The author describes and explains the evolution and role of city throughout history as an European invention, and later on proposes to bring cities closer to the decisionmaking processes of the EU, since cities proved to be able to from identities in the past, which would be desirable for a united Europe. It is the cities that give an European feeling to the nations.
Contemporary Europe of regions includes quite a variety of cultures and traditions. To be able to preserve this variety, it cannot homogenize completely. This is where the roles of cities come in, being able to cope with diversity the best. (Riekmann, 1997)
Essential values are linked to the rise of the city – democracy, freedom, citizenship, equality. It was the city which lead to the invention of new political, economic, or technical ways which afterwards spread throughout the nations and the world. Cities are like melting pots, mixing and clashing, producing new concepts and ideas. Through architecture and city planning, basic ideals, order, and norms are being constructed thus implying it evolves out of disorder. To ensure that identity, social and political order would be preserved they often had to be bordered and, but to maintain their vigor they had to remain open to the world. Later on capitalism came hand in hand with state building and it destroyed the autonomy the city had enjoyed until that time, and moved it to the national level. The concept of urban citizenship was lost aswell and national citizenship was established.
However important the role of the cities was in the history, it is much less significant in todays European Union (from here on EU). The communities are considered to be national, and there are also attempts to move this sense of identity to the supranational level, but they are fruitless. One of the more successful attempts has been the introduction of a single European currency, the Euro. It combines the ideals of common market and political unity. What perplexes the author are the symbol on the notes, which show only virtual symbols, of bridges, nothing specific which would bind...