Bridges don’t just appear, they get built. A European identity is a challenge to accommodate the many national traditions forged and cultivated over past centuries. European identity is the revisionary idea of people seeking peace, unity and tolerance after the horror of war.
What compares national identity to new European identity is necessity for unity. What contrasts is leadership dis-unity. National leaders need to help the public transcend reservations of losing control. They can see the future global landscape, realise the stakes involved but negotiate on principals which often are becoming outdated in an ever faster moving world.
Lessons from recent revolutions since 1989 show that in the new knowledge society, wrongs can be quickly exposed and highlighted. People power is a de facto force to be taken seriously by the planners. Democracy guarantees the rights of citizens and, the use of high political position is no longer a tool for the rampant pillaging of a country’s wealth.
The development of European identity will be a long process were many initiatives are needed to be employed encompassing culture, traditions, language and politics.
But searching for votes is not the same as searching for solutions. The rise of inward looking isolationist policies may be temporary but this should not prevent a young European identity from looking outward.