Vorreiter im europäischen Einigungsprozess : der Rhein-Maas-Raum
Ein Blick in die Geschichte des Rhein-Maas-Raumes verdeutlicht die These von Jörg Engelbrecht, dass Europa sich nicht auf zentraler, sonder vielmehr auf regionaler Ebene manifestiert.
During the Middle Ages and up until the 18th century, any notion of Europe was related to the reach of Latin Christianity. Thus major parts of modern day Europe (e.g. Russia) were not regarded as being European. Throughout the centuries there have been various concepts of “Europe”, and even the current European Union hardly matches the continent as a whole. But there are regions of common history and culture which form a microcosm of Europe as a whole. Such regions are Scandinavia, the Baltic States and the Rhine-Maas-Region. The latter comprises, roughly speaking, the Benelux-States plus North Rhine-Westphalia. However, the boundaries of this region can vary depending on the angle from which you look at it. In some ways it resembles an amoeba, which makes the region reflect a central aspect of European history as a whole. The regionalization of Europe, which is one of the central aims of the European Union, started from here and made the Rhine-Maas-Region a model for the future shape of Europe.