By M. Sassatelli
During this major intervention into the tutorial and institutional debate on eu cultural identification, Monica Sassatelli examines the identity-building intentions and results of the ecu Capital of tradition programme, and in addition seems on the paintings of the Council of Europe and the recent ecu panorama conference.
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Additional info for Becoming Europeans: Cultural Identity and Cultural Policies
Some 32 Becoming Europeans versions of this position see not so much a deep unity but more a shared space as gradually emerging. The German sociologist Rainer Lepsius (in line with an even less invasive confederational-intergovernmentalist model of integration), for instance, believes that the national states are and will remain at the basis of cultural solidarities, as well as of the political process, in Europe, so that a European identity is seen as at best a weak addendum to strong national identities.
6 The debate on European identity has been as varied, and as analytically frustrating, as the one on identity in general. The scheme proposed here adopts a point of view which aims at being as inclusive as possible, presenting the different ways in which the relationship of Europe, culture and identity has been conceived. In a sense, what is proposed here is a meta-review: one that tries to individuate the forces deﬁning the legitimate boundaries of what should be discussed when talking about European identity.
Europe is best qualiﬁed in Simmel’s terms as an ‘idea’, that is, an altogether primary phenomenon not attainable by abstraction or accumulation – however late its appearance as a historical force. It does not exist inbetween individual nations, it exists beyond them, and this is perfectly compatible with any individual national life. (Simmel, 1976: 268) As a primary phenomenon, Europe does not enter into competition with national identity, but rather shows a different type of identity, one that is multifaceted and transversal, comprising encounters and mediation among individualities (personal, national, and so on) that are 38 Becoming Europeans not subsumed by it.
Becoming Europeans: Cultural Identity and Cultural Policies by M. Sassatelli