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Dear Brian, thank you for your comment.

You have raised a couple of
interesting arguments that are worth debating on.
Firstly, I do agree with you that nationalism in the European countries should
never be underestimated or overestimated when writing about European
integration. This would be – as you correctly say – a historical mistake. But,
nationalism is a floating and mutable concept. For instance, during the 19th
industrializing century in Europe, nationalism was used as a political device to
achieve political integration (see Bismark’s Reich or the Italian unification).
Then, in the 20th century, nationalism meant cultural superiority of one
country towards another, leading to two dangerous wars among many others.
For the 21st globalized century, what could it mean? In my view, our century
is the starting point of an interdependent world made of individual
transnational exchanges, so I arguably think that nationalism as you refer to
does not apply anymore. This does not mean that cultural differences do not
matter. On the contrary, they become even more important, since they apply
at the individual (private) level (such as religion for secularized – not to refer
to the French concept of “laicïté”- countries) instead to the whole society.
Therefore, since the concept of “nation” dissociates itself from its political form
(i.e. the State), the European Union could be seen as the point of departure
of a post-national democracy where every citizens is aware of its differences
but also believe in a common constitutional arrangement of democracy,
norms of justice, and civic republicanism (Habermas, J., 2014, "Why the
Development of the European Union into a Transnational Democracy is
Necessary and How it is Possible", Democracy in Europe - ARENA Working
Paper).
Secondly, putting “culture” and “progress” side by side as you suggest in your
comment may lead to dangerous evolutionist theories of History (see
Spencer’s ideas at the beginning of the 20th century). If we refer to the idea of
“progress” in our article, we never attribute it to sociocultural evolutionism.
Progress means that you live better today than you did yesterday. Therefore,
progress for us means achieving better social policies that can improve
everyday life in an increasingly unequal world (and please note that this does

Finally. Concerning the latter. “in a world built on sacrosanct certainties. progress is dead”. . but would make every EU citizen aware of its differences. the juxtaposition between the Hanseatic League and the EU does not entirely follow. The former was essentially conceived as a project for commerce and market relations. Fostering a European civil society would not suppress cultural / national heritages. but also do developing countries such as BRICS as you probably mentioned).not just apply to the EU case. but also belief in democracy and social welfare. and not just an irresponsible and ungrounded thinking. as Milan Kundera used to say. Possibility and desirability of a different society should be seen as a starting point for the European project which is suffering today from a serious lack of political and moral principles. my view is that the EU is a project first and foremost of peace through integration. You can arguably say that our ideas are utopistic and that our policies are an oversimplified view of the world. But.