Link to the University of Pittsburgh
Link to the University Library SystemContact us link
AEI Banner

The Pan-European Union Interpretation of Symbols and Myths

Lynggaard, Kennet (2015) The Pan-European Union Interpretation of Symbols and Myths. [Conference Proceedings] (Submitted)

[img] Microsoft Word
Download (72Kb)


    This paper ask the question: What roles do the interpretation and use of symbols and myths by pan-European non-state actors and organisations play in the processes of European integration? The point of departure is that the roles of symbols and myths are crucial for our understanding of both how the European Union (EU) becomes constituted as a political reality and how the integration process itself occurs. European integration research has traditionally been dominated by the study of how rational political-economic choices of national and supranational political elites feed into EU institution building. Yet, this paper aims to advance European integration research by investigating how both symbolic and mythical constructions in European societies feed into European integration. Almost certainly, collective European symbols and myths are fundamental to our understanding of issues such as European social solidarity, citizens feeling of belonging to the EU, political advocacy for and resistance to European integration, and concrete political actions. For the purpose of this paper, I explore myths and symbols associated with the ‘EUROPE 2020: A European strategy for smart, sustainable and inclusive growth’ (Commission 2010 - hereafter Europe 2020), adopted in early 2010. The significance and potential of the Europe 2020 for the EU’s political economy is clear. What makes Europe 2020 especially interesting for this study is that it draws upon and feed into a number of symbols and myths about European integration including ‘green Europe’, ‘social Europe’ and ‘Economic Europe’. In the exploration of how pan-European non-state actors and organisations (hereafter pan-EU NGOs) outside of EU institutions feed into and receive symbols and myths about European integration, I have a special focus on members of the social policy coalition known as the Platform of the European Social NGOs (Social Platform), the European Environmental Bureau (EEB), the European Trade Union Confederation (ETUC) and Businesseurope (renamed in early 2007, previous ‘Union of Industrial and Employer’s Confederations of Europe (UNICE)). The paper argues that (1) pan-EU NGOs are indeed receptive to political myths, also in the short term, (2) pan-EU NGOs contributes to the reproduction of myths, especially already institutionalised myths and those myth particularly relevant for their sectoral activities and (3) in this process pan-EU NGOs translate and strategically use political myths to justify their policy positions.

    Export/Citation:EndNote | BibTeX | Dublin Core | ASCII (Chicago style) | HTML Citation | OpenURL
    Social Networking:
    Item Type: Conference Proceedings
    Subjects for non-EU documents: Other > NGOs
    EU policies and themes > Policies & related activities > environmental policy (including international arena)
    EU policies and themes > Policies & related activities > employment/labour market > unions
    EU policies and themes > Policies & related activities > social policy > general
    Subjects for EU documents: UNSPECIFIED
    EU Series and Periodicals: UNSPECIFIED
    EU Annual Reports: UNSPECIFIED
    Conference: European Union Studies Association (EUSA) > Biennial Conference > 2015 (14th), March 4-7, 2015
    Depositing User: Phil Wilkin
    Official EU Document: No
    Language: English
    Date Deposited: 17 Dec 2018 13:19
    Number of Pages: 22
    Last Modified: 17 Dec 2018 13:19

    Actions (login required)

    View Item

    Document Downloads