Can Euro 2016 unite European culture where politics has failed? | Books | The Guardian

As Robert Schuman, French foreign minister and architect of the EEC, argued: “Before being a military alliance or an economic entity, Europe must be a cultural community in the most elevated sense of the term.” It was a level of elevation that stretched to student exchanges and opera tours but was unlikely to include sport, let alone football. It is their and Europe’s loss, for while their narrow tastes served to generate a modicum of esprit de corps among European elites, created networks of European universities and research institutes, and helped support European classical music – not least through the general acceptance of Beethoven’s “Ode to Joy” as Europe’s anthem – they have singularly failed to generate a widespread, popular sense of Europe itself or even a space in which it might be imagined.

Source: Can Euro 2016 unite European culture where politics has failed? | Books | The Guardian

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