A Soul for Europe. On the Political and Cultural Identity of the Europeans: v. 1: Reader
After moving for ten plus years towards an ever closer union, the European Union and its citizens now face the choice whether to establish a full-fledged common polity. This decision requires a Europe-wide debate that includes the candidate states. European citizens must discuss what (if any) common values, principles and basic policies they share. A European identity involves the Union's institutions becoming rooted in the "soul" of the citizens, whatever its relationship might be to the existing national and local identities. Only then will the EU possess democratic legitimacy and support. These two volumes are written by authors with a political and intellectual interest in the European process. They discuss the EU's unprecedented character as a peacefull and voluntary union of peoples, its understandable obstacles encountered along the way to further integration, and the Union's less acceptable shortcomings. The first volume is written for the general reader. It examines the essential components of a European political identity in relation to democracy, citizenship, social justice, war and peace, freedom and borders. It also explores the history of this identity. The second volume is a collection of scientific essays. These provide in-depth analysis of fundamental aspects of European cultural identity such as religion, art and economic culture, myth and civil society. The two volumes can be read independently. However, we hope readers of either one will feel stimulated to reach for the other.