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Why Europe / Europe: more liberal, hence less fragile. A comment on Paul Magnette
Ferrera largely shares Magnette’s thesis, but tries to articulate it and develop it in terms of its diagnosis and of ‘what to do’ to make liberal Europe less fragile, and… more liberal. In his view, Europe’s fragility is not the result of the fragility of liberalism tout court, but of the fact that, historically, this Europe (in the sense of the European Union) has always made use of only one of the various liberal compounds: economic liberalism. If the language of efficiency, competition and the market cannot and must not be the only discourse of liberal Europe, what other language can we use? We might begin with Dahrendorf’s notion of ‘life chances’. But European integration as an ambitious and daring balancing act and, if possible, as the overriding of many traditional ideological and institutional polarities also involves political theory (and here the commitment of all liberalisms is required) and political action (with the commitment of all liberals).