Analysis of Concepts of European Identity

After World War II those who wished of a united Europe were searching for ways to uphold a strong sense of European identity. Even though, thoughts on a European identity conceptualized ten years earlier to World War II the political, social, and economic disorders linked with World War II, basically changed the European order. Hence it became necessary to assume Europe in different ways. The formation of the European Coal and Steel Community, and the European Economic Community (EEC), were the outcome of those views (Williams, 1987). As the hurdles to trade within the EEC began to drop in the 1960s, that resulted in the start of the discussion of a sprouting United States of Europe. This was not only just a formal economic entity but it was presumed as a possible hub of identity for its inhabitants.

The discussion over the nature and significance of European identity goes deep into many of the critical matters facing Europe today (Deflem and Pampel,1996. Delanty, 1995. Hodgson, 1993). Making the debate difficult are the suppositions that are made about the very nature of identity itself. These assumptions are the creation of political-territorial growth over the past centuries that have cast the state in the role of architect and symbol of international society (Murphy, 1996. Taylor, 1994). Hence, the concepts of nation and state became conflated and national identities to be considered as if they were the major matter of investigation in the learning of international relations (Connor, 1994). European identity is supposed to be unsuited with state identity and to include a primary obligation by European people to Europe as a distinct political-territorial body operating in a world of ‘nation-states.’