EU Tourism Contributing to Peace and Unity?: A Policy Rather Left for the Market!

EU Tourism Contributing to Peace and Unity?: A Policy Rather Left for the Market!

Dina Sebastião, Alina Stoica
DOI: 10.4018/978-1-7998-5053-3.ch010
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This chapter analyses the EU tourism policy regarding tourism sensitive to peace. It relies on the medieval, modern, and contemporary enlightenment philosophy of building a lasting peace in Europe, which were foundational ideas of European integration and keep being a reflex in its current values. Although the EU has been witnessing the longest period of this territory with peace, it is not taken for granted, and Euroscepticism and nationalism have been growing in Europe. The chapter assesses the conception of tourism as an intervening policy for the EU to contain nationalism, intolerance, and state conflict in Europe, using the theoretical framework of tourism sensitive to peace. It is concluded that Europe lacks an immaterial vision for tourism, as it is confined to the market functionality.
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Despite the post-war ambitions to create a project of European unity laid down in education and culture, that could be the pillars of European political construction, European integration started by the market. The aspiration of such a project is rooted in the European political philosophy contributions for the idea of European unity. In the light of the historical condition of war in Europe, a peaceful international order in the continent would not be achieved through instruments of international law and the balance of powers, philosophers argued, but rather through a political unity of the European states, a political system which should be based on a constitutional initiative, implementing a code of common education, values and rights for the nationals of the member states. Such a system could rely on a federal base. Thus, peace, meaning not only the absence of material war between states but also the share of a common political value between all citizens (Galtung, 1964), grounded on the Republican principles of dignity, liberty and equality, is at the heart of the idea of political unity in Europe (Gruner, 1998a, 1998b). Nevertheless, the European integration did not start by a federalising constitutional perspective, but by the market integration. Displaying features of supranationality, the European Economic Community (EEC) was built as a common shared sovereignty between member states which preserved a large parcel of their own sovereignty. This primordial organisation evolved to a deeper form of integration, culminating in the creation of the European Union (EU), which has been reaching other areas of competence, with almost all the public policies within the reach of Brussels, although under different categories of power. Tourism policy came to be recognised for the first time by the Treaty of Lisbon as a scope where the EU can have complementary competence, thus helping member states to shape their national policy. This opens a great potential for the EU to use an economic activity as a means of educational propose, and specifically to use economic importance of tourism in the single market as a vehicle for promoting the value of peace. This normative orientation for European economic policies regains pertinence in the last decade, when the EU has been crossing different crises (the financial and economic crisis, the security crisis with terrorist attacks, the refugee crisis, the political crisis with Brexit), which have been resulting in the growth of nationalism, xenophobia and Euroscepticism, evident in the consecutive growth of populist and far-right parties. Peace is not thus taken for granted since a sense of national belonging and political mindset remains in the European electorate.

So the general aim of this chapter is to assess if the EU has been taking advantage of the market integration to implement and develop a strategy of a tourism policy “sensitive to peace”. This research adds novelty to the European integration studies, where the trend of policy analysis in general, and tourism in particular, has been mostly centred in tracking the evolution of competences between the EU and the member states, and the policy-making in the EU within conceptual frameworks of multilevel-governance and Europeanisation (Bache, George & Bulmer, 2011; Dionysopoulou, 2012; Ertamay &Akbaba, 2019; Estol, Camilleri & Font, 2018; Graziano & Vink, 2008; Ladrech, 2010; Wallace, Polack & Young, 2010). Considering studies in the Tourism and International Relations fields about Europe, this chapter also adds novelty. Since most studies have been conducted from a national perspective of the nexus tourism and peace (Cousevi, 2010; Webster, & Ivanov, 2013; Wohlmuther, Wintersteiner & Wagner, 2013), this one relies on foreseeing a common European strategy under a normative orientation for peace.

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