The thing is, for EU to succeed you might start thinking less about your country and more about Europe as a unique entity. I don't want to give away completely my national identity either, but being less of a nationalist helps comprehend and understand my European peers.
I don't want a Europe like the Soviet Union, I dream of a federal Europe, where every little nation contributes its own color on the map, but where its citizens can travel, work, and prosper to any part of it without restrains of any kind.
True enough Prof., one of these days I'm going to have to write myself a "foolish to English" dictionary. In the absence of that though, and asking you all to take the limitations of my ad hoc internal translation into account, what I really care about is self determination, which, almost paradoxically, is apparently only realisable as part of a group. So which grouping should I align myself to?(No, wrong word,) I mean to which group should I pledge my troth?
And I can see two obvious ways to weigh that question;
Pragmatically; which is most likely to be best able to furnish me with a goodly measure of self determination, ( subject, of course to the need for the will of the group as a whole to take precedence over the will of any one individual( Sort of, but not quite, like a PCI bus' overhead?))? Answer, EU, version 2.x ( the one where every member state is in the Euro, where there is a common defence force and policy, where every politician with the power to personally influence Union policy is directly and democratically accountable to all us proles.).
Emotionally; If I ask myself what group I feel I belong to, then the answer is no more Europe than it is England. The answer is Sussex, well East Sussex actually, oh alright then Lewes(and surrounding area). Its where I was born, where I grew up, where I feel I belong, and the only place I feel that my life really makes sense. Which puts me in the position of having to try and judge what’s best for Lewes, which brings me back to the EU.
So, while I wouldn't call myself a nationalist, more a regionalist ( or even subregionalist), I don't think I'm able to give up that emotional ascociation without denaturing myself.
Having previewed this post, and therefore reread what I'm quoting from you, I realise I still haven't addressed the point
My conception of the small corner of England I call home is a conception of a variation on the theme Europe, albeit with one or two piquancies that make it particularly dear to my heart. For me, a healthy Lewes is necessarily a patch of the quilt that is Europe, and though our dyes may differ, we are of the same stuff.
Oh and WRT FS & Rosenburgs jests, I was going to say "plus ca change", but thought it a touch too obvious