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A middle-of-the-road view on nationalism

September 17th, 2019

A political analyst dismisses the arguments of both European pro-integrationists and nationalists, and claims that neither group has a credible vision of Europe and European nation-states.

In Népszava, Ádám Paár finds the federalist and the nationalist visions of Europe equally problematic. The left-wing political analyst thinks that those who urge tighter integration within the European Union ignore the importance of national identity. Paár finds it absurd to suggest that national identity is a construct of elites. He explains that national identity appeared spontaneously ‘from below’ well before the birth of nation-states. He criticises those who advocate a swift federalization of the EU, in the belief that national identity can easily be replaced, without offering a credible European identity that would substitute existing national allegiance. He also criticizes  nationalists in the EU who want to preserve nation-state sovereignty. He thinks that they have no answer to how European nation-states could answer global challenges without tight cooperation and pooling their sovereignty. Paár accuses nationalists of advocating racial homogeneity and boosting national feelings through creating enemies who can be accused of jeopardizing the nation-state.

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