The Awaking of the European Public Sphere amid the Crisis

Jozef Niznik

The paper will develop the thesis presented below. The concept of European public sphere used to be a very problematic because problematic was the very existence of the European public. The public was first of all national and it was difficult to admit communication and the flow of expressed views that could reach a social entity exceeding the national space. The numerous crisis which hit the EU - such as financial crisis of the Euro area, migration and refugee crisis or Brexit - appeared to many Europeans as a serious threat to the unity of the European Union. However, among many effects of the crisis one is quite unexpected. Together with the emerging populist movements which are now present in almost all EU member states we observe transnational activities of citizens who suddenly discovered their European affinity and entered vivid debates about the future of Europe followed by transnational actions in defense of European Union. In other words , although the crisis brought radical split of European societies, demonstrating sharp differences in attitudes toward the most important European values, at the same time it has awaken something which until recently was only a kind of hypothesis , that is European public sphere. This phenomenon can soon appear as the most important factor which will decide about the future of Europe.

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