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Margaret Thatcher was a major political figure of the end of the Cold War era, who is still surrounded by much controversy today. There are two main reasons for this: she openly pursued an alternative vision of Europe at a time when federalism was still the dominant discourse; and she called for the liberalisation of the Eastern bloc, rather than its disintegration.

If it is true that cultural consumptions tell a lot about people, then here is what six European countries have been and are reading in September and October 2015 (fiction only).

- Languages: it
“Brexit” is no longer a fantasy. While a clear majority of the British people remain in favour of continued membership of the EU, their support is ultimately fickle. Nevertheless, if one wants to understand what British Euroscepticism is about, one cannot but begin with Enoch Powell. Contemporary Euroscepticism in a sense vindicates the ideas and positions taken by this extraordinary intellectual.
I am the first to say that on many great issues the countries of Europe should try to speak with a single voice. I want to see us work more closely on the things we can do better together than alone. Europe is stronger when we do so, whether it be in trade, in defence or in our relations with the rest of the world.
Debate is not a misnomer for the run-up to this referendum. The ‘Yes Scotland’ and ‘Better Together’ campaigns have accused each other of misinformation and lies. There has been misinformation and plenty of exaggeration (not least in the media establishment which has been overwhelmingly pro-Union) but nothing that would seem out of place in an electoral campaign.
Asymmetry calls for innovative federal structures. Rather than importing existing models of federalism, we should be thinking about what realistic model Europe ought to have. Such a model should allow Britain to have a genuine ‘special relationship’, very much as the Catalans and Scots aspire to a special ‘status’ if they are to remain part of their existing states.
- Languages: it
The European parliamentary elections held on 25 May 2014 triggered a veritable seismic shockwave across Europe. The vote revealed the existence of profound fault lines or clevages in the construction that we call the European Union. These fractures are casting doubt on the political and institutional equilibriums formally sanctioned in the 2009 Treaty of Lisbon.
Times of economic downturn are not, in contrast to what as some say, an opportunity to shrink the welfare state, but to improve social programmes and to make them more sustainable. Welfare programme design is more necessary than ever to sustain European standards of living and it should begin by accepting that not all welfare state policies are productive. In other words, the survival of Europe as defined here depends upon getting the welfare state reform right.
- Languages: de

1648 – a landmark in the course of European history. In the middle of the no-man’s-land of the North German Lowlands, in the towns of Münster and Osnabrück, hardly famed as bustling cities, something incisive was achieved: the Peace of Westphalia was signed.


- Languages: it
In 1942, with the Beveridge Plan, UK aspired "to abolish want by ensuring that every citizen willing to serve according to his powers has at all times an income sufficient to meet his responsibilities". In March 2014, the Parliament voted the so-called ‘welfare cap’ which imposes a limit on total spending on all benefits. This story from the UK has, I believe, wider lessons for the debate about the welfare state in the European Union. It underlines the need for a return to the core principles, combined with fresh ideas as to how these principles may be implemented. We have to be ambitious in our goals and courageous in thinking ‘outside the box’.