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Future of Europe

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The nineteenth and most of the twentieth century of Europe were dominated by the perspective of the nation-states. At the core of the European nation building was the social question. The (West) European unification project after 1950 was a rescue operation of the Western national welfare states under the conditions of the Cold War. The European rescue operation dealt with the maintenance of the welfare states. These attempts became problematic in the 1970s when the international order established after 1945 collapsed. EEC tried to respond to the experiences of crisis by a transfer of the social commitments to the Community level. The conceptualisation of such a transfer failed, however. The article analyses the failure of three subsequent key concepts in the European unification project: integration, identity and constitution. The analysis emphasises the connection between politics and language
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Keywords: European constitution; European crisis; European identity; European integration; social question; welfare states

Document Type: Research Article

Affiliations: European University Institute, Florence

Publication date: January 1, 2006

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