European Council on Foreign Relations, London (Großbritannien)
Die Doppelgedächtnis-Rede hielt er am 29.05.2009 im Festsaal der Humboldt Universität in Berlin, mit freundlicher Unterstützung des Allianz Stiftungsforums
Is the Post-Cold War European Order in Crisis?
When I was writing my big book on Europe, I came across a quote from Paul Valery that I felt captured the European condition perfectly. He said “We hope vaguely, we dread precisely”. In six words he captured completely the motivation of the European project and the reason for its banal and uncharismatic form. Unlike the United States that is built on the promise of an American dream, the premise of the EU was to escape from history. Each country that took part in it had a national trauma that needed to be sublimated – the holocaust, dictatorship, national decline, communism. But 1989 was like a historical full-stop to EU trauma. There is now an entire generation of Europeans who have no history they are escaping from whose personal experience has been just been about a growth in wealth, freedom and opportunity. The question we are grappling with tonight is whether that escape from history was too total – whether the European Union’s loss of its memory could eventually cost it its right to exist. Is the Venusian order created after 1989 in crisis?