chapter  4
18 Pages

The Alliance of Civilizations: The Spanish Approach to Bridging the Divide between Islam and the West

ByKoussay Boulaich, Søren Dosenrode

In many respects, Giscard analyses the problems convincingly: Enlargement has produced unease; the prospect of permanent enlargement is a realistic scenario; Turkey's accession will alter the nature of the European project; and certainly, European patriotism cannot develop without the feeling of belonging together. Besides, the question whether the European Union (EU) is a Christian club has politically been answered negatively a long time ago. As every political community which issues laws and makes binding decisions, the EU needs a common cultural identity which unites its citizens and provides the system with legitimacy. Religious fundamentalism which places religious texts above democracy and human rights is not EU-compatible. But neither in Turkey nor in Albania is fundamentalism a major political force. Political integration is the process whereby political actors in several distinct national settings are persuaded to shift their loyalties, expectations and political activities toward a new centre, whose institutions possess or demand jurisdiction over the pre-existing national states.