Imaginaries of a ‘Europe of the Regions’
Author:
Simin Davoudi
Title:
Imaginaries of a ‘Europe of the Regions’
ISSN Code:
2566-2147
doi:
10.24306/TrAESOP.2019.02.001
Journal:
TRANSACTIONS OF THE ASSOCIATION OF EUROPEAN SCHOOLS OF PLANNING
Edition:
Volume 3, Issue 2 | December 2019 | 85-92

“I have not come here this evening to talk to you about a utopia; no, I am here to talk to you about
an adventure ...: the federating of Europe.”
These are the words of Denis de Rougemont (1948, p.1), the Swiss philosopher and scholar, given at a talk
on 22 nd of April 1948 at the Sorbonne, Paris. He was advocating for the cultural, historical regions to become
the sub-European political units instead of nation states. I start this essay with his statement not because I
necessarily agree with his views, but because he is the person who coined the term ‘Europe of the regions’ in
his book The idea of Europe, which appeared in English in 1966 (de Rougemont, 1966). Donald Tusk (2016),
former President of the European Union (EU), called him “a philosopher of regionalism” and “a pioneer of
the EU moto of ‘unity in diversity’”. I also started this essay with de Rougemont because of his take on what
constitutes Europe. In his book, he traces the history of the idea from the Greek myth of the abduction of
Europa by Zeus to the 18 th and 19 th century federalist ideas of Napoleon and the 1960s European Community,
and concludes that the search for Europe is to build Europe; that, Europe is only to be found in the process
of creating it (de Rougemont, 1966). This relational perspective somewhat resonates with what I am going to
discuss about ‘the region’ and a ‘Europe of the regions’.