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Our World in 2014

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Our World in 2014 …

Our World in 2014

Source: New Europe

Date: 01.2014.

Published in: News & Politics, Business

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  • 1. NEW EUROPE Our World in 2014 Hassan Rouhani Enrico Letta Edi Rama SPECIAL EDITION ISSUE#1064 JANUARY 2014 €5 Alexis Tsipras Bill Gates Joseph E. Stiglitz Wang Yi Tsvetan Vassilev James Cicc oni Dominic Barton Jimmy Jamar Rodi Kratsa-Tsagaropoulou Welcome to New Europe’s Our World in 2014. Leaders have written about the challenges and hopes, for the year ahead. It is an edition that will carry the political, business, and civil society agenda for the year to come, and shine a light on the winding footpath for #ourworld in 2014 Giovanni Kessler Rick Falkvinge Gianni Pittella Christine Lagarde Nicos A. Rolandis Androulla Vassiliou Shinzo Abe Eamon Gilmore The world in 2014 has many colours, some darker and some lighter. Europe, at a turning point, drawn back by austerity and inequalities both on the national and European level, looks apprehensive as it heads to elections this coming spring while other parts of the world enjoy the fruit of growth but also face the challenges of accrued rapid expansion. It makes for a colourful world and the colours are changing. Christopher J. Loeak Neelie Kroes Park Geun-hye Emily O’Reilly Artur Mas i Gavarró Jean-Marc Ayrault Anni Podimata George Osborne EPA/JAGADEESH NV www.neweurope.eu/2014
  • 2. OUR WORLD IN 2014 NEWEUROPE www.neweurope.eu 02 JANUARY 2014 NEW EUROPE The five stages of grief By Konstantin Tsapogas-von Taube Managing Editor, New Europe NEW EUROPE n school history textbooks the description of the decline and fall of empires, great civilisations and legendary cities was always factual and sterile. It never went into details, never answered questions about the way these obviously monumental historic events were felt and understood by the people living through them. Did they recognise the process of decline? Did they see the fall coming? Did they recognize events for what they were? Did they delude themselves? Did they gradually and unconsciously adapt to a lower level of self confidence, of living standards, even of self respect? Did they go through the Kübler-Ross model of the “five stages of grief” (denial, anger, bargaining, depression and acceptance)? Knowing all this would be helpful to interpreting the contemporary flux in world dynamics as it becomes increasingly felt. It would also provide intellectual analytic tools to dissect the accelerating change on different levels and to put each flux manifestation into perspective. For the first time in human history, the modern shift in the global center of gravity is happening between oceans. A centuries-old paradigm based on the universal cultural dominance or hegemony of the West is fraying, as is the term “West” itself. Originally used to describe a comprehensive cultural model native to Europe, “West” expanded to encompass all points in the globe where this model was transplanted, either through colonial expansion as in the Americas and Oceania, or through imperial reach as in Asia and Africa. This is the reason why previous change, as the one following WW2, was not a change in paradigm but an internal re-arrangement within the existing one. Power shifted from Europe eastwards, but there it was stop-gapped by the EDITOR Basil A. Coronakis coronakis@neweurope.eu Managing EditorS Konstantin Tsapogas von Taube kt@neweurope.eu e Th odoros Benakis (Print ed.) tb@neweurope.eu Senior Editorial Team Kostis Geropoulos  (Energy & Russian Affairs) kg@neweurope.eu A dy Carling (EU Affairs) n ac@neweurope.eu Dan Alexe (EU Affairs) da@neweurope.eu Christina Vasilaki (EU Affairs) cv@neweurope.eu A iti Alamanou (Legal Affairs) r aa@neweurope.eu L uise Kissa (Fashion) o lk@neweurope.eu Shrinking Europe. The Brussels tourist attraction, Mini Europe has had a reprieve till 2016, but what about ‘big’ Europe? Contrary to the optimistic declarations of European officials, there is no indication of positive progress or of inspiring vision same basic western/European cultured powers, however changed and adapted by new evolutionary tracks. Even this comparatively minor adjustment of the center of gravity towards the Atlantic produced shattering effects felt around the world and re-shaped the old western cradle, Europe. Seen within this context, the current economic and geopolitical shift of gravity from the Atlantic to the Pacific Ocean underpins the many Director Alexandros Koronakis  a@neweurope.eu Executive layout producer Suman Haque sh@neweurope.eu Subscriptions & Distribution subscriptions@neweurope.eu Subscriptions are available worldwide INDEPENDENCE New Europe is a privately owned independent publication, and is not subsidised or financed in any way by any EU institution or other entity. Brussels headquarters Av. de Tervuren/Tervurenlaan 96, 1040 Brussels, Belgium Tel. +32 2 5390039 Fax +32 2 5390339 info@neweurope.eu Publishers Brussels News Agency SPRL Avenue de Tervueren 96 1040 Etterbeek Belgium Tel. +32 2 5390039 info@neweurope.eu External contributions ISSN number: 1106-8299 I Belgium- Brussels Signed Contributions express solely the views of the writers and do not necessarily reflect the opinion of the newspaper. NE is printed on recycled paper. © 2014 New Europe all rights reserved. No part of this publication may be reproduced, stored in a retrieval system, or transmitted in any form by any means, electronic or otherwise, without express permission. The Publishers accept no liability for third party views published, nor damage caused by reading, viewing or using our content. All information is correct at the time of going to print, we accept no liabilities for consequent changes. individual “crises” manifestations around the West. In West’s European core, the magnitude of the adjustment involved is expressed in the most grievous terms and is certainly been felt this way by societies long settled in the perceived inviolability of their supremacy. Across the Atlantic, at least across the Northern half of it, the effects, both actual and perceptual are mitigated by the fact that both the United States and Canada, have both an Atlantic East Coast as well as a Pacific West Coast. The United States was and remains an Atlantic power but also (or more so) a Pacific power. So does another “Western” continent/ state in the South, Australia, which plays an increasingly important role in the Pacific. While these regional players are in a position to adapt or even to strongly influence the shaping of the new geopolitical environment, the real driving forces have no Western/European roots. Obviously China and India are the main actors, together with Japan, Korea and Indonesia. Other regional ascending powers may not have the global reach of the bigger and more established players but are rapidly gaining BELGA PHOTO DIRK WAEM ground. A prime example is Vietnam. These countries would certainly deny that they are revisionist states. Some would even go to great lengths to disprove any such suggestions. But the sheer mass of their development leads to a revision of the existing geopolitical and geo-economic situation, as mass always tends to exert huge gravitational forces. Europe is subject to these forces. At the moment, perhaps partly as a result of their influence, it seems to be locked in an introversion stasis, as it is searching for a new place and role as an international actor. This period of flux may explain European navel-gazing as it may also explain the lack of any clear direction or statesmanship that might indicate such a direction. This may come after European societies go through the “five stages of grief ” and are able to move on, adjusting to new challenges and new opportunities. Contrary to the optimistic declarations of European officials, there is no indication of positive progress or of inspiring vision. An increasingly bureaucratic “play safe” attitude in Brussels combined with uninspired political leadership in the member states attests to the more than demographic aging of the European societies that leads to a “circling the wagons” attitude based on past perceptions. The final stage of “acceptance” must be reached, the earlier the possible, in order for new ideas and approaches to be developed. So Europe goes down in future history books as one of the civilisations that reacted to stimuli, adapted and averted oblivion.
