Neither Lampedusa, nor Brussels, being European !

Neither Lampedusa, nor Brussels, being European !

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Euro­pe is not Lam­pe­du­sa, it is our civi­li­sa­tion.
Euro­pe is not the orga­ni­za­tion spaw­ned in Brus­sels, it is not a cur­ren­cy or a cen­tral bank.
Euro­pe is not a glo­ba­li­sed envi­ron­ment without bor­ders.
Euro­pe is nei­ther an Afri­can world nor a land of Islam.
Euro­pe is nei­ther ugli­ness nor non-art.
Euro­pe is the conti­nent of Euro­peans.
Euro­pe has a his­to­ry span­ning many mil­len­nia, and is over 700 mil­lion Euro­peans strong.
Euro­pe is an iden­ti­ty : the Euro­pean and Chris­tian civi­li­sa­tion.
Euro­pe is made of Greek tem­ples, Roman aque­ducts and thea­tres, Roma­nes­que cha­pels, Gothic Cathe­drals, Renais­san­ce pala­ces, vast town squa­res, Baro­que chur­ches, Clas­si­cal sty­le cast­les, Art nou­veau buil­dings.
Euro­pe has wild sho­res, majes­tic moun­tains, and pea­ce­ful rivers. Euro­pe is the fee­ling of natu­re. Euro­pe is a patch­work of land­sca­pes sha­ped by men : from the pol­ders to boca­ge, from the mea­dows to ter­ra­ced fields. Euro­pe is the land whe­re apple and oli­ve trees grow as well as vines and hops.
Euro­pe is not the land of indus­trial food, but on the contra­ry is the land of Gas­tro­no­my whi­ch expres­ses itself through oil and but­ter, wine and beer, bread and chee­se, sau­sa­ge and ham.
Euro­pe is not a world of abs­tract concepts but rather one whe­re the art of repre­sen­ta­tion excels, from Praxi­te­les to Rodin, from the Pom­peian fres­coes to the Vien­na Seces­sion. Euro­pe is both Cel­tic fan­ta­sy and the Chris­tian mys­te­ry. Euro­pe is the civi­li­sa­tion whi­ch turns sto­ne into lace.
Euro­pe is the refu­sal of bewil­der­ment, it is the cultu­re whi­ch inven­ted poly­pho­nic choirs and sym­pho­nic orches­tras.
Euro­pe is not the world of Bel­phe­gor, but rather is the civi­li­za­tion whi­ch honours women, as a god­dess, a mother or a war­rior. Euro­pe, is the cultu­re of chi­val­ry and court­ly love.
Euro­pe is not about sur­veillan­ce, but rather is the land of liber­ty : Greek citi­zen­ship, the Roman Forum, the Engli­sh Magna Car­ta in 1215, all the cities and pri­va­te uni­ver­si­ties of the Midd­le Ages, the awa­ke­ning of the Nations in the nine­teen­th cen­tu­ry.
Euro­pe is a lite­ra­ry and mytho­lo­gi­cal heri­ta­ge : Homer, Vir­gil, Hesiod, the Eddas, the Nibe­lun­gen­lied and the Arthu­rian cycle. It is also Sha­kes­pea­re, Per­rault and Grimm.
Euro­pe is also about inven­tions and conquests : Leo­nar­do da Vin­ci and Guten­berg ; the cara­vels, hot air bal­loons, the begin­nings of avia­tion and Aria­ne, it is also brid­ges across the seas.
Euro­pe incar­na­tes itself in tho­se heroes who defen­ded it over the cen­tu­ries : it is Leo­ni­das and his 300 Spar­tans saving Gree­ce from Asia ; Sci­pio Afri­ca­nus pre­ser­ving Rome from Car­tha­ge, Char­les Mar­tel pushing the Arab inva­sion away, God­frey of Bouillon freeing the Holy Land and crea­ting the Fran­ki­sh king­dom of Jeru­sa­lem, it is also Fer­di­nand of Ara­gon and Isa­bel­la I of Cas­ti­le relea­sing Gra­na­da, Ivan the Ter­ri­ble pushing the Mon­gols away from the Holy Rus­sia and it is Don Juan of Aus­tria defea­ting the Turks at Lepan­to.
Euro­pe is made of impor­tant pla­ces : the Par­the­non, St. Mark’s Squa­re, St. Peter’s Basi­li­ca, the Belém Tower, San­tia­go de Com­pos­te­la, the Mont Saint-Michel, the Tower of Lon­don, the Bran­den­burg Gate, the towers of the Krem­lin.
Such is the heri­ta­ge of our civi­li­sa­tion !
Today, Euro­pe hap­pens to be the sick man of the world. It is for­ced to feel guil­ty, it is colo­ni­zed, and it is wea­ke­ned. This is not fatal and will not last. Let’s stop this repent and toge­ther, we can find again the thread of our long memo­ry. Such is the mes­sa­ge of hope deli­ve­red by Domi­ni­que Ven­ner :
“I belie­ve in the spe­ci­fic qua­li­ties of the Euro­peans who are tem­po­ra­ri­ly asleep. I belie­ve in their capa­ci­ty to act, their inven­ti­ve­ness and the awa­ke­ning of their ener­gy. The revi­val will come. When ? I do not know, but I have no doubt it will hap­pen”.