History has accounted the countless of times Europe has beenplagued with disputes, war, and bloodshed. Through the significant scarringevents of the early 20th century, the plight for a “United States ofEurope” has been deemed necessary in order to prevent any world scale conflictto occur again.
Through the establishment of several significant treaties, suchas Treaty of Rome and Maastricht, a number of European states were able to pushfor European integration and allow for the reconstruction of a capable unitedfront in today’s modern international field. As such, Europeanization hasallowed member states to move Europe’s social, cultural, and politicaldirection based off on their shared ideals, history, and cultural and politicalpractices. However, as Europeanenlargement persists, the process of Europeanization, along with the collective’European identity’, is challenged due to the varying culture and politicalstance of the European periphery. Unifying the different European states has become a necessaryfeat that has proven to be the European Union’s mission to drive the continentto incredible heights in the hopes to bring peace and economic stability. Assuch, the concept of ‘Europe’ was ultimately shaped by its rich politicalhistories, national memories of the past, and the evident classification ofstates as “insiders” or “outsiders” (Jones and Subotic, 2011). The identity ofEurope today is evidently dependent on the process of Europeanization.
Thisconcept is defined as the the construction, diffusion and institutionalizationof formal and informal rules that the majority of the European people has cometo accept as their everyday norm. In addition, this concept allows for the creationof shared beliefs, identities, and methods of political practice of Europeitself (SOURCE). Therefore, through varying cultural practices,Europeanization is evidently produced and reproduced and may lead to differentpolitical results (Jones and Subotic, 2011). Correspondingly, through its administrative power, the EuropeanUnion was able to heavily influence the Europeanization process throughout themember states.
In truth, the EU in itself is an effect of a fundamental changein Europe’s overall governing body. Through the creation of this supranationalinstitution, the European Union is able to support and solidify the currentprocess of nation-making and enforce pan-European standards throughout thecontinent (SOURCE). Consequently, asthe EU has come to establish itself as a major institution that has united itsEuropean member states, the desire of the European periphery to join itsWestern counterpart have blurred Europe’s identity due to its differingpolitical perspectives and cultural and historical backgrounds.
In truth,European enlargement brought the aforementioned differences to the surface; andas Jones and Subotic (2011), states: “Europelooks and feels different in the core that it does in the periphery” (p.543).