Mood of the Union20 articles
It takes some dedication to get excited about the European elections. Voter turnout has declined consistently since 1979, a tendency not reversed by the accession of the Mediterranean countries in two waves in the 1980s, or even by the enlargement of the 2000s, even though eastern European members make up a huge proportion of the electorate.
Bringing together a set of nations that have been competing and fighting since before the ‘nation state’ even existed, including ones who fought two world wars against each other within a century, the project is still grandiose enough. But, when it comes to this federation, political memory doesn’t seem to cut it for the masses.
Populist critics from East and West now campaign for more national sovereignty, while others demand more centralized efforts against corruption and anti-democratic developments. Some claim ownership of Project Europe in the name of the ‘core countries’; others take offence at this in the name of the semi-peripheries.
And yet, despite all these controversies, there is a tacit understanding among journalists and analysts that Europe is a bore to the general public.
As a network of European journals, Eurozine is in an excellent position to address this paradox. In our new series, The mood of the Union, partner editors from across the continent, together with further journalists and analysts, will be reporting on attitudes towards the elections and what is at stake at the national level. The aim is to provide a more detailed glimpse than one would usually catch from the bird’s-eye view of national media.
The series is curated by Agnieszka Rosner and edited by contributing editor Ben Tendler.