The EU – Offering a Gap in the Structure

  • Abstract:

    The EU exercises acts of agency that are collective in nature as motivation and actions aim to promote relationships of the ‘self’ (Member State) with others. Responsibility of the outcomes of such acts is distributed between the EU and the national governments. The agential capacity of the European Union is discussed in the context of the enterprising self and the human agency at the individual level. The paradigm for development that the EU presents is a hybrid between the emphasis on economic growth that mobilises the enterprising self, and the embracement of social policies that improve the agential capacity of human beings. The spheres of functioning in which the exercise of personal agency is gaining prominence through the EU actions are presented. Observations from surveys and experiential workshops deploying Morenian Action Methods, suggest that such agential top down acts may create a gap in the traditional structure, a safe “identity standpoint”, through which the individual strategically chooses to challenge traditional dichotomies. A self in constant transition and in interaction with the environment releases the spontaneity and creativity of the individuals to reassemble their understandings in an active, positive manner. Consequently such identity standpoint is viewed as a resource particularly as there is no antagonistic relationship to other levels of identity (no attempt to define the same terrain in conflicting ways). The narratives of those who experience such ‘self’ can offer insight into how such resource is used to chart one’s life course. Moreover such success stories may initiate a systemic change particularly as they can counteract incidents of resurfacing identity politics (as triggered for example by the Eurozone crisis).