European Values

The Union is founded on the values of respect for human dignity, freedom, democracy, equality, the rule of law and respect for human rights, including the rights of persons belonging to minorities.

These values are common to the Member States in a society in which pluralism, non-discrimination, tolerance, justice, solidarity and equality between women and men prevail.  (EU-Treaty, Art. 2)

epiStoa strives for an understanding of the ideational, linguistic, and juridical roots of these values, which have their origin in Ancient Greece and Rome. In Ancient Greece, human beings started to be seen as self-determined individuals rather than followers or group members, and the Roman Law, more than 2000 years ago, coined the notion of a person (persona), endowed with dignity and suable rights.

Nowadays these values, albeit born in Europe, are global rather than European since they have spread - with well-known exceptions - over the entire globe, from Japan and New Zealand over India and Europe to all countries of the Americas.

The European Values are, however, neither ubiquitous nor automatically perpetuating: keeping them up is thus an ongoing challenge for every generation.