The United State of Europe is going full steam ahead as planned, regardless of EU failures and how it seems on the surface now.
More than 130 years ago, on March 11, 1882, the French philosopher and polemist Ernest Renan gave a speech at the Sorbonne that was to have a long lasting impact. It was entitled, Qu’est-ce qu’une nation?, or “What is a nation?”. “A nation is […] a great solidarity constituted by the feeling of sacrifices made and those that one is still disposed to make”.
There are still European philosophers and politicians, especially in Brussels, who would prefer to brush away the nation state as an obsolete and even dangerous 19th Century myth. They see the crisis as a means to now finally making a great leap forwards; they still dream of a European federation. If you apply Renan’s clear account to our continent, however, then – even half a century later after laying the foundations of the EU – there is still little to be seen of such a European nation. If anything has been damaged by the crisis and the subsequent extreme austerity drive, then it is that very solidarity and willingness to continue a common life that Renan stressed. Continue reading