“Havarie Europa”: New Issue of the Mittelweg 36 published
The new issue of the Mittelweg 36, the journal of the Hamburg Institute for Social Research, deals with the phenomenon of Euroscepticism.
Thirty years ago, on February 7th in 1992, the European Council signed the Treaty on the European Union in Maastricht. In current research the Maastricht Treaty is viewed as a caesura: While most citizens of the European countries seemed to be pro-European before 1992, noticeable resistance to the European project arose with and after Maastricht. Scepticism grew, conflicts intensified. Since Maastricht, it is held, the the project of European unification is called into question. The new issue of the Mittelweg 36 investigates these narratives in Havarie Europa.
Philipp Müller introduces perspectives and explanatory models on “Euroscepticism in a critical way”. He criticises their dichotomous approach and draws attention to the various backgrounds of criticism and opposition that have accompanied the process of European integration. The constitutional law expert, Christoph Möllers, examines in his article “Institutional Conditions of so-called EU-scepticism”, terms and conditions leading citizens and politicians alike to question the EU. Kiran Klaus Patel shows that resistance to European integration by no means emerged with the Maastricht Treaty, but the European Union was “On thin Ice” from the very beginning. Although opinion polls in the first decades after the war indicated broad approval among citizens, this was, according to Patel, mainly due to the open-ended and abstractly posed questions.
In “Historizing of Euroscepticism” Wolfram Kaiser suggests that the history of European integration should be understood “as a conflict-ridden formation accompanied by controversial political debates, which evolved into a transnational polity moving towards processes of institutionalisation.”1 The paths and goals have always been controversial, according to Kaiser. In recent times, the biggest bone of contention has been the common currency. Deborah Mabbett’s and Waltraud Schelkle’s article “Whatever It Takes?” examines the European financial policies in 2012 as they refer to the famous phrase coined by the former head of the European Central Bank, Mario Draghi. Yet, Mabbett and Schelkle argue, the ECB’s room for maneuver had been severely limited since the 2008 financial crisis by the mutual distrust of national governments. Finally, Agnieszka Łada-Konefał outlines in “Polands relation to EU” the relationship between pro-European sentiment and ‘loyalty to the fatherland’.
- Original: „[…] als konfliktreiche, von kontroversen politischen Debatten begleitete Herausbildung eines transnationalen Gemeinwesens mit wachsender Institutionalisierung“ – Kaiser, Wolfram (2022). Zur Historisierung des „Euroskeptizismus“. Formen der Auseinandersetzung mit der europäischen Integration seit 1945. Mittelweg 36, 31(1), 62.