David Miller Replies

David Miller Replies

Although Seyla Benhabib, Michael Rustin, and I seem to occupy contrasting positions on the European question, I am not sure how deep our differences really are. We agree that the EU is an important new departure in transnational cooperation, one that can help to counteract the worst excesses of global capitalism. We agree, too, that national identities in this region are becoming more complex and multilayered than they once were. So this is not a battle between reactionary nationalism and progressive internationalism. Our disagreements are more subtle than that, more to do with the shape of the new Europe and the balance to be struck between national politics and European cooperation. How far is it desirable to have a single monetary and fiscal policy across Europe (neither Benhabib nor Rustin declare their hand on the question of the single currency)? How far should the harmonization of social rights and social policy throughout Europe proceed? And should we be trying to create a real (not merely nominal) form of European citizenship that will eventually displace national citizenship as the primary form of political membership? These are the real issues, not to be side-stepped by simple oppositions.

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Lima