Daniel Tarschys said that it was symbolic
that COEUR's first meeting should take place
in Berlin. After lunch in the East we deliberate
in the West. Today we have two panels but
we have discovered that it is impossible
to discuss one part of Europe without discussing
In a way the European project
is like Berlin, a huge construction site.
Public debate has tended to focus on the
material aspects of European construction.
But there are other dimensions: culture,
human rights, ethics. The first panel has
demonstrated the importance of linking the
two. "Europe is more than economy,
Europe is more than fifteen".
Romano Prodi observed
that EU enlargement is necessary but the
problem is how to achieve it without disrupting
the social structure. It must be explained
to the man in the street. The EU is the
goal for the East because of its success.
For example Italian GDP per capita had once
been 38% that of Switzerland, but now thanks
mainly to Europe it stands at 77%.
Courage is needed for unpopular
decisions. Italy had a hard time during
the three years needed to join EMU. The
EU needs to establish long term goals, not
waste its energies on small goals. It needs
to work on creating a common foreign policy
and make clear that its economy is based
on competition rather than cheese-making
EMU is important in that
it has protected Europe from competitive
devaluations following the Asian crisis.
But something else is needed ? a stronger
political union and stronger sense of identity.
Europe needs to move from money to the sword.
The Maastricht criteria are not a substitute
for political union. Europe should combine
greater diversity of personal choice with
more common action. Europe needs majority
rule or it will be impossible to enlarge
the EU. If it paralyses decision making
now, what will it be when the EU is larger?
Andre Glucksmann has said that Europe is
more interested in Duty-Free than in a collapsing
Russia. This is a typical consequence of
the unanimous decision-making rules.
Europeans today need new
ideas to reach goals. Tinkering with institutions
and reform, and the day to day management
of business is all very well, but not enough.
The continent lacks self-confidence, as
indicated by the declining rate of births
of both babies and companies. Europe needs
new entrepreneurs with new ideas. Perhaps
there should be a deal: the West could borrow
its philosophy and ethics from the East
and East could borrow its technology from
the West. Otherwise both could end up borrowing
everything from the USA.
Daniel Tarschys commented
that the unanimity rule poses a dilemma
for Europe. On the one hand it is responsible
for the slow progress of European integration.
On the other it helps to maintain popular
support for the European project.
EMU has been a quantum leap and radical
change in European construction. It means
that Europe can count on continued price
stability, which in itself is important
given the history of inflation in Europe.
The price of inflation is always paid by
the weak. It also means that Europe is completing
its economic unification project, thereby
creating a tough competitive environment
through the transparency of prices. Schumpeter
referred to competition as "creative
destruction". There will be a social
cost to EMU and there may be reactions against
the single currency and single market.
Can this tough environment
and price stability be managed without political
union? The answer is yes in the short term
but no in the long term. But how much political
union, and where and how, is open to question.
By giving up monetary sovereignty it is
difficult for nation states to retain fiscal
sovereignty. Tax harmonization will be delicate.
For most people monetary policies are abstract,
taxation is not. The debate on this issue
must be open and specific.
As a precedent has now been
set in the field of finance the need for
concerted action will arise in other fields,
such as foreign policy and security. There
is no alternative to political union but
debate must be open.
Europeans have become disillusioned with
the EU. It is the victim of its success.
We have peace, we have economic integration.
It is beginning to seem unnecessary. Does
Europe take a pleasure in failure? People
are not against EMU, but are not sure why
they should be for it either. Europe cannot
keep solving the problems of the 1930s and
1950s. It must focus on the problems of
the future also.
It is very easy and convenient
to criticise the EU. Each European only
asks what Europe has ever done for him as
a citizen with his own narrow interests.
