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.

Now there’s food for thought. François Hollande, Angela Merkel and especially David Cameron: remember the passeurs! Encourage the creation of a single European public and cultural space. Give us a vision for the peoples of Europe: make them dream of being one people, and leave your ambiguities behind. If you sincerely aspire to a political Europe, then take up the responsibility with courage and a vision that goes beyond the next elections and the next economic bump in the road.

Promote the Continent’s spiritual unity, organized around its diversity.