Western democracies are characterized at present by a weakened historical consciousness and a more partial situational awareness of threats.

Public authorities and intellectuals are more to blame than the general public as they have failed to take the threats seriously, including those deriving from de-education and social disruption.

On the European side, the focus on the economic dimension of the European Union’s integration project has created a form of oblivion of the deeper value basis that is intertwined with the geopolitical dimension.

The key task at hand is to identify the main challenges – namely purposeful external meddling and domestic polarization and populism – that threaten the solidity of our highly diverse democracies, and to formulate a comprehensive action plan.

This task at the domestic level should be complemented by actions at EU and international levels. However, the EU’s internal divisions will complicate the task unless a common awareness of the main threats is established.

Nicolas Tenzer