Old Europe Needs Young Ideas

Die Zeit writes (July 21):

This continent with its various traditions and languages may be a terribly complex entity. But more terrible still is the speechlessness of its politicians – notably the young ones. Today’s joint Europe is a blueprint drawn up by old men. Helmut Schmidt, Jacques Delors and Wolfgang Schäuble lived through the war and the post-war era.

A union among countries that were once enemies was their project for peace. But for all the generations that have come after them this sounds trivial because peace has long been taken for granted. But an alternative justification for the political union has never been found. And this is why the solution to the European crisis is not to be found among the old. It requires the vigour – and the language – of a new generation of politicians. Perhaps this is the greatest challenge.

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