the engine of nationalism. He claims further that nationalism should be seen as: An ideological movement for attaining and maintaining the autonomy, unity and identity for a population which some of its members deem to constitute an actual or potential nation. [31] What seems to be very significant in this theory is that the author highlights the importance of the nation in any kind of nationalism.

The phrase ‘potential nation’ refers to the minorities with some particular possessions in the area of culture and self-identity. Smith also underlines the role of the intelligentsia in the creation of the nation, and the interrelation between various elites and lower strata, which make possible to rediscover an ethnic past and common identity and create a collective will for an ‘actual’ or ‘potential’ nation. [32] He states that elites play an important role in formulating an ideology of nationalism and mobilizing people to reveal their feelings.

Concerning the relevance of that concept in the case of the European Union, I would like to highlight two aspects of Smith’s theory. The first one is the role of ethnic identity which attributes the nation with certain amount of shared symbols, myths and memories;[33] and the second one, is the role of widely respected intelligentsia in the creation of the nation. [34] What should be also noticed is that Anthony D. Smith generally rejects the modernist approach to the theory of the nation and nationalism.

He does not agree with modernist theoreticians who claim that both nations and nationalisms ought to be considered as phenomena of the nineteenth and early twentieth century. He states “that there never was an age without its nations and nationalisms, even if the doctrine of self- determination was born in the modern epoch. ”[35] Nevertheless, he partly agrees with the modernist’s view that nationalism as an ideology and movement dates back only from the late eighteenth century. Yet, Smith argues that the ethnic origins of nations are much older.

[36] So, to achieve the common goals -autonomy, unity and identity and generate the nation- some kind of ‘ethnic core’ is essential. [37] Nationalism, according to Smith, does not require that members of a nation should all be alike, only that they should feel an intense bond of solidarity to the nation and other members of their nation. [38] A sense of nationalism can be shaped from whatever dominant ideology existing in a given location. That is the principal factor which creates the capacity to construct a nation from as a set of pre-existing kinship, religious and belief systems.

[39] Anthony D. Smith’s theory is based on ‘ethno–symbolism’, the essential role of memories, values, myths and symbols. [40] These elements fully explain the phenomenon of nationalism from the perspective of culture, history, and traditions. When observed from the international perspective, this ideology of nationalism is generally accepted, but still seems to be too unilateral. What Smith strongly emphasizes is the role of culture and shared number of symbols in the process of nation-formation.

But what he does not take into account is the political reality which plays also an important role. Some nationalistic feelings will never be exposed and some ‘potential nations’ will never be able to claim their independence, because of the brutal reality of the political and economical relations. Whether that theory will serve the purpose of this paper, which attempts to determine the possibility of materialization of the European Nation, will be the focus of debate in the subsequent chapters. For most people, nations – especially their own – appear to be immortal.

The following three theories of nationalism by Benedict Anderson, Eric Hobsbawm and Ernest Gellner offer a modernist, constructivist approach to this matter. They claim that the idea of nation is a recent creation, or even a construction of elites. Despite that fact, they differ in designing the baseline for nationalism. I have chosen those theoreticians to show a variety of views about the subject and how they differ from each other. Constructional concept This approach to the idea of nationalism assumes that nations and nationalisms are wholly modern and socially constructed forms.

Two theoreticians of that concept Benedict Anderson and Eric Hobsbawm will be presented in this section. Benedict Anderson in his book “Imagined Communities: Reflection on the Origin and the Spread of Nationalism” presents some interesting hypotheses. According to him, nationalism is the result of the fusion of the decline of state religion, human diversity, and the development of capitalism and the technology of print. [41] One of Anderson’s claims is that one of the major sources for the emergence of nationalism was vernacular shared language.

[42] He argues that before nationalism great religiously ‘imagined communities’, such as Christendom existed. Those communities’ basis was a shared language, such as Latin. With the expansion of the world in the age of exploration and the possibilities which the technology of print, called ‘print capitalism’ by Anderson brought with it, those communities came to realize the insularity of their concepts of existence. The common language of the Church, not shared by many, was beginning to decline, and was eventually replaced by the vernacular. [43] That fact contributed directly to the rise of national consciousness.

The spreading of particular vernaculars as instruments of administrative centralization by certain monarchs was also a very important factor in the process of building the national awareness. After the monopoly of print in Latin was lost, new works published in vernacular languages gave the readers a sense of national consciousness, made it possible to communicate with the people in one linguistically defined community. Books, newspapers, and novels in vernacular languages created a new way of performance for nations, a sense of diversity from other nations, and a feeling of unity among one language group.

Anderson’s modern view on the theory of nationalism, as ‘the invention’ of the eighteenth century,[44] stands with clear opposition to his arguments presented above. According to him, the effect of the multiplication of books allowed people to picture themselves as members of a community as large as a nation only just from the eighteenth century. However, the technology of print was the invention of the late fifteenth century[45], universalised in the sixteenth century, what resulted in significant numerical growth of books at that time.

At that point might be questioned: Why the effect of that technology occurred only recently, in the eighteenth century? In Anderson’s opinion ‘print capitalism’, as he named the time when considerable growth in publication in national languages occurred, was the engine which moved social community’s from homogenous, empty forms to a self-aware nations. [46] It seems flawed, though. The role of vernacular publications on shaping the conscious of national identity is undoubtedly enormous. But to be precise, only some people could read at that time, the technology of print was not accessible everywhere.

But those ‘disadvantages’ did not stop the nationalizing effect. Therefore Anderson’s ‘Babel Tower’ result does not hold. Anderson’s approach ignores the function of culture in the process of building a national identity. The importance of a national feeling, common history and heritage passed down by prior generations, cannot be disregarded in the discussion upon the idea of nationalism. Therefore, his theory is characterised by an absence of concern and scope for the role of collective will and emotions.

When we go through that theory in the perspective of potential European Nation, it is quite understandable that it does not have the capability to exp