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The Idea of Europe and human rights - with or without a constitution

Vol.1, No.2, December 2005
Deutsch | français

Alexander HANISCH-WOLFRAM (Vienna)

This article will look at the current discussion of ideas and concepts that may serve as a basis for a European identity. First, it will provide a critical look at the central concepts of this debate: culture, Christendom, history, geography and, finally, the European Union’s motto “united in diversity”. Second, against the background of this critical survey, the article will propose the concept that European identity is based on the idea of human rights. This concept will be juxtaposed with the principle of universality and with the role human rights play within the framework of the European Constitution.