Die European via de vivre (English)

Date of publication: June 15, 1991

Author: Pascal Fleury


The Europe marketing concept suffers greatly from two opposing attitudes : total amnesia regarding European history in favour of data completely deprived of context, and the claim that diverse histories and cultures are a radical obstacle to the building of Europe. In fact, a simple comparison with the United States shows that linguistic, religious, historical, cultural, racial, geographical and climatic obstacles can be avoided if the nation concerned stems from a universally-rooted popular plan. However, Europe is not a popular project. It is an idea forged by a cultural and economic elite which has no real substance for the average citizen. Furthermore, for the more powerful nations. Europe still has to compete with other extra-European interests, a phenomenon less apparent and of lesser concern to the other nations. Europe must therefore shift from its present mentality of economic utopia to its real sociocultural identity. This sociocultural reality is often difficult to observe and manage for the marketing world which opts for either global, reducing attitudes, atomising or even hegemonic ones, fed by specialists on foreign countries. One of the obstacles to our understanding of Europe stems form the typologies and grids which were actually created to describe Europeans. In spite of their fascination and use they have never been more than an amnesic projection of one culture onto another. The real marketing future in Europe must be built by drawing from the diversity and wealth of real cultures, by learning to understand them and by sticking to similar concepts and messages. This task may be trickier and more In this context the "European via de vivre" may well recreate new divides and bring out new barriers hidden by two centuries of nationalism. But this transformation is also a chance to see the European map redrawn to represent, at last, something for one and all within, and for those outside Europe.

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