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European Demos and Turkey:
Implications of a Future Integration
Author: Ziyaettin Alperen GÜLER Supervisor: Åsa LUNDGREN
Thesis submitted for the Master Degree in Politics and International Studies, Department of Government. Uppsala University
UPPSALA UNIVERSITY Department of Government Master’s Essay Autumn 2011
European Demos and Turkey:
Implications of a Future Integration
Author: Ziyaettin Alperen GÜLER Supervisor: Åsa LUNDGREN
Table of Contents 0. Abstract 1. Introduction 1.1. Aim and Query 1.2. Structure of the Essay 4 5 7 8
2. Democracy, Demos and the European Union – Theoretical Framework and Previous Research 9 2.1. Democracy and Conceptualization of Demos in the Democratic Theory 9 2.2. Demos in the European Union – Theoretical Background
2.2.1 Political/Legal Approach 2.2.2. Ethno/Cultural Approach 12 14 17
2.3. A Post-National Demos – Conceptual Issues in the Previous Research 3. Research Design 3.1. Research Material 3.2. Criteria for Data Selection 3.3. Operationalization of the EU-demos 4. ‘Others’ of Europe and Turkey 5. Analysis 5.1. European Commission Documents 5.2. European Parliament Debates 5.3. Findings and the Implications of the Analysis
22 26 26 26 28 32 35 36 41 47
5.4. Comparison of Findings with Previous Research and Guide for Further Research 52 6. Concluding Remarks 7. Annex 8. Bibliography 55 58 60
0. Abstract Demos or the people with a sense of collective identity is a sine qua non element for democracies, and for the European Union, it occupies a key place concerning its democracy. However, the nature and the content of the demos or the type of references used to constitute it are crucial aspects in terms of its eventual results as either being inclusionary or exclusionary. This paper, against this background, aims to analyze whether the institutional views on the creation and the nature of the European demos with respect to being defined as political/legal or ethno/cultural by the European Parliament and the Commission include or exclude Turkey and discusses various implications of a future integration of Turkey into the EU from the viewpoint of demos formation in the EU. Turkey is an interesting case in terms of being a cultural and religious other of Europe and is also a negotiating country with the prospect of becoming a member. Therefore, the paper brings the issue of European demos and Turkey together by analyzing the institutional documents which offer institutional views on the creation and the nature of a European demos which is in the process of development and argues that while the political/legal definitions would be inclusive, ethno/cultural definitions tend to exclude Turkey with respect to its references to a shared past, heritage and religion. The research shows that while the Commission documents tend to approach to the development of the European demos in political/legal terms, the members of the European Parliament tend to view the European demos both in political/legal and ethno/cultural terms also with a reference to Christianity. Two different ways of conceptualization of the European demos have different implications for the possible integration of Turkey into the EU. Words Count: 20 654
Acknowledments I would like to thank, foremost, to my supervisor Mrs. Åsa Lundgren for her encouraging attitude in guiding me throughout the writing of this thesis. My family has always been supportive, I am grateful to them. Special thanks to Yaser Zanganeh, Taleb Sobeh, Andreea Bolos, Keyhan Esfandiarfard, Mehdi Shahmohamadi, and finally to Merve Yıldız.
European Demos and Turkey: Implications of a Future Integration 1. Introduction The European Union is a democracy as stated by the Article 10 of the Treaty on European Union which reads as ‘[t]he functioning of the Union shall be founded on representative democracy.’1 As a title introduced in the Maastricht Treaty of 1992, EU citizenship defines the Europeans, provides the citizens of the member states the opportunity to receive many rights and entitlements and one of the significant rights that the EU citizens exercise as the holders of EU citizenship is the ability to be involved in the democratic system of the EU. Consequently, the EU citizens are represented in the Parliament of the European Union, and through various other mechanisms they are involved in the decision-making processes of the EU. The popular basis of the democracy within the EU is, therefore, assumed to be constituted by the Europeans. It is the people or the demos that ultimately rule or govern and it is also the sine qua non element for democracies. A demos, which this essay mainly dwells on, requires being composed of individuals who are connected to each other with a sense of community. This is especially true for representative democracies, and European Union being one, in which majority is governed by a minority. The content of the sense of community among the individuals within a demos remains to be an important issue in the research field of the democratic theory. The general agreement in the democratic theory, which will be elaborated below, that a democracy must have a demos is a valid subject for the democracy in the EU as well. However, the scholarly debate on the subject appears to be far from an agreement on the qualities of an EU-wide demos; in the sense that while some argue that the EU must have a political identity, and hence a demos (Curtin 1997, Lord 1998, Schmitter 2000), others argue that a demos which is defined in political terms is already in the making (Eriksen 2009, Sbragia 2005). A group of scholars conclude that the EU does not have a demos (Chrysschoou 2000, Jolly 2007, Moravcsik 2002). Another group of scholars, on the other hand, point out that the European demos is different than the national demos and therefore requires conceptualization in a different way (Caporaso 2005, Warleigh 2003). Against this brief background, the aim of this essay is to add Turkey into this debate surrounding the European demos. The reason behind this is the following; Turkey is a country which is in the process of becoming a member of the Union. After a possible accession of the country into
Consolidated Version of the Treaty on European Union, 2010; 20.
the Union, its population is going to be a part of the greater European demos, and thereby, the way that the demos is being designed and developed by the EU, or its institutions, can eventually have inclusionary or exclusionary effects towards new members. In light of these observations, this research is conducted to find out the possible implications of the views of the two institutions of the EU on the European demos for a future integration of Turkey into the EU. To this end, this essay will be analyzing the views of the European demos provided by the two institutions of the EU, which are the Commission and the European Parliament. Adopting a top-down approach, this research aims at exploring the implications of the views of these two EU institutions on the creation and the nature of a European demos for the future membership of the Turkey into the Union, particularly concerning one of the premises of this essay which suggests that Turkey is a cultural and religious ‘other’ of Europe according to one line of interpretation in the scholarly research. In other words, the views of the Commission and the European Parliament on the creation and the nature of the European demos are crucial to study in the case of Turkish accession into the Union. Consequently, the content of the sense of community among the individuals within the European demos has the potential of being exclusive towards Turkey as long as cultural and religious ‘glue’ to bind the people in the EU prevail; on the contrary, the political and legal ties which are intended to bring about a sense of community can be expected to be inclusive towards Turkey. Turkey, for this reason, stands as a significant case, not only in terms of being mostly described as the cultural other of Europe, but also because of the fact that the institutional views on the creation and the nature of the European demos can influence the formation of the demos in terms of being restrictive or more permissive towards new members. Against this background, the motivation for such a design of research is of utmost importance considering the fact that the EU itself aims at being a democratic organization and there has not been a study that have conducted a research which conflates the issue of the demos within the EU and the Turkish accession into the Union by giving an idea about the institutional views of the European demos. Therefore it is imperative to study whether the views on the Europeans demos, which is in the process of development, has the potential to be inclusive towards Turkey. Failure to do that within the European demos might lead to a fragmented and alienated citizen body, which has been accepted as problematic from the viewpoint of the democratic theory (Chryssochoou 2000; 91). There are implications of the
possible ways that the EU designs the nature of its own demos for the issue of democratic deficit in the EU, a theme which will be discussed within this thesis. 1.1. Aim and Query The aim of this thesis is to outline to what extent is the institutional views at the EU level on the European demos are inclusive or exclusive towards Turkey, and what are the implications of these for a future integration of Turkey into the EU. In order to look for an answer the author will analyze the institutional documents of the EP and the Commission in line with the two analytical categories derived from the previous research. For this aim, the essay adopts a top-down approach (meaning that the research is solely interested in the way that the EU approaches to the its own demos), as opposed to the studies which measure the demos from a bottom-up perspective, and the level of analysis is constituted by the views on the creation and the nature of a European demos given by two EU institutions; the Commission and the European Parliament. The research question of the thesis is the following: What are the views of the Commission and the European Parliament on the creation and the nature of a European demos, and what are the possible implications of these for a future integration of Turkey into the EU? As mentioned above, Turkey is argued to be one of the ‘cultural’ others of Europe, meaning that the references to the cultural and religious history of Europe as to serve as a glue among the European demos cannot be considered to include Turkey. Therefore, cultural approaches to and reflections on the European demos may have the potential to be exclusive towards Turkey, and therefore this may have implications for the democracy in the EU. The research material is composed of mainly two types of documents; debates in the European Parliament, and the documents produced by the Commission. The analysis of these documents for the objective of the research question necessitated side-questions which are required to find an answer to the research question. These questions are the following; Do the Members of the European Parliament approach to the European demos in political/legal terms, or in ethno/cultural terms? Do the documents from the Commission approach to the European demos in political/legal terms, or in ethno/cultural terms? What are the implications of these views for the future integration of Turkey into the EU?
As the aim of the thesis is to find out the possible implications of the views of the Commission and the EP on the European demos for the future integration of the Turkey into the Union, the essay will be analyzing various views on the European demos provided by these documents. 1.2. Structure of the Essay The remaining sections of the essay continue with a review of the previous scholarly research surrounding the issue of demos in the EU. This section starts from a short review of the classical democratic theory which has largely developed around the nation-state, and concludes that the demos is an indispensible property of any democracy. Thereafter, this short section is followed by the review of the academic debate regarding the European demos. This section is generally divided into two general trends, one being the political/legal trend, and the other being ethno/cultural trend. This review section concludes with a short discussion on the conceptual problems found in the literature, and indicates that the European demos may necessitate a rethinking of the conceptualization of the term. The third section of the essay provides an overview of the research design; definition of research material, criteria for data selection, types of data and the operationalization of the term ‘demos’ is dealt with in this section of the essay. This is followed by a short section in which the premise that Turkey is the cultural other of Europe is clarified. The analysis section of the essay analyzes the research material from the two institutions of the EU that are the Commission and the European Parliament. The material is analyzed through the lenses of the analytical categories which are adopted after the review of the previous scholarly work in the field. This section concludes with a subsection in which the findings of the analysis is compared with previous research, and guidance for further research is provided. The essay ends with the concluding remarks.
