Research Theme 2
Identity, Heritage and the Citizens’ Perspective
When six European nations embarked on the integration process in the wake of World War II, there was no blueprint. Of course, the founding fathers had a vision and shared ideals, but the real driving forces over time have eluded both scientists and the public. This calls for some thorough research, also on a fundamental level, into the role of ideas in shaping modern European history.
Meanwhile, European integration has left citizens afraid of losing their identity and cultural heritage. The influx of immigrants has fuelled these fears. Our research will focus on what happens to history and heritage in multicultural societies. It will examine the role of politicians, governmental bodies and cultural institutions. Seeking to boost social and cultural participation, these actors have embraced new technologies, even though the legal and ethical frameworks are still under construction.
The Euregion can serve as a research laboratory. After all, the former mining region has had to cope with similar challenges and may help us understand the impact of major changes in society and what it means to be a European citizen.