The Role of EU Law and Christian Values in Preserving National Identity in the Context of Globalisation

Robertas Pukenis
2009 Baltic Journal of Law & Politics  
The aim of this article is to analyse how in the globalisation process small nations appear in danger of disappearing. Can law protect national identity when the state is in the European Union? Globalisation together with the economic interests of states touches other spheres of society: national internal policy, education, mass media, the policy of family, migration. The birth rate in families in such big nations as Germany, France, and Italy is small. If numerous Italians, French, Polish, and
more » ... French, Polish, and Russians are worried about the constantly decreasing number of their inhabitants, no doubt that small nations are in danger of assimilation. The European Union is an unprecedented formation of law: states retain their independence and at the same time people by their free will limit the sovereignty of a state. The 57 th Article of the EU Constitution clearly states that -the Law of the Union is higher than the national [law].‖ It is as if the European States are united in the form of a federation, though the concept of a federation state cannot be applied strictly. The first condition for each new candidate state is to be a democratic and law-based state. The law-based state means legal elections, authorities elected by the people, separation of three state functions (legislative, executive and judicial), respect for human rights, protection of the rights of 36 national and religious minorities. Good relations with neighbours are always appreciated. The new EU constitution contains 400 pages. The Constitutional Agreement or EU Constitution was approved by the Council of the European Union in June of 2004. Each state ratifies the Agreement. Some EU countries plan the referendums. The Parliament of Lithuania refused the referendum. It was planned that the Agreement will come into force in 2009. The Constitution of the EU requires that the National Governments of Member States will not interfere in implementing the aims of the Union. The 58 th Article deals with loyalty to the Union. The institutions established by the EU work with human points of view and have a society model which is supported by the majority of the citizens. In this article an attempt will also be made to evaluate the role of Christianity and its values for the legal system of the EU as well as for preserving national identity. In this article I would like to discuss the survival of small nations in the complicated globalisation process by analysing not only the legal system of the European Union but also by turning to the national identity of small nations. Let us try to imagine how much the law can help in preserving Lithuanian national identity in the context of the 21 st century's development of the European Union and what is the role of law in cherishing national culture? National identity is inseparable from national culture. Every human being wants to know the origins of his nation, native tongue, history of the land that he calls his Homeland. He wishes to be the one having a national identity introduced by God into his personal nature. Culture, which is composed of science, art, religion, the cherishing of national habits and traditions, and also the protection of rights of national and religious minorities, describes national identity in the best way. We perceive culture as the space of existence, and the earth is a small planet of people. Each statesman or public actor should have the strategy of national survival. The nation, like a human being, has the birthright to be free, to create the model and the faith of its state independently. The history of small nations is often greatly marked by spots of blood. Lithuania was occupied by Russian Tsars for 124 years, and after regaining independence in 1918 it had only 22 free years. In 1940 by the agreement of Stalin and Hitler was occupied again. Only in 1990 Lithuania, Latvia and Estonia managed to fight the most strongest and cruel empire -Soviet Union. What destroyed the communist system which ruled half of Europe by leaving the prints of its character? There are objective and subjective reasons. Ronald Reagan, then President of the United States, Pope John Paul II, and Lech Walęsa, the President of Poland, winner of Nobel Peace Prize, and leader of SOLIDARITY all played a special role in breaking the Berlin wall. The vital elements that broke up the soviet bloc were national movements and religious rebirth, the aspirations of independent decisions of nations and intensified protection of human rights, centralised and planned state economy (there was no free market), also military competition with huge budget means. As a result there were people in poverty and members of the elite political party who lived well and sometimes even competed with capitalists with property and luxury. The representatives of social realism had the attempts to overwhelm all spheres of human creativity by ridding the Soviet Union of culture and effectively falling 38 behind much like a third-world country. The Soviet Union was destroyed because nobody kept faith in the law. The main law of the socialist bloc was the superiority of the state when a human being serves the state. Millions of people died, with no traces of camps; the Kremlin tried to keep the accident in Chernobyl a secret for several days despite of big quantity of radiation, etc. While in a democratic world the law prevails that the state has to serve the wealth of a human being. The law has to provide justice. By keeping these principles nowadays European nations with different historical experience, economical development and cultural heritage are under the process of uniting. The preamble of the Law of EU says: "The activities of the European Union should serve a human being by taking into consideration the necessity to make the process of European integration and the functioning of European institutions more effective, transparent and more clear to the citizens of the Union.-Thus the object of this article is the analysis of national identity in the context of globalisation and the role of EU law and Christian values in preserving it.
doi:10.2478/v10076-009-0003-y fatcat:abfvfhequrhnhmafx5fyrc74hq