Friday, June 5, 2009

My Editorial for JMECE Lab

The Jean Monnet European Centre of Excellence Lab has published an editorial I wrote about European identity. It's a personal piece describing my own feelings as a young European living and working in the EU.

You can download it or read it online here.

Comments and criticism welcome!


Eurocentric said...

The link doesn't go anywhere for me - it says the page doesn't exist. Is this just me?

Josef Litobarski said...


No, my fault! Okay - the link should be working now.

Eurocentric said...


It was a good article, though I'd say that it leaves "Europeanness" a very difficult identity to attain. (I'm also slightly envious that I'm not as mobile as you; but then I'm a more introverted, rooted type).

I'd say that symbols and rituals will remain a potent way - certainly the easiest way - of creating/expressing identity. Perhaps I'm broadening the symbol concept too much, but European public office could and should be a starting point for a European identity. Common campaigns on common issues and more participation would give ownership over, and a "relationship" with, the most tangible aspect of "Europe". The participation is also a kind of democratic ritual. (Too political, maybe).

Another thing is: does that make a European, or is it just a "Europeanizing" stage? Will you be as mobile when you're older?

If a European identity is to become more mainstream, it needs to be more accessible, or a more attractive lifestyle. Becoming a European would need to be seen as a great way of self-improvement and discovery, and it would need to be popularised to some extent.

P.S. For some reason, I don't seem to get some of your Tweets that are addressed to me (no idea why). So sorry about being late replying sometimes.

And if my Tweet didn't get through: Happy Birthday!

Josef Litobarski said...

Hi, Eurocentric!

Thanks for reading it!

I completely agree that some sort of European political representative elected by all of Europe would help.

I hope I will still be mobile when I'm older. My family moved around a lot when I was a child, and although it was tough at times, I wouldn't have wanted it any other way. Also, when I'm older I will hopefully have an even larger network of friends across Europe! :-)

In my experience, you are more likely to identify yourself as European if you have parents from two different European countries, or if you have lived or grown-up in several European countries. I think both of these things are becoming more common.

And as people use the internet to talk to other Europeans, that will also (hopefully) bring them closer together. Actual contact is more important than virtual contact, of course.

Speaking of virtual contact: Twitter can be a bit funny sometimes. But thanks the birthday wishes!