‘Europe has become its own worst enemy’

Published on 19 April 2013 at 14:00


“A real attack is underway against the heart of the European Union,” writes Christian Rocca, director of IL, the cultural supplement of Sole 24 Ore:

[It is] an attack launched from the interior of the continent; a home-grown reaction to the economic crisis. Europe has become its own enemy, responsible for all our national headaches, the target of all our corporate grievances. Things have not always been this way. Up to twenty years ago, Europe presented the dream, hope and challenge of a new departure: the peaceful liberation of the countries of the East, the reunification of Germany, the abolition of borders, the free circulation of ideas and people, Erasmus. Today, there is nothing but the Champions League to remind us that we are still a Union. For the rest: welcome to Euroland, the desolate land of the euro, a monetary union where the most ghastly words a European can hear are: ‘Greetings. I come from the EU and I am here to help you.’

To illustrate the “obvious rips” that have appeared in the Union flag in recent years, IL calls on four European intellectuals – the historian Niall Ferguson, former European Commissioner Peter Mandelson, MEP Daniel Cohn-Bendit and the publisher and editor of Die Zeit Josef Joffe – to explain why. According to Rocca,

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the most important threat to the European project today is the loss of legitimacy of the European spirit, its shaky credibility [...]. This time, the usual scream of “More Europe – we need more Europe!” won’t be enough to salvage it.

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