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  • 4. OUR WORLD IN 2014 NEWEUROPE www.neweurope.eu 04 JANUARY 2014 INDEX The five stages of grief Konstantin Tsapogas-von Taube, Managing Editor, New Europe 02 Catalonia moves to a vote Three prerequisites to sustain the European project Artur Mas i Gavarró, President of Catalonia Beyond 2014 Basil A. Coronakis, CEO, New Europe Group 08-09 EUROPEAN PERSPECTIVE 21 Georgia’s dream: Europeanization as democratic consolidation 22 Reforming France Jean-Marc Ayrault, Prime Minister of France 12 23 A future made in Europe Enrico Letta, Prime Minister of Italy 13 24 Acting and enacting beyond borders Edi Rama, Prime Minister of Albania 14 25 Ireland on road to recovery Eamon Gilmore, Tánaiste (Deputy Prime Minister), and Minister for Foreign Affairs and Trade of Ireland Building a common space of justice in Europe 33 Roadmap for investment and innovation in 2014 James Cicconi, Senior Executive Vice President External and Legislative Affairs, AT&T For whom the bell tolls and is there something rotten in Brussels? 34 Christian Engstrom, Member of The Greens European Free Alliance Group in the European Parliament (Sweden) The case for a new EU approach in Bosnia and Herzegovina 35 Davor Ivo Stier, Member of the European People’s Party Group in the European Parliament (Croatia) 2014: Building a strong Greece and resetting Europe Tsvetan Vassilev, Chairman, Supervisory Board, Corporate Commercial Bank EU citizenship in crisis Rodi Kratsa-Tsagaropoulou, Member of the European People’s Party Group in the European Parliament (Greece) Mass surveillance is a danger for democracy Giovanni Kessler, Director-General, European Anti-Fraud Office (OLAF) 15 26 36 Jorgo Chatzimarkakis, Member of Alliance of Liberal Democrats for Europe Group of the European Parliament (Germany) Making Europe Change Course to Recapture Confidence 37 Saïd El Khadraoui, Member of the Group of the Progressive Alliance of Socialists and Democrats in the European Parliament (Belgium) The EU in perspective: lessons from the people Neelie Kroes, Vice-President of the European Commission 16 28 Carving a legacy in education policy Europa mutanda. Dinosaur or gazelle? Jimmy Jamar, Head of the European Commission Representation in Belgium Tanja Fajon, Member of the Group of the Progressive Alliance of Socialists and Democrats in the European Parliament (Slovenia), Vice-Chairwoman of the Social Democrats of Slovenia (SD) 38 Our Affluenza-ridden leadership and the relatable extremists 17 29 The Europe we want Alexis Tsipras, Candidate for the European Commission Presidency, President of SYRIZA and leader of the Greek opposition David Usupashvili, Chairman of the Parliament of Georgia 2014: EU at crossroads Emily O’Reilly, European Ombudsman A new year’s message Androulla Vassiliou, European Commissioner for Education, Culture, Multilingualism and Youth 32 Anni Podimata, Vice President of the European Parliament, Member of the Group of the Progressive Alliance of Socialists and Democrats in the European Parliament (Greece) Alexandros Koronakis, Director, New Europe It’s time to beat dementia 39 Islamophobia in Europe! Minimum wage required in all EU countries Theodoros Benakis, Managing Editor, New Europe (Print ed.) 19 30 Britain fights back 40 A strong EU needs a strong parliament George Osborne, Chancellor of the Exchequer of the United Kingdom 20 31 Gianni Pittella, Vice-President of the European Parliament and Member of the Group of the Progressive Alliance of Socialists and Democrats in the European Parliament (Italy) Marina Yannakoudakis, Member of the European Conservatives and Reformists Group in the European Parliament (United Kingdom) Ria Oomen-Ruijten, Member of the European People’s Party Group in the European Parliament (Netherlands) For a strong EU competition policy 41 Ramon Tremosa i Balcells, Member of the Group of the Progressive Alliance of Socialists and Democrats in the European Parliament (Spain)
  • 5. OUR WORLD IN 2014 NEWEUROPE www.neweurope.eu INDEX JANUARY 2014 05 Don’t limit solidarity, innovate it! Lambert van Nistelrooij, Member of the European People’s Party Group in the European Parliament (Netherlands) GLOBAL PERSPECTIVE 44 Fighting tax avoidance a must for a social Europe Satu Hassi, Member of The Greens European Free Alliance Group in the European Parliament (Finland) Reinventing the inter-Korean relationship 45 56 Blacklisting David Martin, Member of the Group of the Progressive Alliance of Socialists and Democrats in the European Parliament (United Kingdom) The formation of a democratic Kyrgyzstan Park Geun-hye, President of the Republic of Korea Has Iran Changed? Mexico turns a corner Enrique Peña Nieto, President of Mexico 46 57 The fear of “L” Hassan Rouhani, President of the Islamic Republic of Iran 47 60 Europe needs a new path 48 61 Christopher J. Loeak, President of the Republic of the Marshall Islands and current Chair of the Pacific Islands Forum Wang Yi, Minister of Foreign Affairs of China Mehmet Şimşek, Minister of Finance of Turkey 51 64 73 52 65 Euroscepticism: Moving beyond the naysayers Christine Lagarde, Managing Director of the International Monetary Fund (IMF) 74 53 66 Making sense of pension reform Niall Ferguson, Professor of History, Harvard University 75 East Asia: visually faster informed? 76 Living in an ever- changing world in 2013 54 67 Burhan Jaf, Ambassador of Iraq to Greece Pascal Lamy, Former Director General of the World Trade Organization, and Chair of the Oxford Martin Commission for Future Generations Rehab World Middle East security in 2014 Ehud Barak, Former Prime Minister of Israel (1999-2001) and Minister of Defense (2009-2013) Greg Austin, Professorial Fellow, the EastWest Institute (New York) The perilous retreat from global trade rules Re-empowering the global economy Europe calling George Soros, Chairman of Soros Fund Management and of the Open Society Foundations Tipping point for China and Taiwan Economic shadows and light Dan Alexe, Contributing Editor, New Europe Jan Krzysztof Bielecki, former Prime Minister of Poland, Mark Allen, fellow, CASE Research, Warsaw 72 China’s development makes for a better World Islam and the West Foteini Kalantzi, Economist/International and European Relations Specialist 71 Joseph E. Stiglitz, Nobel laureate in economics, is University Professor at Columbia University The shifting world economy 49 62 50 63 Dmitry Chernyshenko, President of the Sochi 2014 Olympic Organizing Committee. The great malaise drags on Shinzo Abe, Prime Minister of Japan Spyros A. Pappas, Managing Partner, Pappas & Associates Francisco Jaime Quesado, General Manager of the Innovation and Knowledge Society in Portugal 70 Japan’s coming “Wage surprise” Europe – after the peak Turki bin Faisal al-Saud, Chairman of the King Faisal Center for Research and Islamic Studies One month to go – a legacy already achieved 2014 is our climate moment EU political changes create unique opportunity for stakeholders Michael Carney, Senior Vice President, FleishmanHillard 69 What Iran wants Kaushik Basu, Senior Vice President and Chief Economist, World Bank Bernadette Ségol, Secretary General, European Trade Union Confederation (ETUC) 68 Isaev Asein, Charge d’Affaires of the Embassy of the Republic of Kyrgyzstan Wolfgang Pape, Former official of the European Commission The Bewildered Kingdom Mai Yamani, Author of ‘Cradle of Islam’ 77
