Founding myths of European Union Europe and the workings of power in the European Union heritage and history initiatives
Lähdesmäki, T. (2019). Founding myths of European Union Europe and the workings of power in the European Union heritage and history initiatives. European Journal of Cultural Studies, 22 (5-6), 781-798. doi:10.1177/1367549418755921
Published inEuropean Journal of Cultural Studies
© The Author(s) 2018
Along with the European Union’s (EU) increased interest in a common European culture and past, narration as a means to create and communicate about them has gained new momentum. By applying the Discourse-Mythological Approach, I explore how the EU narrates the story of the origins of EU Europe in two recent EU heritage/history initiatives. The analysis brought out three storylines in the mythmaking of EU Europe. While the first storyline emphasizes temporal continuity, shared cultural roots, and preservation and transmission of a common legacy, the second focuses on the idea of a break and a rebirth of a civic/political community. The third storyline highlighting founding figures and key heroes functions as a mediator between these two narratives. The founding myths seek to justify the political aims of the EU, that is, strengthening European unification and multilevel integration, and presenting these aims as choiceless and morally and ethically legitimated.