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The crisis of European identity and awakening of civil society

The EU is facing its biggest threat yet—a crisis of European identity. As member states fall into the hands of Eurosceptic and nationalist regimes, for many the future of the Union seems hopeless.

People are disillusioned, failing to see the added value in the community of nations they once voted to join. Institutions are struggling, unable to regain their citizens’ trust, or even to reach them at all. This new crisis requires a new way of thinking—instead of supporting the institutional machine, the EU must support the people.

It needs to place trust in the awakening civil society, endorsing and funding grass-roots movements such as the Committee for the Defence of Democracy, which in a matter of days managed to ignite the biggest mass protests in Poland since the fall of Communism.

Read the full article in the December 2016 issue of the European View, the Martens Centre policy journal.