  • 6. OUR WORLD IN 2014 NEWEUROPE www.neweurope.eu 06 JANUARY 2014 INDEX Energy HUMAN RIGHTS The hydrocarbons of Cyprus 80 Nicos A. Rolandis, Former Minister of Foreign Affairs (1978-1983), Minister of Commerce, Industry and Tourism (1998-2003) of Cyprus Jan Malinowski, Head of the Information Society Department, Council of Europe 94 Konstantin Simonov, Director General of Russia’s National Energy Security Fund (NESF) 95 Nicolas Beger, Director, Amnesty International’s European Institutions Office Neil Datta, Secretary of the European Parliamentary Forum on Population and Development 96 The global impact of US shale 83 Nigel Chapman, CEO, Plan International, one of the world’s largest and oldest child rights organisations working in 50 developing countries worldwide 108 97 98 Age of disruption Dominic Barton, Global managing director, McKinsey & Company 86 Manfred Neun, President, European Cyclists’ Federation (ECF) Bill Gates, Co-Chair, the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation 87 How mobile can create a truly connected continent 111 Anne Bouverot, Director General, GSMA, an association representing mobile operators worldwide Yannis Vardakastanis, President, European Disability Forum (EDF) 100 The Disability Movement Votes for Inclusion! 88 Building trust – a long way to go but will be achieved Still searching – what we asked Google Andy Carling, EU Affairs Editor, New Europe 2013 – The year on social media 101 Sympathy for the migrant 89 Kofi Annan, Former Secretary-General, United Nations, founding chair of the Kofi Annan Foundation, chair of The Elders and the Africa Progress Panel. H.H. Sri Sri Ravi Shankar, Humanitarian leader, spiritual teacher and an ambassador of peace Richard Eason, Social activist and entrepreneur. Founder, Abundant Assets Alliance UK. CEO LifeThrives CIC Fellini and The Fondation Fellini pour le cinema an European adventure 112 Cav. Stéphane Marti, President, The Fellini Foundation – Switzerland International foundation for cinema and culture EU austerity hurts more than the poor 113 Maria Kagkelidou, Journalist, New Europe Cyber Cute 102 Four powerful ways to happiness 90 91 110 Christina Vasilaki, Journalist, New Europe 2014 – it’s time to balance our social accounts The emerging world’s vaccine pioneers Rick Falkvinge, Founder of the first Pirate Party and campaigner for nextgeneration civil liberties and sensible information policy. Dr. Carol Cosgrove-Sacks, Director, the Ethics in Finance Robin Cosgrove Prize, Professor, College of Europe, Bruges; formerly a director in the UN, Geneva Unemployment, the post-crisis bubble CULTURE AND SOCIETY Digital world needs the same rights as in the analogue world Leo Sun, Head of Huawei Brussels and European Public Affairs department 109 2014: The year global cities return to human values TECHNOLOGY Andy Winters, Teacher, trainer, lecturer and writer Health, wealth & ethical? Disasters put girls at double risk Daniel Yergin, Vice Chairman of IHS, author, Pulitzer Prize winner Theodota Nantsou, Policy Coordinator, WWF (Greece) Restorative justice can save people and society A critical year ahead for the human rights of women and girls Kostis Geropoulos, Energy & Russian Affairs Editor a New Europe Sonja Van Tichelen, Head of the Brussels office of the International Fund for Animal Welfare (IFAW) 2013: a year of missed opportunities for sustainability in Europe 105 Gazing into the Energy Crystal Ball for 2014 82 104 2014: a chance for the EU to put people before politics European gas market: Russia is returning? 81 The EU must lead the herd and save elephants Threat of a 21st century gulag 103 Louise Kissa, Fashion Editor, New Europe 114 The optimised new year’s resolution 115 Alexander Anghelou, Psychologist specialized in cognitive behavior therapy
  • 7. OUR WORLD IN 2014 NEWEUROPE www.neweurope.eu INDEX QUOTES OF THE YEAR JANUARY 2014 65 Pictures of the year Tim Berners-Lee 13 Pope Francis 17 Ban Ki-moon 69 Hassan Rouhani 70 John Le Carre 21 71 Amit Sood The White House 25 77 Nelson Mandela Malala Yousafzai 26 86 Jim Yong Kim Jose Manuel Barroso 28 James McNeish 87 Arnaud Montebourg 31 95 Henri Malosse Angela Merkel 34 97 Viviane Reding Drew Faust 39 Laurie Anderson 100 Barak Obama 40 102 Christine Lagarde Paul Kagame 41 108 John Kerry Bill Clinton 48 Matt Damon 109 Mick Jagger 52 110 Prince Charles Nassim Nicholas Taleb 12 38 Not all migrants reach Lampedusa alive Smog is affecting China‘s catwalks 14 44 Aftermath of a tornado in Oklahoma Surfing Santa 15 45 Salvaging the Costa Concordia Depardieu flees to Russia 16 46 All eyes on Sony Train accident near Paris 19 47 Even Santa needs a little help Fighting in Syria 20 50 Siuts waiting for take-off French legionnaires arrive in Mali 22 51 Another water shortage Attack on a Nairobi shopping mall 33 54 June floods in France EU flags at half mast 36 57 Silvio Berlusconi comes under pressure Portugese storm 37 62 Open air school in Aghan refugee camp Baby parrot being fed 07
  • 8. OUR WORLD IN 2014 NEWEUROPE www.neweurope.eu 08 JANUARY 2014 NEW EUROPE Beyond 2014 By Basil A. Coronakis CEO, New Europe Group Political understanding, imagination and the ability of the Greek mind to incarnate the abstract are the tools for this analysis Belgium - Brussels A s all economic predictions by think tanks, Nobel Prize Laureates and wise men have failed so far, a political perspective together with much guessing may be useful to attempt a forecast for the years to come. Political understanding, imagination and the ability of the Greek mind to incarnate the abstract are my tools and here we are. After more than half a century of stability, societies are again on the move. The years to come are likely to be turbulent, as stability will be succeeded by fluidity and the linearity of social progression will become exponential. The numbers of neo-poor, will increase geometrically alongside the depletion of the middle class. Not always peacefully, the world will be led to new situations defined by bottom up, emerging large events. Times will be critical for democracy, which only in Europe flourished in the decades of the seventies and the eighties. The recent rise of Far Right groups in Europe, a reaction to the prolonged socio-economic crisis and widespread corruption, will favor the phenomena of totalitarian regimes. The Far Right is unlikely to rule in any European country, but may open the door to governmentregimes, manipulated by judges and prosecutors acting as a contemporary de Robespierre. A recent model is the catastrophic Tonino Dipietro “mani pulite” Italian experiment of the early nineties. Our future will be defined by our leadership or by the lack of it. This was one of the main characteristics of the period between the two world wars. CHINA China will be the epicenter of the settlement of world balances after 2016, defined by three elements. Despite the promises of Lisbon, the EU has failed to perform on the world stage.  Pollution is the problem China cannot resolve. The production of one ton of steel, which gives four dollars of profit, is producing pollution requiring thousands of dollars to cure. This is out of question. More than 150 big Chinese cities starting from Shanghai already face serious unsolvable pollution problems and it is forecasted that in three years time 80% of Chinese people will become sick from respiratory diseases. China will then have the one-way course to war. Conventional war with neighbors, probably Japan, as a confrontation with the US will be fatal for all and thus it should be ruled out. The second element to consider is the high financial exposure of the west to China. Leaving on the side the astronomic United States debt, China has become the ATM of Europe. Germany has a debt of €200 billion and is followed by France, Spain and others. Third is the silent transformation of Africa to China’s zone of economic and political influence. Combining wars, debts and the new colonies, one can easily realize that China will have a determining role in the world games of the near future. RUSSIA Russia is rapidly becoming a neo-poor country. Wealthy Russians are leaving the country together with their fortunes and move to other places in Europe and the Americas. In Belgium alone, 35,000 Russian families moved into luxury houses, with properties in Europe and fat bank accounts. As Russia becomes poorer and the productive elements of the society abandon the coun- try, autonomist forces emerge with terrorist acts while religious extremists thrive. Under the circumstances, the Kremlin having lost the opportunity to secure for Russia a fair share in the digital revolution becomes more and more authoritarian and introverted. Today, to be a superpower, proper weapons and nukes are not enough as they are bargaining and war tools only. To secure a position among the leading actors in the world theater, the military potential for global destruction is required to build the mistrust needed to obtain the balance. This is a