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Democracy versus Solidarity in the EU Discourse

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Jozef Niznik

It is hard to find another two concepts which would be more significant in the European integration discourse than «democracy» and «solidarity» and at the same time more ambiguous in the political practice of integration. Currently European integration discourse is being organized around the concept of democracy. Analyzing European integration discourse the author argues that the situation is quite paradoxical because in order to secure democracy in the EU, European integration discourse must be organized not around the concept of democracy but around the concept of solidarity. The book attempts to show in more details the context of the clash of these fundamental values which serve also as the leading political principles of European integration. Therefore several further concepts and problems have been discussed such as the issue of identity, the concept of citizenship and the problem of nationalism. Since the theoretical framework of the analysis have been built around the idea of discourse the inevitable consequence was to look at some aspects of communication and the links between conceptual and normative development of the European integration.

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Chapter I: The concept of democracy in the European integration discourse

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10 Introduction discussed, such as the issue of identity, the concept of citizenship and the problem of nationalism. Since the theoretical framework of the analysis has been organized around the idea of discourse, as an inevitable consequence some aspects of communication and the links between conceptual and normative development of the European integration must also be considered. I hope that the analysis presented in the following chapters will be able to show both the complexity of the European process of integration and its impera- tive character. Within the global world there is no other future for European nations than to stay together and to do this in an ever closer union. At the same time, however, everything indicates that European precedents will allow preservation, and even increase of national and ethnic specificity. For centuries such specificity has needed guarded borders, a separate currency and military capabilities to deter neighbours’ territorial ambitions. Now, despite the national- istic appeals of some domestic politicians, it is ever more obvious to more and more people that those traditional instruments of sovereignty need to be replaced by quite opposite measures. Elimination of borders, use of a common currency and construction of common security arrangements appear to be the most rational solutions in the contemporary world in which unity does not contradict variety. Europe still seems to be on the way to proving this despite the inade- quate discourse which is sometimes applied to the process of integration and may lead to a feeling of uncertainty....

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