In an introduction to proceedings of the conference 'Images and Myths of Europe', organised in 2002 at the European University Institute (EUI) in Florence, Romano Prodi wrote: "These 'Images and Myths of Europe' remind us that tomorrow's European Union cannot be based exclusively on economics and that, if Europe is become a positive example for the whole world, it is perhaps necessary to place greater emphasis on ethical and aesthetic values. [...] Looking beyond day-to-day concerns, however elevated these may be, id not the European Union too inclined to neglect these values? I am deeply convinced, and profoundly worried, that this is the case."
In 2014 the editors of this volume tried to combine aspects of European identity and its multicultural, economic, and social dimensions. More precisely, the most problematical challenges of the European continent dealt within this volume are (1) the deficit of joint pan-European symbols, (2) preventive European diplomacy (3) environmental diplomacy and sustainable development practices as a new collective security policy, and (4) visual communication. This volume and its eleven chapters are intended to make a contribution regarding these non-mainstream European challenges which occupy the minds of Europeans in the 21st century - beside trade barriers, upcoming financial crises, or the free pan-European market.
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