Daniel CohnBendit Quo vadis Europa?

Daniel Cohn Bendit

On monday, the 18th november the Council of Europe and l’Ena organised another of a cycle of conferences dealing with European identity. Host speaker was a member of the European Parliament, Mr. Daniel Cohn Bendit, also a co- president of the European Green Party.

He opened his speech with reffering to European identity through his life and particularly through his year of birth:1945. In that year, nobody would have belevied that in 50 years Europe would become something different with no internal boarders, with no army between France and Germany and with one citizenship. Secondly, he spoke about the raise of extremism in Europe in various form: religious, cultural, ethnic, national and others.

What he considers as the element factor is one human being, one to himself. The right and the opportunity to choose. He spoke about common culture that is not defined and that is something various in all states. However, main values of the EU and of us all are represented in article 2 of the TEU and they create our culture. There is no reference to Christianity. There is reference to historical idetity. He expressed his support to the accession of the Turkey to the EU for strategical reasons in future and the fact that neither religios or culture are mentioned in Copenhagen criterias of an accession to the EU. What preserves in Europe is the strong perception of National State. We create plan for nations, for singular states, but we forgot to create a plan for the EU. We critise the budget that is three times lower that the budget of France even if it for 28 states.

He finds a need for a new concept of nationalism feeling : a post war internationalism. Because in nationalism, we already discriminate other people just for their nationality. And that is obviously against European main values mentioned in the treaties. Why are citizens not totally satisfied? Because they live in different reality than that in treaties. We do not have to divise politicians between right and left because  Euooptimism or Euroscepticism is not linked to a political point of view.

What we miss now is important personalities and authorities that want to pursue politics in general interest. Finally, after several questions asked, he finished by saying that we can not really speak about national identities and nationalities because no are people moving, travelling, falling in love and it would be hard to say that someone is just French, or just German. That’s the reason why we are all Europeans with European identity.

Žofia Jakubová