By PROSSER GIFFORD
The Future Shape of Europe"was the subject of the third Vienna Lecture at the Library, delivered Dec. 1 by Friedrich Hoess.
Subtitled "The View from Vienna,"the lecture emphasized the positive aspects of the expansion of the European Union and the implementation of a common currency, the euro. He advocated an inclusive Europe, where "we shall move the zone of stability and security into the center of the continent."
The lecture was organized by Margrit B. Krewson, then the Library's German/Dutch area specialist. Mr. Hoess retired from the Austrian Foreign Service in 1997, after having served as Austrian ambassador to the United States from 1987 to 1993, and then ambassador to Germany. He is now special envoy of the Austrian Presidency of the European Union, an appointment that ended in 1998, when Germany assumed the rotating presidency.
In addition to being a powerful integrating force that will produce a common market "ensuring full price and cost transparency,"Mr. Hoess believes the euro will also have positive political effects. Economic integration will make more likely a discussion of those aspects "where we need more subsidiarity, meaning ‘less Europe,' and those areas, such as the Common Foreign and Security Policy [CFSP], where ‘more Europe' is necessary."
Mr. Hoess reported that "on Nov. 10, under the Austrian Presidency of the EU, we have started concrete negotiations for membership of six applicant countries: the Czech Republic, Cyprus, Estonia, Hungary, Poland and Slovenia."By including Austria's Central European neighbors in an enlarged EU, long-simmering ethnic hatreds might be calmed, Mr. Hoess argued, pointing out that "because of the requirements laid down for membership, ethnic tensions have been diffused in Romania and Slovakia."Austria also favors the development of strategic partnerships with Russia and Ukraine, because, as Mr. Hoess reminded the audience, "Vienna is nearer the Ukrainian border than to Tirol or Munich."
Mr. Hoess predicts that the new Europe organizationally "will be more similar to the structures of the Holy Roman Empire – which, after all, lasted for 1,000 years – than to the U.S. There will be partly sovereign entities, divided sovereignties with multiple loyalties and parallel identities. We shall see a supranational union of nations from southern Italy to the Arctic."
Turning finally to cultural issues, Mr. Hoess urged a focus on "our European roots.""There is a unifying principle, there is a profound ambivalence running through our history: the Greek obsession with the individual and the Roman obsession with the state."He argued for "an alliance in the best European tradition … [committed] to the principles of personality, solidarity and … the implementation of human rights, and social and ecological responsibility."
Ms. Birney is the manuscript historian in the Manuscript Division.