2. Democracy, Demos and the European Union – Theoretical Framework and Previous Research The concept of democracy has received a large deal of scholarly attention from various fields of inquiry, and it continues to do so. Democracy, mainly considered to be both a normative ideal and a form of government, is described as an “essentially contested concept” (Gallie 1956), and probably this feature of democracy has led to scholarly contestation, disagreement and argumentation throughout its ongoing journey in the academia. As a concept which has been largely associated with the nation state, democracy in the European Union is an area of inquiry and research which is relatively novel and in the process of development largely due to the very fact that the EU itself is in constant transformation. This section of the essay aims at providing an overview of the democratic theory with a particular focus on the demos, and it aims at exploring how the concept is theorized in the scholarly debates at the EU level. 2.1. Democracy and Conceptualization of Demos in the Democratic Theory Democracy, taken literally, means the rule by the people, composed of the combination of two words, demos and kratos. The ‘people’ is a matter of discussion in the democratic theory; what constitutes the ‘people’ is ambiguous and subject to controversy, together with the meaning of rule (Dahl 1989; 3). Rule by the people is increasingly used to mean government by the people. The meaning of the ‘people’ is a central question within a given polity. The democracy in the Athenian city-state, for instance, appears to be having a different and a rather narrow meaning for the people, or demos, where women and the slaves are excluded from the act of government. From a historical perspective, the members of the demos have been in constant change. Dahl notes that the first modern democracy, United States of America, excluded not only women and children, but most blacks and native Americans as well (Dahl 1989; 4). From this point of view, there is a significant difference between the population, or people, within a given democracy and the demos. Demos, as the basis of self-ruling mechanism, does not include every individual in a community, or in a certain group of people. The difference between the people and the demos is clarified by Dahl who claims that,
‘Within “a people” only a limited subset of persons is entitled to participate in governing. These constitute the people in another sense. More properly, they are the citizens of citizen body, or as I shall often say here, the demos’ (Dahl 1989; 4. Emphasis in original.). The entitlement for participation in governing can be inhibited for various reasons such as the age limit for voting and for being elected. Therefore, the demos does not include all of the members in a given population, but rather a portion of it. In practice, furthermore, the actual act of governing is only executed by a rather small number out of the citizen body. This relates to the practical functioning of the indirect/representative democracies, in which the citizens elect the ones who will actually execute the act of governing. The universal suffrage remains to be the modern form of inclusion which is accepted as a norm in contemporary democracies. In order to enable the community to rule itself, there must be a sense of identification among the members of the community. This is what turns a group of individuals into a demos. The very act of ruling requires identification with other fellow members in the community due to the nature of representative democracies which is a very common model of self-rule in modern democratic political systems; ‘The authority and legitimacy of a majority to compel a minority exists only within political boundaries defined by a demos. Simply put, if there is no demos, there can be no democracy’ (Weiler 1998; 237). Somewhere else, Weiler emphasizes the role of feeling of belonging in the majoritarian democracies. Accordingly people; ‘… accept the majoritarian principle of democracy within a polity to which they see themselves as belonging’ (Weiler 1992; 22). Chryssochoou has a similar conclusion with regards to the communal basis of democracy due to the principles of majority rule and indirect democracy, because democracy; ‘… supposes the existence of a demos, as the necessary popular infrastructure upon which its basic properties, i.e., adherence to and acceptance of majority rule-would apply in a given political community’ (Chryssochoou 2001; 251). The very nature of democratic processes, therefore, requires a demos which is described as a kind of community different than any other form of groups of individuals. In order to accept the legitimacy of decisions, and to bind themselves with them, the people has to somehow relate to the other members of their demos, as if they are being ruled, even if
their voices are marginalized in the decision making process, by the their own kind. On such qualities of demos, Cohen indicates that, ‘…democracy depends vitally upon its communal foundation; its more perfect realization requires a community that is inclusive, self-conscious, and united.’ (Cohen 1971; 49) The nation-state, a location which is argued to be providing the most successful environment for the realization of democracy (Bohman 2007; 2), appears to have solved the problem of ‘the people’ via nationhood (Lord and Harris 2006; 26). The citizens of nationstates are bound together either by the retrospective creation of national symbols by the elite (Hobsbawm and Ranger 1983), or through mechanisms which make the members of the community realize, or imagine, that they are part of a community of identical members (Anderson 1991). In some other cases, the demos is treated as an ethnos, in which common ancestry of the members are emphasized (Smith 1999, Connor 1994). In all these instances, what is observed is that the demos is a form of self-recognition for each of the members of the community, and also a self-representation considering the other groups and the members of these groups. Demos is a shared sense of community; the property of being “shared” may result from various sources in the experience of the nation-state; history, heritage, culture and even in some cases ethnicity, or all these phenomena might be invented as a projection to the past. In short, although painful in most of the instances, the nation-state appeared as an apparatus which made use of the notion of nationhood in order to provide a common background to its citizen body and aimed at providing the citizens a common bond. Even if imaginary, the commonalities of descent, language and history produce the unity of the people within the nation-state (Habermas 2001; 64). Although the nation-state is accepted as the most successful realm for the realization of democracy due to its relationship with nationhood in providing a common bond for the citizen body, technically a demos can consist of more than one nation and other groups who does not share the characteristics of the nationhood (Jolly 2007; 69). In a nutshell, the demos is a sine qua non property of any type of democracy. It is not possible to imagine any democracy without its popular communal basis. The communal basis of any type of democracy is characterized by the existence of ‘a’ people, rather than just ‘some’ people (Jolly 2007; 69). Democracy is the rule of the people, and the people have to have formed a type of community with a sense of collectivity. All in all, democracy cannot exist without the existence of a people, or demos. This requirement increases with the
legitimacy concerns of the majority rule as practiced in modern democracies. Presupposition of a democracy is the existence of a community (Cohen 1971; 41). The literature on the nationhood shows that the community formation within the nation-state largely draws on the cultural baggage found within the boundaries of the state. Democracy requires a kind of community, and for the nation-state, this community is a political as well as a cultural one. The historical formation of the nation-state eases the way that the community basis of the democracy, or the demos, is formed. The demos within the nation-state is not only a cultural community, however the elements which enable to define the nation as it leads to the formation of the demos defined both on cultural/historical and also on legal/political grounds.
The ‘we-feeling’ which is necessary for the communal basis of the democracy within the nationstate has, therefore, various sources of formation. 2.2. Demos in the European Union – Theoretical Background
The section above surveyed the classical literature on the democracy with a particular focus on the demos and concluded that the existence of the demos is a significant prerequisite for democracies. This part builds on this assumption, and aims at presenting the scholarly discussion on the demos in the EU. The section opens with a discussion why a European demos is deemed to be important in the academic debates in relation with its relation to the democratic deficit literature on democracy in the EU with a short review and examples of how the problem of democratic deficit in the EU has been approaches in the academia. Later, the section continues with the definitions of the European demos found in the literature. For analytical concerns, it can be generally claimed that the debate on the demos in the EU has two general currents, the first being the political/legal, and the second being ethno/cultural approaches. This classification is formed by the author after analyzing the previous work which is to be touched upon below. The political/legal current largely speculates on the qualities of the ‘would-be’ demos of the EU, the ethno/cultural current in the research mainly deals with the question whether the EU has a demos, and if it has, defines the characteristics of it. However, as it will be seen later on, this classification does not necessarily mean that they are mutually exclusive mainly because of the fact that ethno/cultural approaches to some extent comprise the political/legal aspects of a demos, yet, it underlines other aspects of the demos of which political/legal approach does not refer to. As the focus of this thesis is the European demos, and this section aims at providing an overview of the importance of the European demos from the perspective of the democratic
deficit in the EU; it can be argued that the problem of demos occupies a key position in the debate concerning the democratic deficit at the EU level. Basically, the democratic deficit in the EU has been defined as the failure of the EU to fulfill the democratic principles (Eriksen 2009, 1). The problem of democratic deficit in the EU has been approached from various perspectives in the academia. One of the examples of these discussions include the lack of legitimacy; in other words, the transformation of the executive power from national governments to the EU level due to decreasing accountability as suggested primarily by Weiler, et al (1995) and then repeated by Follesdal and Hix (2006, 534). Another approach focuses on the lack of "europeanness" in the elections for the European Parliament which supposes that the election campaigns are often conducted on the national issues rather than on the supranational or the community level matters and the European matters usually lacks salience in the minds of the voters; that is to say that the MEPs are more or less elected for the national issues and the European issues are perceived as irrelevant (Follesdal and Hix 2006; 536, Moravcsik 2002; 615). Last but not least, another approach to the democratic deficit in the EU is presented to be originated from the lack of a European demos which Weiler et al (1995) assumes that when the European demos is absent in the EU political scene, European Parliament cannot effectively enjoy independent authority or legitimacy as a rulemaking body in the polity. Although the EU subscribes to democratic principles and declares itself as a democracy, there is an alleged difference between the ideal and the reality of democracy in the EU, and this difference constitutes the topic of the ever-growing literature on the democratic deficit in the European Union. The role that the demos is given in this regard is largely on legitimacy grounds. What the arguments presented is that Europe needs Europeans, otherwise there would be a legitimacy crisis of the European integration (Soysal 2002; 266). To make it clear, it is generally assumed that there is a direct link between the legitimacy and the demos in any given democratic system. The failure to set up this link leads to the democratic deficit. The failure to maintain the popular base of democracies lead to legitimacy problems due to the practical functioning of modern democracies in which the majority is governed by a minority. The rationale behind this is that if a demos does not exist as the popular base of any democracy, the decisions given by the minority within the citizen population would not be accepted as legitimate by the governed majority, and therefore this would lead to the legitimacy issues within the political structure, as it is summarized in the section above on the classical literature on the democratic theory. The failure to have an
existing demos at the European level led some commentators to argue that the democratic deficit of the EU is actually a ‘demos’ deficit (Kraus 2008; 21), and also it is argued that the demos problem is usually overlooked in the literature concerning the democratic deficit in the EU (Cederman 2001; 140). At this point it can be argued that the concepts of European demos, legitimacy and democratic deficit in the EU are intertwined. Failure to form a European demos has the potential to create legitimacy crises in cases where decision are made by a small number of people among the greater citizen population. This, in turn, is interpreted as a failure to fulfill democratic principles in cases where a demos in the sense of a collective identity does not exist and claimed to be one of the reasons among the others for the democratic deficit in the EU. A European demos is also significantly important due to the outcomes for the legitimacy in the political system of the EU. Demos is a crucial part of democracies, and a sine qua non aspect for representative democracies where majority is governed by a minority. It is indicated that the failure to provide due to the non-existence of a European demos can only be compensated if the EU turns into a non-majoritarian system (Hix 1998). Therefore, a European demos has also implications for the political system of the EU, again from the perspective of the legitimacy of the EU. 2.2.1. Political/Legal Approach The first trend in the academic debate on the EU-wide demos which will be presented in this section largely draws on the political/legal structures which develop around the EU citizenship and indicates that the European demos has to be conceptualized different than the national demos. The community base of the democracy in the EU is, therefore, to be considered as a product of political and legal rights and entitlements given to the EU citizens. This current in the debate also emphasizes the role of the values associated with the EU which have the potential to lead to a sense of community of citizens across Europe. This, in turn, will lead to the establishment of the European demos, which has to be articulated in a different terminology than the one that has developed around the nation-state. The political/legal trend in the literature treats the post-national democratization of the EU as an ongoing process, or a project in the making, just as the national systems have democratized over time (Sbragia 2005;172). Therefore, the process of demos formation can also be considered to be in the process of being realized.
