joschka spells it out


Permit me to begin with a few thoughts about Europe, before we come to the Middle East. It is strange, but when you look at Europe today you get the impression that the better off Europeans are, and the more we succeed in rising to the challenges of the time and overcoming the demons of our history, the less popular this Europe becomes – especially among the younger generation. In the French referendum the majority of young people voted “no”, even though it is their future that is at stake, and even though it is precisely for them that this Europe should hold a strong attraction.

Of course, there are populist arguments against Europe. However much we may criticize it – and nothing in a democracy, whether it be an institution or a person, is beyond criticism – a glance at the history books (and we’re not only talking about the remote past but recent history as well) really ought to teach us what the alternatives to Europe are. Despite that, we find euroscepticism everywhere – today Europe meets with rejection in both the old and the new member states. That is why I would like to begin with this Europe of ours.

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