Such a foundational ideal is the sine qua non of Continental political unity. A European culture at large would allow for ties that no longer exist but used to, when the passeurs and the Little Viennas and the flow of brilliance across borders conveyed what it meant to consider oneself a European.

It could be achieved through a European civic curriculum in every school; through emphasis on mastering other languages; through increasing exchange programs (across ages and classes); through improving mobility; through unifying European health and retirement systems; through electing European representatives directly responsible to their constituents; through more equal treatment of guest workers and immigrants.