Has Europe become a self-blocking illusion or does it grow with its conflicts? And how does one deal with all these issues in the classroom?
It seems to be clear that nationality is an outdated piece of history. In the field of cultural studies, the idea that we are living in a post-national era has become firmly established.
The attractiveness of the European Union gave, partially, birth to a number of narratives about the nature of the EU, which became pronounced in the 1990s and flourished in the heyday of the EU enlargements.
Currently, throughout Europe, various forms of nationalism are sprouting, as if decades of peaceful European cooperation had never existed. History education is looking on helplessly. Instead of providing students with the ability to orient to a future that is historically undefined, which is neither good nor bad, educational ministries are succumbing either to national hullaballoo (the UK and the Netherlands) or to curricular cluelessness (Switzerland, Germany). The future is not regarded as an opportunity for the present but, instead, almost exclusively as a threat. In other words: since the reorganization of Europe into a community of states in 1989, history education has lost its future. The past is used instrumentally for the present or is regarded only for its own sake.