European Integration Process


In the pantheon of the Greek mythology, Europe was a princess, daughter of a Phoenician king.  One day, while she and her friends rollicked on a beach, Zeus, the highest Greek god, saw her and, immediately, fell in love with her. To seduce her, Zeus took the form of a kind and peaceful bull. Europe, confident, began to caress the bull and sat down on its loin. That was the moment that Zeus was waiting for. Suddenly, he rose and galloped toward the sea, taking her away with him. The bull Zeus didn't stop swimming until arriving in Crete. Once in the Mediterranean island, Zeus assumed again his human outward appearance and had three children with Europe, one of them, Minos, king from Crete and "Dux Europaeus."
 

The Kidnapping of Europe - Tiziano

There is a risk of seeing the European integration process as an isolated process, exclusively centred in the period after World War II. This view reveals a clear misunderstanding of the great transformations that shaped a reality known as Europe.

The Roman Empire constituted the first great effort to integrate an important section of our continent and the lands surrounding the Mediterranean sea. Middle Ages brought the idea of unification under the common banner of Christendom. The ideas of  eurocentrism  and superiority of the European civilisation arose in that moment. Without the Renaissance and the Enlightenment we cannot understand the ideas of tolerance, freedom, respect of human rights and democracy that that constitute the foundation of the European construction. There is an evident reality that we should point out: the idea of Europe cannot be fully understood  without keeping in mind the historical evolution of our continent prior to  World War II and the recent integration process that has been realized in the European Union.

There is a long list of towering historical personalities, who, in quite different ways, pursued an idea of Europe: Charlemagne, Charles V, Napoleón, Metternich... Even notorious and infamous personages as Hitler, intended to give birth to a wicked idea of Europe.

The same thing could be said about intellectuals and philosophers. From Rousseau to Marx, from Kant to Leibniz, there were remarkable  thinkers who proposed the idea of a European Community as a long-term desirable political objective.