Generation Schengen

by Michela Turrina
To us, tra­vel­ling around Europe, boo­king a train ticket for a city close by or for a city at the other side of Europe is equally easy: just a cou­ple of clicks. Howe­ver, it has not always been like that. Nowa­days, we can enjoy this easy way of tra­vel­ling thanks to the Schen­gen agree­ment. Such agree­ment is con­si­de­red one of the hugest suc­ces­ses of Euro­pean inte­gra­tion, second only to the long las­ting peace that the con­ti­nent is wit­nessing since 1945.

Lost in a dream

This is a con­tri­bu­tion by my guest aut­hor Mar­tin Hei­pertz, who wri­tes: “In this ima­gi­nary essay I wish to go deeper and put cur­rent deve­lo­p­ments of the euro debt cri­sis into his­to­ri­cal per­spec­tive. I argue that pre-natio­nal, impe­rial euro­pean history from before the 19th cen­tury har­bours a great wealth of com­mon cul­tu­ral under­stan­ding that, if revi­si­ted, could even today faci­li­tate the emer­gence of a post-natio­nal euro­pean polity.
I have deli­ber­ately sket­ched this vision as a literary uto­pia in the form of a fic­ti­tious dia­lo­gue amongst nati­ons that belong to a Fede­ra­tion of Europe. This essay repres­ents solely my per­so­nal thoughts and is not inten­ded as a piece of poli­ti­cal communication.”

Community⎮of values

This word is almost com­mon fashion in Europe — the union of values. The word is so to say the ethi­cal and moral foun­da­tion of what unites us. Among the princi­ples are human dignity, free­dom, demo­cracy, equa­lity, the rule of law as well as human and mino­rity rights.

Trust

Today I was in the mood for ano­t­her cup of cof­fee. Soon I was tal­king to a young guy next to me. “What does the word “Europe” mean to you?”, I asked. “To be honest”, he ans­we­red, “I do not quite get the con­cept. I mean thin­king of Europe I see bureau­cracy, unne­cessary regu­la­tion, lack of trans­pa­rency. It’s not even that this is my opi­nion”, he added, “but I do not really know anything about it. And to search the inter­net for long explana­ti­ons — I neit­her feel like doing that, nor have time for it.”

There’s a party going on.…

These days the Trea­ties of Rome cele­brate their 60th bir­th­day. Pretty old! But luck­ily with seven enlar­ge­ment rounds and six treaty revi­si­ons there were quite some refres­hers for the Euro­pean Union. Time to decide where one wants to go the Com­mis­sion thought and publis­hed a white paper on the future of the Euro­pean Union. Why this may sound tech­ni­cal, but should be of inte­rest to all of us, you will read here.

Paris sunrise

Paris — Berlin: Alike unalikes

Having some­thing in com­mon” does not mean “being the same”. This is the more true for Paris and Ber­lin: Both cities have a lot in com­mon. They are glo­bal play­ers, defi­ning them­sel­ves over art and cul­ture, eco­nomy and poli­tics. In these cities dreams are being born and some­ti­mes mate­ria­lize. At the same time these pla­ces sym­bo­lize a dream for many people: To visit the city or even live in it is a dream many people share.