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Document Details :
Author(s): PATTYN, Bart
Journal: Ethical Perspectives
Volume: 5 Issue: 3 Date: October 1998
hile some enthusiastically applaud, some look on suspiciously, and still others remain indifferent, whatever one’s attitude may be, Europe is gradually taking shape. Its shape, however, is not yet the one dreamt of by the politicians nor the one desired by business people. It is clearly not yet a social Europe or the Europe hoped for by the lawyers or the police. In other words, there is still a long way to go. This process over which no one has control is irreversible. Whether Europe will grow into a federation in which life is good for everyone will depend on the extent to which its citizens take Europe to heart. Hopefully they will see Europe as a community for which they can muster respect rather than as an artificial superstructure which one encounters only when one makes use of its services or confronts its rules.
The fact that a strong individualistic tendency has developed in various European countries sometimes makes one fear the worst. As Jacques Delors remarked, what Europe mainly needs is a soul. If it is unable to find one, there will be too many lobbyists and too few idealists involved in the economic, administrative and legislative tasks, and private interests will take precedence over communal welfare. European institutions will become bureaucratic monoliths with abstract, Kafkaesque features.