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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 VII: Future oriented discourse and the theories of integration

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100 Chapter VI The question of what in a new European context will make a constitutive factor for the nation to exist is a separate issue. At this point it may be enough to say that nationality and national specificity will have to be perceived quite differently than in past centuries. What is already clear, though, is that in a new European setting preservation of a nation and its distinctiveness will not depend on Westphalian sovereignty but rather on maintaining and developing national culture, which can indeed become a part of a common European cultural heritage. Chapter VII Future oriented discourse and the theories of integration Already for some time the discourse on European integration has absorbed theoretical reflection on this process. In the present chapter I attempt to answer the question of how far existing theories of European integration are useful for reflection about the future of the European Union. First, the most often cited theories like neofunctionalism, intergovernmentalism and liberal intergovern- mentalism are analysed to determine their theoretical background and assump- tions. In the following section I will try to show that the so called “theories of integration” are to a great extent just rationalizations of the historically experi- enced practice of European integration and each of them is focused on different aspects of this process. Therefore, it can be shown that their subjects are, in fact, different. I refer to my book on The Object of Knowledge in Social Sciences which was published in Polish in 1979,...

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