Leyre Arrieta participated in this International Conference that took place in Athens, in September 23rd-25th. Arrieta and Coro Rubio (Associated Professor of the University of the Basque Country) presented the contribution untitled “The Basques and the “Europe of the Peoples”. Europeanism in the political discourse of Basque Nationalism and its precedents”.
The Conference was organized by the Hellenic American University and sought to examine issues in the ongoing construction of European identity, including notions of diversity and (physical and symbolic) borders. It focused on critical investigations that draw on discourse theory or bottom-up textual analysis to investigate these topics from the following perspectives: 1) historical, to explore the determinants which have been used to support a collective European identity; 2) geopolitical, to understand the importance of space and its role in the European edifice; 3) ideological/discursive, to investigate, synchronically and diachronically, key concepts that have informed EU practices of inclusion and exclusion.
The contribution of Arrieta and Rubio aims to brief the Europeanism in the political discourse of Basque Nationalism and its precedents. One of the modulations of the Federalist formula to build Europe, the Europe of Peoples, it has had on Basque Nationalism a convinced supporter. It was in the context of World War II and in the immediate postwar years when the Basque Nationalist Party (BNP) developed a strong European discourse, and making of Europeanism a distinguishing mark which has kept to the present. The path came prepared by the growing importance given to Europe in the twenties and thirties of last century, embracing the approaching of integral federalism, and deciding to make Europe the preferential framework of its external action in 1933. As remote precedents, it should be noted the European referents inserted in their political speech by the Basque regionalists of nineteenth century, who looked to Europe to legitimize their claims.
Analyzing and studying how the pro-European commitment of Basque Nationalism has evolved in the twentieth century has been the objective of this conference, formulated as a longue durée study that explores the complex relationship between Nationalism and Europeanism.