A Slovenian sociologist's point of view on the EU and its future

Photo: European Commission

According to a poll by the newspaper Delo, most Slovenes feel that two years of EU membership have brought no considerable differences. That being said, Eurostat figures have shown that Slovenes are among the most europhilic people in the union.

Photo: European Commission
Michael Manske of Radio Slovenia International sat had a chat with sociologist Dr. Thomas Lukman about his opinions on the state of the European Union today.

"I think there are some rebounds from the initial idealism and a bit of a return to national egotisms. The French and the Poles seem to be leading in this direction. But I don't think this will have a lasting influence on the development of, certainly, economics and quasi-political union. I don't think it will become a confederation in the technical sense of the term and certainly not a federal union."

Lukman, who spent time in the United States, Switzerland, Austria and Slovenia, doesn't see the European experiment achieving the kind of unity seen in the United States. Part of the problem, he says, is that Europe has no "frontier" to expand into as the U.S. did when it expanded into the west.

He nevertheless thinks that the EU will manage to develop into a strong economic force, if the upcoming expansion plans don't cause too many problems.

"If the next membership problems - in particular Turkey but also Romania, Bulgaria and so forth - are overcome; if they are overcome halfway successfully, I think it will manage to develop into a viable economic, fairly powerful economic unit, with some political and cultural cohesion. Some. It's not going to be a melting pot in my view."