Europe seems silent on the big questions
of the day. All European Councils are presented
in national terms; national ministers present
a national view to the national media. If
they win, they did it; if not, the EU is
to blame. This not the way to create a European
Agenda 2000 is all about
the future of Europe, but the broad picture
is seldom conveyed. The EU institutions
are perplexing. They need faces. EMU should
not be just about a market but about a way
of ordering society. This does necessarily
mean a written constitution. or a federal
blueprint. But it does mean adding to the
member states an organization of democracy
at an international level. The European
Parliament cannot simply be a copy of any
national parliament. It is unique. Europeans
from fifteen different countries come together
bringing with them their own political cultures
and traditions. It is amazing that it functions
The next great challenge
is the "Europeanization of enlarged
Europe". This enlargement will not
come free but is worth the price. The West
will export political, economic, social
and ecological stability to the East while
avoiding importing instability from the
East. But the EU itself must remain stable.
It has already been enlarged several times
and each time it has changed. European leaders
in the 50s had the courage to set aside
the ancient antagonism between France and
Germany. Today's leaders have the first
opportunity to bring about the unification
of the entire continent on the basis of
Europe is a world power
whether it wishes it or not. From this superpower
people expect answers to political, social,
economic and ecological questions. They
also expect action. It is dishonest for
politicians to complain about Europe being
powerless on Monday and denying Europe that
power on Tuesday.
David Puttnam At
Oscar time every year we ask ourselves whether
it really is possible for Europeans, or
others, to create their own culture of the
moving image, a culture built round an alternative
set of ambitions.
This question has become
more, not less, troubling as a result of
the information explosion made possible
by increasing digital convergence between
the printed word and television, computers
and the Internet. As we move from a society
in which the chief characteristic of information
is scarcity to one in which it multiplies
seemingly without limit, images become the
central means of conveying knowledge and
understanding. They give shape to the fog
of data, which surrounds us. Those who produce
the images thus have a special responsibility
because they really are tinkering with people's
minds, imprinting images, messages and ideas,
which may remain there for life.
American films of 40 or
50 years ago, while sometimes being sharply
critical of American society, demonstrated
that capacity of the Americans for a kind
of infinite hopefulness, the "pursuit
of happiness", enshrined in the Declaration
of Independence. Many offer a vision that
reminds us that a just society has to be
built around beliefs that bind its members
together, beliefs that are themselves built
on the pursuit of happiness, liberty, truth
The vast majority of films
now made by Hollywood have no such ambition.
Hollywood dominates the world's cinema screens,
while it is itself dominated, solely, by
the tyranny of the bottom line. Films, TV
programmes and new media are all much more
than fun, and far more than just so many
new business opportunities; they serve to
reinforce or undermine the wider values
These new information technologies
can be an invaluable learning tool, which
has not yet been fully developed. Here is
an opportunity, which Europe must develop.
For, if the most influential component of
the "entertainment" business has
inexorably shifted abroad and Europe then
allows the same to happen with educational
and information resources, what can possibly
remain of Europe's capacity to sustain,
let alone develop, its cultural identity?
There is, as the Russian film director Andrej
Tarkowsky said, a connection between our
behaviour and our destiny. In the end we
will inherit the society we deserve.
Juan Luis Cebrián
For the first time in its history, Europe
is ruled by people who have never been to
war. This is essential to understand the
problems of our identity. For centuries
Europe has witnessed confrontation between
peoples, religions or races. The "right
to be different" has usually been demanded
with more force than the right to be equal,
even in times when the latter was the most
most visible revolutionary slogan. The expression
of this right to be different has been based
on a culture, which has too often been identified
with a particular language. This also explains
why newspapers have constituted one of the
most nationalistic elements in every society.
The media do not reflect European values.
They have become a self-satisfied reflection
of society, normally reflecting only national
interests. Thus most of the major newspapers
are simply symbols of their own countries.
It is hard to find any pan-European press
except that published by Americans. Attempts
to create European media have failed.
If English is the lingua
franca, it is because of the USA. This should
not prevent the creation of a European identity.
Pilots and air traffic controllers use English
for work, yet speak among themselves in
their mother tongues. In the digital society,
the supremacy of English is absolute.
Yet the paradox today is
that the most nationalistic media are controlled
by international conglomerates, which are,
with the exception of Rupert Murdoch's News
Corporation, all European. Often national
government interests have no better ally
than the supposedly neutral or apolitical
attitudes of foreign owned media. The plurality
of Europe, its multiplicity and diversity,
which we all praise and promote, will finally
be left in very few, quite uniform hands.
