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A Value-Driven European Future

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Edited By Léonce Bekemans

Comprising a well structured, interdisciplinary view of culturally founded and value driven reflections on Europe’s future this volume brings together a number of papers from an international workshop organised by the Jean Monnet Centre of Excellence of the University of Padua on October 2011 with some additional contributions. The essays are posed within a policy-oriented, institutional and international law of human rights framework, following a non-conventional but inspiring approach. This book provides a valuable resource for European scholars, policy-makers and interested and critical citizens committed to the idea of Europe. It proposes a reading of the complexities of transforming realities, oriented towards a common destiny of sustainable and cohesive societies in a globalised world, providing a human-centric outline for Europe’s future development.

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General Introduction - Léonce Bekemans

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15 General Introduction Léonce BEKEMANS I. Premises The current European reality is confronted with the preoccupation and the responsibility to maintain its socio-economic model of integration and diversity, but also to meet these challenges within a world of drastic changes, a world in a complex crisis of governability at various levels. In other words, Europe presents itself to the world with a wealth of cultural, social, linguistic and territorial diversities but also with an urgent need for concerted action, for social and economic cohesion to deal with the gravity of the crisis. Europe is currently at a turning point in its history. Challenges will only be overcome with a new common purpose and responsibility, defined by the needs of the current age. The EU is more than a common market, and of course we need increased economic governance and the treaty on the European budget pact (the fiscal compact) might be an important tool in building a stability and growth agenda based on the Europe 2020 strategy. But it is in the first place a community of destiny and a Union of values embodied in a commitment to human rights, peace, freedom and (internal and external) solidarity. These values have universal significance. If Europe wants to become a Community and Meeting Place of Multiple Identities, it will need a morally acceptable political structure and policies that strengthen its sense of common purpose and democratic citizenship. We all have multiple identities, which include local, regional and national elements. There is...

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