This 2019 will be the year of Europe. The spring elections will inevitably mark either the relaunch of the European political project or its sinking, probably definitive.

The mistakes of the past are there for all to see and the consequences are being paid for dearly. These errors are linked to a lack of solidarity between the Member States of the Union and a lack of foresight on the part of the ruling classes, the result of the will to collect, from time to time, an immediate electoral gain, to be spent at national level only. The humiliations reserved for the peoples, the Greek people among others, show how history has taught little or nothing: the lesson of the totalitarian regimes of the 20th century, born under the ashes of frustration and humiliation, seems to have been in vain.

It is clear that Europe will only be able to resume its journey dynamically if it stops to look on oneself. A world without Europe would be a worse, more unjust, less peaceful and more unstable world. To take up a concept dear to Pope Bergoglio, European humanism is not only a “logical” category – endowed with a defined historical and cultural content – but it is also a “mythical” category, in the sense that it constitutes an inexhaustible ideal to strive for, a constellation of values within which to recognize oneself and capable of producing a future in the name of the recognition of the common humanity of all human beings.

The challenge is not to preserve identities already given, protecting oneself from external and internal dangers, but to choose to “become” a people: a people is not a people once and for all and in a predictable manner, but it is always necessary to want it to be, also thanks to the inclusion of new subjects, bearers of new points of view. With respect to this challenge, Christians can make a contribution thanks to their competence in being people. They can and must. However, the peoples of Europe must once again be able to feel that they are active subjects and not just passive objects in a European project that passes over their heads.

Thus ended – seventy years ago – an appeal entitled Europe Culture Freedom, written by Giuseppe Capograssi and signed by some of the most important intellectuals of the time: “Europe has been the mother of civilizations in the world because it has been nothing else than the heroic affirmation of humanity as reason, justice and brotherhood, the tireless effort to put the free human individuality not as a means, but as an end. And from this statement was born his great culture, philosophy, poetry, art and science, the immense creation of the sciences that have transformed the earth. To this Europe and to the truth that it represents Italy must remain faithful”. From here – seventy years later – we must start again.

Original en italien