In Search of Europe

Mia Rodriguez-Salgado goes in search of an idea that has puzzled people from Charlemagne to Adenauer.

'The meaning of the word Europe has never changed', wrote Yan Brekilien confidently in 1965, adding: 'everyone knows what it is, and has the same notion of [Europe] as someone from the Middle Ages, or the Enlightenment'. Nothing could be further from the truth. The meaning of 'Europe' has changed radically over the centuries. Emphasis on its seemingly eternal existence is a salient characteristic of the many works produced in the 1950s and more recently to promote European unity. These have sought to demonstrate a common identity and history dating back many centuries, and that those who enunciated some form of unity had loved Europe most.

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