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Invitation to an International Conference

Cooperation between Cultures and the Integration of Europe in a Global Age



Università Cattolica del Sacro Cuore

Milan, Italy

 June 4-5, 2004




At present there is intense and urgent interest in the reintegration of Europe. This, of course, has long historical antecedents, but present economic and political circumstances bring us to an special juncture, replete with opportunity as well as danger.


After long political separation the barriers have been pulled down and in intensive interchange of people with political and economic integration is about to begin. As part of the human venture we must seek ways in which this can proceed in a manner that is human and humanly enriching. This, in turn, requires finding ways in which the personal and social creativity and aspirations of different peoples can be rendered compatible and mutually complementary.


There are special resources for such investigations. For a number of years “Globus et Locus” in Milan has been studying the way in which Italic culture might be not merely for Italians, but a potential contribution for other peoples of the world. In addition to the seminal work of Piero Bassetti and others, these studies have included two annual meetings in Washington which have led to the publication of crosscultural and interdisciplinary volumes.


At the same time, the people of Central and Eastern Europe have been anxious both to retain their own cultural heritage and to rejoin West Europe from which for too long they have been separated. With the reintegration of Europe this process is about to take on an accelerated pace. Hence, it is uniquely opportune to hold a discussion on: (a) the significance of Italicity to the objectives of the peoples to the East, and vice versa: (b) the cultural heritages which they will bring to the West, and above all (c) how the two will be able to reunite in a mutually fructifying manner.


It is auspicious that this meeting will be held in Milan -- the crossroads of Europe, East and West and North and South -- and at the Universita Cattolica Sacro Cuore -- which has always been a uniquely creative center of the long Christian heritage of the continent. The Center for the Study of Culture and Values of the sister Catholic University of America is proud to join in this effort. It will draw upon its thirty years of work in Eastern Europe through difficult decades of challenge and transition. Thus far this has generated over 20 volumes of research.


The prospect of the conference is then for two pronged progress: first to test out the proposed universal significance of Italicity by a case study of its significance for the peoples to the East, and second to explore the potential significance of this thesis of cultural significance beyond borders for the new age of globalization in its first focused step of reintegrating the countries of Europe.








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