Europe's Doldrums Show on European Union Day France Celebrates, but Elsewhere the Mood Is Decidedly Downbeat

By Howard LaFranchi, writer of The Christian Science Monitor | The Christian Science Monitor, May 9, 1994 | Go to article overview

Europe's Doldrums Show on European Union Day France Celebrates, but Elsewhere the Mood Is Decidedly Downbeat


Howard LaFranchi, writer of The Christian Science Monitor, The Christian Science Monitor


WHEN Britain's Queen Elizabeth II and French President Francois Mitterrand cut the ribbon Friday to open the Channel Tunnel linking their two countries, bands played "God Save the Queen," "The Marseillaise" - and Beethoven's "Ode to Joy."

Ode to Joy? Unbeknownst to most Europeans, that piece of the composer's Ninth Symphony is also the hymn of the European Union. So the stirring music, suitable to mark an important step in European integration, should also be heard across the 12-country EU today - the Union's official commemoration day.

Yet, symptomatic of a Union that is still struggling to win its citizens' hearts, Europe Day remains largely unheralded by the 340 million people who make up the EU.

"It may be Europe Day, but I don't know it, and no one else does either," says Udo Cremer, a banker in Frankfurt, Germany. May 9 was chosen because, on that day in 1950, French Foreign Minister Robert Schuman proposed a Franco-German coal and steel association, the forerunner of the Union.

The widespread ignorance of the official day also reflects the EU's controversial nature almost 40 years after the initially six-member union was founded in 1957.

In Greece, for example, plans to celebrate the day in a big way this year were abruptly canceled when Greece-EU differences over the former Yugoslav republic of Macedonia turned nasty.

But the controversy could have come from French farmers protesting EU farm policy last year, or Danish anti-Euro-bureaucracy forces before that.

Matters are not helped by the particularly tough times the EU is having as it struggles to pull out of Europe's worst recession since World War II and faces widespread criticism for failing to stop a war in ex-Yugoslavia.

"There's a great disappointment in Europe over Yugoslavia; it showed us the wide gulf between intentions and acts," says Pascal Reber, a plant manager for a pharmaceuticals company outside Paris. "There should have been a common {EU} position from the beginning, but the disheartening truth is that it is completely nonexistent."

Reflecting this disappointment in Europe, polls run biannually by the EU's executive Commission show public support for European integration continuing to sink since the highs of 1991, in the euphoric aftermath of the Berlin Wall's fall.

In France, a recent poll in the weekly L'Express shows to what extent "Euroskepticism" has won the public. A slightly higher percentage of the French - 38 to 39 percent - think the Union has had a globally negative effect on their family, while 51 percent think the EU is going in the wrong direction. Less than a third judge the Union's direction positively.

To counteract the trend, French Euro-enthusiasts are hoping this year to give Europe Day a visible and positive presence in their country for the first time since the day was declared by European leaders in 1985. …

The rest of this article is only available to active members of Questia

Already a member? Log in now.

Notes for this article

Add a new note
If you are trying to select text to create highlights or citations, remember that you must now click or tap on the first word, and then click or tap on the last word.
One moment ...
Default project is now your active project.
Project items

Items saved from this article

This article has been saved
Highlights (0)
Some of your highlights are legacy items.

Highlights saved before July 30, 2012 will not be displayed on their respective source pages.

You can easily re-create the highlights by opening the book page or article, selecting the text, and clicking “Highlight.”

Citations (0)
Some of your citations are legacy items.

Any citation created before July 30, 2012 will labeled as a “Cited page.” New citations will be saved as cited passages, pages or articles.

We also added the ability to view new citations from your projects or the book or article where you created them.

Notes (0)
Bookmarks (0)

You have no saved items from this article

Project items include:
  • Saved book/article
  • Highlights
  • Quotes/citations
  • Notes
  • Bookmarks
Notes
Cite this article

Cited article

Style
Citations are available only to our active members.
Buy instant access to cite pages or passages in MLA, APA and Chicago citation styles.

(Einhorn, 1992, p. 25)

(Einhorn 25)

1. Lois J. Einhorn, Abraham Lincoln, the Orator: Penetrating the Lincoln Legend (Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1992), 25, http://www.questia.com/read/27419298.

Cited article

Europe's Doldrums Show on European Union Day France Celebrates, but Elsewhere the Mood Is Decidedly Downbeat
Settings

Settings

Typeface
Text size Smaller Larger Reset View mode
Search within

Search within this article

Look up

Look up a word

  • Dictionary
  • Thesaurus
Please submit a word or phrase above.
Print this page

Print this page

Why can't I print more than one page at a time?

Help
Full screen

matching results for page

    Questia reader help

    How to highlight and cite specific passages

    1. Click or tap the first word you want to select.
    2. Click or tap the last word you want to select, and you’ll see everything in between get selected.
    3. You’ll then get a menu of options like creating a highlight or a citation from that passage of text.

    OK, got it!

    Cited passage

    Style
    Citations are available only to our active members.
    Buy instant access to cite pages or passages in MLA, APA and Chicago citation styles.

    "Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn, 1992, p. 25).

    "Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn 25)

    "Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences."1

    1. Lois J. Einhorn, Abraham Lincoln, the Orator: Penetrating the Lincoln Legend (Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1992), 25, http://www.questia.com/read/27419298.

    Cited passage

    Thanks for trying Questia!

    Please continue trying out our research tools, but please note, full functionality is available only to our active members.

    Your work will be lost once you leave this Web page.

    Buy instant access to save your work.

    Already a member? Log in now.

    Oops!

    An unknown error has occurred. Please click the button below to reload the page. If the problem persists, please try again in a little while.