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The European Union has no idea!

By on jan 8, 2014 in English | 0 comments

This piece was first published on OPEN Democracy 7/1 2013. Forget better communication or a radical change in its course of action: what the EU really needs is a big, bold idea to move forward. “If you think you lack words, what you really lack are ideas”. That is what I took away from a lecture by the father of framing, George Lakoff. I think about it every time I see the debate over the EU polarising into framing versus action. Take this exchange: some say the EU should just communicate better and others say it should act radically differently. It is really quite sad, because actions and framing can’t be separated and they both emerge logically from the ideas we pursue. That is why, when José Manuel Barroso is seeking guidance on where to go big and where to go small, he too should look to the level of ideas. If we have a clear idea about where we want to go, we can...

The European Dream is based on an ‘Equals around a table’- metaphor

By on dec 17, 2013 in English | 0 comments

This piece was first published in Social Europe Journal 28/11 2013. The EU – In need of a new narrative European Commission President José M. Barroso is searching for a new European Union narrative. As I have argued elsewhere, the EU needs a dream of the Martin Luther King Jr.-type if it wants to stay relevant for the European population. I agree with Barroso in seeing the EU’s lack of a positive vision as a threat to its democratic legitimacy by low public anticipation, participation and appreciation. Eurosceptics stand strong because the union has failed to arm its allies. At the moment the European Union is without a clear vision to mobilise and engage the public leaving its allies vulnerable to strategies of ‘divide and conquer’. The lack of vision gives rise to xenophobia, ethnic tension and conflicts between rich and poor. Yet the European dream has strong potential for a social...

The E.U. needs a ‘King’ and a Dream

By on aug 31, 2013 in English | 0 comments

The article was first published on the Europp blog at London School of Economics. This week saw the 50th anniversary of Martin Luther King’s ‘I have a dream’ speech, which was marked at an event by US President Barack Obama. Rune Kier writes that while King’s speech still has a great deal of relevance for Americans; Europeans could also learn from it in the context of the Eurozone crisis. He argues that Europe lacks the kind of vision shown by King, with minimal aims of maintaining the status quo tending to trump grand goals for the future. Without a ‘dream’ to aim for, it will be difficult for Europeans to fully embrace the integration project. On Wednesday, the first African-American President of the United States, Barack Obama, delivered a speech commemorating the 50th anniversary of the iconic ‘I have a dream’ speech by legendary civil rights leader Martin Luther King Jr. The...