Slavenka Drakulic talks about European identity

Croatian writer and journalist Slavenka Drakulić
Croatian writer and journalist Slavenka Drakulić

When national identity becomes important, there is trouble in sight for the community, says the Croatian Author and Journalist Slavenka Drakulic in her interview with the Online-Magazine Europe &Me. The recipient of the 2004 "Leipzig Book Award for European Understanding" misses among Europeans the strong sense of belonging to Europe and points to the growing anti-immigrant atmosphere in Europe and in the EU in the last years. This has to do with fear; fear of the "other". At the moment Europeans are afraid of Muslims but also of the Roma - tomorrow it might be some other ethnic group, a nation or a religion.

Drakulic looks for the reasons behind this fear. Why are Europeans afraid of the "other"? And how is the "other" created? What would really be needed to grow together as a community?

You can view the English debate via video stream.

In the discussion on these and other relevant questions concerning identity, the sense of belonging and exclusion/inclusion, Drakulic will be joined by two young Europeans: Julia Schulte is an author of the online-magazine "Europe & Me". Born in 1986, she represents a generation, that enjoyed growing up mostly without boundaries in Europe. As a lawyer, she would like to foster a real European community.

Saila Huusko from Finland has for the last years been bringing together different ethnic, religious or antagonized groups in reconciliation and currently works for the Crisis Management Initiative of the former Finnish President Martti Ahtisari.

The debate will be moderated by Matthias Naß, Chief International Correspondent of the German weekly newspaper DIE ZEIT.

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