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Meeting the Challenge of Cultural Diversity in Europe

Moving Beyond the Crisis

Robin Wilson

Europe has talked itself into a refugee and security crisis. There is, however, a misrecognition of the real challenge facing Europe: the challenge of managing the relationship between Europeans and the currently stigmatized ‘others’ which it has attracted. Making the case against a ‘Europe of walls’, Robin Wilson instead proposes a refounding of Europe built on the power of diversity and an ethos of hospitality rather than an institutional thicket serving the market.
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Chapter 11: Conclusions: beyond an unending ‘crisis’

Robin Wilson


Europe can only meet the challenges it faces by collaboration, not intergovernmental competition. In the face of the populist attack, there has been a rebound in pro-EU sentiment in Europe. Survey data show much greater support for more Europe than for less. They also show strong support for a ‘social Europe’—to which the European Commission responded in 2017 with a ‘pillar of social rights’, however lacking teeth. A macro-economically sound alternative to austerity is required, which in turn demands a political union. In a return to the federalist vision of the idealists who emerged from the resistance, Europe needs to be ‘refounded’ as a republic, with the intergovernmental EU structures replaced by a House of Representatives, a Senate of regions and a president. Prepared by a Europe-wide, elected constitutional assembly, this would be a Europe of equal citizens which could offer a realistic utopia for these dark times.

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