Institut Pour La Longue Mémoire Européenne
Europe is not Lampedusa, it is our civilisation.
Europe is not the organization spawned in Brussels, it is not a currency or a central bank.
Europe is not a globalised environment without borders.
Europe is neither an African world nor a land of Islam.
Europe is neither ugliness nor non-art.
Europe is the continent of Europeans.
Europe has a history spanning many millennia, and is over 700 million Europeans strong.
Europe is an identity: the European and Christian civilisation.
Europe is made of Greek temples, Roman aqueducts and theatres, Romanesque chapels, Gothic Cathedrals, Renaissance palaces, vast town squares, Baroque churches, Classical style castles, Art nouveau buildings.
Europe has wild shores, majestic mountains, and peaceful rivers. Europe is the feeling of nature. Europe is a patchwork of landscapes shaped by men: from the polders to bocage, from the meadows to terraced fields. Europe is the land where apple and olive trees grow as well as vines and hops.
Europe is not the land of industrial food, but on the contrary is the land of Gastronomy which expresses itself through oil and butter, wine and beer, bread and cheese, sausage and ham.
Europe is not a world of abstract concepts but rather one where the art of representation excels, from Praxiteles to Rodin, from the Pompeian frescoes to the Vienna Secession. Europe is both Celtic fantasy and the Christian mystery. Europe is the civilisation which turns stone into lace.
Europe is the refusal of bewilderment, it is the culture which invented polyphonic choirs and symphonic orchestras.
Europe is not the world of Belphegor, but rather is the civilization which honours women, as a goddess, a mother or a warrior. Europe, is the culture of chivalry and courtly love.
Europe is not about surveillance, but rather is the land of liberty: Greek citizenship, the Roman Forum, the English Magna Carta in 1215, all the cities and private universities of the Middle Ages, the awakening of the Nations in the nineteenth century.
Europe is a literary and mythological heritage: Homer, Virgil, Hesiod, the Eddas, the Nibelungenlied and the Arthurian cycle. It is also Shakespeare, Perrault and Grimm.
Europe is also about inventions and conquests: Leonardo da Vinci and Gutenberg; the caravels, hot air balloons, the beginnings of aviation and Ariane, it is also bridges across the seas.
Europe incarnates itself in those heroes who defended it over the centuries: it is Leonidas and his 300 Spartans saving Greece from Asia; Scipio Africanus preserving Rome from Carthage, Charles Martel pushing the Arab invasion away, Godfrey of Bouillon freeing the Holy Land and creating the Frankish kingdom of Jerusalem, it is also Ferdinand of Aragon and Isabella I of Castile releasing Granada, Ivan the Terrible pushing the Mongols away from the Holy Russia and it is Don Juan of Austria defeating the Turks at Lepanto.
Europe is made of important places: the Parthenon, St. Mark’s Square, St. Peter’s Basilica, the Belém Tower, Santiago de Compostela, the Mont Saint-Michel, the Tower of London, the Brandenburg Gate, the towers of the Kremlin.
Such is the heritage of our civilisation!
Today, Europe happens to be the sick man of the world. It is forced to feel guilty, it is colonized, and it is weakened. This is not fatal and will not last. Let’s stop this repent and together, we can find again the thread of our long memory. Such is the message of hope delivered by Dominique Venner:
« I believe in the specific qualities of the Europeans who are temporarily asleep. I believe in their capacity to act, their inventiveness and the awakening of their energy. The revival will come. When? I do not know, but I have no doubt it will happen ».