Searching for Europe
The problem of legitimisation and representation in recent political speeches on Europe
Europe is in a phase of institutional and political transformation. It is however not only the restructuring of the organisational procedures, i.e. the so-called reform of the institutions in the face of the coming enlargement of the European Union (EU), but also questions of the overall identity and legitimacy of Europe that are increasingly approached in political discourses. This essay analyses recent political speeches on Europe; it focuses on the problems of legitimisation and political representation at the “new” supranational level. In a comparison between French and German speeches the different semantic fields in talking about Europe are explored. Particular emphasis will be given to the interplay of ideational and organizational aspects — Making meaning of Europe and Organizing Europe — as being constitutive for these speeches. The discursive construction of past and future, experience and expectation; will be illuminated as well as problems of space and time, strategies of territorialisation and temporalisation.
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