The European Fall

Ágnes Heller

Europe is living through a crisis, which is basically economic but has developed into a European identity crisis. A number of grand dilemmas and dividing lines run down through the continent, though at the moment it is not clear whether the crisis will split or unite Europe.

That was the rationale behind Danish newspaper Politiken inviting a series of intellectuals in 2012 to tell us about the crisis, as seen from their country. A writer from each of the 28 countries that are currently members of the EU penned an essay, taking as their starting point three questions for use as inspiration:

How do you perceive the crisis in your country?
How is the crisis affecting the Europeans?
How do you see the challenges for Europe?

The authors are fiction writers, essayists, academics and commentators—all trendsetters in their respective countries.
Together the 28 essays provide a diverse snapshot of Europe in the midst of the crisis and in that way make up a historic chronicle for posterity. The collection of essays is a document representing per se the sense of community around which the EU is constructed. While the EU is held together by political forces, the collection of essays is held together by independent writers and by the power of free thought.

Essays by Agnes Heller (Hungary), Gazmend Kapplani (Greece), Marlene Streeruwitz (Austria), Jose-Ignacio Torresblanca (Spain), Varia Vike-Freiberga (Latvia), Tariq Ali (GB), Slavenka Draculic (Kroatia), Stefano Benni (Italy), Martin Simecka (Slovakia), Olga Tocarczuk (Poland), Marju Lauristin (Estonia), Landsbergis (Lithuania), Janne Teller (Denmark), Tuomas Nevanlinna (Finland), Nina Bjørk (Sweeden), Stojan Pelko (Slovenia), Ivan Krastev (Bulgaria), Geert van Istendael (Belgium), Christine Ockrant (France), Claude Frisoni (Luxembourg), Colm Tobin (Ireland), Andreas Theophanous (Cypres), Vanni Xuereb (Malta), Claes Vreese (Holland), Ioana Pavulescu (Rumania), Radka Danimarkova (Czech Republic) and Almeida Faria (Portugal).

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