Economist and statesman, Padoa Schioppa has often led his readers to reflect in extensive terms on the history of Europe by expertly weaving technical data with history and cultural influences. This is also the underlying theme of his new book, the title of which, along with the cover illustration (a drawing by Caruso), suggests an inversion of the myth of Europa and the bull. The gentle nymph tames the animal's violence, just as the construction of Europe, based on its ancient and noble legacy of civilisation, vanquished violence among nations and replaced iron and blood with the force of reason and the rule of law. The lessons to be drawn from this experience - the fertile blending of money, commerce and institutions, the history of nations and Europe's position in an increasingly globalised economy - are the main themes of this volume, animated by the lucidity and the passion of a person who has always firmly believed and participated in the European adventure. Europe is indeed an extraordinary example: the development of supernational institutions and rules, along with market integration, is the road which the globalisation of the economy might fruitfully follow.
Tommaso Padoa Schioppa is a member of the Executive Committee of the European Central Bank.