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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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PART II. VALUE-DRIVEN FOUNDATIONS OF EUROPE

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PART II VALUE-DRIVEN FOUNDATIONS OF EUROPE 53 A Value-Driven Foundation: Introduction Léonce BEKEMANS Part II analyses the value-driven foundations of Europe and the European integration process from different perspectives (historical, ethical and human rights), providing a solid base for reading, understanding and developing future developments. The various papers contribute to clarifying, exploring and identifying possible answers to the current European debate about its objectives and finality. In “Value-Driven Foundations of European Integration” Thomas Jansen stresses that the need to recover the common historical and cultural origins of Europe is essential in order to address the challenges the European project is confronted with today. The classic principles underlying the European unification process – peace, reconciliation, solidarity, justice and freedom – are now integrated with new emerging values such as sustainable development, political and social subsidiary and social peace. These values and principles, representing all together the ethics of the European unification process, are at the same time substantially Christian ethics. In order to build a European common future, they have to be preserved, cultivated and applied to the world, changing realities as well as the interactions amongst European and non- Europeans. The paper by Léonce Bekemans on “The Idea of Europe: Identity- building from a Historical Perspective” offers first a historical reading of the idea of Europe from its classical origin to today’s cosmopolitan understanding. Secondly it proposes an overview of the building of a European identity, explaining concepts, models and paths in the EU framework. The author perceives Europe as...

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