Desperately Seeking Europe
Susan Stern, Elisabeth Seligmann, Alfred Herrhausen Gesellschaft für Internationalen Dialog
Archetype Publications, 2003 - Europe - 383 pages
Europe? What is it? A land mass (plus a few islands) which stretches from Portugal to the Russian Urals? Or at least up to the Turkish Bosporus? Or (still) just to the German border? A continent with a common history? A common language, culture, religion? A common anything? This book is collection of original contributions solicited by the Alfred Herrrhausen Society for International Dialogue. The Herrhausen Society was set up in 1992 by Deutsche Bank and provides a forum for examining socially relevant issues, identifying the problems and discussing their possible solutions. Authors include: Josef Ackermann, Ulrich Beck, Matthias Berninger, Ralf Dahrendorf, Patrik Cox, Ismael Cem, Laszlo Foldenyi; Rabbi David J.Goldberg, Adolf Muschg, Chenjerai Hove, Sergei Karaganow, Tommy Koh, Noelle Lenoir; Ma Canrong; Cees Noteboom; Joseph Nye; Yasar Huri Ozturk; Jiri Pehe; Richard Perle; Andrej Plesu; Michael Portillo; Avi Primor; Gunther Verheugen; Ilija Trojanow; Slavenka Drakulic; Janusz Reiter; Peter Ruzicka; Michael Walzer; Jean-Claude Trichet; Friedrich Kardinal Wetter; Ernst-Ludwig Winnacker; Vaira Vike-Freiberga; William Wallace; Robert Weinberg; Valery Giscard d'Estaing; Romano Prodi; Jacques Le Goff; Throw out the word 'Europe' to most members of the European Union, and they will assume you are talking about their exclusive club of fifteen-about-to-become-twenty-five-plus countries. Most members of the EU, that is, but not all. Someone from the U.K. will likely think you are referring to the countries across the Channel - some of which may belong to the Union, some not, but my goodness, what's the difference? Europe - someone from a wannabe EU country, or even an about-to-be one, especially from a country situated in middle, or central, or eastern - uh - Europe? - will hardly think of Europe as synonymous with the European Union.After all, they too are Europeans, even though they don't belong to the EU. Or are they? The rest of the world - the Americas, Africa, Asia, Australasia - thinks they are, it's mainly EU members who don't. Indeed, it's the rest of the world which provides a European identity to the people from the bits of Europe beyond the EU (Michael Portillo). Europe - for the Norwegians or the Swiss, the question doesn't even present itself. They know they're Europeans, and so, funnily enough, do the bona-fide members of the European Union. Desperately Seeking Europe is a roadmap which contains 36 contributions from international politicians, sociologists, economists and renowned writers, all of whom have their own opinions on what Europe is, was, will be or should be - as the case may be. The book presents a mosaic of provocative views, in some cases at odds with each other, in others, surprisingly similar, but often for quite different reasons. A fascinating read!
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