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Bruno Waterfield
Dods Europe editor at The Parliament Magazine, TheParliament.com and Regional Review

For Europe and Europeans the 21st century will be the terrain for new battles over who we are and what makes us tick. Key in this century to questions of progress and liberty, that have fascinated Europeans since the Enlightenment, will be fundamental debates over the human identity.

There are tests ahead. Europe’s elites and the institutional framework of the EU and national states are fighting on a wide range of fronts to create a new story for the European.

Despite over 60 years of peace, the EU organises around a profoundly pessimistic outlook over the prospect for unconstrained interaction between European citizens.

Once Europe dreamt of a continent without borders, today security concerns are ushering in an unprecedented era of surveillance and mistrust. Today Europeans are expected to internalise new frontiers of fear that close our horizons as never before.

Europe once the home of liberty is now too a host to the EU and a drive to build a new European identity around fear and vulnerability. Europe once the home of the Enlightenment view that ‘nothing human is alien to me’ is now presided over by elites that preach universal suspicion and a loathing of the experimentation and ideas that built human civilisation. Standing up against this tide and defending the human identity against those that seek to diminish it will be the project that will define the European of the 21st century.

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