Accordingly, the community base of democracy in the EU, namely the European demos, cannot be constructed upon the primordial ties due to the diversity across Europe (Eriksen 2009; 40). This diversity is largely due to language, various national identities and the meaning of EU for the member countries and its citizens. Instead of primordial attachments such as an ethnic identity, a common history or origin, the European demos has to be articulated in terms of a post-national identity, which is; ‘… a political identity founded on the recognition of democratic norms and human rights, as these are embedded in a particular constitutional tradition. Citizens should be seen as bound to each other not by those pre-political ties that nation-states have appealed to but by subscription to democratic procedures and human rights’ (Eriksen 2009; 38). In this approach, the problem of the sense of community required for the communal base of democracy at the EU level is addressed through the political mechanisms developed by the EU. What increasingly bind the European people together are the common political structures that developed as the result of the European integration. Peoples of Europe, therefore, form a community of citizens with increasing entitlement to political rights, individual rights, democratic procedural arrangements and legal rights; these structures foster a sense of community allegiance (Eriksen 2009; 69). It is underlined that the case with the European democracy is an ongoing process and the EU is gradually evolving into a postnational democracy (Sbragia 2005; 173), in which the constituting cultural and civic elements of the national demos are decoupled. It is also accepted that Europe is too big and diverse to be characterized by a common ethnic stock, language, shared history, customs and ideas (Caporaso 2005; 60). As a result, post-national democracy is characterized by the promotion of civic elements among the members of the European demos. The European demos, it is argued, should not be based on ethno-cultural commonalities, if any, of the Europeans; instead, what the EU should pursue is a civic republicanism of Franco-American style (Waever et al 1993; 194-195). The political/legal trend in the academic discussion surrounding the European demos regards the formation of a demos as a process in which the core is constituted by the values associated with and secured by the EU itself. The emerging European demos is, therefore, being characterized by political rights and entitlements of the EU citizens. The role of rights is articulated by Fossum;
‘… the rights-based model of legitimation presupposes that there are a set of rights that ‘define’ the EU as a polity and political community. In other words, it must be assumed that there are a specific set of rights that are seen as constitutive of the European Union and that there form the basis of a distinct European entity. Of particular importance in this regard are those rights that ensure the autonomy of the person, i.e. private protective and public participatory rights’ (Fossum 2000; 120). In this type of scholarly work, the constituting elements of the demos are emphasized as being the political and legal rights given to the EU citizens. The demos in the post-national democracy is marked with the separation of politics and culture, of nationality and citizenship (Curtin 1997; 52). In the national democracy, where the demos equals to the nation, the sense of community is provided through various sources of commonality such as myths on the origin of the nation and/or a common ethnie. The literature on the post-national democracy argues that the theorization of the demos at the EU level requires the decoupling of civic and ethno-cultural components of the demos, and the conceptualization of the post-national demos in civic terms. This line of reasoning surrounding the debate emphasizes the need for the conceptualization of the European demos in political/legal terms. It is argued that the goal of ‘demos-formation in the EU is to find an effective, affective means by which citizens can recognize each other as co-citizens of a common political system, and also recognize the system itself as legitimate. It is not to create a totalising ‘Euro-identity’ which smothers those of the member-states and their component regions, or which seeks to engender support for the formation of a Euro-state’ (Warleigh 2003; 114). Ways of achieving the formation of a civic demos at the EU level is therefore dependent upon the political and legal structures of the EU and their influences over the citizens of the EU. The literature suggests that it is possible to claim that the EU is in the process of demos formation with such characteristics. An important step, herein, is the formation of the EU citizenship which provides political and legal rights to its bearers, as a result of which it is possible to observe the formation of a sense of community allegiance (Eriksen 2009; 71). The citizens of the EU are the receivers and benefiters of many rights which render them equal individuals in front of the law. These rights include, to name a few, to be represented in the European Parliament, not to be discriminated on the grounds of nationality, to move and reside freely within the member states, the right to vote or the right to stand in the local and European elections in any of the member states, and the right to petition
the European Parliament. The literature argues that the development of a post-national demos is dependent upon these rights. Furthermore, these rights are protected by the Charter of the Fundamental Rights of the EU; the Charter contains provisions on civil, political, social, and economic rights. Through the mechanisms these rights are ensured, and it will be possible to observe a European-wide solidarity (Eriksen 2009; 89). The institutions of the EU, European Court of Justice (ECJ) being an important one, have a crucial role in the development of a sense of community and solidarity among fellow Europeans; the institutions and the law of the EU play important roles in this (Mayer and Palmowski 2004, Caporoso 2005; 59). In this way of thinking, the EU is the granter of rights and entitlements, whereas the citizens are right holders, and rights are instrumental in terms of fostering a sense of community (Fossum 2000; 121). In sum, the political/legal approach in the scholarly research on the European demos asserts that imagining an EU-wide demos necessitates the decoupling of civic and cultural constituents of the demos, and claims that an EU-wide demos should be envisaged on civic terms. In a scheme as such, the EU and its institutions such as the ECJ should be designed in such a way that they become both the granter and the protector of legal and political rights through which a common sense of allegiance will come about, and the citizens of the EU are seen as the holders of these rights, as individuals who are equal in front of the law and their dignity are protected by the EU itself. The underlining idea in the political/legal trend in the scholarly research is that the rights and entitlements have an instrumental role in the emergence of the European demos which has to be articulated in civic terms. Through these rights and entitlements the citizens of the EU are going to imagine themselves increasingly as living under a political system which exists to provide them with a standard of living, and also allows them to participate in the functioning of the system. 2.2.2. Ethno/Cultural Approach The ethno/cultural line in the research appears to be more pessimistic in terms of defining an existing European demos. Although the political/legal line in the research sets the conditions for the developments of a European demos, and also claims that a European demos can be considered to be in the making, ethno/cultural approaches tend to mostly claim that it is not possible to observe a demos on the EU scale, although there are studies which claim that it is in the stage of development (Verdun and Stavridis 2001; 218). The contrasting
conclusions of the two types of studies are due to their operationalizations of the concept of demos, an issue which this essay will be dealing at the end of this section. According to the ethno/cultural approaches to the European demos, the EU has a popular base however it is not possible to define it as a demos for various reasons. One of the first reasons for this is that, the research claims, although it is possible to argue for a demos in a technical, legal sense, the European demos is not formed in social/cultural sense; ‘… a demos can be perceived as the legal and institutional framework, in other words, people are a demos in a technical, legal sense if they have rights and obligations granted by a political authority. But without the common identity there is still no social demos, in other words, there is still no ‘we’. A legal demos, on the other hand, can more easily be created because it is nothing but a ‘people on paper’’ (Jolly 2007; 79). Therefore, it can be claimed that as long as a demos does not allow to be defined in social/cultural terms, the research argues, it is not possible to talk about the existence of a demos, and such is the case with the European demos. There is ‘a people’, Europeans, defined in legal and political terms; however, these properties are not enough for the claim that the EU already has a demos. The ethno/cultural trend in the scholarly debate on the European demos emphasizes the role of identity which is expected to describe the Europeans as a whole. The lack of it, therefore, is seen as a problem in the emergence of an EU-wide demos. Chryssochoou defines the key characteristics of a European demos, which; ‘… can be said to exist insofar as the constituent publics see themselves as parts of a democratic whole, and are given the institutional means to mark their impact on the governance of the composite polity, thus creating the basis for a self-directed and self-determining collectivity. It is therefore possible to identify the following prerequisites for the emergence of a European demos: democratic self-consciousness of the collective citizen body; adherence to shared democratic values; public awareness of the transnational process; and a desire to shape democratically the future of a plurality of interrelated peoples, without endangering the existence of that plurality’ (Chryssochoou 2001; 252). As these preconditions are set, the European demos appears to be missing in some of these; ‘… although the EU has given rise to the formation of a large-scale civil society – composed of policy communities, structures of functional representation, patterns of interest intermediation, networking activities and
the like – the development of a shared polity identity among its constituent demoi has not yet grown into an extended political public sphere’ (Chryssochoou 2001; 261). Although, it is claimed, a sense of identification with Europe and with fellow Europeans occurred at the elite level, this has not occurred at the popular level (Smith 1992; 72). These approaches generally emphasize that the European demos needs to have both political/legal and ethno/cultural elements of commonality; as this being the case, although the political components of the demos are in the process of development, it is not possible to observe the social aspect of an EU-wide demos. It is plausible, the research claims, that the European citizens are connected with each other through political and legal arrangements, however, the indicators in the popular surveys show that Europeans do not relate to each other in such a way that it would lead to a Europe-wide solidarity which is accepted as a sign of an existing demos at the EU level (Jolly 2009; 237). Whereas the structures required to form a society are intact, the structures needed to build a Europe-wide community are argued to be missing. Community is what a democracy has to be based on; ‘… Gemeinschaft [community] is more suitable for the prospering of democratic relations, since the individuals forming it have developed a ‘sense of community’, also known as ‘community spirit’ or ‘community of attachment’, strong enough to overcome and even transcend most of democracy’s potentially disturbing effects such as unequivocal compliance to majority rule. Equally, where the community spirit is less intense and profound, democracy is less secure when it encounters internal issues with which it cannot cope effectively: when the members of a political community lack the necessary bonds of unity in and through which their differences might be openly discussed and, in time amicably resolved. Here, the ‘Gemeinschaft factor’ appears one of democracy’s indispensable ‘common spheres’’ (Chryssochoou 2000; 81). Whereas the ethno/cultural studies on the European demos tend to stress the missing ingredient of cultural community, or the lack of a Europe-wide solidarity, there are also studies which are against the idea that the European demos has to be theorized in ethno/cultural terms. According to the assertion, the democracy in the EU needs a somewhat different demos, and therefore the research has to re-conceptualize the concept of demos which has been a product of the research on the democracy at the national level. The European demos, therefore, is; ‘… an emerging demos. Yet, the European polity does not require a demos that replaces national with European identities, but one in which national and European identities coexist’ (Risse 2004; 70).
The role of the EU institutions in creating an EU-wide community of citizens is instrumental, and the EU as a political community needs a different communal base for its democracy which is articulated in political terms; ‘People may believe that a group they belong to emerged from preexisting cultural commonalities, shared sentiments, and shared values. Other people may believe that the group emerged as a product of evolving and functional rationality’ (Herrman and Brewer 2004; 7). A sense of community that the EU democracy needs, the research argues, does not need to exist before the construction of the democratic system. There is simply no need for ‘a people’ to be given a priori the democracy; rather, the community can also be constructed endogenously (Beetham and Lord 1998; 20). The European demos exists as long as the description of the demos is done in political terms; what constitutes the essence of the demos is the shared values which are associated with the European integration, and the title of citizenship; ‘The substance of membership (and thus of the demos) is in a commitment to the shared values of the Union as expressed in its constituent documents, a commitment, inter alia, to the duties and rights of a civic society covering discrete areas of public life, a commitment to membership in a polity which privileged exactly the opposites of nationalism – those human features which transcend the differences of organic ethnoculturalism. On this reading, the conceptualization of a European demos should not be based on real or imaginary trans-European cultural affinities or shared histories nor on the construction of a European “national” myth of the type which constitutes the identity of the organic nation. European citizenship should not be thought of either as intended to create the type of emotional attachments associated with nationality-based citizenship. The decoupling of nationality and citizenship opens the possibility, instead, of thinking of coexisting multiple demoi’ (Weiler 2000; 344). In this way of theorizing, the European demos emerges as a result of willingness of EU citizens to live together, to share certain democratic values, and to accept certain rights and entitlements, together with duties, which are common to every individuals. The EU citizenship is not based on nationality, therefore the novel idea of EU citizenship is the decoupling of nationality and the citizenship title. Conceptualized at the national sense of the word, Europe is “not yet” a demos in terms of having national/cultural components (Weiler 2000; 346-347). This review of the previous work on the European demos shows that there are mainly two lines of argument in the field. The political/legal line in the research mainly deals with the
‘design’ of the EU-wide demos. The main argument of this approach is that the European demos has to be conceptualized mainly in political terms; in other words, formation of the European demos is an ongoing process, and will be mainly a product of the EU’s efforts in terms of providing the EU citizens with certain rights and entitlements. Moreover, the political and legal rights and other entitlements of the EU citizens are expected to bring about a political demos. A European demos differs from the national demos in the sense that the former cannot make use of many of the elements which have been the constituent parts of the latter. Furthermore, an EU-wide demos does not allow a common ancestry, a common language, or a common history to form the basis for a common sense of community; instead, European people live under a common system of laws, and it is the common system of laws that is believed to be capable of creating a European demos. The ethno/cultural line in the research on the European demos, on the other hand, emphasizes that an EU-wide demos does not exist, based on the argument that although the political/legal structures for the emergence of a European demos exist and/or are in development, it is suggested that the ethno/cultural components of the demos are missing. Therefore, it is claimed that it is not possible to conclude that a European demos exists. These studies largely make use of surveys such as Eurobarometer (for instance, Jolly 2007) and other indicators to show how there is a lack of community feeling among the people in Europe, which is interpreted as a missing ingredient in the social aspect of demos. There are also studies which claim that there is a European demos, or at least it is in the stage of development, and this type of demos necessitates a re-conceptualization of the term demos. These two categories employed in this research have direct implications for the type of political system that the EU is going to evolve into, and in relation to this they have also implications for the future expansion of the EU. A focus on the cultural particularities of Europe, such as Christianity or Europe’s common civilizational heritage, in terms of fostering a European identity is going to be capable of including only the ones who can be considered as the member of that particular community with that peculiar cultural history. This project has the potential to turn Europe into a cultural collectivity (Soysal 2002, 266). As a result of this, the fluid boundaries of Europe will be determined by its cultural limits. The description of being European will be decisive in terms of who can be allowed to enter, and who can be excluded. The opposite scenario in which the other category of being European characterized by an emphasis on the civic values is adopted as a common identity policy appears to be more
welcoming towards cultural and religious others, or at least towards those who are the bearers of different identities on these grounds. The instance of expansion towards Eastern and Central European countries is considered to be an example of how diverse national cultures and identities can come together and unite under a civic pan-European cosmopolitan culture (Urbán 2003; 47). Although there are religious and cultural divides between Western and Eastern parts of Europe, these have not been obstacles in the path towards expansion. If this strategy is followed in terms of providing Europeans with a sense of community, the fluid boundaries of Europe are not going to be determined by essentialist characteristics such as the common history of Europeans or their common religion, but through loyalty to civic values such as democracy and respect to rule of law. Accordingly, the formation of a European demos, it is argued, is dependent upon the similarity of political values and behaviors among its constituent parts (Fuchs and Klingemann 2000; 9). The issue of enlargement of the EU is also an issue which is in a close relationship with how the EU is going to foster a common sense of community among the Europeans. The natural boundaries of the EU in the west necessitates and enables enlargement only through eastern and south eastern countries surrounding the EU, and it is argued that issues such as vague territorial limits of Europe, increased cultural plurality after each expansion and the cultural diversity and gap that grows after each expansion renders developing a ‘thick’ European identity more difficult (Fuchs and Klingemann 2000; 2), and the eastward enlargement of the EU, it is argued, aggravates the difficulty of constituting a European demos (Fuchs and Klingemann 2000; 34). The cultural plurality that increases after each enlargement is going to be a continuing problem in terms of constituting a European demos as long as the European demos will tried to be established upon cultural and religious grounds. The prospective Turkish membership in the EU, as it will be seen further below, underlines the importance of this issue. 2.3. A Post-National Demos – Conceptual Issues in the Previous Research One of the outcomes of the review of the previous research on the European demos is the problem of conceptualization, or precisely the operationalization, of the demos. Apparently two lines of research have different conclusions with regards to the actuality and possibility of the emergence or the existence of a demos at the EU level. This closely relates to the way that scholars conceptualized the term in their research. Whereas the studies in the political/legal camp insist on the conceptualization in civic terms, ethno/cultural studies tend
to observe the non-existence of the European demos with the same qualities as the nationaldemos which has been conceptualized both in civic as well as in ethno/cultural terms. As the opening of this section of the essay showed, the national demos have many components such as a myth of common ancestry, common language, common origin and destiny, common political structures, and common culture and tradition, and so on. The term demos, as emerged and developed in the lexicon surrounding the nation-state, appear to be troublesome when it is applied to a democratic structure above the nation-state in Europe. The EU, frequently described as a sui generis body in the literature, poses a general problem in the political debates because appropriate analytical or normative approaches appear hard to be located (Jachtenfuchs 1998; 38). European demos itself is a sui generis phenomenon, and therefore the existing political science terminology appear to be confusing in some cases. The problem is best described by Weiler; ‘… the very language of modern democracy, its grammar, syntax and vocabulary, revolve around the state, the nation and the people – its demos. The [European] Union, it is generally accepted, is not a state. The result is a description of oranges with a botanical vocabulary developed for apples’ (Weiler 2000; 268).
