Dis-closing encounters: European public space, cultural diversity, and the Slovenian EU presidency
Paper short abstract:
The paper critically reflects on the Slovenian EU presidency and its potential to act, in the limited time frame, as a motor of enhancing European citizenship and the formation of the European public sphere.
Paper long abstract:
This presentation will focus on the Slovenian EU presidency in the first half of 2008. The analysis will concentrate on three areas in which the presidency has left its most immediate imprint: domestic political arena, public sphere and the national news media. In addition, the paper will also summarize the results of the field research on the implementation of the European year of intercultural dialogue in Slovenia. The main objective of the analysis is to critically reflect on the EU presidency and its potential to act, in the limited time frame, as a motor of enhancing European citizenship and the formation of the European public sphere within the local national environment of a member state. Although the research is bound by very specific circumstances of the EU presidency by one member state, the analysis aims to provide critical insights into broader processes of Europeanization. The main argument therefore will be that although governed by political elites, the close encounters with "Europe" generated during the presidency nonetheless open up the space to examine potentials to create critical, post-national and cosmopolitan European public sphere that challenge the governing paradigms of identity and belonging.