Few places in Greece conjure the spirit of resistance as much as the war memorial in Kaisariani. It stands on the spot where 200 political activists – mostly communists – were executed by Nazi forces on May Day 1944.

Tackling the issue of migration will take political courage and leadership, together with policies to manage the movement of people across borders. With growing hostility towards migrants in the wake of the recent Paris and Brussels attacks, panellists agreed on the need to recognize the significant contribution migrants make to their communities around the world.

Germany’s Chancellor, Angela Merkel, called for urgent fiscal reform in Europe. Whatever the decision of the European Central Bank (ECB) on quantitative easing, she said that European leaders must not be diverted from continuing with meaningful structural reforms.

President Petro Poroshenko of Ukraine told participants at the 45th World Economic Forum Annual Meeting that despite the aggression his country faces, Ukraine is strong and unified. “Ukraine has become stronger. Ukraine has become more democratic. And Ukraine has become more European,” he said.

Italy’s Prime Minister, Matteo Renzi, called for politicians around the world to “carpe diem” and tackle complex risks head-on. “Not to see the risks is stupid for a politician, but the transformation of risks into opportunities is the quality of leadership,” he said. “The economy is important, but without political leadership, we are not in a condition to invest in a different world.”

Between the years 2005 and 2012 I published three books on the European Union. They are titled A New Europe in Search of its Soul: Essays on the European Union’s Cultural Identity and the Transatlantic Dialogue (Authorhouse, 2005), and Europa: an Idea and a Journey: Essays on the Origins of the EU’s Cultural Identity and its Present Economic-Political Crisis (Ex Libris, 2012), and Europe beyond the Euro (Ovi magazine e-book).

There is a claim constantly circulating the EU: ‘multiculturalism is dead in Europe’. Dead or maybe d(r)ead?... That much comes from a cluster of European nation-states that love to romanticize their appearance via the solid Union, as if they themselves lived a long, cordial and credible history of multiculturalism. Hence, this claim is of course false. It is also cynical because it is purposely deceiving.

Economic governance reforms and Eurozone consolidation has significant institutional and political consequences: a multiple-tier integration is ever more realistic. „Out” countries seek to mitigate the negative impact of these developments. In this respect V4 - Visegrad countries differ a lot: Slovakia, a relative latecomer in economic reforms is part of the currency union. Poland, Hungary and the Czech Republic are not Euro-members.

A brand new Europe was created after World War II: the European Union. A union based on purely neutral, that is to say, non-ideological, economic, scientific, educational foundations. This leads to a crucial question: are those foundations reliable and solid enough by themselves, or is there something sorely missing? Is the absence of spiritual foundations a sign that a more perfect union transcending nationalism and economic-political considerations will forever elude the European Union?

Ever since the Peace of Westphalia, Europe maintained the inner balance of powers by keeping its core section soft. Peripheral powers like England, France, Denmark, (Sweden and Poland being later replaced by) Prussia, the Ottomans, Habsburgs and Russia have pressed and preserved the center of continental Europe as their own playground.

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