European dream 'needs a new generation of leaders'
Saturday 25 September 2010
Shock, horror: British and French politicians agreed on Europe yesterday. Almost.
The future of the European Union – if it has one – is the secondary theme of the Lyon environmental conference. The Labour MP and former Europe minister, Denis MacShane, and the French defence minister, Hervé Morin, attracted a large and mostly young audience to a debate called "The European model. Is it still relevant?"
The two men said a strong and united Europe was more vital than ever when European political and cultural values, and European and American economic interests, would no longer dominate. Both painted a gloomy picture of the present European Union. "Dead" said Mr MacShane; "moribund" said Mr Morin. Both said that it was vital to revive the European dream in a form that would be more inspiring to generations of young Europeans. They disagreed, however, on how, and when, such a revival might happen.
Mr MacShane, speaking in French, said he believed nothing could happen until the present generation of European leaders was replaced.
Mr Morin, leader of a pro-European French centrist party allied to President Sarkozy, said that the crucial first step towards reviving the European ideal was to engage ordinary people in the politics of Europe.
And why are 'southern' ways of speaking spreading north?
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