After the storm – How to save democracy in Europe, edited by two authors with notable European connections, Luuk van Middelaar and Philippe Van Parijs, is now available at the Central Library.
During his time as first President of the European Council (2009-2014), Herman Van Rompuy met with numerous and diverse prominent intellectuals, ‘recognised authorities in their field’, to discuss the future of the European Union. During those ‘valuable and fascinating’ discussions, those thinkers expressed both fears and hopes concerning the European project when Europe, with the euro crisis, found itself in an intense storm.
About half the contributions to the present book are short essays reflecting these exchanges in a more organised and systematic way. The rest of the contributions were requested by the two editors of other European thinkers, some of whom President Herman Van Rompuy had met in a different setting.
We particularly liked the fact that the contributors were of diverse origins, from countries including Bulgaria, France, Germany, India, Italy, the Netherlands, Turkey, the United Kingdom, the United States and Belgium. This makes for contributions that differ significantly in substance and tone. Even though the contributors disagree on several issues, they all share the conviction that political action does matter.
In the prologue, Luuk van Middelaar explains that the title of the book is intended to suggest that After the storm forms a sort of follow-up to the book Europe in the Storm, published by President Herman Van Rompuy during his last year in office. However, Luuk van Middelaar makes it very clear that the use of ‘that expression does not prevent one from believing […] that there are many more storms to come.’
The introduction is a longer essay, summarising what Herman Van Rompuy learnt from this exercise and from his experience as President of the European Council.
The book ends with two interesting and valuable essays from the two editors in which each expresses his views on the future of democracy in the European Union.
Interested? We hope you too enjoy reading this book! Have we sparked your curiosity? Then come and discover Europe in the Storm – Promise and Prejudice, also available in the Central Library.