Notre Europe celebrated its first ten years at the end of 2006, a few months before the celebrations of the 50th anniversary of the Treaty of Rome. The coincidental timing of the two anniversaries provided a unique opportunity to take stock, to assess the lessons of the past, and to think about future possibilities for the European project. This was the aim of an important colloquium, entitled “Notre Europe demain”, organised at the French senate in partnership with Groupe Nouvel Observateur – Challenges.
Referring to their memories and experiences – good and bad – of European integration, the participants appealed for the current crisis to be placed in the perspective of the many obstacles already overcome by the European Union. However, they also warned against complacency, against the risks of losing the support of public opinion, and of the necessity not to dilute the spirit of the “Community method”. According to the participants in the colloquium, a rolling back of the European construction remains a possibility, and will become an inevitability if member states cannot reach agreement on a new common vision. At the centre of this needs to be a compromise on Europe’s position with regard to globalisation – a phenomenon which the Union cannot defend unquestioningly, but must not defy.