German, Polish, French, Swedish, English or simply European? The question of identity is not
clear, and cannot be ignored.On the political level the construction of Europe is no longer controversial. The political structures,
institutions and far-reaching decisions bring stability and progress not only to the union as a
whole, but also to individual member-states.
But how far does the average European even identify with their continent, in its composition and complexity so unique? Studies have shown great differences within Europe in the extent of this feeling of belonging, and above all that the age of those questioned plays a role. What is clear,
however, is that the trend of Europeanisation among people is more negative than positive.
Does misunderstanding and a return to a sense of national identity lead to an uneasy coolness when
it comes to a European identity? When money is invested in European projects rather than social welfare, education or inancial provision for the
future, does not everyone feel a hint of disgust? Indeed, this inancial aspect seems to be the main factor standing in the way of the successful
formation of a multinational identity.
These days of open borders seem to allow an almost unlimited level of inter-cultural exchange, not just geographically, but also virtually. As such,
one might ask where the uncertainty among Europeans comes from. Is it just that we know far too little about each other? Or are we, when all is said and done, simply not that interested?
Only relatively few know how Europe works, or who it is that actually represents our country on the transnational level. Only a few understand that Brussels is more than just a place for small talk. The problem starts at school, where little is taught about the European idea. But it is also
due largely to the media, which regularly allocates the theme “Europe” the lowest priority. After
all, nothing happens worthy of a headline story.
Taking all this into account, the solution to the problem is, however, still no closer, for it must also be the case that the attitude of individuals changes too. If the only reason to travel to Spain or Croatia is because it is warmer than at the local lake, rather than to learn about the country or the people who
live there, then in fact inter-cultural exchange does not work. There is no development of a feeling of trust or understanding, and we will never feel closer to each other. We tend to forget the school exchange in small French villages, which at the time had a signiicant, if subtle, effect