Our future

Publish date 15-03-2024

by Luca Jahier

In 2024, half the world will vote, from the renewal of the European Parliament to the US presidential elections, passing through India, Russia, South Africa: 60 countries, over 4 billion inhabitants. At stake are the boiling geopolitical balances, the clash between autocracies and democracies now under siege even internally, the future of world trade, the ability to face the planet's great challenges, from climate change to poverty and peace. Europe finds itself in the middle and we are called to choose whether to set sail or surrender ourselves to fragmentation, irrelevance and decadence.

One thing is now clear: the three assumptions on which European prosperity was based, as well as peace and democratic freedoms, are over. We can no longer rely on the United States for defense and security; to China for exports and low-cost supplies of industrial processes; to Russia for energy. Furthermore, in a context in which the system of governance of international relations has seriously deteriorated. Europe finds itself having to formulate crucial responses to structural and decisive challenges.

On the one hand, those produced by a nuclear imperial superpower in the East, Putin's Russia, which with force and war wants to impose its own logic against what Europe represents today, without any hesitation anymore of fomenting and supporting all sorts of crises in the four corners of the planet and polluting political communication. As well as the growing chaos to the south, especially in the Mediterranean, the Middle East and the sub-Saharan belt. And then there is the biggest challenge in the West with the United States pushed to increasingly distance itself from Europe and which with Trump's unfortunate but possible victory will turn into an open rivalry. On the other hand, a strategic industrial, economic and defense sovereignty that needs to be entirely rethought, in old and new technological sectors, in many of which Europe, an aging continent, has lost ground, with significant consequences for maintaining its prosperity and of the extensive social protections, earned with sweat in the past decades.

Europe is not an accident of history, indeed it produced the only truly great political project of the past century - as a great leader of Solidarnosc, later among the fathers of the new Poland, Borislav Geremek, said . A Europe that continues to attract new countries and to be a point of reference for many peoples on at least three continents. As Jacques Delors, a father of Europe, taught us, we are today called to a collective challenge of responsibility and realism, courage and foresight, to combine in a new way the famous triptych of his immense legacy: stimulating competition, solidarity that unites, cooperation that strengthens. The agenda is very demanding and the difficulties and costs should not be overlooked, but we can and must do it, so as not to sacrifice what we have achieved - peace and prosperity - and be able to combine it for the generations to come and for the whole world, in robust true partnership relationships.

This will require more unity, more investments and more common choices, Strong European institutions and more convergent commitment from the capitals of Europe, more participation from national parliaments, local powers and civil society. It is also a great cultural and communication investment, to understand and debate where we are going, as well as educational and training, to equip our young people and workers with the skills required today. Nobody saves themselves alone, doing it together in a Europe of 500 million people cannot be taken for granted. So let's vote, looking up at what matters.

Luca Jahier
NP February 2024

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