The President of the European Union Council, Herman Van Rompuy of Belgium, spoke yesterday in Madrid where he received an honorary doctorate from a Spanish university. The speech is interesting for various reasons: the current state of the European Union (including a reference to the situation in the Ukraine) and also for the scattered historical and cultural references in the speech.
These references include tributes to the role of Latin and Christianity in European cultural identity and to the role of Spain in Europe, both in the past and today. In addition, Rompuy lauds my favorite philosopher Ortega y Gasset whom Rompuy cites as an early influence in his thinking about Europe.
Here is the PDF link to the speech given yesterday, December 12, 2013, in Madrid.
[Image below is of Rompuy in very distinctive (!) academic garb and Mariano Rajoy, the current Prime Minister of Spain.]