The Myth of a Green Europe

22 Pages Posted: 15 Dec 2009

See all articles by Andrea Lenschow

Andrea Lenschow

University of Osnabruck

Carina Sprungk

affiliation not provided to SSRN

Abstract

Unlike most nation-states, the EU faces the challenge of actively creating and sustaining myths about its polity. In this article we explore if and under what conditions the story of a ‘Green Europe’ represents a successful new myth on the European project, which is appealing to present and future generations and capable of generating legitimacy for EU politics. Exploring the narratives of policy leaders (storytellers) we trace the functional role of environmental policy for the EU polity as a whole, establish the legitimating role of environmental policy for the EU and search the extent to which the environmental narrative is constructed as an identity-building story. We argue that, while the actual performance of the EU in environmental policy might raise some doubts about the credibility and hence sustainability of the Green Europe myth, ‘green’ has become a brand attribute of the EU to the European public and carries a high level of legitimacy and potential for identification.

Suggested Citation

Lenschow, Andrea and Sprungk, Carina, The Myth of a Green Europe. JCMS: Journal of Common Market Studies, Vol. 48, Issue 1, pp. 133-154, January 2010, Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=1522570 or http://dx.doi.org/10.1111/j.1468-5965.2009.02045.x

Andrea Lenschow

University of Osnabruck ( email )

Neuer Graben
Osnabrück, 49074
Germany

Carina Sprungk

affiliation not provided to SSRN ( email )

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