Loving It

At the conference, a historian from Spain is very gently, very kindly and apologetically, trying to explain to the German hosts that EU-enthusiasm is dead. The German hosts are upset. They want to advance a narrative that the crisis is over, everything is great and getting better, the EU is the second coming. The Spanish participants remain unconvinced. They are trying to hint that the German love of the EU stems from the desire to wash off the sins of WWII but this isn’t of much interest to others in Europe.

I’m afraid my talk will hurt the German feelings even more. I’m loving the conference.

6 thoughts on “Loving It

  1. I would say EU-enthusiasm is also dead in Poland which underwent no crisis after 2008. It still has support and there’s no slightest idea about leaving, but the bloom is off the rose as they say. It’s strictly a utilitarian idea for most with no emotional resonance (which it did have for a time).
    I was translating an article over the summer that lays out a lot of things the EU has done wrong in the new millenium (tying it to Toynbee’s idea of a universal state….. which always fails) and I kept nodding my head madly while translating and hectoring people I know with the details.

    But German’s don’t get subtle or indirect or apologetic communication in my experience, you have to repeat things as bluntly as possi


  2. “They are trying to hint that the German love of the EU stems from the desire to wash off the sins of WWII.”

    After 70+ years most Germans aren’t all that worried about “the sins” of the Nazi area. They’re bullish on the EU because Germany is its the most powerful member.


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