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Citizenship and Solidarity in the European Union

From the Charter of Fundamental Rights to the Crisis, the State of the Art

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Edited By Alessandra Silveira, Mariana Canotilho and Pedro Madeira Froufe

This book attempts to address an important question: where is the European project going?
As Europe struggles with the most profound economic and social crises in recent history, what happens to the promises of freedom, democracy, equality and respect for the inviolable and inalienable rights of the human person proclaimed in the Preamble of the Treaty on European Union? How does the European Union intend to demonstrate its commitment to fundamental social rights at a time of widespread deregulation and an increasingly precarious labour market? How can we further enhance the democratic and efficient functioning of European institutions when there is a growing distance between citizens and political elites?
This publication is based on papers given at the international conference «Citizenship and Solidarity in the European Union – from the Charter of Fundamental Rights to the Crisis: The State of the Art», which took place in the School of Law at the University of Minho, Portugal, in May 2012. The line-up of contributors includes scholars from southern and northern Europe and Brazil, and together the papers constitute a lively and productive debate about the future of Europe.
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European Identity, Citizenship and the Model of Integration (Francisco Balaguer)

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Francisco BALAGUER

Universidad de Granada

The question of European identity will be examined by considering three key points. The first of these consists in determining if European integration is necessary. The recent economic crisis has generated a paralysis in the process of integration, which has put into question the viability of the European project. As such we have to ask ourselves if it makes sense to follow the European integration project as a prior step to analyse whether it is possible to construct a European identity that for now does not exist.1

The second question that we have to consider is whether the current model of integration is compatible with the building of a European identity. As such, if it will be possible to shape a European identity through a model of integration that is already more than fifty years old and that could be regarded as a factor, which hinders its very construction.

The third question attempts to settle whether it is possible to advance the building of European identity without altering the current model of integration. Or on the contrary, if substantial change is needed for the model that has been in place until now.

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