Table 1. Categories according to the components of a demos National demos Ethno/Cultural European demos - There is no social aspect of demos - There is no cultural aspect of demos - There is no EUwide solidarity - Common political/legal structures Political/Legal European demos - No need for social/cultural/ethnic aspects of demos - Citizenship, associated with rights and entitlements - Common values and ideals
- Common ancestry - Common origin and destiny - Common history - Common language - Common culture and tradition - Common political structures
There appears to be a need for the separation of different types of social integration, cultural and political (Eriksen 2009; 38). Cultural integration has been possible in the case of nation-states, although some cases have been painful and bloody. However, expecting the realization of the same level of cultural integration and social cohesion at the EU level
appears to be constraining, and probably an expectation which will not appear in the foreseeable future, and most likely not expected to be achieved. Tested with an argument that a demos should have social/cultural/ethnic and political components, European demos will always yield with the result of ‘no demos at the EU level’; ‘The ‘no demos’ thesis seems unduly constraining. First of all, it rests on a questionable historical basis, since only a few instances did a homogenous people antedate and bring into existence a state. A much more typical pattern is for a state to come into existence and to construct a nation out of the raw materials that are in place… Second, the ‘no demos thesis makes it logically impossible to think about democracy in cases where it would otherwise seem appropriate. Even if one concedes that there is no developed European identity in the primordial sense, Europeans are increasingly tied together in numerous ways: through an increasingly dense market of goods, services and productive factors; through elaborate institutions; and through the daily experience of living under a common sense of laws’ (Caporaso 2005; 59. Emphasis added.). It is apparent that the EU lacks the ethno/cultural aspects of the demos, when conceptualized in the same terms as the national democracy and the national demos is conceptualized. However, it is possible to define the demos in civic rather than ethnic terms (Caporaso 2005; 60). In a similar vein, Schmitter rightfully asks; ‘… why should individuals (and for that matter, organizations) in the Europolity have to be “nationals” in some sense in order to act like citizens? Why could they not be loyal to a common set of institutions and political/legal principles rather than to some mystical charismatic founder or set of mythologized ancestors?’ (Schmitter 2000; 28. Emphasis added). As long as the nation-state is treated as the paradigm of integration, European demos will appear to be non-existent (Kraus 2004; 42). Eriksen and Fossum define this as the “tyranny of the concepts and principles associated with the nation-state” (Eriksen and Fossum 2000; 7). It should be kept in mind that the European demos does not aim at replacing already-existing national demos within the member states. The case of the EU, therefore, directs us to re-conceptualize the demos (Curtin 1997; 50). The European demos is different than the national demos. The citizens of the EU do not need to be ‘nationals’ in the same sense as the term is used in the scale of nation-state. What unites them and provides them with a feeling of commonality cannot be the common history or the language or the common myth of ancestry, this is apparent. However support for the European integration is an indicator that the Europeans are willing to live under a common set of norms and values, rules and laws which render them equals, and provide them with the same standards in any parts of the
continent. Expecting a cultural or social ingredient in this sense of community does not appear to be an expectation that would be achieved in short term, or even it is not the aim of the integration process itself.
3. Research Design 3.1. Research Material The material used for this research is accessed online, through the webpage which provides public access to the documents of the EU2. Consequently, the Register of the Commission documents contains documents produced since 1 January 2001. The Register of the European Parliament contains documents since 3 December 2001. This limitation of dates naturally led to the limitation of the research material in terms of time period. I have opted for the Commission Reports as the material from the Commission, and the debates in the European Parliament. The motives for this selection are various; firstly these two types of documents have the great possibility of reflecting the institutional views on the creation and the nature of the European demos, a theme which is the subject of this essay; secondly, these two types of materials are previously not studied by the similar research which is conducted on the European demos; and lastly, these two types of documents are easily explored through the search facilities of the Europa webpage. 3.2. Criteria for Data Selection The analysis of the research is conducted upon the material which has been located through the Europa webpage. Both the Commission and the European Parliament have also separate webpages for the Register of Documents with a search facility. In order to collect the documents from two institutions of the EU, I have used several keywords which would bring documents capable of providing the views of these two institutions of the EU on the European demos. The keywords I have used are the following; Europeans, Europeanness, European identity, European citizenship, being European, European civilization, demos, European demos, Christianity, cultural history, and cultural heritage (See Operationalization Section). Each of these keywords led to many number of results out of which I had to read and manually pick the documents which actually information on the creation and the nature of a European demos. The difficulty in locating material for the research question is that one keyword leads to many hits which are not relevant for the research. For instance, the keywords of “European citizenship” may lead to a parliamentary debate in EP about the European citizenship cards, whereas the keyword Christianity may lead to another discussion regarding the mistreatment of Christian communities in a country. Therefore, locating the
Europa – Gateway to the European Union http://europa.eu/documentation/official-docs/index_en.htm
research material has been a time consuming process which demanded reading of the material which came up as the results of the searches I have conducted in the databases as to determine the context of the use of the term. The keywords are the words which I have decided to use after reading and reviewing the previous research. The list of the keywords can be extended, however there will be always a limitation. The research material that this essay is using is not exhaustive; rather, it can be considered as representative which would allow generalizations. In the process of collecting the research material, I have opted for utilizing material which is capable of reflecting the institutional view of the EU on the creation and the nature of a European demos which is in the process of making. For this aim, I have chosen documents from two of the important institutions of the EU which are powerful in terms of making legislation. The reason behind this is that the top-down process of imposing a European-wide collective sense of identity within the EU is going to be the result of the efforts of the EU to bring about such an identity. In observing how the content and the nature of such a collective identity is being designed, European Parliament and the Commission, considering their impact on legislation, appear to be the best choices in order to monitor how the nature of such a collective identity is being designed. It should be kept in mind that these two institutions of the EU are different from each other in terms of their institutional nature. Between these two institutions, the European Commission is the executive body of the European Union, responsible for proposing legislation, implementation of decisions, and ensuring that the treaties of the EU are respected. Composed of 27 Commissioners who are required to represent the interests of the EU, the Commission is the only institution with the power of proposing legislation, whereas the Council and the Parliament can only request legislation. In terms of institutional nature, however, the European Parliament is different than the Commission. It is composed of 736 directly elected members, and hand in hand with the Council and the Commission it exercises the task of legislation. The members of the Parliament do not have the obligation to represent the interests of the EU; rather, there are political groups within the Parliament and the members of the Parliament are elected to be representatives of certain interests which do not necessarily have to be the interests of the EU. In these terms, it is possible to observe that these two institutions can have quite different conceptions with regards to the creation and the nature of a European demos. This may be the result of various reasons such as the composition of these institutions or the duties
that they have to fulfill. In contrast to the Commission, the Parliament is an area where the members are free to voice their opinions according to their political affiliation, or in accordance with their own beliefs and political allegiances. Members are popularly elected and they represent a certain constituency. As a result, it is possible to observe diverse opinions within the Parliament on any given issue. The Commission, on the other hand, is obliged to watch over the interests of the EU; its members are not elected but appointed. A certain type of legislation can be discussed in the Parliament, however it is the Commission which proposes and initiates legislation in the formal sense. The differences pertaining to the organizational structure of these two EU institutions may potentially lead to different conceptions of the EU demos as it will be analyzed in the next section. The type of documents I have opted for using are the documents that these institutions produce and make publicly available in order to assess how two institutions view the creation and the nature of the European demos. The Commission documents are composed of communications from the Commission to European Parliament and the Council, legislation proposals, reports on the functioning of various programs, and one White Paper. The material from the European Parliament is composed of transcribed versions of parliamentary sittings during which members of the Parliament discuss various diverse issues on the agenda. 3.3. Operationalization of European Demos The previous section about the previous research on the European demos concluded that the conceptualization of the European demos necessitates a rethinking different than national demos. Whereas ethno/cultural elements, hand in hand with political/legal components, are the established parts of the national demos, imagining a European demos with the same qualities of the national demos does not appear to be a logical step in the research field. Therefore, there is a necessity of definition and operationalization of the European demos which is capable of capturing this nuance. In accordance with the consideration that the demos formation is an ongoing project led by the EU, Chryssochou claims that; ‘… transnational demos-formation is about a politics of ‘civic inclusion’ followed by a corresponding sharing of popular political sentiments and values so as to make the European peoples feel, look and act more as a demos …’ (Chryssochou 2000; 91).
