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For a Sovereign Europe

Sophie Heine

While anti-European forces are still raging, pro-Europeans seem impotent and deprived of a strong, clear and convincing alternative. This book is an attempt to fill that void: reacting to the anti-European wave, it also outlines a strong criticism both of the current EU and of its advocates. Far from the Europeanist defence of the status quo, it proposes an original and radical project of European sovereignty. Its message is both critical and propositional.

This book is therefore original in its method, approach and content. It distinguishes itself from most of the literature on the subject by going beyond the narrow cleavage opposing mainstream anti- and pro- Europeans. In this general polemic, anti-European arguments usually promote a return to sovereignty at the national level, while pro-Europeans justify the existing EU configuration and its so-called "sharing" or "division" of sovereignty. Despite being clearly in favour of a deeper European integration in some fields, Sophie Heine refuses to throw away the classical concept of sovereign power. Relying on a rich literature and deploying a theoretical and strategic argument, she proposes to rehabilitate this notion at a supra-national level while avoiding the common traps of national sovereignty. This allows her to propose a redefinition of European federalism connected to her broader liberal approach.

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Conclusion: Practical Strategies to Build a Sovereign Europe


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Practical Strategies to Build a Sovereign Europe

In the first four chapters, we attempted to, first of all, criticize the existing EU and the discourses justifying it and, secondly, to sketch an alternative project revolving around an original notion of European sovereignty. In Chapter 5, we exposed our general strategic approach and, more precisely, our interpretation of the role of ideas in social change. The ideas outlined in this text have as a main purpose to draw an appealing horizon triggering the mobilizations indispensable for the implementation of a sovereign Europe. Ideas do not have a magical power to change reality. They can only have an impact when they emerge from the general structural context we live in and when they articulate the majority interests in a persuasive way. This collective interest is composed of all the particular interests of the individuals belonging to the population. As we argued earlier, we believe that the notion of individual freedom could constitute the cornerstone of a project likely to enthuse those various individualities. Nonetheless, to link a sovereign Europe to this realistic utopia would be the subject of another book. We initially intended to end the book with this reflection on the necessary link between a sovereign Europe and a broader realistic utopia.

However, after a few conversations with first readers, it became clear that some practical conclusions on the likely implementation of our project were missing. Thus, the question we...

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