On European Citizenship: Replies to David Miller

On European Citizenship: Replies to David Miller

As the countries of the European Union (EU) move toward a common currency in the year 1999, jitters have gripped parts of the European left that see in this process the twilight of democratic popular sovereignty and the dawn of the reign of Eurocracy. Even Helmut Kohl, the champion of European unification, has expressed nervousness about giving up control over national currencies to a European Central Bank.

To be sure, there is much to be concerned about in the “democracy deficit” of the institutional development of the European Union, but nostalgic nationalism is no answer to the challenges facing the European experiment. Furthermore, to identify the nation-state as the privileged site of democratic self-determination and social justice, as David Miller (“The Left, the Nation-State, and European Citizenship,” Dissent, Summer 1998) does, is neither conceptually nor institutionally convincing. Emerging out of a customs union and border agreements among a handful of European countries, what was once named the European Economic Community has evolved into one of the more interesting multinational confederations in modern political history.

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