From introduction on meaning and purposes of the project:
Thinking about EUR/OPEN, we’re into the mood of an OPEN EUROPE, keeping in our mind a certain idea of Europe which has no fear to declare to be completely soaked in utopia, full of that idealism who will have understood – in the past, in the present, in the future – Europe is the place where life is opportunity for growth and progress both on material, psychological and spiritual sides of life.
The EUROPE whom we are talking about is not the one of milk quota, nor the one of directives and regulations. It is not simply the Europe of the institutions, it is not even that of the EU funds. EUR/OPEN tries to talk of AN EUROPE THAT THERE IS NOT, which has not yet been realized, and yet there has always been, pure idea of admirable light, archetype of a superior civilization where to everyone is given the freedom of the citizen.
A main error would be (and actually it is) sleep waiting for someone who will realize this ideal, while we stay distracted and bored looking out the window. This is the essential point of the bet we are doing with EUR/OPEN. The idea of Europe concerns freedom: it is therefore AN IDEA FOR STRONG SOULS, not for flock. Like a good proverb says, the difference between the freedom of man as a person and the freedom of the dog as an animal is that the freedom of the dog is the one that is granted, while the one of the man is the one which he takes.
In the word EUR/OPEN, the synthesis EUROPE OPEN is perhaps the most immediately visible, but it contains at least another one, composed by EUROPE and PEN, and the pen is an image of WRITING, a reflex of that image of Elnlightening philosophy that comes to us from Europe as the Republic of Letters, today empowered by the internet based communication tools, which give us an extraordinary freedom, essential for the development of the individual as a person and as a citizen, fatal to the very concept of democracy.
EUR/OPEN propose itself as open place for ideas, , large and small debates on fundamental concepts such as freedom , autonomy, federalism and also symbols, myths, culture, common meanings to create common sense all around the world, according to our possibility to spread and extend, with the ambition to be a source of ideas to explore new codes of informal communication and to constitute a vanguard, a gym where people can forge new keys for free thought.
This may appear wonderful, but it is still nothing more than a literary golden flower. We want to go even further down, saying that Europe is in the minds of all of us, and it has the sound of the songs of the Beatles and the Rolling Stones, the music of Pink Floyd and Led Zeppelin, even before Mozart and Beethoven. It is in our eyes, taking the pictures coming from Kubrick and Fellini, Herzog and Wenders, or the paintings made by Picasso or Modigliani, Schiele or Chagall (and we need to know more about all kind of artist that tell us about the spirit of each country of Europe: this is another purpose of our project EUR/OPEN).
The sense of challenge inherent in EUR/OPEN is to demonstrate that a truly European culture, accessed, shared, fully recognized and shared by all the citizens of this wonderful space that is Europe is yet to be built. If there is something that can truly be called “European culture” , this is elsewhere and otherwise with respect to the institutional dimension. The real dimension of Europe as space of freedom and emancipation, for to leave utopia and enter the real world, it must engage the minds of its citizens.
As George Steiner wrote: “Europe is inside its coffees, what the French call cafés. From the ones in Lisbon loved by Fernando Pessoa, to the cafés in Odessa, frequented by gangsters, told by Isaac Babel. Through by the cafés in Copenhagen, where passed Kierkegaard in his brooding wander, up to those of Palermo. (…) Just draw a map of the coffees , and here’s the key indicators of the real “idea of Europe.”
If we start here, we can certainly go further, with a speech that will take us far.