“Viruses do not have a passport”, declared French President Macron on 12 March 2020 in a major television address to the French people. He was particularly interested in the measures taken by neighbouring Germany which had declared the French region of “Grand Est” a “risk area” the day before. Continue reading
Citizenship was the mark of political affiliation in Europe in the twentieth century. While estate, religion, party, class, and nation lost political significance in the century of extremes, citizenship advanced to become the decisive category of political affiliation.
In the century’s upheavals and political struggles, the legal institution of citizenship had a decisive influence on the limits of a political community, on in- and exclusion, and thus on an individual’s opportunities in life. Its enfranchisement included the obligation to risk life and limb for the survival of one’s country in exchange for the right to protection, participation in the expanding political and social rights in the democracies and welfare states of Europe and ultimately access to the new legal status of being a citizen of the European Union. Continue reading
L’Europe connaît actuellement trois crises dont la conjonction soumet l’intégration européenne à l’épreuve la plus difficile qu’elle ait jamais connue depuis la constitution de l’Union et menace sa pérennité Continue reading
The history of how today’s Europe developed is presented from the present-day perspective, from that of the current form of European integration: a democratic, politically integrated structure based on the rule of law and economic freedoms, growing prosperity and voluntary membership. This structure is characterized by common values in the canon of classical rights to freedom and the obligation for peace. It reflects how, after 1945, the European integration process foreswore excessive violence, pronounced nationalism, and the policy of excessive and authoritarian state control that destroyed freedom during the first half of the century. Continue reading
Der Fall der Mauer 1989 schien das Ende des harten Gehäuses der Staatlichkeit in Europa einzuläuten. Gerade in Europa hatte diese Vorstellung eine besondere historische Bedeutung. Jener Kontinent, der Jahrhunderte zuvor den Staat hervorgebracht und dessen territoriale Demarkationen zu scharfen, militärisch bewehrten Grenzen ausgebaut hatte, befreite sich 1989 von einer Grenze, die zum Symbol für die ideologische Zweiteilung in antagonistische Machtsphären geworden war. Continue reading