General Introduction - Léonce Bekemans
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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