20th Karlsruhe Dialogues - Speakers
What Keeps Central Europe Together? New Challenges from Poland
Prof. Dr. Ireneusz Paweł Karolewski
1. In your opinion, what are the values that unite the European Union? How can a joint European identity be better fostered in the future?
The European Union is suffering from a pluralism of values, which is problematic insofar as the EU is not defining its normative contours clearly enough. The European Union should define itself more clearly as a particular community that conveys its identity through “precious differences” rather than cosmopolitan impulses.
2. Are alternative models – such as a multi-speed Europe or a European Federation of Regions – conceivable?
A Europe comprised of different speeds has been a reality for a long time – the Schengen system and the Eurozone are the best-known examples of this. More specifically, the EU has been developing asymmetrically ever since the early 1990s, and this trend will continue to determine its future. A federation of regions is extremely unrealistic, since regions only have either limited political agency or no political agency at all within the EU.
3. Do you think that the current nationalist tendencies are a short-term phenomenon caused by recent crises; or do they represent the beginning of a long-term development?
The current nationalist aspirations are primarily a result of the EU’s crisis of legitimacy as well as the crisis of specific variants of capitalism in Southern Europe and Central Eastern Europe. Against this backdrop nationalism will determine the future of Europe in the medium term.