The European consensus

The European paradox: What (still) holds Europe together?

Throughout his political career Helmut Schmidt was an advocate of the idea of a united Europe. But today European unity is under threat from many sides, both in theory and in practice. And yet for the large majority of its over 500 million people the European Union is self-evident, with a history that is tried and tested. The transatlantic security alliance also depends on an EU with the capacity to act. Meanwhile much of what emanates from Brussels elicits malice, distrust and resistance. Democratic deficits and a lack of resolve in the EU to tackle recent challenges determinedly foster such sentiments. The rejection of Europe by many and a tendency towards nationalism and authoritarianism in some member states can be seen as symptoms of the disintegration of the western set of values.

  • What (still) holds Europe together?
  • How can fresh enthusiasm for the “common European home” (Helmut Schmidt) be kindled in its people?
  • What role could the EU and the transatlantic alliance assume in the global challenges of the 21st century?
  • How should they face up to great powers such as Russia and China?

These questions are essential if we wish to understand or influence current political developments. Through its work the Bundeskanzler-Helmut-Schmidt-Stiftung will contribute to finding answers and promoting the idea of European solidarity association.

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