A European Union Without Qualities
This coda discusses the implications of the book’s findings for the current political crisis besetting the European Union, drawing contrasts between Winston Churchill’s vision of European unity in the aftermath of the Second World War and that of EU officialdom today. Attempts to articulate a set of qualities shared by all Europeans often only sow the seeds of fragmentation. In postwar Europe, democracy and human rights were invoked for contrary purposes, with the terms themselves assuming radically different meanings depending on the context in which they were deployed. Appeals to democracy and human rights continue to divide as much as to unite Europeans. Whether found in calls for a greater pooling of national sovereignty or for greater national self-determination, such rhetoric has been mobilized both in defense and defiance of supranational authorities.
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