Following this argument, demos-formation can be seen as a process in which individuals are connected to each other with similar sentiments and values. In democracies, in which the people are the ultimate source of political authority, the question of ‘who constitutes the people?’ is of utmost importance (Beetham and Lord 1998; 16). Constituting ‘a people’ at the EU level can be, therefore, achieved through various mechanisms. As a topdown process, the commonalities emphasized by the EU among the Europeans can be considered to function to bring about a European demos. These commonalities can be considered as a ‘glue’, as a result of which a group of individuals will be ‘a’ people, rather than ‘some’ people (Jolly 2007; 68-69). The need for such a ‘glue’ is also articulated by Warleigh; ‘… citizens must consider that they belong together with a people of a different member state nationality as part of the same community. Second, they must feel that the system itself is legitimate because it is one with which they can engage and which broadly reflects their identity and values, so that disaffection about a particular issue of policy does not semi-automatically become disengagement with the system as a whole’ (Warleigh 2003; 109). Furthermore, the goal of demos-formation in the EU is; ‘… to find effective, affective means by which citizens can recognize each other as co-citizens of a common political system, and also recognize the system itself as legitimate’ (Warleigh 2004; 114). Through certain mechanisms, citizens form a demos in which each individual recognize herself/himself as part of a greater body of demos. It is a sense of belonging together which is shared by each constituent individual (Warleigh 2004; 119). One last useful definition is the following; ‘The subjective manifestations of peoplehood, of the demos, are to be found in a sense of social cohesion, shared destiny and collective selfidentity which, in turn, result in and deserve loyalty’ (Weiler, et al 1995; 10). In the light of these definitions of demos and demos-formation, this essay will be adopting the following indicators of demos while analyzing the material in terms of how the Commission and the Parliament view the creation and the nature of a European demos; a) Demos-formation is a process of providing the individuals with a sense that they belong to a greater group of people, a type of community,
b) This group of people are united in terms of values, sentiments, judgments regarding good and bad, a shared destiny and maybe even a past, and any phenomena that is considered to be common to these people which would act as a glue between them, c) Demos-formation aims at making citizens recognize other citizens as their counterparts, and it also aims at legitimizing the system due to the nature of representative democracies in which majority is compelled by minority decisions. The list above includes the tools which have assisted the author in terms of selecting the research materials which are the ways that the creation and the nature of the European demos is viewed by the Commission and the EP. In short, demos is a sense of community in which the commonalities of the people are emphasized in order to provide them with the feeling that they are members of a society which is composed of fellow citizens who are not different from them and they are all members of this community. In order to point out the way that the formation and the characteristics of a European demos is viewed within the EU documents, the author will seek the highlights of the documents as the following; if views on the nature and the creation of the European demos found within any of the institutions refers the roots of a community or the primordial attachments, then, in line with the previous theories, the respective category of that definition would be ethno/cultural. Likewise, if another view refers mostly to the rights of the Europeans as the cement of the community, this definition would consequently be grouped under the political/legal debate. Moreover, it should be noted herein that there are no clear-cut boundaries between these two categories in the sense that ethno/cultural approaches to the European demos might include political/legal notions in itself; however, as it was elaborated above, ethno/cultural approaches tend to refer to a shared past or history or a common heritage. At this point it is important to point out the reasons for distinguishing between two categories of demos throughout this thesis. As mentioned above, one type of approach to European demos is characterized by political/legal features, and the other one is centered around ethno/cultural ingredients. These analytical categories are inherently found within the previous studies on the subject. It is commonplace to observe that academic approaches to the issue of European demos are either in the political/legal camp, or in the ethno/cultural camp. This choice of differentiating between the two categories of European demos throughout this
thesis is also motivated by the fact that this categorization is widely employed by the academics who study the European demos (For the use of similar categorizations, see; Jolly 2007, Chryssochoou 2000 and Weiler, et al 1995). Another motivation for distinguishing between these two types of European demos emanates from the fact that these two categories have different implications for the future integration of Turkey into the EU from the viewpoint of the project of demos formation within the EU. Choosing one strategy over the other, as it will be seen later on, have different implications from the viewpoint of the nature of the European demos and locating Turkey within it.
4. ‘Others’ of Europe and Turkey One of the premises of this essay is that Turkey stands as an ‘other’ of Europe, largely on cultural terms. From a historical perspective, Europe had many others, both political and cultural. Yet the case of Turkey deserves particular attention considering the fact that it has been described as the cultural other of Europe in the scholarly debates. There are also authors which claim that Turkey is not the ‘other’ of Europe, but an important part of Europe (for instance, Ozal 1991), however the general tendency in the literature is to describe Turkey as the cultural other of Europe. In this type of approach, Turkey had been and still remains as an ‘other’ of Europe in cultural and religious terms, and the prospective membership of Turkey poses a political problem to the EU, because the evolution and the emergence of the
European demos stands in opposition with the Turkish identity. In this interpretation, drawing on culture, history and religion of Europeans automatically excludes Turkey from the European demos as long as it is constructed in cultural and religious terms. Before going into details on the others of Europe and particularly Turkey, it is crucial to clarify what is meant by the term ‘other’. Identities, or the sense of community among a group of individuals, do not emerge in vacuum; they come into existence via the existence of others through a historical experience (Kösebalaban 2007; 97). The ‘Self’ is in need of difference from the ‘Other’, otherwise there would be no difference between we and them. Thinking of identity without its implication of difference is not possible; “it would make no sense to say ‘I am European’ if this did not imply a difference from being ‘Asian’, ‘African’ or ‘American’” (Diez 2004; 320). Therefore, the difference, which can be real or imagined or constructed, between the self and the other is significant with respect to the formation of a ‘we-feeling’ as opposed to the ‘we-feeling’ of others. From this perspective, Europe has others which can be considered to be both political and cultural/religious. The political other’s of Europe are considered to be Orient/Asia, the USA, and the Eastern Europe (Stråth 2002; 391). Another political ‘other’ has been indicated to be Europe’s own past; ‘Europe’s “other”, the enemy image, is today not to a very large extent “Islamic fundamentalism”, “the Russians” or anything similar—rather Europe’s other is Europe’s own past which should not be allowed to become its future’ (Wæver 1998; 90). Europe’s war-torn past, the political crises that Europe and the Europeans have experienced are, therefore, claimed to be standing as a political other of contemporary Europe. Eastern
Europe is also viewed to be similar to Europe’s temporal other (Diez 2004, 326-327). Aside from these political others, Turkey as an ‘other’ of Europe, seems to be of a different nature which is largely articulated in cultural and religious terms. Turkey is regarded as an ‘other’ of Europe in the scholarly approaches (Neumann 1999, Ballard 1996, Kuran-Burçoğlu 2007). However this type of otherness appears to be different from other ‘others’ of Europe which have been mentioned above. Contemporarily, it is largely articulated in cultural terms, although the Turk has also been a political other from a historical perspective (Neumann 1999; 47, Delanty 1995; 67). Especially after the demise of the Cold War and the end of the Soviet Union, which has also played the role of ‘other’ of Europe largely on political grounds during the second half of the 20th century (Neumann 1999, Challand 2009, Kösebalaban 2007), the prominent ‘other’ of Europe emerged as Islam especially after 9/11. Challand exemplifies this as the following; ‘The context of the Cold War and active containment by western countries helps to explain why no one ever questioned the association agreement3 with Turkey on grounds of cultural and religious differences’ (Challand 2009; 74). What is observed, after the demise of the Cold War, is the emergence of a new ‘Other’ vis-à-vis the European identity which is largely articulated in religious tones and which also positions Turkey as the representative of this ‘Other’ due to its overwhelming Muslim population (Kösebalaban 2007; 100). It is the “Islamic threat” through which a new dynamic is provided in the way that Europe makes sense of itself (Ballard 1996; 37). On a European scale, the right-wing political elites draw on pre-modern political notions, such as geography, history and religion, in order to define European identity (Yilmaz 2007; 295). The context after the demise of the Cold War was geocultural in which European population started to be characterized by cultural diversity via the visibility of Muslims who led to the fear by the Europeans with regards to losing their cultural identity (Kösebalaban 2007; 100, Ballard 1996; 37). After 1960s, European states received immigrant guest-workers in large numbers from Middle Eastern and African countries. Countries such as Germany, France, Switzerland, Belgium and Sweden became the target countries of guest-workers, and later their families. For the Turkish case, the largest number of immigrant workers is found in Germany, Benelux countries, France, Austria and Switzerland (Manço 2000; 22). It appeared later on that guest3
The Agreement Creating an Association Between The Republic of Turkey and the European Economic Community was signed between Turkey and the European Economic Community in 1963.
workers were not going back. Integration problems in the host country, competition between the host people and immigrants in the job market, and the cultural clash between the hosts and the guests made the situation worse. Turkish communities, especially, have a rather poor image in terms of integration in the countries in which they are settled (Manço 2000; 28-29). Minimum interaction and lack of communication led to disappointment both by the hosts and the guests (Kuran-Burçoğlu 2007; 161). As a result, this situation eased the path toward the emergence of stereotypes, especially after 9/11, regarding the immigrant populations in Europe, who are largely Muslims and, of course, a considerable amount of which is composed by the Turks. As the emergence of Islam as the ‘Other’ of Europe, in this context, Diez notes that; ‘The representation of Islam as the other of a Christian Europe has a long tradition, and is an integral part of many aspects of European (and Islamic) culture. It would be naïve assume that this discourse was irrelevant to the discussions about a European identity even in the post-1945 age of integration. However, during the predominance of the temporal other, the other of Islam played at worst a secondary and at best a silent background role. Today, the construction of Islam as Europe’s other is back on the headlines, ironically at a time when a substantial number of EU citizens are Muslims’ (Diez 2004; 328). The response of the European political elite is the argument that the EU is founded upon the values which are provided by its Christian heritage and the civic values of the EU are also indebted to it (MacMillan 2010; 448). In every opportunity, notably in France and Germany, politicians do not hesitate to argue against Turkish accession into the EU on religious and cultural grounds. Although since the foundation of the Republic of Turkey projected itself as European, Islam and Turkey have continued to be seen as synonymous by the dominant European perception (Kösebalaban 2007; 101). In short, one of the premises of the following analysis is that Turkey is among the ‘others’ of Europe which is largely articulated in religious and cultural terms. This has implications from the viewpoint that whereas political characteristics are inclusive towards the others, cultural/religious definitions of a community render it exclusive (Rumelili 2004; 27). Turkey appears to be a significant case as a cultural, as well as a religious, ‘other’ given the future membership prospect to the EU.
