An excellent, in my opinion, column on the need to create a European consciousness, and the failure of the European Union and our national leaders to do so. The assertion that Europe needs more than just wanting to prevent war or protect rights, is bold, but boldness is precisely what lacks in current European politics (both at the national and European levels).

The author, Olivier Guez, puts the notion of culture at the core of a European consciousness, even advocating a common European school curriculum. This idea is indeed a bold one, and while each country should retain its autonomy in educational matters (the teaching of national literature and history), one may envision a common curriculum alongside the national one, a European curriculum based on the study of the Classics (classical and Christian), the very study of which has formed the minds of hundreds of generations throughout Europe from Antiquity up to the beginning of the 20th century, and as such virtually created a trans-national, European (and even Western, since this culture is also that of most Americans) Republic of Letters.

Such classical culture, together with the Christian faith, is the best training for the mind to proper thinking, which is as such liberating.  But these will also help transmit certain values and ideas developed through the ages by experiencing the world. Only by knowing such experience, will we be able not only to reconnect with our roots, but also to deal with the trials and challenges of our age by creating them yet anew. Only then will a united Europe stand on firm ground and be ready to face the storms of modernity not indeed by trying to stay afloat, but by steering the helm of her history.