Nowadays, Europe manifests two completely different trends, one of them, integration through European Union and the enlargement process, and other, fragmentation by obtaining autonomy by some regions, the most recent example of this being Kosovo. On the other hand, to make part of EU, it’s necessary the dissolution of conflicts inside the state that wants to adhere to European Union.

Why the need for autonomy? Why do conflicts that lead to fragmentation appear? Or more exactly, what are the causes of those already existing?

Besides the case of Italy where the conflict is based on an economic one , in the other areas, in west of Europe (Belgium, Spain) and in east, conflicts are ethnic. For example, in Spain, Catalonia is already an autonomous region, and also Basque Country is asking for autonomy, even independece, on ethnic criteria.

A first problem that occurs is ignoring the issue of ethnicity and ethnic pluralism, beginning by the fundamental laws of the countries. In the case that it pass over the myth nation-state, based on ethnic hegemony, then the problem is approached, but at national level. Until now has not been a coherent policy at European level, a unitary view of ethnic conflicts in Europe. Reality says that Europe is a space where no ethnic-cultural community has got the majority, and in this context, the issue of minorities and the homogeneity requires a careful approach from persons who can decide at European level. Beside the issue of ethnic minorities, the oscillation between European values and homogeneity of each nation-state adds to the fear generated by the weakening of nation-state.

So, where do we sit on the map of Europe that oscillates between two poles: integration-fragmentation, and especially which are the reasons of fragmentation, which is hiding under the umbrella of ethnic identity and the need for autonomy?

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