5. Analysis In order to proceed with the analysis of the documents, this essay will follow a structure which is the result of the previous research section of this essay. The outcome of the review of the previous research on the subject concluded that there are generally two main schools of thought in the field; one being ethno/cultural perspectives, and the other one being political/legal perspectives. They indicate that there can be two ways of imagining the European demos. As explained above, while the former studies focus on the political and ethno/cultural aspects of the European demos, the latter define it on political/legal terms. The result of this differentiation is the following; Table 2. Two categories of demos Political/Legal Approaches Citizenship as key to demos formation Rights bring about a sense of community Democratic values and ideals shared by the political community Expecting the emergence of the ethno/cultural aspect of demos is unrealistic on the European scale Ethno/Cultural Approaches Social/Cultural/Ethnic aspects of demos are as important as the political/legal aspects Without the social side of demos, there is no demos Demos is not only a legal community, but also a social community Emphasis on history of a specific people
The following analysis is, therefore, established upon the two ideal types found in the literature. The first is to be called, hereafter, political/legal approaches to the European demos, and the second is called ethno/cultural. These categorizations of the approaches to the European demos are helpful in terms of observing the tendency within the research material that this essay will be analyzing. It should be noted herein that Turkey, as the cultural other of Europe, will set a difficulty in terms of being accommodated within the European demos as long as the ethno/cultural content within the European demos keep on prevailing. Constituting elements of the sense of community among the EU citizens may be excluding Turkey from such a community. On the other hand, political content of the European demos appear to be
more promising in terms of locating Turkey within the democratic community at the EU level. In searching for an answer to the research question, these ideal types will be offering a roadmap in terms of evaluating the views found both in the European Commission documents, and debates in the European Parliament. 5.1. European Commission Documents The European Commission stands as the executive institution of the EU, the main tasks of which are to propose legislation and to execute decisions. It is composed of 27 Commissioners, one from each member country of the EU, who represent not the interests of their home countries, but the interests of the EU. As for the documents from the European Commission, 10 documents have been analyzed in total (See Annex). The oldest document is dated 2001, and the newest is 2010. These documents include legislation proposals from the Commission to the European Parliament and the Council, communications from the Commission to other institutions of the EU such as the EP and/or the Council, reports from the Commission regarding various acts, and lastly Commission Staff Working Documents which are usually accompanying documents to some other Commission proposal, report or communication. In search for the views on the creation and the nature of the European demos found within in the Commission documents, the definition in the operationalization section of this essay is adopted. Consequently, I have been looking for views which define European peoples, their commonalities and the constituting parts of their sense of community as it is perceived and reflected by the European Commission. The results of the analysis of the European Commission documents are the following;
Out of ten documents, in which there is a view of being European or a European demos, that are analyzed, seven of the views provided by the Commission documents describe the European demos in political/legal terms, whereas two of them provide a description of the European demos in ethno/cultural terms. One view on the European demos, however, does not comfortably fit into the analytical categories employed by this analysis. The political/legal views emphasize the role of active citizenship in leading to a sense of belonging among the Europeans, and also the role of democratic structures which provide the opportunity of democratic participation for the EU citizens. One of the political/legal views of the European demos provided by the Commission documents, which is a Commission report on the progress towards effective citizenship, is regarding the ‘Europe for Citizens Programme’, and its expected outcomes on the EU citizens; ‘The Commission implements the "Europe for Citizens" Programme, established for the period 2007 to 2013 with a total budget of 215M €, with a view to fostering civic participation, creating a sense of belonging to the European Union among its citizens, enhancing tolerance and mutual understanding and developing a European identity. The programme aims at enabling citizens to participate in building Europe through exchanges, debates, reflection, learning and other activities and its annual priorities cover the future of the EU and its basic values, democratic participation, intercultural dialogue, and the impact of EU policies in societies’ (COM 2010 602 Final, p. 12). In such an instance, the community feeling among the EU citizens, hand in hand with a feeling of belonging to the EU, is expected to emerge as a result of civic participation. It is the democratic participation of the EU citizens which is expected to bring about a sense of
community. Such a view on the creation and the nature of the European demos stands on purely political/legal grounds. Another example is of a view on the creation of a European demos is found in a Communication from the Commission regarding the fostering of European culture through various programmes. At this instance, the emergence and the creation of a European demos is imagined as the outcome of various programmes which aim at making sense of European citizenship; ‘European citizens must therefore be given the chance of direct, personal experience of what European citizenship and these values mean in practice – be it through participation in dialogue with the institutions, through citizen and youth exchanges, or participation in cross-border projects. Fostering the mobility of citizens, artists, cultural and audiovisual works and events, gives European citizens the possibility of encountering the common elements in their developing European identity, an identity which complements those – national, regional, ethnic, religious – that citizens already have’ (COM 2004 154 Final, p. 2). The quote above from the Commission Communication makes an emphasis on the role of the interactions of the EU citizens with each other in developing a European identity. As a result, there is a direct link set up between being an EU citizen and the emergence of a European identity. It is not the common cultural particularities of the Europeans which will bring about a sense of community; on the contrary the Europeans will have a sense of community, a community identity, as the outcome of the interaction of the Europeans as the EU citizens, or as the bearers of a political/legal title. Before proceeding to the ethno/cultural views, I would like to provide one last example of the political/legal views on the European demos by the Commission in the form of a Commission Communication; ‘The recent developments in the European Union make it more necessary than ever for Europe's citizens to have the chance to experience a sense of belonging to the Union and to be able to identify with it. In reality many citizens only experience the Union as a distant and remote political and economic entity as reflected in the low turnouts for European elections. Recent opinion polls also show falling levels of support for European Union membership. The concept of European citizenship must therefore be given concrete meaning through direct, personal interaction –whether through participation in dialogue with the institutions, through citizen exchanges or through participation in cross-border projects’ (SEC 2005 442 Final). This view on the development of the European demos fits comfortably with the political/legal category, as it emphasizes the role of EU citizenship in terms of creating a sense of belonging to the Union. In these terms, the political/legal category of the EU
citizenship is instrumental in terms of emergence of the belonging to the Union. The identification of the EU citizens is not an individual experience, but on the contrary, it is an experience which is to be achieved collectively by the EU citizens. Their interactions with the EU institutions will, eventually, lead to a collective sense of belonging among the EU citizens. These three examples, out of seven political/legal views of the European demos found within the Commission documents can be considered to be representative of the other remaining four. Now I turn to the ethno/cultural views, which are considerably in minority compared to political/legal views on the European demos within the Commission documents. First of the views on the European demos found within the Commission documents, which is within the ethno/cultural category, is the following, and it is found in a Communication from the Commission regarding the European agenda for culture in a globalizing world; ‘As Dario Fo rightly pointed out, "even before Europe was united in an economic level or was conceived at the level of economic interests and trade, it was culture that united all the countries of Europe. The arts, literature, music are the connecting link of Europe". Indeed, Europeans share a common cultural heritage, which is the result of centuries of creativity, migratory flows and exchanges. They also enjoy and value a rich cultural and linguistic diversity, which is inspiring and has inspired many countries across the world’ (COM 2007 242 Final, p. 2). Although this quote, which includes a view on the nature of the European demos, does not explicitly state the content of the ‘common cultural heritage’ of Europeans which is supposed to be uniting them, the feeling of community among the Europeans is conceived to be purely on cultural grounds. According to this definition, it is not the political/legal structures that unite the Europeans, but their common cultural heritage, something which this paper accepts to the extent to exclude Turkey. Europeans are also argued to be sharing a ‘cultural and linguistic diversity’, however this diversity is ‘among the Europeans’, whereas they are already claimed to have a common cultural heritage. The second Commission document is a proposal for the establishment of the ‘European Heritage Label’ which is ‘to strengthen European citizens' sense of belonging to the EU, based on shared elements of history and heritage, as well as an appreciation of diversity, and to strengthen intercultural dialogue’ (COM 2010 76 Final, p. 2). It is argued that the goal of the European Heritage Label is to [s]trengthen European citizens’ sense of belonging to the European Union, based on shared elements of history and cultural heritage, as well as an appreciation of diversity (COM 2010 76 Final, p. 11). Within this view, the commonality of the Europeans is argued to be found in their ‘shared elements of history and cultural heritage’. This view fits perfectly
with the ethno/cultural approaches to the demos in which the cultural and historical commonalities of individuals are emphasized. The document also makes a connection between this shared history and heritage and the democratic values, claiming that there is a connection between the ‘common yet diverse cultural heritage’ and ‘democratic values and human rights which underpin the process of European integration’ (COM 2010 76 Final, p. 11). Therefore, a connection is set up between the cultural and historical heritage of Europeans and their democratic values, however it is their cultural and historical heritage which bind the European peoples; they do not necessarily have a sense of community through their democratic values and human rights, but they are connected particularly through their common history. Moreover, the diversity of the European cultural heritage is also recognized in this view on the European demos, however it is a diversity within Europe, and does not necessarily include a ‘cultural other of Europe’. There is one view on the development of the European demos found within the Commission documents which does not fit into the analytical categories that this essay has adopted. It is a Communication regarding the influence of European Active Citizenship programme; ‘Between 2004 and 2006, the Commission implemented a programme promoting active European citizenship. The concept of European citizenship in this programme is broader than the legal definition. It encompasses the participation of citizens in debates and projects with a European dimension, with a view to promoting a sense of belonging to a common area, based on shared values, history and culture. The cultural aspect of active European citizenship has been further developed within the new programme Europe for Citizens (2007-2013), which is also partially based on Article 151 (culture) of the EC Treaty. All projects supported under the citizenship programme promote dialogue between different cultures in Europe and help to raise awareness, either directly or indirectly, about the common elements contributing to European identity’ (SEC 2007 570, p. 7-8). Such a view of ‘being European’, or of a European demos, does not comfortably fit into the analytical categories of this analysis for various reasons. First, it recognizes both the legal aspect of European citizenship and citizen participation as regards to their influence in contributing to a European identity. However, it is claimed that European citizenship is more than a legal category, and there is a link set up between European citizenship and the shared values, history and culture of the Europeans. The cultural and historical commonalities of
Europeans are rather vague, and in addition, this view of the European demos is composed of both political/legal and ethno/cultural elements, which makes this view complex to fit into one of the analytical categories as it includes elements from both of the analytical categories. In sum, the documents from the European Commission, compared to the debates in the European Parliament, offer a rather small number of views on the creation and the nature of the European demos. Using the analytical categories offered by the previous research on the subject, it can be argued that the large majority of the views offer a political/legal image of the European demos (Seven out of ten, whereas the last, uncategorized definition also include political/legal elements within itself). Two ethno/cultural views of the European demos are in that group as their emphasis is on the ‘shared cultural and historical heritage’ of Europeans, rather than on the political/legal aspects of European citizenship. It can be generally concluded that the Commission documents offer views regarding the creation and the nature of the European demos largely on political/legal terms, in which the role of the EU citizenship, civic participation and democratic processes are emphasized. It is these structures which are claimed to be ‘common’ to all Europeans, and leading to a sense of community among the EU citizens. 5.2. European Parliament Debates European Parliament, together with the Council of the EU and the Commission, is the legislative body of the EU, and composed of 736 Members of the European Parliament (MEPs) who are directly elected every five years since 1979. As for the documents of the European Parliament, 32 parliamentary debates have been analyzed, which offer a total of 34 views on the European demos within the parliamentary debates among the MEPs (See Annex). Among the documents analyzed, the oldest document dates to 11 February 2003, and the newest to 16 December 2010. These parliamentary debates include discussions on the effectiveness of various programs executed by the EU, the effectiveness of EU citizenship, closing the gap between the EU and the people, enlargement of the EU, and so on. While searching for the views on the creation and the nature of the European demos in these documents, I have followed a similar strategy with the Commission documents to be able to analyze them. As a result, I have been looking for the views on the European demos as it is perceived and articulated by the MEPs during the parliamentary discussions. The result of
the analysis of 32 parliamentary debates and 34 views on European demos is the following when they are fitted into the analytical categories employed by this analysis;
Out of 34 views on the creation and the nature of the European demos that I have been able to locate within the debates in the European Parliament, 15 of them fit into political/legal category, whereas 16 of them fit into ethno/cultural category. 3 of the views of the European demos provided in the parliamentary debates do not fit into these two analytical categories. Before proceeding to the analysis of the views of the European demos which are representative of their respective categories, it can be put that the ones in the political/legal category largely emphasize the role of the EU and its institutions in terms of bringing about a European demos, whereas ethno/cultural views of the European demos overwhelmingly emphasize the role of Christianity in terms of providing the citizens of the EU with a sense of community. Starting with the political/legal views on the European demos found in the debates in the European Parliament, the following by Terrón i Cusí perfectly fits into the category; ‘Citizenship of the Union – institutionalised and created as such by the Treaty of Maastricht and later modified by the Treaty of Amsterdam – confers a series of rights and duties on the nationals of all the Member States. The intention is to associate the citizens with the process of European integration, giving them more involvement, strengthening the protection of their rights and promoting the idea of a European identity by
