set of guidelines, instructions
a map, especially one for motorists, showing and designating the roads
of a region
a detailed plan to guide progress toward a goal
a detailed explanation
a reference book
is a columnist for the International Herald Tribune. His column "Thinking
Ahead" covers a wide range of international economic and political
issues, especially concerning the problems of globalization. In addition,
he runs the journalism program at the German Marshall Fund of the United
States in Washington, and serves as the editor-in-chief of the quarterly
magazine European Affairs. Also, he is a member of the board of advisors
of the European Institute in Washington, a frequent TV and radio commentator
and a contributor to numerous magazines. Stages of his career with the
IHT include Economic and Financial Editor in Paris from 1989 to 1993
and International Economics Correspondent from 1987 to 1989. Before
joining the IHT, he was a senior editor and foreign correspondent for
the Financial Times, where his positions included US Editor in Washington,
European Editor in London, and European Community Correspondent in Brussels.
Look at the peripheral information (headline, author, dates) and
answer the following questions
What kind of document is this?
What's its source? Where was it taken from?
What kind of publication do you think this is ?
Who is the writer?
Where is he based?
When was this written? How do you know?
Look at the headline
What is a stereotype?
What is a road map for?
Whose road map is it?
skimming the text what countries are mentioned?
What do you expect to read?
to download the grid for the students to fill in (Rich
A European's Road Map
Dale International Herald Tribune
- In the United
States, it is widely considered unacceptable to attribute people's behavior,
good or bad, to their racial or ethnic origins. Ethnic stereotyping is
In Europe, however, almost the reverse is true. Europeans tend to rely
on ancient but often accurate national stereotypes to help them understand
Both the French and the Germans, for instance, have pretty good, and similar,
ideas of what constitutes a typical Englishman. While those ideas may
often be caricatures, they also reflect centuries in which Europeans have
observed each other, as trading partners and on the battlefield, at very
European stereotypes apply not just to individuals but to whole countries,
too. Thanks to their differing histories, cultures and geographies, the
European nations have developed distinct and recognizable personalities.
Those personalities are often, in fact, more important than the official
policies of national governments or their political complexions in explaining
how European nations interact with one another.
As the European Union approaches decisions on economic and monetary union
that will be crucial to the destinies of its member nations, it is only
natural that many of those nations should be indulging in stereotypical
Traditionally aloof Britain is staying out of the planned single European
currency, the euro; France is justifying its reputation for arrogance
by demanding the top job in running the currency, and Germany is showing
its self-righteousness in seeking to impose its own economic and monetary
standards on everybody else.
In Britain, Tony Blair's Labour government sounds more enthusiastic about
the euro than its Conservative predecessor did. It is promising to join
the currency in perhaps five years, provided Britain meets certain economic
But the British people's dislike of the euro has not disappeared with
the change of government. Everyone knows that the British will have to
shed a great deal of historical and cultural baggage before they can agree
to scrap the pound and accept the euro in the referendum that Mr. Blair
has promised them.
The big question is not whether Britain will fulfill the economic criteria
but whether the British national character will change.
In France, the advent of Lionel Jospin's Socialist-led government has
done little to diminish the country's traditional Gallic conceit, the
latest example of which is a proposal that the new European central bank
be headed by Jean-Claude Trichet, the governor of the Bank of France.
The proposal should not be dismissed just because it has irritated most
of France's partners. France is traditionally good at getting its way
in such things.
Nor does it matter that the independent-minded Mr. Trichet would not necessarily
run the bank the way Paris wants. Experience suggests that France would
settle for the appearance of power if it cannot have the reality.
Germany's national need is for reassurance, before it embraces the euro,
that the currency's other members, especially Italy, will behave like
Here is an example of a damaging stereotype at work. Italy is stuck, at
least in German eyes, with an image as an economically irresponsible and
politically unstable country, even though it has probably been more successful
than any other EU member in changing its economic and political behavior
for the better to qualify for the single currency. That shows how difficult
changing a stereotype can be.
But the point is that even if Italy does succeed in radically upgrading
its economic and political image, that need does not make it any less
Italian. For most Europeans, the challenge is to achieve economic and
political integration without losing the best of their national characteristics.
Europe would be much less interesting without its ethnic stereotypes.
November 18, 1997, page 13