geopolitical axiom. Yet, this balance must be spoken and explained to the people. In time of peace what counts is perceptions as perceptions are realities. To generate perceptions the tool is the same. During the Cold War it was called “propaganda” now it is known as “political communication” and it is digital. As English is the world’s common language and America globally controls most communication platforms while Russia has none, it is likely in the years to come the later will opt for more limitations of digital freedoms. INTERNET Russia and China both are afraid of the Internet because they cannot control it. What Americans do and others do not, is to use it to the maximum in governance and business. Indeed, the Internet is a Western invention and developed into a component of Western culture. Western societies do not care to control the Internet because it is something virtual in the air and people can make use of it, as it is. The Internet is something like the Star EPA/SHAWN THEW Wars, Strategic Defense Initiative, of the eighties, which in essence was a perception that trapped the Warsaw Pact into an expensive arm race exercise to achieve something that did not exist. Limiting the Internet means limiting its benefits. Furthermore, the USA developed technologies and skills to digitally monitor citizens on everything, through social media, banking traces, consumer attitudes, medical records, travel and all their digital communications. This security feature neither Russians nor Chinese can achieve as efficiently as Americans because they have a different perception for the whole idea. In essence, Russia and China spent their efforts limiting the use of the Internet as they cannot control it. Americans have it free without any control but all users, worldwide are closely monitored. Including Russians and Chinese. The Internet and globalization are the two new factors changing the world dramatically and rapidly. Those who cannot see it are already out of the game. The USA Equally, certain key elements define the future course of the United States, which under many aspects assumes a quasi-parallel course to Russia. America lost its chance to lead the world in the nineties. After the end of the Cold War, the USA remained, for a while, the only superpower in a unipolar system. At that time, Washington could have easily taken the world lead in knowledge and science thus addressing the real issues of the planet, i.e., environment, energy, nutrition and space,
  • 9. OUR WORLD IN 2014 NEWEUROPE www.neweurope.eu NEW EUROPE but it did not. The key was to shift the industrial output of the world from arms and weapons to the production of cheaper and cleaner energy, better air and water, better education, new medicines, etc. Thus making the life of six billion individuals better and the world more democratic. This utopic approach would have secured America the peaceful leadership for a long time. Instead of this, in the real world, Bill Clinton abolished the Glass-Steagall Act of 1933, allowing commercial banks to invest the deposits of their clients in securities. This was the prize for his non-impeachment for the Lewinsky scandal. The result was the unending economic crisis of the Western world, the most serious since the establishment of our banking system in the thirteenth century. As the rapidly thriving economic crisis was putting at risk the western ruling politico-financial elite from potential social explosions with unforeseen prospects, most of the freedoms of ordinary people in the West were technically suppressed. In September 2001, US President George W. Bush, using the terrorist attack against the New York World Trade Center as an excuse, declared the “War on Terror.” With the proper media manipulation, in the context of an artificial national hysteria and with summary procedures the notorious “Patriot Act” was passed on October 26, same year. The “Patriot Act” which under utmost political pressure was transposed to all US allies under various forms of legislation, expanded in a multifaceted set of control rules and procedures varying from global telephone tapping and preventive digital monitoring to unrestricted watch of bank accounts and economic activities of citizens and to long term detention of citizens without a court order. This novelty, combined to the scarcity of political leaders and political thinkers, granted unprecedented powers to the executive overshadowing the legislative and the judiciary. This is in brief the history of the rise of Dictatorship of the Administration in the West after the collapse of the Dictatorship of the Proletariat in the East. To cut the long story, short. After the NineEleven events, America was self-led to its own introversion and isolationism, giving up the privilege to be “the land of the free,” thus depriving individuals the motivation for creating and producing. EUROPE In the past ten years, Europe became a black hole which first imprisoned all European ideals and now absorbs its economies. The ten years of Jose Barroso’s rule proved fatal for Europe, primarily for two reasons: The unconditional surrender of European economies to Germany, and the mutation of the European Commission from being Guarantor of the Treaties and locomotors of European integration, to a ‘system’ of redistribution of cash to Member States, to use the less grave definition. Indeed, what the Commission really did in the last ten years was to collect monies from the Member States, a percentage of their VAT income, and redistribute it again to the Member States after keeping a substantial cut for itself. JANUARY 2014 09 The vanity of grandeur! The huge banner is hanging from the office of the President of the European Commission, at Berlaymont, the head offices of the European Commission in Rond-point Schuman, in Brussels. In this way Eurocrats, who did all the work for Latvia joining the Euro, are informed that it happened. This is the way taxpayers’ money is spent to … communicate Europe! The “own cut” is fairly divided among those few privileged Europeans working for the Institutions. The fair form is the dream tax-free salaries and fringe benefits, while the main part of the “subject of re-distribution” is returned to the Member States in the form of subsidies and EU contributions to co-financed projects. The beauty of the exercise is that, while the money paid by State Budgets to the Community follows a transparent formula, the redistribution to the Member States comes in the form of financing to private companies under conditions of “lose” audits. This mechanism optionally allows the companies involved (if they want), to do things, such as financing of politicians and political parties, with the informal blessings of the governments and the tolerance of Brussels. Under no circumstances would such ‘techniques’ be possible if the money were paid for the project directly from the government of the Member State, using the national audit rules. To this effect, the Brussels ‘system’ has set their own internal rules, all stemming from the discretionary power of the Commission, which legitimizes any kind of ‘patent,’ otherwise pun- ishable by penal law in Member States. To note that, like in George Orwell’s Animal Farm, “all animals are equal but some are more equal than others,” also applies in our case to some Member States, a few are more equal than others. Yet Europe is an idea and ideas do not die and cannot be killed. Indeed, no matter how much Europe is moribund, Europeans can and will open a slot of hope in this gloomy outlook. We live the last days of the political vacuum characterized by the ‘vanity of grandeur’ of an outgoing President who leaves behind ‘burned earth.’ Jose Barroso, elected to Commission President a decade ago as a “compromise solution” and despite his ambition to get a third term in the Commission aiming to become Secretary General of the UN, leaves Brussels without honors. Indeed, on October 12, 2012 Jose Barroso announced the resignation of his Health Commissioner John Dalli, yet the later had not and never resigned: A political mistake which cost his re-election. New Europe is in the position to know all details of this political thriller as it Member States that care and worry for the future of Europe must change perceptions of Brussels was its Editor that historic afternoon in October who stopped John Dalli from signing his resignation, already announced by Jose Barroso. Burning ashes, however, is the fertilizer and the catalyst for the re-birth, the renascence of a new Europe, which will emerge after the catastrophe. Our old continent is the only place in the West with historical, philosophical and cultural genes capable to secure continuity through disruption, produce the change we need and address courageously and effectively the deadlocks of the world. Ultimately, the question is in the hands of the governments of Europe and the people of Europe to elect the right European Parliament in May and soon after appoint the new European Commission head and the new Commissioners. Member States that care and worry for the future of Europe must change perceptions of Brussels. The European Institutions, Parliament and Commission, are not “luxury parking spaces” for decommissioned politicians and political enemies. Governments and Oppositions in Member States, must work together, put aside their differences and choose the best their country has to send to the Parliament and send for Commissioner their very top politician. It will be the new government of Europe, which will, or will not, get Europe out of its own black hole and place it to the lead for addressing the world problems of our times.  Basil A. Coronakis coronakis@neweurope.eu
  • 10. EUROPEAN PERSPECTIVE CONTENTs OUR WORLD IN 2014 By Jean-Marc Ayrault Reforming France By Enrico Letta A future made in Europe By Edi Rama Acting and enacting beyond borders By Eamon Gilmore Ireland on road to recovery By Neelie Kroes A new year’s message 12 13 The Europe we want By George Osborne For whom the bell tolls and is there something rotten in Brussels? By Emily O’Reilly 19 14 20 15 16 17 By Artur Mas i Gavarró Catalonia moves to a vote 21 By David Usupashvili Georgia’s dream: Europeanization as democratic consolidation By Giovanni Kessler Building a common space of justice in Europe By James Cicconi Roadmap for investment and innovation in 2014 EU citizenship in crisis By Jimmy Jamar Britain fights back By Androulla Vassiliou Carving a legacy in education policy By Alexis Tsipras By Tsvetan Vassilev 22 The EU in perspective: lessons from the people 24 26 28 By Alexandros Koronakis Our Affluenzaridden leadership and the relatable extremists 29 By Theodoros Benakis Islamophobia in Europe! By Gianni Pittella 23 25 A strong EU needs a strong parliament By Anni Podimata Three prerequisites to sustain the European project 30 31 32
  • 11. By Rodi Kratsa-Tsagaropoulou 2014: EU at crossroads 33 By Christian Engstrom Mass surveillance is a danger for democracy By Davor Ivo Stier The case for a new EU approach in Bosnia and Herzegovina 34 35 By Jorgo Chatzimarkakis 2014: Building a strong Greece and resetting Europe By Saïd El Khadraoui Making Europe Change Course to Recapture Confidence By Tanja Fajon Europa mutanda. dinosaur or gazelle? 36 37 Minimum wage required in all EU countries 38 39 40 By Ramon Tremosa i Balcells For a strong EU competition policy 41 By Lambert van Nistelrooij Don’t limit solidarity, innovate it! By Satu Hassi Fighting tax avoidance a must for a social Europe By David Martin Blacklisting By Kaushik Basu By Marina Yannakoudakis It’s time to beat dementia By Ria Oomen-Ruijten The fear of “L” 44 45 www.neweurope.eu JANUARY 2014 By Michael Carney EU political changes create unique opportunity for stakeholders By Spyros A. Pappas Europe – after the peak By Dan Alexe 49 50 51 Islam and the West 46 47 By Bernadette Ségol Europe needs a new path NEWEUROPE 48 By Francisco Jaime Quesado Europe calling By Foteini Kalantzi Euroscepticism: Moving beyond the naysayers 52 53 By Jan Krzysztof Bielecki Making sense of pension reform 54
  • 12. OUR WORLD IN 2014 NEWEUROPE www.neweurope.eu 12 JANUARY 2014 By Jean-Marc Ayrault Prime Minister of France For the first time, pension reform has been carried out in France in continuous consultation with employers’ associations and trade unions France - PARIS efore this year has ended, the French parliament will have enacted a comprehensive pension overhaul, which is essential not only to putting France’s public finances on a sound and sustainable footing, but also to shoring up confidence in the eurozone in 2014 and beyond. Moreover, how the reform was carried out is as important as the measure itself. France has more favorable demographics than most other European countries. Nonetheless, further effort was needed to strengthen the pay-as-you-go pension system by the equivalent of one percentage point of GDP. The contribution period will therefore be increased gradually, reaching 43 years in 2035. This effort has gained broad public acceptance because it was fair: both retirees and working people will contribute, as will companies and households. Financing and social B EUROPEAN PERSPECTIVE Reforming France French President Francois Hollande welcomes German chancellor Angela Merkel as she arrives at the Elysee presidential palace on December 18, 2013 in Paris.  AFP PHOTO / ALAIN needs alike have been taken into account, while the drawbacks of the current system will be addressed, benefiting women, people who have experienced non-continuous careers, those with particularly strenuous occupations, and low-income retirees. Most important, for the first time, pension reform has been carried out in France in continuous consultation with employers’ associations and trade unions. Many people were expecting a showdown. Instead, an atmosphere of constructive negotiation prevailed. In other words, the key to success has been justice, balance, and social dialogue. In September, a leading European Union official said of a proposed measure, “This is a French-style reform!” Regardless of whether it was intended as a criticism, I considered it a compliment. Some in Europe think that the only good reform is one that hurts. This is not my vision: yes, modernization is needed in the context PICTURES OF THE YEAR Coffins of victims are seen in an hangar of Lampedusa airport on October 5, 2013 after a boat with migrants sank killing more than hundred people.  AFP PHOTO / ALBERTO PIZZOLI of a changing world, but it does not have to be divisive. The challenge for Europe is to advance without falling apart. That means providing Europe’s citizens with a renewed sense of hope and opportunity. France has been actively helping to stabilize the eurozone by encouraging structural progress, such as the establishment of a European banking union. We also need to strengthen social cohesion on the continent. That is the whole purpose of solidaritybased integration, as called for by President François Hollande. The European Council’s revision this month of the Posting of Workers Directive, which applies to employees who are sent temporarily to work in another EU member state, is a good start. But we have to go further. The establishment of an EU-wide minimum wage would send a strong signal to citizens that Europe is a social reality. In France, after ten years of decline in export markets, my government has embarked on a bold strategy to restore our country’s competitiveness. This year, we implemented a reduction of social-welfare taxes that will amount to around one percentage point of GDP when phased in fully by 2016. France has also undertaken ambitious reforms to reduce job-market dualism and give greater flexibility to employers as well as greater security to employees. Moreover, the upcoming pension reform caps 18 months of significant steps toward fiscal consolidation that have improved the effectiveness of public spending while financing our priorities: education, the transition to a less carbon-intensive economy, employment, health care, and security. Our efforts have been unprecedented, resulting in deficit reduction amounting to 1.5% of GDP in 2012, 1.7% in 2013, and an estimated 0.9% in 2014. By 2015, deficit reduction will rely entirely on spending cuts.  