European Identities in a New Member State: The Case of the Czech Republic and theParadox of a Euroskeptical Presidency
Martina Klicperova-Baker & Jaroslav Koštál
No 21, EUROSPHERE Working Paper Series (EWP) from Eurospheres project
The Czech Republic, presiding to the European Union during the first half of 2009, finds itself in a somewhat conflicting situation with respect to the European identity. On one hand, many citizens feel well rooted in their Europeanness and voted in high numbers for membership in the EU, still, the country became if not an enfant terrible then at least an awkward newcomer to the EU. The main opposing views on European identity – Eurooptimism and Euroskepticism, can be illustrated and personified by the former President, Mr. Václav Havel, and the current President, Mr. Václav Klaus. The former presents an ideal, forward looking vision, a moral perspective for a mature open society with active civil society. The latter dismisses the concept of European identity on a nationalistic, libertarian and populist basis. Two empirical studies relevant to European citizenship were performed
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