Opinions on a federalised Europe

Last year I was asked by Dr. Georgios Papanagnou to answer a couple of question regarding the EU savvy Blogosphere for his study in the matter at United Nations University – Institute on Comparative Regional Integration Studies. I was pleasantly surprised today to receive an email from Dr. Papanagnou announcing that he has published a UNU-CRIS Working Paper on Digital Publics in Transnational Spaces: EU Blogs and the European Public Sphere (no. W-2013/6 – abstract and download).

Besides a wealth of theoretical information, the paper includes a handful of EU themed blogs, fedeu.blogactiv.eu being one of them.

The other 5 EU blogs are:

Dr. Georgios Papanagnou has analyzed and rounded up information and quotes from the bloggers themselves, curtailing to the development of a consistent EU themed blogosphere and with the theoretical support mentioned earlier, concludes :

Thus, with regard to EU blogs, we have to agree with Cammaerts and Papacharissi when they note that while digital (social) media do not revive the public sphere, they nonetheless seem to inject a good dose of plurality to the model of representative democracy (Papacharissi, 2009: 241; Cammaerts, 2008; see 5 | P a g ealso Dahlberg, 2007; 2005). EU bloggers seem to be less concerned with public accord and more with self-expression and voicing disagreement (Papacharissi, 2009: 241). As such they seem to conform better to Mouffe’s vision of conflictual politics involving multiple publics and less with a vision of publicreason, deliberation and consensus. Of course, the EU-bloggers do not constitute a quintessential counterpublic. (Dahlberg, 2007). What they do however, seem to constitute is a discursive pole which is simultaneously posited against: a) an anti-EU, nationalist discourse that features heavily in domesticdebates, and b) an elite-driven EU policy agenda that remains opaque for many citizens.

I invite all of you, especially those of you active on the blogging scene, to go through the paper as we have much more work ahead of us and the paper can be quite uplifting for us grumpy bloggers 😉

Keep writing and imagining a better Union.


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  1. “Keep writing and imagining a better Union.”
    As from my perspective a dead EU would be better for citizens and different nations in Europe I’m not so interested about building some European identity through my blogs.

    The two dominating trends among EU leaders are to cut losses of players in virtual economy at the expense of taxpayers and to guide EU towards strict federation at the expense of democracy. Change to this is needed for saving 99 % of people instead saving profits of the rest one per cent. With today’s strategy there is a risk that the combination of economic insecurity and political paralysis has been recipe for an increase in extremism and xenophobia. It is slow motion death spiral of economic collapse. That is the base to my view that people should be the first priority and not virtual economy, fiscal system, euro or EU elite. In my opinion it is time to whistle game out, collect losses and start new game in Day after Euro/EU context.

    The best scenario from my point of view could be some kind of EU Lite version. A bit of similar ”privileged partnership” agreement than planed with Turkey (to keep it out from EU). EU Lite should be build simply to EU’s early basics as economical cooperation area including a customs union, the EU tariff band, competition etc linked to idea of the Common Market. EU Lite could also apply a structure of Confederation. Federalist intentions, the EU puppet parliament and the most of EU bureaucracy should from my point of view put in litter basket together with high-flown statements and other nonsense. In my opinion average citizen does not need EU to decide how wide tires one have in tractor or how big curve bananas can have. Most topics can more democratic way be handled at national level. For international affairs – e.g climachange, civil liberties, development aid – there are lot of official forums as well NGO-cooperation.

    So coming back to European (wider than EU) blogosphere I think that at best it can challenge the existing system, policy and initiatives by looking behind of the picture of mainstream media, find the core interests of of different EU programs and high-flown statements, investigate how the programs are implementing the interests of different lobby-groups – blogosphere can tell what’s really happening and why. Blogosphere can liberate us and our thinking from (EU) box.

    1. We’ll have to agree to disagree on the Union’s future. While you advertise the dissolution of the Union I talk about a federation. And I have no love for the nation state, so I have to say we’ll never see eye to eye on the matter. As for the curvature of bananas and such, you don’t have to be an eurosceptic to know that’s crap. Of course there is crap. This is why we write, why we signal problems and at times, when our expertise allows it, offer solutions.

      The EU blogosphere that is the subject here does exactly that – critique and analysis, offering information to those seeking it. We are not the EU appreciation society, that writes regular Laudatio’s for the EU, quite the contrary.

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