intervention  
 

Where the European Union heading?

27/12/2006
 
Series of Conférence in USA (26 March-4 April 2001)
When the political project for modern Europe was born, in the years which followed the end of the second world war, the expression most often used to describe it was “building the United States of Europe”. This was a clear reference to the great American democracy. It was also the watchword of the famous congress held in The Hague in 1948, and later came up at regular intervals in the discussions of the Jean Monnet committee that helped the modern European endeavour take its first steps. The phrase would now be thought overly naive, and is no longer heard in speeches on Europe. The fact is that, with experience, we have come to realise just how difficult such a project is. Political Europe does not mean the emergence of a new democracy out of
nothing. It is gradually being formed by the coming together of nation-States that are themselves firmly rooted in two centuries of European history and still remain alive and kicking. This form of political organisation remains the primary forum for European citizens to shape and express their democratic will. It indicates that what we are actually doing is trying to invent a form of political organisation quite unlike anything achieved up to now anywhere in the world. The European Union is not a State which has identified its boundaries, form of organisation and democratic rules. It is a permanent building site on which we should heed the sign “work in progress”.