View Full Version : The Founding Fathers of the New Europe...

08-06-12, 05:03
Forget about Schumann, Monet, De Gasperi, Adenauer and Spaak, the original founding fathers of post WW2 Europe. Chances are that if you are between 15 and 40, you've been living under the influence of O'Leary (Ryanair), Kamprad (IKEA) and the Albrecht brothers (ALDI), the trinity of European businessmen that really revolutioned and reshaped our way of living and consuming. As far as I can analyse, IKEA is to Europe what Coca-Cola is to the US: a symbol of a certain way of life.
That also reflects the shift of power from the political world to the finance and business world we have been experiencing since the Fall of the Berlin Wall. Michael O'Leary lobbied aggressively to bring the national carriers monopoly to an end and therefore often attacked the Brussels and the Irish government's stance on competition. However, Europe still needs (especially in these troubled times...) her Steve Jobs and Bill Gates...

08-06-12, 06:23
I completely agree. The main goal of Europe should be unleashing creative power of her people. It might be hard though in today's protectionistic attitude of some leaders and anti-business/finance trends in some societies.

15-06-12, 01:11
Mr Ryanair, is the most important, low cost flights in europe are breaking countries barriers, i see more tourists here since then, even in non turistical places, and in non turistical year periods.
just 12 euros, for a flight... doing a weekend abroad, coasts less in doing a weekind in italy if i take the car..

i would also says Mr Erasmus of Rotterdam, he gave his name to the erasmus programme.

15-06-12, 17:46
Hi Julia,
Even though Erasmus is certainly a key figure in European history, along with Charlemagne and a few others, I don't think he shaped in any way the Europe we live in today. His field was theology and humanism, barely today's peoples concerns... As for the ERASMUS program (European Community Action Scheme for the Mobility of University Students), it benefits only a part of European university students, and can therefore not be considered a major contribution to the European experience. However, I have to agree that most of the students that take part in this programme and study abroad create a bond with their host country and end up being active ambassadors of the European project.
As you mentioned, Ryanair completely changed the way Europeans travel and gave some regions an exposure they never had through their entire existence.

17-06-12, 10:21
Hi there! Im interested to see if any of you guys can point to some kind of written material which embodies the EU as it is today. Any Ideas?

18-06-12, 02:44
Here's a good place to start:

http://ec.europa.eu/index_en.htm (http://ec.europa.eu/index_en.htm)