Teorie evropského občanství

Na současném evropském vývoji je cosi tragického. Tažení demokracie napříč celým kontinentem a vznik jednotného trhu ve větsí části Evropy se zasloužily o bezpříkladnou stabilitu, bezpečnost a prosperitu. Výmluvnými ukazateli pokračující integrace je zavedení společné evropské měny eura a slib Evropské unie přijmout do roku 2004 až deset nových členů.

Avsak schopnost evropských institucí přizpůsobit se hlubsí a sirsí integraci stále více narusuje neodbytný, protichůdný a dávno překonaný ideál: národní stát jakožto základ politické legitimity a suverenity. Dalsí evropská integrace vyvolává tolik obav a nesouhlasu zejména proto, že na společné evropské občanství je často vnímáno stejně jako občanství národní.

Národní stát v tradičním smyslu byl založen na občanství, jež vznikalo s úpadkem kolektivních identit. Z Benátčanů se stali Italové, z Bavorů Němci a tak podobně. Budovatelé států v celé Evropě se zasazovali - samozřejmě s různým úspěchem - o vznik dominantní kultury, oficiálního jazyka a identity založené do jisté míry na tom, čím se lisily od sousedních států, národů a kultur. Národnostní mensiny pak musely čelit vypuzování ze země nebo silným asimilačním tlakům.

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