European Identity and Citizenship: Challenges, Values and Allegiance in Time of Migration

    • Ghent October 2019
    • Presentation speakers
      • Iryna Sofinska, National University ‘Lviv Polytechnic’, Ukraine


    Because of wars and arm conflicts (at least those in the XX century), modern Europe is full of vast and increasing disparities between countries. Permanent inequality is a fundamental reality of the modem world-system. Depopulation, GDP per capita ranking, frozen arm conflicts, poverty, and unemployment force people to relocate, leave their homes to search for better future, security, and prosperity for themselves and their families. We count more than 20 million refugees globally; however, among them, 3.5 million are staying in the EU (Germany, France, Sweden, Italy, UK, Netherlands). It is not a question of integration and inclusion of newcomers into state and society anymore. It is about the arbitrary change of citizenship, as a genuine and effective link between a person and the state. This movement involves mutual relations between all the major players in the international arena, regardless of their role in it. Up to me, the fundamental problem is to conceptualize individual and collective perceptions of the EU at times of significant challenges in Europe and globally; make up a puzzle of EU image inside (self-image) and outside it, to compare received results. How to secure values and shared symbols meaningful for every person regardless of artificial walls, mental-based barriers, and obstacles already exist to prevent people from integration into the EU? The research on images of Europe at times of global challenges covers a broad range of topics through a kaleidoscope of lenses, such as law, sociology, political science, etc. To restore the image of Europe we should use existing case-law of the Court of Justice of the EU and ECtHR. Most essential theories are related to the protection of human rights, democracy, and the rule of law, protection of identity.