ISSN (Print) - 0012-9976 | ISSN (Online) - 2349-8846

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Towards a Deeper and Wider European Union

Michael Haynes Katherine Pinnock The 'deepening' and the 'widening' of the European Union faces difficulties and complications, not the least of which is the democratic deficit which many feel exists with the project, So, is the creation of Europe as a more powerful 'imagined community' a practical possibility ? Firstly, the development of a sense of national identity took a long time to develop and had to be re-enforced by state driven education, imperial conquests and wars. Secondly, the development of a European identity faces a powerful challenge from national identity whereas when national identity began to be developed its main challenge was localism and particularism which often lacked means of legitimation and defence other than an appeal to perceived custom. Thirdly, although the 'national' emerged in the context of the development of a growing capitalist world economy, the internationalising elements were much less powerful than they are today. Just as the global undercuts the 'nation ', so it also undercuts the idea of 'super-nation' and provides basis for other identities and other potential polarisations and possibilities.

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