While we have responded to emergencies in this period, we have not sacrificed our ability to push through more reforms in the future. Indeed, the restoration of social dialogue as a tool with which to forge long-lasting consensus represents a deep cultural shift that augurs well for such efforts. Many of these efforts are already underway: comprehensive reform of vocational training, a framework for adopting new sources of energy, and, last but not least, a complete overhaul of our tax system in favor of job creation and growth. Ultimately, we will be judged on the basis of our reforms’ economic efficiency and social fairness. Our task is to demonstrate our ability to reform government, offer high-quality public services – for example, education and health care – for all at a reasonable cost, and control public spending in order to restore our ability to reduce taxes without impeding debt reduction. My ambition is the creation of a “new French model” that places sustainable solidarity at its center, with all citizens aware of what they owe everyone else. Such a model – in which government empowers private initiatives and is dedicated to smoothing the major economic and environmental transitions of our time – offers opportunity for all, while relying on the power of collective action. It is thanks to these values, to the acute consciousness of what individual and collective strengths can achieve in tandem, that France has always found the necessary resources to rebuild and modernize. By being true to ourselves, and open to the world, we will make our voice heard in Europe and beyond.  Copyright: Project Syndicate, 2013. www.project-syndicate.org
  • 13. OUR WORLD IN 2014 NEWEUROPE www.neweurope.eu EUROPEAN PERSPECTIVE JANUARY 2014 13 A future made in Europe By Enrico Letta Prime minister of Italy Reindustrialization – together with the fight against youth unemployment – should top Europe’s agenda in 2014, with the goal of establishing an industrial sector that accounts for 20% of GDP by 2020 ITALY - ROME ver the last three years, the European Union, faced with the imperative of calming roiled markets and laying the foundations for a sound recovery, has concentrated largely on financial stability and reducing fiscal deficits and debt. Now, with financial tensions easing and confidence returning, Europe’s leaders should shift their focus in 2014 back to the real economy and the industrial base. February’s meeting of the European Council of Ministers will be a good place to start. To decide the best way forward, Europe’s leaders should look to the past. Investment in manufacturing – historically one of the main drivers of growth in Europe – holds the key to revitalizing the European economy. Over the last decade, industrial policy has been sidelined in favor of the financial and service sectors. Manufacturing was deemed a pursuit of the past, and Europe was no longer considered a suitable location for competitive industry. Many European countries have since undergone deindustrialization. Industrial production in Italy, for example, has declined by about 20% since 2007. Nonetheless, the industrial sector continues to play a key role in the EU economy, employing more than 34 million people and accounting for 80% of exports, while providing a substantial share of private investment in O  research and development. Industrial manufacturing thus affects every other sector of Europe’s economy, including the service sector. In fact, despite policymakers’ shift in focus and emerging-economy competition, European countries remain among the world’s top performers in manufacturing, owing to the many firms that have managed to adapt and innovate. Such firms have enabled Italy to move beyond the “three Fs” – food, fashion, and furniture – to cutting-edge sectors like biopharma, mechatronics, and aerospace. A similar shift toward higher-value-added manufacturing activities is occurring across the EU. These developments suggest that Europe’s future success will depend on its ability to combine its traditional economic strengths with strong innovation. EU countries should be working to create the conditions that a thriving industrial sector needs. For example, Italy’s recently launched Destinazione Italia program will help Italian AFP PHOTO / ANDREAS SOLARO companies succeed by establishing a more predictable tax system, reducing bureaucratic red tape, and ensuring more effective contract enforcement by strengthening the civil-justice system. Such an environment would enable firms to grow, while attracting foreign and domestic private investment. But national efforts alone are not enough. European firms are integrated into regional and global value chains. A component produced by a company in Brescia might go into equipment produced in Stuttgart, which might then be assembled as a final product in Malaga. In this context, no single country can reach its full potential unless all are successful. The most effective approach to restoring European competitiveness would be to combine EU member countries’ individual strengths, thereby forming increasingly productive European supply chains – or capturing the top positions in global supply chains. This would require deepening the connec- QUOTE OF THE YEAR We cannot insist only on issues related to abortion, gay marriage and the use of contraceptive methods. It is not necessary to talk about these issues all the time. Pope Francis tions among national economies and fostering a genuine, unbounded single market that integrates different countries’ relative strengths. To this end, more targeted policies at the EU level are essential. Remaining globally competitive will require investment in the key determinants of future industrial production: energy efficiency and technological innovation. Given this, the EU should pursue measures that support the competitiveness of energy-intensive industry, with a particular focus on reducing the energy-price gap with Europe’s industrial competitors, such as the United States and the emerging economies. An efficient internal energy market is vital to the delivery of affordable energy. Another important initiative – a European Research Area – is already underway, and should be implemented by 2014. By creating a shared agenda for national research programs and facilitating the circulation of skills and scientific knowledge – allowing, say, a top-notch center for mechanical sciences in Italy to attract researchers from Finland or Portugal – the research area promises to create an optimal environment for innovation. Beyond research and development, an innovation-driven industrial economy demands workers with specific, high-level skills. Meeting this demand requires EU policies that promote secondary, upper secondary, and higher education. In order to create deeper, more integrated, and more multi-dimensional markets, the EU should place a high priority on free-trade agreements, especially the Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership currently being negotiated with the US. Such trade integration – and, eventually, a Transatlantic Common Market – could prove to be one of Europe’s most effective growth mechanisms, especially for small and medium-size manufacturing firms, in the coming decades. European manufacturing companies also need much better access to finance. One of the most damaging legacies of the financial crisis has been persistent credit rationing. In some countries, half of all loan applications are rejected and financing costs have reached prohibitively high levels. There is no reason why loans in Bozen (Bolzano) should cost twice as much as those in nearby Innsbruck; in fact, such arbitrary divergences merely undermine competition and cause economic stagnation. If EU leaders do not resolve this issue, including by pursuing a full-fledged banking union, the positive effects of reform efforts will quickly be nullified by the lack of new investment. Reindustrialization – together with the fight against youth unemployment – should top Europe’s agenda in 2014, with the goal of establishing an industrial sector that accounts for 20% of GDP by 2020. This will be possible only through deeper EU integration. Indeed, ever-closer union represents Europe’s only hope of building a modern, innovative, and prosperous economy.