Jost Stollman has
the feeling that globalization is increasingly
pushing not only national but European identity
into the background. What can be done to
make the European project more relevant
and attractive to Europe's citizens, especially
Alan Watson (London)
confirmed the impression that Europe's political
leaders are still driven by national interests.
While John Major was "battling for
Britain" no one seemed to be "battling
for Europe". Today's theme is "Europe,
a culture of shared causes". Europe
will not progress if it is only a culture
of shared crises. Europe must try to develop
the characteristic optimism of the USA.
The EU has so far been a success story.
David Puttnam said that fear sells. So does
hope. Let us own the successes of Europe.
Hans Leenaars (Rotterdam)
By introducing the single currency and doing
away with exchange rates in Europe, an important
adjusting mechanism has been removed. The
only remaining mechanism is the labour market.
If this is to work, there must be more labour
mobility and legislation to make it easier.
Jaime Carvajal Urquijo
(Madrid) referred to the Argentine debate
about whether to adopt the Dollar as the
national currency. Would it be possible
for non-EMU countries to adopt the Euro
as way to gain economic stability and credibility?
Coen Teulings (Brussels)
assumed that politicians are the group of
people least likely to enhance European
awareness. They are by definition local
minded people, elected on local agendas
by local constituencies. This holds true
for the press, which, by necessity mostly
focuses on local concerns.
Immo Stabreit (Berlin)
feels that Europeans are confused about
the roles and representativity of the many
European institutions including the Parliament,
whose recent vote of censure of the European
Commission was not convincing.
Juan Luis Cebrián
could not agree with the notion that there
is such a thing as a homogeneous Europe
and a clearcut European identity. Immigration
is changing that.
Europe's single market has encouraged European
corporate mergers to match US corporations.
Healthy competition within Europe should
not be hampered by protective regulations.
Whichever country chooses to adopt the Euro
will have to submit to the ECB's strict
Romano Prodi does
not want to discard the unanimity rule entirely,
as there is the problem of smaller countries
sharing the EU with larger ones. The solution
may be to devise a constitutional system
similar to the USA, with the House of Representatives
and the Senate representing the interests
of the majority of the population and the
recognized that it is easy to be confused
about Europe s institutions. Is national
political decision-making any better understood?
The failure of a vote of confidence in the
European Parliament is no worse than in
a national parliament. It is a matter of
obtaining enough votes. He had strong reservations
about concepts of European interests or
identity, which mistake the EU for an enlarged
European nation state. There can be no such
thing as a European nation state. We must
understand that we can continue to retain
our national loyalties while feeling European.
David Puttnam disagreed
with Juan Luis Cebrián and Klaus
Hänsch. The USA have no problem embracing
people from wholly different cultures and
spheres of life. Europe must try to achieve
something similar. In the USA, beginning
with President Woodrow Wilson and continuing
today, the film and TV industry have been
the most effective means of describing to
a very large immigrant population the concept
of being American. They have done more to
bind America together than laws.
Helmut Maucher again
thanked President Herzog for hosting with
COEUR such a broad ranging discussion on
Europe at Schloss Bellevue. He especially
thanked the sponsors who had generously
made the event possible.
The debate on the broader aspects of Europe
will continue through COEUR, by means of
study groups and papers. All those present
were invited to participate.
Director of COEUR, in summing up, reminded
the conference of the Treaty of Rome. The
night before its signature, former Minister
Jean-François Deniau - who had been
prevented from attending the COEUR conference
because of serious illness - had hastily
typed out its preamble, on a borrowed typewriter.
This preamble contained two short phrases,
"ever closer union" between the
peoples of Europe who "share this ideal".
The spirit of those phrases is still alive
It was clear throughout the panel discussions
that our friends from Central Europe are
still idealistic and hopeful, but also disappointed.
By contrast, the West seems jaded and hesitates
to recognize and show pride in the EU's
success. It will only be through recognition
and pride that it will be possible to promote
a European project. COEUR will work to that