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Common Roots

Schuman's Group

1. Freedom

Freedom is the most valued treasure in Europe. It has been born in pain in a long and complex historical process. It is always fragile and needs protection against despotism and anarchy. Freedom of nations finds its way in democracy, i.e. in “government of the people, by the people, for the people” (Abraham Lincoln). And freedom of the human is indivisible, natural right offered by God. It manifests itself in freedom of conscience and religion, freedom of speech and assembly and association. It is a great threat for a united Europe that gradually but visibly freedom of nations and citizens is restricted by the European institutions and some Member States.

“Indeed, the word democracy cannot be applied to a government which refuses to acknowledge the existence of a people, i.e. a living community, which has an original heritage, aspirations of its own and
particular mission it intends to carry out freely. Nor can it be applied to a government which repudiates the very idea of freedom and personal responsibility, which violently smothers diverging tendencies and
criticism, classing this as criminal deviation” (Robert Schuman)

2. Solidarity

Solidarity is opposite to egoism in individual, social and national dimensions. It stems from evangelical message of love, peace and brotherhood. It is a great value being very fundamental for the project
of uniting Europe. A man solidary with a stricken neighbour, middle class members solidary with poorer citizens and finally nations solidary with other nations in building a true community, where well-being of
every, even the smallest and the humblest nation is equally important as those populated and influential. More-or-less open dictate of powerful and rich European countries hit foundations of the project to unite
Europe. It marks the end of the community and return to the sinister era of national egoism. “The consequence of this interdependence is that it is impossible to remain indifferent to the fortunate or unfortunate lot of a people. For a European with the capacity to think it is no longer possible to rejoice spitefully over his neighbour’s misfortune; everyone is united for better or for worse in a common destiny” (Robert Schuman)

“Europe won’t be built overnight, neither without obstacles on its way. Its construction will follow the way of the spirit. Nothing that lasts happens easily. Europe is already on its way. And beyond the existing institutions, the European idea, its spirit of solidarity as a community have taken root” (Robert Schuman)

3. Diversity

Europe has never been, is not and shall not be uniform. Diversity of cultures, customs and national, regional, local, ethnic, religious, economic and legal traditions are a great treasure and strength of Europe. Diverse nations of Europe are a gift for each other and as a community are unique quality and strength in the world. This diversity should be carefully protected, supported and developed. United in
diversity. All attempts to diminish differences and uniqueness of nations, bureaucratic and administrative efforts to enforce cultural uniformity in the name of utopian ideology will lead to destruction of Europe and make a great harm to fundamental European values such as freedom of nations and their solidarity.

“My idea is not to merge States to create a Super State. Our European States are a historical reality. From a psychological point of view, it would be impossible to do away with them. Their diversity is a good thing and we do not intend to level them down or equalize them” (Robert Schuman)

4. Patriotism

Patriotism is love of the home country, its language, culture, tradition and history. It is opposite to cosmopolitism and nationalism as well. European spirit stems from national identities and does not exist without them. At the same time, it transgresses these identities and comes out as a supranational community. That is why neither cosmopolitan nor nationalist is European in its true meaning. Cultivating patriotism in the European countries is the best cure for reappearing nationalism and separatism and it is a great aid in building European unity. Fighting patriotism is destroying the community, demolishing a common European home.

“To our mind, European policy is certainly not in contradiction with the patriotic ideal. It encourages the particular-nature and characteristics of each of its states and fosters the sound love for one’s own country which is a love that does not go in detriment of other countries. It wants to attain a unity in the fullness of its diversity” (Robert Schuman)

5. Christianity

Europe would not exist without the Hebrew Decalogue, Greek philosophy and art, Roman jurisprudence and republican ideas. However, it is the Christianity which is the soul of Europe. It has shaped Europe as we know it – its vivacity, creativity and development depend on a creative link with its Christian roots. As a body without a soul is dead, so Europe without Christianity has no future. Any attempts to curb the activity and presence of churches and Christians in the public domain and in free public debate are anti-European behaviour. They destroy the unity of our continent, deprive of spiritual dimension and in effect
lead to atrophy of freedom and solidarity and birth of violence and fanatics which come from contemporary ideologies.

Strong democracy has its roots in Christianity. “An anti-Christian democracy would be a parody which would sink into tyranny or into anarchy. The democrat’s position can be defined as follows: he will not accept that the State systematically ignores religion or that it opposes it with hostility or contempt. Without being-unjust or self-damaging the State cannot ignore the extraordinary effectiveness of religious inspiration in the practice of civic duty and in protecting people against forces of social disintegration which are at work everywhere” (Robert Schuman)