In the eyes of refugees arriving at its southern and eastern borders Europe may seem like a fortress of peace and prosperity. Scores of Americans who visit the continent see it as a vast open-air museum. It is an ethnic, linguistic and cultural mosaic. For many of its ordinary citizens, Europe is first and foremost a place with a common history – sometimes uplifting, but too often tragic – and a place that gives us shared values such as liberty and solidarity. As such, it is my natural home. Geographically, Hungary is at the opposite end of the EU from the UK. Yet, it shares with it a recurring debate about its own European identity. “Janus Britain”, as Timothy Garton Ash described his homeland, has four faces. “The back and front faces can be labelled ‘island’ and ‘world’; the face on the left says ‘Europe’ and that on the right ‘America’.” Britain’s mission, he said, should be to bring the US and Europe closer to each other. However, Britain has lived for too long with Churchill’s legacy of “unambiguous commitment to the US, ambiguous commitment to Europe”. According to the traditional narratives, the commitment of Hungary to Europe has seemed… Read full this story
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