The UK is already paying the price for dishonest campaigning during the referendum on EU membership. And yet misconceptions that dominated the Brexit Leave campaign are not only a UK phenomenon, argues Gary Younge. All European states struggle with immigration, multiculturalism, pluralism and inclusion, and the left falls short of counterbalancing the right’s manufactured notions of monoethnicity.
Why, then, don’t we fight harder in the name of solidarity? Since 1989, concepts such as ‘internationalism’ and ‘solidarity’ feel contaminated, says Susan Neiman: globalism has prevailed, but its universality is ultimately only the universality of needs.
The challenge, therefore, is how to create emotionally charged imaginaries which can fit together into a convincing European narrative, argues Jan Plamper.
Historian Emilia Salvanou, editor of Eurozine’s Greek partner Historein, moderated the panel featuring journalist and broadcaster Gary Younge, moral philosopher Susan Neiman and historian Jan Plamper at the Eurozine conference ‘Europe ’89: The promise recalled’, the 30th European Meeting of Cultural Journals (1-3 November 2019, Berlin).
Read the transcript of Gary Younge’s opening address here.
The myth of European exceptionalism no longer holds: the continent’s boundaries are arbitrary, its heritage mixed and controversial, and unfit for a unified identity to hold it together. If we give up the commonplaces that have proven insufficient, what can then define and unify this peninsula of peninsulas? True democratic dissent, Ferenc Laczó argues.
The corona crisis, informal gendered support and vulnerable migrant women
Staying home may reduce COVID-19 infection but is not the safest place for all – women with violent partners are more at risk of abuse during lockdown. And solidarity is crucial. Atreyee Sen addresses the critical situation in India, where women are also being attacked in institutions and when forced to migrate.