Idea of European Culture(s) and Diversity

Our researcher Veronika Bílkova has contributed to "The Oxford Handbook of International Law in Europe" with a book chapter on the role of culture in international law.

The chapter discusses the way in which the tension between the promotion of a uniform European culture and the need to accommodate cultural diversity in Europe has shaped international law and, vice versa, how international law has helped to strike a balance between the two interests. It shows that this area itself has been marked by ‘cultural diversity’. Three main approaches can be distinguished. The first approach is reserved to cultures seen as components of a uniform European culture. The doctrine of the margin of appreciation and the principle of subsidiarity are legal tools used here. The second approach applies to cultures seen as complementary to a uniform European culture. Legal tools employed in this context encompass the principle of non-discrimination and positive measures for minority groups. The third approach pertains to cultures seen as an alternative to the European culture(s). Intercultural dialogue is one of the tools used here.