Updated: Aug 18, 2020
The fourth OxNet Languages seminar was led by Dr Sophie Vériter from St Anthony's College, Oxford. Delivered remotely via presentation, Dr Vériter encouraged participants to think academically about the European Union (EU), its purposes, and the context within which it sits. This began with consideration of what exactly the EU is, what it isn't, and what its history from the Schuman Declaration in 1950 up until the 'Big Bang' enlargement of 2004. This was not to say, however, that the formation of the EU followed a linear path: the consideration and historicisation of key terms such as 'Euroscepticism' and key moments such as Brexit were also considered within this particular narrative. Following the consideration of many of these key points, Dr Vériter encouraged participants to relate this back to the overarching theme of the seminar series: What does it mean to be European? In this sense, how central is the EU to European identity? And should this be contained within one harmonious narrative, or the diversity and differences of individual countries within its membership be embraced?