Tomorrow the European Parliament is expected to approve a motion tabled by the Committee for Constitutional Affairs, which will adopt a flag, an anthem and a motto for the Union. Not surprisingly, the flag will be the well-known blue banner with the twelve stars. Equally unsurprising, the anthem will be based on the ‘Ode to Joy’ from the Ninth Symphony by Ludwig van Beethoven. More interestingly, the motto will be “United in diversity”. As a side note, it is worth mentioning that should the Parliament approve the motion, May 9 shall forever be known as Europe Day. Although all these symbols are already recognized throughout and associated with the Union, their adoption will prove controversial to some as references to a common flag and anthem were removed from the failed constitution when it was morphed into the now impeded Lisbon Treaty.
Very interesting indeed. I can see why the parliament would push for such a step, since it probably is trying to increase everybody’s awareness that this is the organ representing the peoples of Europe. And I would certainly agree with the motion’s assessment regarding “the importance of symbols for reconnecting the citizens with the European Union”. But I’m not too sure about what consequences this might have with regard to the (legal) identity of the EU. And whether or not this is the right thing to do (now). Remember that part of the reason for why the constitution failed, was because of its symbolism and the fact that a constitution represented something that in many peoples’ opinion was to far reaching for the EU.