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Thursday December 08, 2022

‘War now a concept totally alien to Europe’

KarachiThe Europe Day was marked at the Area Study Centre for Europe, University of Karachi, on Tuesday afternoon, to remember the advent of peace among nations that had thus far been at daggers drawn, and the end to intra-European warfare. French Consul General in town, Francois Dall’Orso, German Consul General

May 13, 2015
Karachi
The Europe Day was marked at the Area Study Centre for Europe, University of Karachi, on Tuesday afternoon, to remember the advent of peace among nations that had thus far been at daggers drawn, and the end to intra-European warfare.
French Consul General in town, Francois Dall’Orso, German Consul General Dr Tilo Klinner and Italian
Consul General Giulio Iazeolla were the speakers.
The Director of Area Study Centre for Europe, Prof Dr Uzma Shujaat while welcoming the guests, emphasised the need to celebrate integration as a model of a peaceful endeavour. She said Europe had been integrated despite a wide ethnic diversity. She said the continent had more history than any other region, be it philosophy, science, academics or any other field of human endeavour. “It has more history than any other region,” she said, and mentioned the May 9 Schumann Declaration which called for a united Europe and formed the basis of Tuesday’s programme.
Shujaat said the day was being celebrated for other countries and regions of the world considering integration.
The French Consul General Francois Dall’Orso pointed out that integration began as an economic model and then evolved into a closer and stronger political cooperation. The notion of war, he said, had been done away with, even though currently the Ukrainian crisis loomed large over the political horizon. The diversity of Europe at times, he said, became a challenge for the ever-growing Europe. One of the challenges faced by the EU was the tug-of-war between inter-governmentalism and supra-nationalism. The democracy-versus-bureaucracy debate was important since democracy was an indispensable
European value, largely espoused, but the European Parliament still needed to be strengthened. Tracing the emergence of the EU, D’Allorso talked about the Treaty of Rome (1957) which, he said, had laid the basis of the present-day EU. Today, he said, the cumulative GDP of the EU was 13,940 billion

Euros.
He said the three key words of the EU were peace and security, prosperity, and democracy. He said that since 1945, the area was marked by perpetual peace except for occasional hiccups like the Balkans war in the 1990s. War, he said, was no more an issue and there was total coordination. Even the currency was common except for a few nations opting to retain their original currency. “This, of course, calls for financial discipline,” D’Allorso said. German Consul General Dr Tilo Klinner emphasised that the two devastating world wars had not left any European power victorious.
“Ironically enough, even though World War II began as an intra-European war, the two victorious nations were the US and the USSR. These wars were the first lessons drawn towards become a stepping stone for European integration. Enlargement and deepening are two important aspects of European integration,” Klinner said.
He said the treaties brought about enlightenment and deepening as a result of which a union that started of with six states now had 28. However, he said, there had been an “over-reach” as far as integration was concerned.
Talking about the advantages of such a large group in the realm of negotiations, he said, “If a union comprises such a large number of influential states, there are greater chances of you being listened to and taken seriously in foreign relations”.
Talking about the challenges faced by the Union, he cited the socio-economic turmoil in Greece as a challenge for the EU.
Nevertheless it is an important lesson for South Asia, which needs to be integrated at close quarters, he added.
The Italian Consul General, Giulio Iazeolla, expressed the need for economic and political integration, which had reached its climax with the Maastricht Treaty 1992.
The EU, he said, had hardened its stance on socio-economic indicators as a precondition for countries opting to join the EU. Accession was subject to improvement of geo-political as well as socio-economic countenance of a country, he said.
After the speeches, the French, German and Italian language students at the Area Study Centre for Europe performed skits, poetry recitations and songs in the languages of the three nations.

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