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Who celebrates the day of Europe [9 May 2007]

Who celebrates the day of Europe At May 9th Europe celebrates. For Bulgaria it is the first May 9th as a full member of the European family. Behind the celebrations of Europe’s Day stand definite values: freedom, democracy and rule of law, mutual respect and shared responsibility, prosperity and security, tolerance and empathy, justice and solidarity.

In order to celebrate something, we need to identify ourselves with the values it brings. Europe’s day is an opportunity to ask ourselves the question: do Bulgarians have a European identity. Unfortunately, for the bigger part of us the answer is no. Neither parliament declarations, nor the concerts, lead under the aegis of the prime minister could turn us into Europeans. Identity is difficultly created trough symbolic construction imposed from above. Identity could only be created trough everyday participation in practices that constantly reaffirm identity’s meaning and not by a single time acts of ceremonialism which make sense only to those who produce them.

For our society will stop being an officious formality when citizens begin percept their interests to be defended in the trivial round. The day will fulfill it meaning of a feast when we compare our incomes with those of the other Europeans without the feeling of inferiority. Concepts like democracy and rule of law will gain meaning when we became conscious that a given public service is not a function of proper personal contacts or economical arguments. We will recognize the reality of tolerance and empathy when civil society begins to join hands not only in the name of media provoked causes. Mutual respect and shared responsibility will cease being just nice words when we begin to sense that not only listen we to Brussels but also we are heard there. Otherwise the concept of Europe will remain without a connotation or at best it will function only as means political elites use to legitimate themselves.

Strahil Deliyski

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