Europe’s Identity Crisis

My Preamble

The current drafts of the preamble to the future constitution of the European Union have convinced me that it must be based on the noble and bitter truth, not selective memory or meaningless generalizations. Thus I wrote my own, for myself and those who think like me. I plan to live accordingly, regardless of the pronouncements of our collective body.

We, Europeans, are

  • aware of the richness of our legacy, which draws on the attainment of Judaism, Christianity, Islam, Greek philosophy, and Roman law, as well as humanism rooted in religious and nonreligious traditions;
  • aware of the value of Christian civilization, the main source of our identity;
  • aware of the frequent betrayal of these values, by Christian and non-Christian peoples alike;
  • aware of the help as well as the harm we have brought to the citizens of other continents;
  • grieving over the downfall of humanity caused by the totalitarian systems conceived within our civilization.
We, Europeans, would like to build our future together
  • based on profound respect for each and every human being, on recognizing his or her inalienable dignity;
  • believing that every human being is important and needed, that everyone is entitled to the enforcement of his rights and expected to fulfill his duties;
  • with the awareness of the dangers stemming from the disregard of his dignity and rights caused by ideas and practices undermining his humanity;
  • appreciative of the richness of diversity and certain of the necessity of developing a common set of values;
  • confident that every European citizen is responsible for the development of his nation’s culture as well as our common European culture, which is our collective goal;
  • aware of the particular responsibility of the European citizens for the future of humanity;
  • aware of the great dangers it faces, particularly the calamities of famine, war, and degradation of entire societies.
We commit ourselves to making every effort to create optimal conditions for the development of each person, society, and all of humanity.