A geographical concept?

All Along the Watchtower

Pope-Benedict-XVI

Writing in 2000, the then Cardinal Ratzinger wrote that ‘Europe is a geographical concept only in a way that is entirely secondary. Europe is not a continent that can be comprehended neatly in geographical terms. It is a cultural and historical concept’. At its heart were States where Roman Catholicism had played a notable historical and philosophical role. Their experience of the Nation State had said more about its frailties than its virtues, and the experience of war, occupation and defeat had done enough to convince its founding fathers that there had to be a better, more cooperative, way forward. It was out of that that the EU would emerge. Not having shared any of these experiences, the UK did not join the initial group, and never felt comfortable with the larger one; its culture and history, whilst intimately linked with ‘Europe’ were not sufficient to make up for the…

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