On Being European

    • EUPE Florence Dec2017
    • Presentation speakers
      • Ihsan Baris Gedizlioglu, John Cabot University, Rome, Italy


    When discussing the European Identity -whatever that might be- in relation with the European Union, we hold, there are three countries that require particular attention: Russia, Turkey and the United Kingdom. The issue lying underneath the questionable participation to the European identity of these states is sometimes geographical, historical and legislative. Thus, the first question to ask is this: Is Europe a geographical construct? Most of the firm supporters of the European Union would and do deny such a suggestion by claiming that Europe is not about a piece of land but a culture and common values shared by peoples. Such was argued for the unification of Italy, with some success. Then, the question is about why only geographically Europeans are allowed into the union. The counterargument is often either by exemplification that Cyprus, not necessarily in the continent -and the UK, as well- are a part of the union. The second counter is that the common culture just happened to be shared by the geographical union. If Europe is a geographical idea, then so should Russia and Turkey be a part of it; yet, no! They do not share the values. What might be these values? A common history, legislature, cuisine… Russia and Turkey might be considered European in the historic sense in which they have extended into Eastern Europe by means of conquest and have subsequently adopted the aristocratic values. The UK, upon the other hand, does not use the Roman Civil Law has often denied the continental fashions in various fields. Then which values are these that create European Identity? The only suggestion we can make is that European Union, starting as a coal and steel organisation serves the only purpose of politics and is often justified by claims which, when pursued further do not stand strong.