The resilience and cohesion of European societies are strongly conditioned by beliefs and identities, as well as by collective representations and constructions of past and present realities and expectations about the future. Research in the humanities and social sciences is well-placed for making important contributions to creating a new narrative for Europe by studying the drivers of and obstacles to the emergence of a European public sphere and a European cultural space. The role that technology can play in promoting a better understanding of the richness of Europe’s heritage and diversity equally deserves further exploration as well as solutions-driven options.

A thorough and continuous reflection of Europe's cultural and social diversity and its past facilitates tackling societal challenges that European societies face today and will face tomorrow due to endogenous as well as external factors.

Understanding Europe is therefore a sine qua non condition for preparing and shaping the future, thus fostering truly reflective societies in Europe. A better understanding of Europe's cultural, social unity and diversity of its past will inform the reflection about present challenges/opportunities and help to find solutions for shaping Europe's future. Special attention should be dedicated to the accessibility for all and universal design in relation to the role that technology can play in promoting this better understanding.

 

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