chapter  7
28 Pages

EUROPE: 1992 AND BEYOND

First, I shall look at the revival of Eurocentric thought in the latter part of the twentieth century, which has sought to transcend the individual nationalisms of Europe’s member states. Whilst popular reactions to the Maastricht Treaty in the latter part of 1992 suggested that allegiances to Europe remained quite weak, in global terms the construction of a common European cultural identity is, arguably, as significant as – possibly more than – the sum of Europe’s national chauvinisms. Second I shall examine the context of this revival, which entails, amongst other factors, growing evidence of the co-ordination and institutionalisation of European-wide structures on immigration and refugees, the promotion of stronger links between governments, security forces and civil servants, and the emergence of a common European consciousness on these matters. The relationship between these structures and forms of consciousness, on the one hand, and the recent revival of the far right across Europe, on the other, is complex. Support for the far right can be considered partly a response to the developments in Europe, notably the break-up of the Soviet bloc and the growth of Europeanwide networks of far right groups and organisations. At the same time, the far right remains fiercely nationalistic in terms of its aims; the third section provides evidence of its growth in support and impact on mainstream politics. In general, there are some ominous trends emerging

out of the new Europe which will help to shape the experiences both of minorities living inside Europe and of those remaining in the Third World.