means of the creation of a sense of belonging amongst the citizens of the Union. The citizenship rights and the Union as a whole will only have credibility amongst the citizens if they can be applied in practice in their everyday lives’ (Sitting of Tuesday, 11 February 2003, p. 7-8. Emphasis added.). In such a view on the nature of the European demos, the focus is on the institution of EU citizenship and its influence over the EU citizens in terms of providing them with a sense of belonging among each other. It is the rights and duties emanating from the citizenship of the Union which is argued to lead to the emergence of a European identity. The EU is seen both as the promoter and also the protector of these entitlements. Political and legal structures are, therefore, regarded as instrumental in terms of creating a European demos. During the debates about the Constitutional Treaty in the European Parliament, it is also possible to observe how the constitutional arrangements are considered to be leading to a European identity among the citizens of the EU. A connection is set up by Maria da Assunção Esteves between the constitution and its influence over the EU citizens in terms of providing them with a European identity; ‘How can we realise a project of justice that lies both inside and outside Europe’s boundaries? How can we build a way of life not based on tradition? How can we turn Europe into a democratic power and founder of a new world order? … The future allows us no room for fear. We have an urgent need to discuss political integration, to discuss the introduction of a cosmopolitan and more human way of life, to discuss the extent to which the Constitution itself represents and constructs our European identity. After all, our European identity was not born out of tradition, but out of morality, desire and reason’ (Sitting of Wednesday 18 January 2006, p 68). In this instance, again, it can be observed that there is a political focus in terms of the role of the constitution in providing a European identity. Additionally, there is a neglect of ‘tradition’ as an ingredient of European identity. The constitution is ascribed the role of representing and constructing the ‘European identity’, an identity which is expected to include the individuals living in Europe. Some other several views on the European demos within the political/legal category emphasize the role of openness, transparency and accountability of the EU institutions in terms of leading to a demos on the EU scale (De Rossa. Sitting of Thursday 18 November 2004, p. 8); or make a clear-cut connection between the citizenship of the EU and the European demos (György Schöpflin. Sitting of Wednesday 13 December 2006, p. 18). In a similar fashion with the political/legal views found in the Commission documents, these approaches to the European demos focus on the role of citizenship and the EU-institutions in
terms of providing the Europeans with a sense of community, and leading to a ‘we-feeling’ which is largely articulated in a political/legal tone. When it comes to the views of the European demos articulated in ethno/cultural terms, the main theme emphasized in the material is the role of Christianity in terms of providing the Europeans with a sense of community. Europeans are argued to be forming a community due to their Christian identity which is shared by the individuals throughout Europe. Other themes are, for instance, their history and common cultural heritage. One of the views of the European demos which is within the ethno/cultural category is the following; ‘It was Christianity which gave Europe this deepest foundation of unity and strengthened it for centuries, the Christian Gospel with its understanding of mankind and its contribution to the development of history, peoples and nations. This does not mean we are using history for our own ends, for the history of Europe is like a great river, into which flow manifold tributaries and streams, and the diversity of traditions and cultures which have created Europe is its great wealth. The basis of European identity is itself built on Christianity, and the present lack of spiritual unity is mainly the result of the crisis in our awareness of that Christian identity’ (Urszula Krupa, Sitting of Monday 4 May 2009, p. 6. Emphasis added.). An approach to being European as the one above fits perfectly into the ethno/cultural category of the European demos. Accordingly, being European and belonging to the greater community of Europeans is not articulated in political/legal terms; on the contrary, it is defined in terms of religion which is regarded as being a commonality for the Europeans. It is their religious identity which unites the peoples of Europe, and such an identity, as a consequence, does not have any relations with the political/legal structures which emerged as a result of European integration. Although among the research material it is not commonplace to find a view on the creation and the nature of the European demos which is formulated vis-à-vis Turkey (which would directly provide answers to the research question of this essay), there are some instances in which Turkey is also a reference point in terms of providing a description of being European. A useful example is the following; ‘Turkey will not respect our culture, and will try to impose its own on us. A country that was not previously Christian can never become European. All current and prospective Members of the Union became Christian over a thousand years ago, and no humanist philosophy can replace this common denominator binding all us together. Let us welcome
Turkey as a partner but not as a Member’ (Jan Tadeusz Masiel, Sitting of Wednesday 28 September 2005, p. 16. Emphasis added.). This view of European peoples, or a European demos for the purpose of this essay, is clearly to be located within the ethno/cultural category. According to this view by Masiel, Christianity is what makes Europe and the Europeans, and nothing else. It is regarded as a common denominator of Europeans which binds them all together, hence a sense of community. Being a non-Christian country, Turkey cannot be a part of Europe and Turks cannot be considered Europeans, and cannot be a part of the European demos, because of their very quality of not being Christians. Being Christian is an identity which is acquired by the Europeans long time ago and it is treated as an essential part of their identity, of being European. A view of the European demos as such does not include any references to political/legal structures of the EU. For instance, it is not the citizenship which bind Europeans together, but Christianity. A similar approach is found in the following quote; ‘… we must remember the fundamental role which Christianity has played in forming Europe’s historical and cultural identity, and promote and protect these values in the world as well as inside the European Union’ (Mirosław Piotrowski, Sitting of Thursday 21 January 2010, p. 38). The ethno/cultural views of the European demos are, therefore, largely focused on the role of Christianity in terms of providing an essential commonality to the Europeans. Christianity is treated as a phenomenon which has deeply influenced the historical and the cultural landscape of Europe. There is a perceived link between Christianity and Europe, and Europeans as well, a link which is almost portrayed as irrevocable. Such a description of being European can only be considered to be within the ethno/cultural category, as the emphasis is not on the political/legal structures, but on the contrary, it is on Christianity and its role in the shaping of cultural map of Europe. The chart below illustrates the ratio of references to Christianity in the parliamentary debates in the EP to the rest of the European demos definitions that this research has located.
9 of the views of the European demos found within the EP debates offer a view of the European with a reference to Christianity. Against an argument that the European cultural heritage does not exclude Turkey, it can be argued that among the ethno/cultural views on the nature and the creation of a European demos located in the EP debates, 9 of them are definitely excluding Turkey on the basis of religion, because Christianity is deemed to be an essential part of being European, and an essential part of the community of Europeans. There is not any explicit reference to Christianity in any of the Commission documents analyzed in this essay, however it is interesting to see that among the MEPs, there is the notion that the religion of Europeans is accepted as an element which is to provide the source of community among the Europeans. The debates in the European Parliament offer three views which can be categorized neither as political/legal, nor as ethno/cultural. I would like to provide one example of these uncategorized views; ‘… if the citizens of the European Union – alongside their attachment to home and their own country – understand and are aware, as Europeans, of what binds them to one another. A sense of community and a sense of being ‘us’ are necessary conditions for our shared future. European unification is not simply a desire dictated by our minds; European unification is also an affair of the heart. Making this clear to people is perhaps the greatest challenge that we must meet together. What we have to do is to serve the citizens of the European Union. Europeans should be proud of what they have achieved by their labours over the centuries in terms of values, freedom, law and democracy. It has been a long haul. We know that our European roots lie in Greek philosophy, Roman law, the Judeo-Christian heritage, the Enlightenment – in other words, in our shared European
culture’ (Hans-Gert Poettering, Sitting of Tuesday 13 February 2007, p. 56). The view above of the European demos includes both political/legal and ethno/cultural elements within itself, and this quality of it renders this uncategorized. There is a political/legal emphasis with reference to EU citizenship and its role, however there is also reference to a particular European past which is also deemed to be necessary to be appreciated as being the source of the values, freedom, law and democracy. Although the citizenship title is mentioned, European history is also endorsed in terms of providing a source for the democratic values of the EU. This view, therefore, does not comfortable fit into the analytical categories employed by this essay. 5.3. Findings and the Implications of the Analysis In sum, this section of the essay is allocated for the analysis of the research material in light of the analytical categories adopted from previous research. The research material is diverse in terms of its content; the analysis above is conducted from the research material collected from two different institutions of the EU which have different organizational natures and this enables the research to make some generalizations with regards to how each of these two institutions of the EU approaches to the issue of demos as a common sense of community among the Europeans. In terms of material utilized in the research, the parliamentary debates, compared with the Commission documents, appear to be more prolific in terms of expressing a view on the creation and the nature of the European demos. The organizational natures of these two institutions have definitely an impact with regards to this outcome; the Commission documents are far less frequent than the parliamentary debates, and the discussions among the MEPs can have a wide range of topics without any limitation. As a result, although the research material used in this research covers almost a period of 9 years, the research has been able to locate only 10 documents from the Commission with a view on the creation and the nature of a European demos. The same time period witnessed more debates regarding the issue within the EP. From the viewpoint of the powers of these two EU institutions, both of them are significant in terms of giving a direction to the way that the European demos is going to be shaped and given direction in terms of its nature.
The decision-making process in the EU occurs in a triangle of the European Parliament, European Commission and the Council, which has not been studied within the scope of this essay. The Commission represents the common interest of the EU, and it is the executive body. It proposes legislation and ensures their implementation. The European Parliament, hand in hand with the Council, is an important body of the EU in terms of making legislation. From the viewpoint that fostering a sense of community among the Europeans is a top-down process, both the Commission and the EP are important. Whereas the Commission initiates implementation and ensures its implementation, it is the EP which passes the legislation. In terms of fostering a sense of community among the Europeans and for the prospect of future directions that a European demos is going to take with regards to its nature, therefore, both institutions can be considered important. However, the Commission documents provide thorough elaborations and consequences of the legislation and programmes, usually with a projection towards the future. The Commission appears to be less interested with the issue, however this possibly relates to the different functioning mechanisms of two institutions of the EU. Whereas the views on the nature and the creation of a European demos in the European Parliament are mere discussions composed of the ideas of the MEPs, the Commission documents have more impact with regards to being either proposals, reports on programmes, or communications. As a general rule, the political/legal views found within the two types of documents stress the role of EU citizenship and the institutions of the EU in terms of providing a sense of community to the Europeans. These types of views are more common in Commission documents (7 political/legal, whereas there is only 2 ethno/cultural views). European Parliament debates appear to be more fruitful in terms of providing a view on the European demos; out of 34 views analyzed, 15 of them are within the political/legal camp, whereas 16 of them are within the ethno/cultural camp. Within 16 ethno/cultural views, 9 of them are directly referring to the Christian background of Europeans as an element which provides them a sense of community. In parliamentary debates, therefore, it can be argued that there are views of the European demos almost in equal numbers for the analytical categories employed by this analysis. The result of the analysis is that the European Parliament is an area where MEPs are equally inclined to describe and imagine the European demos both in political/legal and ethno/cultural terms. It may have largely to do with the fact that it is an arena where MEPs are
free to voice their ideas regarding what binds the Europeans together. Different views are articulated by the MEPs during various debates, from various representatives of available political currents. Debates in the European Parliament do not represent the official stance of the EU in terms of its efforts to bind the European peoples together, however it definitely gives an idea of the possible conceptualization of the European demos beyond the official discourse. In the process of imposing a sense of community in a top-down manner, it is possible to observe how the reasoning behind various programmes, legislation and future prospects are being discussed, articulated and expressed by the MEPs during the parliamentary debates. Commission documents have views on the nature and the creation of the EU demos which is more on the political/legal category. Hypothetically, this outcome can be considered as emanating from the fact that the documents analyzed from the Commission have a more official stance than the debates in the European Parliament. Documents from the Commission are not the final statement of the EU; however, they are representative in terms of providing an idea regarding the way that the issue is being handled and conceptualized beyond the final stance of the EU. The research material which is analyzed in this section of the essay is capable of providing an answer to the research question; What are the views of the Commission and the European Parliament on the creation and the nature of a European demos, and what are the possible implications of these for a future integration of Turkey into the EU? As in all research, the material has limitations in this research as well, and this essay provided an analysis of the documents from the Commission, and debates in the European Parliament, generally from 2001 and onwards. The premise of this essay that Turkey is the ‘other’ of Europe in cultural terms is helpful in terms of answering the research question. Choosing one strategy of constituting a European demos over the other has implications regarding the future integration of Turkey into the EU. A sense of community constructed around the cultural ingredients has the potential of being exclusive towards Turkey. For instance, regarding Christianity as one of the elements that is a sine qua non necessity for being European automatically excludes Turkey from a community that is built upon it. Taking this premise as a starting point for answering the research question, it can be claimed that the way the European demos is being articulated within the debates in the European Parliament suggests us that there is a significantly important notion that ethno/cultural components of the European demos are regarded as important by the MEPs. On the other hand, political/legal views are also equally available in which the role of citizenship, political structures and
institutions of the EU are emphasized. In contrast with the statements of the MEPs in the EP debates, the analysis of the Commission documents result in overwhelmingly political/legal views. The main theme is the EU citizenship and its role in terms of providing the Europeans with a sense of community, belonging together and loyalty to the European institutions. Considering that the Commission documents are largely composed of legislation proposals and their expected influences, it is possible to indicate that, taken as a top-down project, the nature of the European demos is capable of accommodating Turkey, from an official perspective. A sense of community built around political/legal foundations is more welcoming towards the ‘others’ who are defined in cultural and religious terms. However, it should still be considered that ethno/cultural perspectives on the European demos still exist, although not binding from an official perspective of the EU; it is more commonplace to observe the ethno/cultural perspective in the Parliamentary debates. Considering that these views are about the future development of a European demos, there are various implications of these both for Turkey and the enlargement of the EU, hand in hand with the problem of democratic deficit within the EU. These issues have interrelated implications for various reasons; the future development of European demos around a civic, political/legal common identity renders the creation of a European demos more possible even after the Turkish membership in the EU. Promoting a common identity around civic values is more welcoming towards ‘others’ who are defined in cultural/religious terms. This directly implies that the ‘demos’ related aspect of the democratic deficit in the EU will be leading to less problems after a possible integration of Turkey into the EU. The strategy of fostering a sense of community around ethno/cultural elements, however, does not appear to be promising in terms of locating Turkey within the project of European demos. As long as the project of creating a European demos is centered around ethno/cultural or essentialist ingredients, it will not be possible to integrate Turkey into this demos even after a possible membership of Turkey into the EU. Turkey’s formal membership, in this scenario, will be accompanied with the incompatibility of the common identities of Europeans and Turkish citizens; the former being defined around an ethno/cultural identity, and the latter remaining outside of such an identity. The implication of this for the demos aspect of democratic deficit in the EU is that this scenario leads to incompatibility of European and Turkish identities, and the result is a fragmented citizen body which is regarded as problematic from the viewpoint of democratic theory (Chryssochoou 2000; 91). Furthermore, the way that being European is defined will also set the territorial limits of the EU which are rather vague; the nature of being
European will have an impact on who is European, and who can be considered European, and who can be European.
