2015 | 6(37) | 35-54
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The rebirth of classical Europe. What does it mean to be European?

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In these pages I will present the results of a project, launched in 2008 by the European Union, the subject of which were the values of Europe. The idea of a Europe built on knowledge, civility, rule of law, inclusiveness, was in our mind, but we understood that this idea of Europe was conflicting with many other ideas about Europe and its destiny. At the end of our search, we have found that the best Europe is the Europe of the Founding Fathers. In 1946, Winston Churchill advocated European integration precisely to prevent the horrors of two world wars from ever happening again. From the beginning, the EU was linked to the USA. European heritage and American heritage are strictly connected. Many scholars, such as and T.G. Ash and J.G.A. Pocock, underline the point. The rebirth of classical Europe is the rebirth of collaboration, alliance, partnership, mutual friendship, common values. Western declinism is the classic self‑fulfilling prophecy, while, actually, however, what continue to exist are reasons for US strength and European eminence, which can be maximized rather than minimized (for those who care about the stability of the international system). The inventor of dynamite and philanthropist, Alfred Nobel is an icon of European ambivalence on science, which can be used in order to build bombs and in order to build peace. At the annual Nobel Prize Award Ceremony, in the Stockholm City Hall, every 10th December, the classical European spirit is alive and kicking even more each year.
  • University of L’Aquila
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