History has accounted the countless of times Europe has been
plagued with disputes, war, and bloodshed. Through the significant scarring
events of the early 20th century, the plight for a “United States of
Europe” has been deemed necessary in order to prevent any world scale conflict
to occur again. Through the establishment of several significant treaties, such
as Treaty of Rome and Maastricht, a number of European states were able to push
for European integration and allow for the reconstruction of a capable united
front in today’s modern international field. As such, Europeanization has
allowed member states to move Europe’s social, cultural, and political
direction based off on their shared ideals, history, and cultural and political
practices. However, as European
enlargement persists, the process of Europeanization, along with the collective
‘European identity’, is challenged due to the varying culture and political
stance of the European periphery. 

Unifying the different European states has become a necessary
feat that has proven to be the European Union’s mission to drive the continent
to incredible heights in the hopes to bring peace and economic stability. As
such, the concept of ‘Europe’ was ultimately shaped by its rich political
histories, national memories of the past, and the evident classification of
states as “insiders” or “outsiders” (Jones and Subotic, 2011). The identity of
Europe today is evidently dependent on the process of Europeanization. This
concept is defined as the the construction, diffusion and institutionalization
of formal and informal rules that the majority of the European people has come
to accept as their everyday norm. In addition, this concept allows for the creation
of shared beliefs, identities, and methods of political practice of Europe
itself (SOURCE).  Therefore, through varying cultural practices,
Europeanization is evidently produced and reproduced and may lead to different
political results (Jones and Subotic, 2011).

Correspondingly, through its administrative power, the European
Union was able to heavily influence the Europeanization process throughout the
member states. In truth, the EU in itself is an effect of a fundamental change
in Europe’s overall governing body. Through the creation of this supranational
institution, the European Union is able to support and solidify the current
process of nation-making and enforce pan-European standards throughout the
continent (SOURCE). Consequently, as
the EU has come to establish itself as a major institution that has united its
European member states, the desire of the European periphery to join its
Western counterpart have blurred Europe’s identity due to its differing
political perspectives and cultural and historical backgrounds. In truth,
European enlargement brought the aforementioned differences to the surface; and
as Jones and Subotic (2011), states: “Europe
looks and feels different in the core that it does in the periphery” (p.


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