Saturday, September 29, 2007

Europa: Vision und Votum

Von Jürgen Habermas

"Als vor 50 Jahren die Gründung der Europäischen Wirtschaftsgemeinschaft feierlich beschlossen wurde, stand die innenpolitische Frage der atomaren Ausrüstung der Bundeswehr weit mehr im Zentrum nicht nur meiner Aufmerksamkeit. Wie viele andere habe auch ich damals nicht begriffen, dass diese Zollunion bereits mit verfassungsähnlichen Institutionen ausgestattet wurde und damit die Perspektive auf eine Europäische Gemeinschaft, also eine politische Vereinigung der Länder Westeuropas, eröffnete."

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Related texts: Depicting Europe by Perry Anderson

"These transports may seem peculiarly Anglo-Saxon, but there is no shortage of more prosaic equivalents on the Continent. For Germany’s leading philosopher, Jürgen Habermas, Europe has found ‘exemplary solutions’ for two great issues of the age: ‘governance beyond the nation-state’ and systems of welfare that ‘serve as a model’ to the world. So why not triumph in a third? ‘If Europe has solved two problems of this magnitude, shouldn’t it issue a further challenge: to defend and promote a cosmopolitan order on the basis of international law’ – or, as his compatriot the sociologist Ulrich Beck puts it, ‘Europeanisation means creating a new politics. It means entering as a player into the meta-power game, into the struggle to form the rules of a new global order. The catchphrase for the future might be: Move over America – Europe is back!’ In France, Marcel Gauchet, theorist of democracy and an editor of Le Débat, the country’s central journal of ideas, explains, more demurely, that ‘we may be allowed to think that the formula the Europeans have pioneered is destined eventually to serve as a model for the nations of the world. That lies in its genetic programme.’"

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