(by Giovanni Moro)
This article, which summarizes the principal contents of the program for dialogue between Americans and Europeans promoted by FONDACA (Active Citizenship Foundation), follows a simple idea. The confrontation, usually called “Transatlantic Divide”, exists and it has a real dimension, beyond the present contingencies. This critical split can be wisely managed through dialogue and a serious debate. Nevertheless, in order to allow the dialogue to reach the real roots of the differences, it is necessary to avoid discussion about usual subjects, as international security, world trade, and the role of the United Nations, since the attitudes towards these themes have their real bases in deeper cultural patterns and shared visions. The analysis of the idea and concept of citizenship can be a good way to understand the reality underneath the present international debate and its conceptual core. This topic is not really debated among the public opinion and there is a big deal of disinformation about it, even though it could be used as a prism through which it is possible to grasp many different characterizing elements as individual identity factors, social links, the role of the government, and so on. The analysis of the concept of citizenship implies the identification of the basic differences, but, at the same time, those common challenges which definitely need more collaboration than confrontation.