  • 14. OUR WORLD IN 2014 NEWEUROPE www.neweurope.eu 14 JANUARY 2014 EUROPEAN PERSPECTIVE Acting and enacting beyond borders By Edi Rama Prime Minister of Albania I Albania - Tirana regard citizenship beyond borders as one of the most the most fascinating concepts of our era; the era of globalization and interconnectedness; the era of related fates more than ever before. The idea is intriguing as it does not refer only to classical nation-state borders, but other borders that have appeared more distinctively in the global era: the borders made of biases toward nations, religions, cultures and ethnic groups; the borders between politics and everyday life; the borders between the reality of politicians and that of everyday people; the borders between rich and poor as fortified differences in income and quality of life; the borders of democracy related to representation and participation. As politicians and experts search new solutions to financial crises, detriment of natural resources, administrative stalemates and various types of corruption, what I think remains a main challenge before each national society and the international society is citizenship beyond borders. This means revising all our knowledge on and practice of citizenship by questioning the concepts of the other, the foreign, the alien and regarding each border as a totality of subjects to revisit. This is totality of subjects that relates governments, national societies, activist groups and individuals in the effort to engender globalization as a chance to confront the constructed and imagined differences and enhance comprehension as well as larger, deeper and diversified collaboration. Thus my country’s determination to integration to the EU and attachment to the United Europe project is related to the will to contribute to the success of a brilliant international project, the European Union that would contribute to the prosperity On the edge of a European future, an Albanian man walks along the beach at Durres, west of Tirana.  I regard United Europe as a destination within us, not beyond us of millions and to a more equal world. I am the head of a young government representative of a people that has experienced imposed as well as self-imposed borders and as such aware that democratic prosperity is an effort beyond borders. And, this is not about PICTURES OF THE YEAR Lightning strikes during a thunder storm as tornado survivors search for salvagable stuffs at their devastated home on May 23, 2013, in Moore, Oklahoma.  AFP PHOTO/Jewel Samad nourishing a national imaginary or political populism. It is about the values on which this project is based and the experience on which it was built in order to avoid it forever. It is also about the socio-cultural and political sensitivities it endorses and the democratic institutional framework it propagates. It is also because it defies the nation, obviously not as an entity of hope and liberation, but as an entity of prejudice and discrimination toward an exterior or inner other. Duly I regard United Europe as a destination within us, not beyond us. It is a destination beyond the borders in each of our nation’s democracy, culture, politics and development. Such borders should represent a past we learn from to build a future beyond borders. Because all those who propagate invigoration of borders, obviously as enforcement of biases, prejudice and discrimination, are those who live in the past of conflicts and clashes, fearing a future where prosperity is not the monopoly of some, but the common effort of thousands and the reality of all. Europe as destination within us not besides us, beyond us, external to us, is related to the quality of daily democracy in our country; the awareness that our day to day actions as decision makers affect the lives and opportunities of people today and generations of tomorrow, the next generations of Europe; to modernizing state reforms that target the administrative machine and the functioning of the state in overall. The more you read about modernization the more you understand that it is hard to get its definition. Though it is undeniable that it is related to acting and enacting beyond borders that when modernization was firstly mentioned were different from those we mention today, but obviously were still and, have since EPA/ARMANDO BABANI then been borders to the equality of opportunities (égalité des chances). We, in Albania, have some way to go in order to ensure the equality of opportunities. In this way reforming of state administration, reform in justice and reformation of governments’ approach to responsibility toward citizens is imminent. Though none of these can be succeed without the active participation of citizens and without having as aim enacting citizens, as habitants of the country and members of the society, beyond any distinctions. Yet such acting and enacting would be a mere imaginary or a continuously deficient reality if it is not a common effort to find our intercrossing beyond borders; a transnational collaboration in micro-levels; a mutual work to find regional convergences; an international action to manage at the same time change and stability; a pan-European cooperation for a result oriented integration strategy. The relation of my country with EU institutions have strengthened our government’s will to work for membership to the EU that we regard one of the projects for a world without constructed differences and beyond the borders imposed to the equality of opportunities. Our world in 2014 could be a global space haunted by ghosts of the past. Such ghosts appearing mainly in the form of nationalist screams whose logic rests isolated in buttressed castles of biases, may even cast a shadow to the vision of future the EU constitutes. Yet our world in 2014 could also signal the longest lasting triumph of the courage to dream, to hope, to understand, to collaborate. From my point of view it is this courage that lies at the genesis of EU. It is the courage of acting and enacting jointly as people, as societies, as groups, as individuals, as humans beyond borders.
  • 15. OUR WORLD IN 2014 NEWEUROPE www.neweurope.eu EUROPEAN PERSPECTIVE JANUARY 2014 The exit of the bailout programme is ‘a significant moment not just for Ireland, but for Europe’ says Gilmore.  15 AFP PHOTO / PETER MUHLY Ireland on road to recovery By Eamon Gilmore Tanaiste (Deputy Prime Minister), and Minister for Foreign Affairs and Trade of Ireland 15 December, 2013 was an important date for Ireland IRELAND - Dublin O n that day Ireland emerged from a three-year EU/IMF programme of assistance. Our economy is growing, our finances are stabilised and unemployment is coming down. Our strategy is working and our people are getting back to work. We are the first country in the euro area to exit such a programme and it is a significant moment not just for Ireland, but for Europe. This crisis has been a test of national governments, of European solidarity and of the European project itself. The experience shows that while Europe needs to find answers to its critics, the critics must in turn recognize the real and substantial signs of progress, hard-won by our people. The decision Ireland has taken to exit the programme without any further precautionary credit line is possible because of what we have achieved. Competitiveness has been regained as costs and prices have risen more slowly than our trading partners. We have made a budgetary adjustment equivalent to 18% of our GDP and introduced significant structural reforms. We have regained the confidence of international investors. We have funds immediately available to us equivalent to our entire funding needs in 2014. From 2014 we will have a primary budget surplus which means we are raising more in revenue than we spend on everything excluding debt interest. But the measure of success I use before all of those is jobs. From a situation where we were losing 1600 jobs a week during the crisis, we are now creating 1200. Although unemployment remains unacceptably high at 12 ½ per cent, it has declined consistently from over 15 per cent two years ago. There is no better boost for national morale and no better measure of the recovering health of our real economy, and the sustainability of our future. Job creation is fundamental to our plan of action in Ireland as it must be in Europe. During our EU Presidency in 2013, together with our EU partners, we adopted important measures in this area. The establishment of a Youth Guarantee is perhaps the one that most directly addressed the concerns of a rising generation who risk feeling that the future has less to offer them than it did for their parents. It states that we will not let our young people fall into unemployment without making every effort we can to equip them to succeed through hard work. Of course, the primary task of political leaders is to set the right conditions for job creation, and that includes stable public finances as well as targeted investment. The example of Ireland shows that there is a difficult but achievable balancing act to be done. Through over 270 individual actions required by the EU/IMF programme, and enormous sacrifices from Irish households, we have brought our debt under control and made Ireland a safe bet for international lenders again. This has had to be balanced however, with significant measures to ensure that the difficult solutions to our legacy of banking debt are achievable and respond to the most basic demands of justice. It has to be balanced with recognition that the sacrifices asked of people in the name of fiscal responsibility must not themselves fatally undermine the real economic growth necessary for any of this to work. You cannot cut your way to jobs and growth, and you cannot spend your way to solvency. Where there is an undeniable commitment to reform of national public finances, this must be matched with collective European action to ease the burden, especially in terms of breaking the vicious circle of banking and sovereign debt. I am glad to say that in Ireland’s case that European response has been forthcoming in some important areas. Key terms of the programme were renegotiated, the interest rate reduced and a resolution found to the issue of the Anglo Irish Bank promissory note. However, work remains to be done at a European level. We must complete and implement the project of banking union, involving not just common supervision, but a common resolution framework with an appropriate fiscal backstop and effective deposit insurance arrangements. If a bank anywhere in Europe can pose a threat to the financial system of all its members, the necessary framework must be in place to respond to that risk. We have set out deliberately to integrate the European economy for the prosperity – and security - of all our people. We seek to realise the benefits together, and we must guard against the risks together. PICTURES OF THE YEAR Salvage operators in Italy lifted the Costa Concordia cruise ship upright from its watery grave off the island of Giglio   AFP PHOTO / VINCENZO PINTO
