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The subject of this year's topical issue of the Columbia Journal of European Law promises to be topical for some time to come. Every model of European integration that has been competing for consideration-whether within the Union institutions or within the corridors of national power, or virtually anywhere for that matter presupposes a European identity of sorts. But just at the time that a "European" identity might hope to be developing in the midst of the "national" identities with which it was commonly contrasted, the identity "landscape" has itself been growing more complex. Forces of globalization, and more particularly the growth of global institutions (such as the World Trade Organization or the International Criminal Court), are challenging the notion that the European Union is inevitably the broadest community of interest with which the peoples of Europe might meaningfully identify. On the other hand, a still sharper challenge to the nascent European identity arises from the fact that the community with which Europeans most closely identify (and against which the progressive development of a European identity is to be measured) is in fact not a national community at all, but one or more regional or other sub-national communities.


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