Identity, non-governmental organizations, and religion in the European integration

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The signing of the Treaty of Maastricht (1992) has strengthened a non-economic component of European integration and has objectively reinforced the position of social constructivism among the theories of European integration. Thus, it has become possible to take into account the role of identity, non-governmental organisations and religion in the process of unification of Europe. The role of religious factors was particularly pronounced in article 17 of the Treaty of Lisbon (2009), which established open and regular dialogue between the European Union (EU) and the Churches. This article emphasises that identity is present in the EU in the form of national and European identities. Religion and values are among the parameters of identity. The role of non-state actors is explained by the desire of the European Commission to strengthen its legitimacy, and by the necessity of wider consultations, in view of growing complexities of the issues at the EU agenda. The role of Churches has been defined by the presence of the above mentioned parameters and by the meaning of religion in history of Europe. Churches contribute to integration as non-state actors and as participants of identity formation. At the same time, Churches are different from other actors, since they have their own ‘agenda’, formed by the moral and theological doctrines. In general, one can note the increasing role and meaning of religious factor at the European level.

About the authors

S A Mudrov

New Europe College

Author for correspondence.

Institute for Advanced Study


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