The challenge for the European Union and its member states, particularly Germany, is in balancing the often incongruous demands of co-operation and self-interest, and thus demonstrate to their own citizens that concrete achievements can still create a Europe of solidarity and prosperity as Schuman envisaged.
Enough of the indecent psychodrama surrounding Marine Le Pen and her father. Enough of the indulgent, sentimental, and voyeuristic commentary about the daughter "sacrificing" a poor King Lear, leaving him to rave on his moor in St. Cloud. And most of all, enough of the obscene political whitewashing that the entire affair has enabled. Because, after all, what is the reality?
Strange indeed, the story of Michel Houellebecq's latest novel, Soumission, which appeared just before the attack on Charlie Hebdo that left 12 people dead, like an advance echo of the terrible events that have plunged France into mourning, and scaring stiff not only the author's friends but Houellebecq himself.
What has happened to our "Country of Enlightenment"? France has always bragged about being a model of coexistence where the universalist and color blind philosophy of our Republic was supposed to protect us from racial tension. If we don't want our country to plunge into the abyss, the republican fable we are telling has to come to an end.