Struggles over formal and cultural hierarchy among Eurocrats in Brussels after the enlargement of the EU in 2004 and 2007
(Europa-Universität Viadrina Frankfurt (Oder))
Paper short abstract:
Based on my field research in EU Brussels, I depict how after the enlargement of the EU in 2004 and 2007 class and cultural boundaries are established among Eurocrats.
Paper long abstract:
Brussels is "the capital of Europe" and the EU administration is an amalgam of the EU member state's nationalities. Within this cultural assemblage and among the EU-Commission's civil servants there is a constant struggle over formal hierarchy and this struggle is often played out in symbolical and cultural terms. Under the notion of "modernity" an overlapping representations of nationalities and local class criteria are established that both have impact on prestige and career prospects in the EU-bureaucracy. Based on my field research among Eurocrats in Brussels, I depict the establishment of cultural and class divisions between "old" and "new" Europe (old and new member states of the EU particularly after the Enlargement 2004 and 2007) in mutual assessments of bodily hexis and lifestyles of actors in what I call the EU-space in Brussels. Simultaneously I show how the "modern" boundary between professional/public and private life is constantly blurred and different capitals are applied in order to gain both prestige and power and to enforce national and economical interests.
The anthropology of public services and bureaucracies