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Changing Places: The European House Revisited

JÜRGEN ELVERT
Rivista di Studi Politici Internazionali
Nuova Serie, Vol. 73, No. 1 (289) (Gennaio-Marzo 2006), pp. 15-21
Published by: Maria Grazia Melchionni
Stable URL: http://www.jstor.org/stable/43785653
Page Count: 7
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Changing Places: The European House Revisited
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Abstract

This article investigates the history of the idiom "European house", which, as a rethorical figure, has been introduced into the debate about the extension of the European political and societal system by Mikhail Gorbachev in the 1980ies. Firstly, the Author is exposing the phrases roots in ancient Greek thought; secondly its development under particular consideration of the image of Europe as living-space for the continent's inhabitants until the 20th century is verified. A third aspect of the article is dealing with the various concepts of the finalité politique of the European integration process since the 1950ies. Finally, under particular consideration of the ongoing discussion about the future of the integration process at the background of the current constitutional crisis, the article is identifying the lack of consensus about the future shape of the EU as one of the main reasons for it. At the same time it is recommending the recollection of the design of a "Europe of concentric circles", which had been introduced in the mid-1990ies, as a possible model for the "European house" to be completed. Dans cet article l'Auteur fait l'histoire de Vidée de "maison européenne" qui, en tant que figure de rhétorique, fut introduite dans le débat sur l'expansion du système politique et social européen par Mikhaïl Gorbatchev dans les années '80. Tout d'abord il recherche les racines de l'idée dans la pensée de la Grèce ancienne; après il en suit le développement dans l'image de l'Europe espace de l'ie pour les habitants du continent jusqu'au XX° siècle. Un troisième aspect de l'article concerne les différentes conceptions de la finalité politique du processus d'intégration européenne à partir des années' 50. Enfin, à propos du débat en cours sur l'avenir du procès d'intégration au lendemain de la crise constitutionneUe, l'article identifie une des raisons majeures de cette crise dans le manque de consensus par rapport à la forme future de l'UE. Au même temps il recommande de se souvenir du projet d'une "Europe en cercles concentriques", conçu à la moitié des années '90, comme modèle possible pour achever la "maison européenne".

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