EUROPEAN IDENTITY: NEGATION OF NATIONAL IDENTITIES OR THEIR ENRICHMENT
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The article poses a question: does an European identity exist, and if it does, what elements constitute this notion. It concentrates on such notions, as national identity and culture. From the very outset the idea of a united European culture was a basis on which economic and political community was supposed to originate. Intensified integration processes within the European Union demanded that such elements as national identity: culture, language, religion be redefined. Despite constant emphasis on cultural aspects of unification, the process of shaping European identity will not depend on proclamations or treatises. The decisive influence on its shape will be exerted by the Europeans themselves. They need to find a plane for shared common values (human rights, democracy, legal state). The author postulates a European identity as resulting from an identification with a number of communities - national and continental. Only identity understood in this way will not neglect a national diversity and will not lead to a collapse of individual national cultures.
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