60 Ideas for Europe

When 60 years ago the Congress of Europe was convened at the Hague, with WWII fresh in their minds the overarching goal of the delegates was to bring an end to conflict. With the conspicuous exception of the former Yugoslavia, in this they have largely succeeded.

In 2008, with war hopefully a distant memory, we therefore need a new unifying mission – and that has to be reversing climate change and environmental degradation.

Secondary to green issues, other common goals should include maintaining a competitive economic edge over the rising giants of Asia and combating international terrorism. But climate change is the big one.

This is the only way to keep the progress of integration moving forward. Every problem, obstacle and setback in Europe comes down to nationalism and the pursuit of national interests: by focusing on the environment as a raison d’etre for Europe, we can put this pettiness aside again and work for the benefit of all Europeans – and the world in general.

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