To have a shared purpose and identity is difficult without a sense of community, and on this front the European project has much still to do. We have created Europe, the Polish historian Bronislaw Geremek once quipped (borrowing from the Italian patriot Garibaldi). Now we have to create Europeans. But what is a European? This is a question often posed but rarely answered, and the lack of an answer, coupled with the seeming lack of a sense of community, is often cited as one of the great weaknesses of the European project; nothing raises more doubts about Europe, it seems, than the lack of a sense of what it means to be European. The challenges are substantial. What can people have in common when they speak more than 60 major languages, live in a region that extends from north of the Arctic Circle to within miles of the coast of Africa, mainly know little about one another, and are divided among more than 40 different states and several hundred national groups? Bismarck once described Europe as no more than a geographical expression, and there are many today who - in the absence of compelling evidence to the contrary - still see some truth in that observation. Language is no help, because Europeans speak so many.
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