From the outset the EC/EU has tried to identify what constitutes a European identity. Cultural symbols like the flag and the anthem were established in order to strengthen this identity. Characteristics like a penchant for democracy and human rights are regarded as typical of EU citizens.
But in recent years what has come more and more to dominate descriptions of a good EU citizen are geographic and professional flexibility, openness to life-long learning, and greater competitiveness.
In her dissertation in political science, being submitted at Linköping University, Jonna Johansson identifies these characteristics as neo-liberal, prompted by the needs of the globalized market. She has studied the ideal picture of the EU citizen that is conveyed by official EU documents.
"The reasoning is that Europe can't compete with cheap labor," she explains. "Instead the EU speaks in terms of the knowledge-based society and life-long learning. European labor must be well-educated and competitive in order to assert itself in a global market."
In 2001 the Lisbon Strategy was adopted, with the objective of making the EU a knowledge-based society and the world's most competitive economy. That represented a change in direction, according to Jonna Johansson.
"With the Lisbon Strategy, the social dimension of the EU was toned down. Now the stress is on the personal responsibility of the individual. Solidarity means today that you take the responsibility for your own employability and do not become a burden to society. The welfare system is being dismantled in EU countries."
There is one exception, however: higher education. Universities take on a more central role in the EU when the ideal is life-long learning, flexibility, and well-educated citizens. This is why funding for universities has not declined. On the other hand, new demands are being made of them, resulting from the dominance of neo-liberal ideology. They are no longer expected to provide education in general but rather knowledge that is competitive on the market. The universities' relations are also becoming more market-driven, and they are being run more and more like enterprises. Both national governments and the EU are pressuring the universities to strengthen their connections with the business world.
"In the past students saw education as a way of bettering themselves," writes Jonna Johansson. "Today they want knowledge that will make it easier for them to get a job, rather than to develop personally." Students choose universities more on the basis of what they represent and what reputation they have than on what education they can provide.
Dissertation: Learning to be(come) a good European.
Jonna Johansson can be reached at phone: +46 (0)13-282508 or +46 (0)13-310513; e-mail: email@example.com
Pressofficer Anika Agebjörn; firstname.lastname@example.org; +46-709 79 13 34
New measure for the wellbeing of populations could replace Human Development Index
07.11.2018 | International Institute for Applied Systems Analysis (IIASA)
Because not only arguments count
30.10.2018 | Max-Planck-Institut für Mathematik in den Naturwissenschaften (MPIMIS)
Max Planck researchers revel the nano-structure of molecular trains and the reason for smooth transport in cellular antennas.
Moving around, sensing the extracellular environment, and signaling to other cells are important for a cell to function properly. Responsible for those tasks...
Researchers at the University of New Hampshire have captured a difficult-to-view singular event involving "magnetic reconnection"--the process by which sparse particles and energy around Earth collide producing a quick but mighty explosion--in the Earth's magnetotail, the magnetic environment that trails behind the planet.
Magnetic reconnection has remained a bit of a mystery to scientists. They know it exists and have documented the effects that the energy explosions can...
Biochips have been developed at TU Wien (Vienna), on which tissue can be produced and examined. This allows supplying the tissue with different substances in a very controlled way.
Cultivating human cells in the Petri dish is not a big challenge today. Producing artificial tissue, however, permeated by fine blood vessels, is a much more...
Faster and secure data communication: This is the goal of a new joint project involving physicists from the University of Würzburg. The German Federal Ministry of Education and Research funds the project with 14.8 million euro.
In our digital world data security and secure communication are becoming more and more important. Quantum communication is a promising approach to achieve...
On Saturday, 10 November 2018, the research icebreaker Polarstern will leave its homeport of Bremerhaven, bound for Cape Town, South Africa.
19.11.2018 | Event News
09.11.2018 | Event News
06.11.2018 | Event News
20.11.2018 | Physics and Astronomy
20.11.2018 | Medical Engineering
20.11.2018 | Physics and Astronomy