a curious Yankee in Europe's court

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No funeral wreaths necessary for Europe: Julien Frisch

Posted on the May 19th, 2010

Although I can only lay claim to the merest smidgen of knowledge about the European Union, I have become unmistakably aware since I moved here that many Europeans are as ideologically passionate about a united Europe as many Americans are about a United States. This is especially noticeable with Europe’s younger generations.

But to find any awareness of this in the major USA news and opinion media takes a long hunt. During the eurozone crisis, the headlines in much of the USA (and also UK) English language press I was reading online were dominated by financial and market perspectives. From outside Europe, in particular, the focus seemed to be exclusively on the financial scenario.

The implication was that a monetary union is the only important aspect of the European Union that anyone — European political leaders and citizenry — cares about. And if this monetary union falters or fails, these pundits and experts seem to imply, “Well, there goes the European Union itself and, by the way, the European Dream is dead.”

Yesterday, I was happy to see a passionate rebuttal of this strange, uninformed nihilism offered by Julien Frisch, a political scientist from Germany, on his “Watching Europe” blog (“The European Dream is not dead” May 18, 2010)

I am excerpting three paragraphs, the final one being Frisch’s summing up (I hope he won’t mind):

“The European Dream has been to create unity in diversity, it has been to prevent wars happening between European countries, it has been to allow freedom of movement, to create a common market, a common social model or even to create a common demos etc…”

“For me, the political fight we are seeing is the proof of a common Europe, not an indicator of its bad state. And even if this was a fight of nations, it is still a political fight and the European Union’s system is advanced enough for that this will remain just a political fight – quite an unlikely scenario 60 years ago!…”

“The European Dream is not dead, it is there, and many of us are living this dream – very well aware of the luck that we had having grown up in a European Union, one in which we look at each other as different but equal, and one in which we don’t mind having a good political fight with friends and partners today and a glass of wine tomorrow to talk about our common plans.”


(Tuesday, 29 June 2010)
Dear readers,…
… this is the last real post of this blog, and the day after tomorrow at midnight, quite exactly two years after he came into existence, the blogger “Julien Frisch” will cease to exist… (read more here).

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