5.4. Comparison of Findings with Previous Research and Guide for Further Research This research used the material which has not been studied by the studies which focus on the theme of European demos. The political/legal perspectives in the field, as a general rule, take a top-down perspective and largely focus on the end-products of the EU institutions which are legislations. On the other hand, the ethno/cultural perspectives take a bottom-up approach and focus more on surveys and statistics. Although this research has also a top-down perspective, due to the consideration that the formation of the European demos is treated as an ongoing project by the EU and the selection of the research material is also influenced by this, it is possible to argue that this research is capable of making a contribution to two types of research currents found in the literature. Table 3. Comparison of Perspectives Political/Legal Perspectives Top-down Ethno/Cultural Perspectives Bottom-up Level of analysis: Endproducts of EU institutions, legislations. Level of analysis: Popular Level of analysis: surveys Institutional discourse capable of reflecting popular response For example: Eriksen 2009. For example: Jolly 2009. This essay Top-down
As the result of using a certain type of research material, Commission documents and the EP debates, it is possible to claim that this research fits between two types of previous research, overridden with a top-down perspective. The reasoning behind this is that the debates in the EP can be considered as capable of reflecting the views of the population as the MEPs are the elected representatives of the EU-wide electorate. On the other hand, the study is conducted highly in top-down manner due to the fact that the material analyzed in the essay is only capable of reflecting the institutional perspective. The goal of this research has been to discover the perspectives on the European demos beyond the official documents or legislation, and the implications of these views for a future
integration of Turkey into the EU. With respect to this, it can be claimed that, when compared with studies which theorize the European demos on political/legal grounds, the outcomes of this study tend not to completely fit with this type of research. In both types of the documents that are analyzed, it is possible to find both political/legal and ethno/cultural elements. Nonetheless, the outcome of the analysis of the Commission documents tends to be more in line with the findings of the political/legal perspectives in the research. The analysis of the parliamentary debates concluded that it is possible to see political/legal as well as ethno/cultural elements in them, and this result appears to be more in line with the ethno/cultural perspective within the previous research. Previous research in the field does not appear to be particularly interested with the problem of locating Turkey within the emerging European demos, and there are only scarce references to the issue in the literature. Eriksen, for instance, states that the possible enlargement as to make Turkey a member of the EU leads to the question of what the EU is, or should be, in terms of its constitution and identity (Eriksen 2009; 21). This research can be considered as a contribution to the field from a perspective which has not been utilized by the researchers in the field. The research at hand gives an idea of the general image as to how the European demos is being projected towards the future, how it is being conceptualized in the contemporary politics by the people and by the documents which are capable of giving a future direction to the nature of a European demos. The way that the European demos is articulated in the material analyzed in this essay will definitely have an influence as to the direction of what binds the Europeans together, and how Turkey will be located within this picture, and the implications of a future integration for democracy in the EU and Turkey. Further research in the field is going to be shaped by the ongoing political developments both within the EU itself, and also between Turkey and the EU. The literature about the Turkey-EU relations is vast and covering many fields of research. The theme of democracy is also a theme which had been frequently addressed by many scholars, however the trend in the research have been the problem of democracy within Turkey, its compatibility to the EU standards. As a result, human rights issues, treatment of minorities and civilmilitary relations have been popular themes in the scholarly research. However, the research of democracy within the EU is relatively new and the issue of Turkey from this perspective almost remains to be untouched. Therefore, further research in the field can, for instance, focus on the compatibility of democratic cultures between the EU and Turkey, again from the
perspective of demos formation. It is possible to conduct a research with a similar design, but this time with a focus purely on the intended effects of various programs run by the EU which are necessary to create a sense of community. All in all, the way that the EU creates the Europeans will have implications for its relations within itself, and also with the outside world. Considering that the EU does not have a fixed territory, Turkey being a clear example of it, the boundaries between inside and outside are going to remain to be blurry, and this would lead to further problematization of the meaning of being European, or the meaning of community of Europeans. The line separating the ‘European-we’ and ‘others-them’ can be dealt with from various perspectives, and just as this essay did, the democratic theory allows the theorization of this line from the perspective of demos-formation as a form of community formation. The problem of ‘we’ often brings up the question of ‘others’ who are not included in the definition of the ‘we’ (Balibar 2002; 186).
6. Concluding Remarks This essay aimed at providing an answer to the research question What are the views of the Commission and the European Parliament on the creation and the nature of a European demos, and what are the possible implication of these for a future integration of Turkey into the EU?. The previous research on the subject has mainly two categories of approach to the issue; one type of approach is arguing that a European demos has to be characterized in civic terms, what provides the Europeans with a common sense of identity are the political structures that they are living in and the laws that govern their lives. This approach also claims that the term demos developed within the context of democracy in the nation-state and the expectation of creating a European demos with the same qualities as the national demos is an expectation which does not appear to be fulfilled easily. The second category of approaches, on the other hand, insists that besides the political/legal ingredients of any demos there must be also ethno/cultural ‘glue’ to hold people together. If this is not the case, European people will remain as people in legal terms, but the lack of the social ingredient of the demos will not allow the creation of a demos in the proper sense of the term.
As for the material, European Parliament debates and the documents from the Commission have been utilized. With a premise that Turkey is the cultural and religious other of Europe, the analysis showed that it is possible to observe civic as well as cultural views on the creation and the nature of the European demos in two types of the documents, however while the cultural views seem to appear more in the Parliamentary debates, Commission documents focus relatively less on this line of approach. The analytical categories have been the ideal types of demos found within the previous research the and the rationale behind employing these ideal types as the analytical tools for the analysis stems from the fact that these two different types of European demos have different implications for the future integration of Turkey from the viewpoint of democratic theory, legitimacy and democratic deficit in the EU. The level of analysis of this study also aimed at being a study of documents which are beyond the official stance of the EU. Previous studies with the same focal point have, as a general rule, made use of the end-products of the EU institutions such as legislations. However, this study examined the material which is capable of reflecting the arguments beyond the findings of the similar research. The section on the comparison of findings with the previous research aimed at showing this nuance. It should also be underlined that the nature of the documents and the institutions analyzed within this thesis surrounding
the debate of the European demos are important with regards to the future development of the EU.
The EU is composed of democratic states and it also claims to be a democracy and strives for achieving the democratic ideal. For that reason, it will be constantly tested by the established theories of democracy which are largely developed around the nation-state. As it is shown in the section regarding the previous research on the topic, this leads to conceptual problems. The terminology which developed around the nation-state leads to confusion when it is applied to a sui generis organization such as the EU. Turkey’s prospective membership in the organization has drawn the attention of scholars from various areas of inquiry. The eventual membership of the country in the organization will probably not put an end to this; on the contrary, the subject will turn into an empirical case in which the developments within the EU and also its relations with a member country, which has an overwhelmingly Muslim population, are going to lead to debates in terms of the world that the EU stands for, the universality of the values that the EU is supporting, and possibly the meaning of being European. Looking from the perspective of the demos, just as this essay did, is one of the ways of thinking about being European and conformity of Turkey to it. There is a difference between making the EU, and making the Europeans. Making the Europeans and providing them with a sense of community is a more demanding process than making the EU itself. The ties that bind the Europeans together should be flexible enough in order to let the cultural others of Europe in. Many scholars have considered the process of making the Europeans as a top-down process led by the EU (Shore 2000, Hansen 2000), and it is indeed a top-down process. From this perspective, the way that the meaning and the contents of the sense of community among the Europeans are conceptualized at the EU level has the primary importance. It should also be noted herein that how the European demos is formed or defined will have a direct influence on the Turkish perceptions with respect to the openness of the prospective community of which the country will become a part. The discussions on the European Constitution with regards to the inclusion of the ‘Christian’ reference within the text were contended by Turkey (EUobserver, 2003). More lately, Turkey criticized the EU by referring it with a commonly used expression in Turkish national politics, the Christian Club (Hurriyet Daily News, 2011). This, accordingly, indicates that the more rigid the definition, the less eager would be the candidate
country or in the case of membership, problems or discussions may occur due to the nature of the demos and the effect it has on the political system whether being majoritarian or nonmajoritarian. Henceforth, the case of Turkey is not only interesting for the research question of this essay, but it also appears to be a litmus test for the cultural openness of the EU. A continued emphasis on the shared heritage, culture, civilization, and religion in terms of redefining ‘being European’ will probably set the nonpolitical limits of the EU. Although having a Christian identity or having contributed to the cultural heritage of Europe are not preconditions for a country to be a member of the EU in the legal sense and, future developments of such preconditions for the collective identity of Europeans have implications for the better realization of democracy beyond the nation-state especially in cases in which enlargement of the EU has to deal with the integration of a country such as Turkey.
7. Annex Research material is accessed online through; http://europa.eu/documentation/official-docs/index_en.htm
European Commission Documents COM 2001 (681) Final – White Paper on the Dimension of the European Youth. COM 2004 (154) Final – Communication on Functioning of Citizenship, fostering European culture through various programmes. COM 2005 (116) Final – Proposal for the decision of EP and Council establishing the programme “Citizens of Europe” for active European citizenship. COM 2006 (649) Final – Communication to EP & Council; Enlargement Strategy and the integration of new members. COM 2007 (242) Final – Communication on a European agenda for culture in globalizing world; uniting members around the cultural heritage. SEC 2007 (570) – Communication on a European agenda for culture in a globalizing world; inventory of community actions in the field of culture. SEC 2009 (442) Final – Communication Annex to the proposal of “Citizens for Europe” programme to promote active European citizenship. COM 2010 (76) Final – Proposal for a decision of EP and Council on establishing a EU action for European Heritage label. COM 2010 (602) Final – Report on progress towards effective EU citizenship. COM 2010 (605) Final – Report on Elections of MEP to EP and participation of EU citizens in elections for the EP.
European Parliament Sittings 11 February 2003 1 July 2003 3 July 2003 4 September 2003 24 September 2003 3 December 2003 18 November 2004
5 September 2005 7 September 2005 18 January 2006 3 April 2006 7 September 2006 23 October 2006 24 October 2006 11 December 2006 12 December 2006 13 December 2006 15 January 2007 17 January 2007 13 February 2007 28 March 2007 10 October 2007 10 December 2007 9 October 2008 13 January 2009 4 May 2009 28 September 2009 11 November 2009 21 January 2010 9 March 2010 14 December 2010 16 December 2010
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