Europe is about people. Every institution is no more and no less than a collection of people who have joined together for a combined endeavour. If we are going to design an institution that will ultimately unify the people of Europe, we have to begin with the aspirations, the dreams and the feelings of its people. The people of Europe have to feel European, and that means the commitment to Europe has to come from the heart, not just the mind.
It is too simplistic to believe that Europeans have a common culture and history. Within Europe, even within individual countries, there are a multitude of different histories and cultures. They all deserve to be respected. For Europe to be united, we must begin by defining a set of values that all Europeans can believe in without sacrificing their existing culture.
I believe that all Europeans have a thirst for basic human rights, for freedom, for peace, for security and for prosperity. The vast majority of Europeans would argue that democracy is the best and perhaps only method of government likely to fulfill these aspirations. These beliefs must form the basis of a future European constitution which all Europeans can subscribe to. If we fail to agree in the endeavour of defining a set of European values, Europe will never be united.