  • 16. OUR WORLD IN 2014 NEWEUROPE www.neweurope.eu 16 JANUARY 2014 EUROPEAN PERSPECTIVE Euirope is coming out of the digital shadows to become a leading innovator in the new economy.  Justin Sullivan/Getty Images/AFP A new year’s message By Neelie Kroes Vice-President of the European Commission Belgium- Brussels E urope is in troubled times and it’s easy to lose hope. But I see a lot of opportunity out there – if we know how to capture it. Let me set out my vision for Europe: a continent that is connected, open, and secure. First, Europe needs to be connected. Where Europeans can enjoy fast broadband at home, at work, and wherever they roam. With fast, pervasive networks: fixed, mobile, WiFi. With a strong sector, able to invest and innovate, able to serve a dynamic and demanding population, not facing borders and barriers. Telcos will ultimately prosper not by charging sky-high prices for roaming or calling across borders: but offering fair deals, quality seamless services, and the innovative offers people will crave and value. Second, Europe needs to be open. Because it is only then that we unleash the Internet’s full potential. New EU rules will unlock the benefits of public open data – ensuring transparency and innovation, for a market worth tens of billions of euros a year. PICTURES OF THE YEAR Sony CEO and President Kazuo Hirai gives his keynote address at the Consumer Electronics Show.  AFP PHOTO / ROBYN BECK Under its next funding programme, all EU funded scientific publications will be open access – helping scientists, citizens and society. And I want every European, for the first time ever, to enjoy the guarantee of access to the open internet, without operators unfairly blocking competing apps or services. And, third, Europe needs to be secure. This year we have been rocked by revelations of online spying: they are shocking and unacceptable. But outrage isn’t enough: we need to act. I reckon spying is probably the world’s second oldest profession - and we’re not going to stop it just by complaining, nor by legislation to make it illegal. So let’s not be naïve: let’s protect ourselves, and rebuild trust. When you buy cloud services you should know exactly what will happen to your data: who can access it, why, and whether it could ever leave the EU. When you trust your data to others – governments, or those who run critical infrastructure – you should know they are legally obliged to manage cyber risks and protect system resilience. And new proposed EU laws would ensure that. And when you want to protect yourself, you should benefit from the innovations of a vibrant European market to do so. That is just one thing the EU’s research and innovation programme can deliver. There are many things that are uncertain about the future. But it is clear to me that the future lies online. For so many areas of life. If we want European leadership, European competitiveness, or a bright European future Europe’s leaders have recognised the large and growing role digital plays in our economy - in ANY area - we need a continent prepared for the digital age. And that is my vision for Europe. Europe’s leaders have recognised the large and growing role digital plays in our economy. And they have supported our plans to bring down the barriers that stand in the way. 2014 could be the year when MEPs and national ministers agree to make that happen. To create a connected continent. To ensure resilient and secure networks and systems. To adapt to the benefits of a new open era. To prevent unfair blocking of online services. And to make roaming surcharges in Europe a thing of the past. I hope they commit to do so: that would be a great New Year’s Resolution.
  • 17. OUR WORLD IN 2014 NEWEUROPE www.neweurope.eu EUROPEAN PERSPECTIVE JANUARY 2014 17 Carving a legacy in education policy Eyes down.  SLU Madrid Campus By Androulla Vassiliou European Commissioner for Education, Culture, Multilingualism and Youth Belgium - Brussels T he past four years have seen education and training gain a new status within EU policy-making. Amidst the panic of the economic crisis and the shock of rising unemployment, policy-makers have realised that education must necessarily form a central element of any future strategy for growth and jobs, including Europe 2020. At the same time, we have tried not to lose sight of the core objectives of education: personal betterment and societal cohesion. After all, the scope of education reform reaches well beyond the relatively short-term goal of economic growth. Investing in education means investing in the character of our future societies. In 2014, this holistic vision will be put into action as our new programmes become a reality. The astounding truth is that despite widespread unemployment, there are as many as 2 million unfilled job vacancies across Europe. Since my portfolio also includes youth policy, I have collaborated closely with the Employment services on various measures – exemplified in the Youth Employment Package – to provide youth with quality apprenticeships and traineeships. But what these vacancies really indicate is a systemic mismatch in the demand and supply of skills, which in the long run can only be addressed through fundamental changes in our formal education systems. The results of the 2012 PISA survey indicate Investing in education means investing in the character of our future societies this very clearly: several of our Member States’ education systems fall short of providing young people with even the most basic competencies. In one way or another then, all the initiatives that have been put forward in the field of education during my mandate reflect a growing emphasis on quality, and on the role that education can play in helping tackle current and future skills shortages and gaps, with the ultimate goal of making Europe a knowledge based economy. A little over a year ago, I launched the “Rethinking Education” strategy, which encourages Member States to make efficient investments in their education and training systems with a view to improving quality and accessibility and helping youth acquire the skills that they need. Within this framework, the “Opening up Education” initiative, which I recently unveiled with Commissioner Kroes, aims to stimulate the use of digital content as a teaching and learning tool. This not only implies a greater use of technology in classrooms, but its exploitation as an instrument for lifelong learning. In fact, perhaps one of the greatest education breakthroughs of the past years has been the concept of Massive Open Online Courses (the so-called MOOCs), which allow free access to courses on anything from storytelling to DNA and from design to artificial intelligence and which enable people to access education whenever and wherever they are. I must inevitably also welcome the completion and adoption of Erasmus+ as the tool that will facilitate learning mobility, cooperation and the enforcement of policies. The programme will give as many as four million persons, the majority of them young people, the chance to study, work, train, and volunteer across border. Importantly, it will also provide support for sport, which has an inherent educational value of its own. Erasmus+ will have a budget 40% higher than previous programmes, totalling almost 15 billion euro for the period 2014 - 2020. This constitutes a massive expansion of existing mobility programmes and a major triumph for education policy. The rationale for the programme is simple: the experience of studying, training, working or volunteering abroad equips people with all sorts of new aptitudes, including language skills and a range of personality-building transversal skills such as cultural awareness or social competence and adaptability. If there is a way of teaching Europeans to live united in diversity, this is it. At the same time Erasmus + will support cross border partnerships between institutions and policy reform in Member States. I will spend much of 2014 on a busy campaign tour, raising awareness of the opportunities provided under Erasmus+. I hope to see the programme become a symbol of some of the European Union’s greatest aspirations and values, not least cooperation and solidarity. Ultimately, I also hope it will generate new ideals and priorities in areas where the EU can do better, such as innovation and entrepreneurship. QUOTE OF THE YEAR Ban Ki-moon As a boy, I studied in the dirt. There was no classroom. Education made me what I am, it made my dream come true… I shared my message with refugee children: Don’t lose hope, study hard. I did it, you can do it too. - Ban Ki-moon, UN Secretary General
  • 18. ADVERTISEMENT The United Nations in Brussels looks forward to working with you in 2014 Season’s Greetings Cover art by Plantu, featured at the UN 60th anniversary exhibit “Traits libres” check us out on www.unbrussels.org
  • 19. OUR WORLD IN 2014 NEWEUROPE www.neweurope.eu EUROPEAN PERSPECTIVE By Alexis Tsipras Candidate for the European Commission Presidency, President of SYRIZA and leader of the Greek opposition JANUARY 2014 19 The Europe we want GREECE - ATHENS T he continuing economic crisis has revealed both the inadequacies and the limits of the process of neoliberal European integration. It is an integration centered on financial liberalization and a monetary union, which is itself enveloped by a mere replica of the German Bundesbank under the title “European Central Bank”. It is a recession-bias process that accentuates intra- and inter-member-state inequalities and asymmetries, adds to unemployment, and spreads the web of poverty to the lower social classes. It has been more an avalanche of capital against labour than an honest endeavor to promptly resolve the crisis. What has been actually happening is that the European political establishment saw into the crisis the opportunity to rewrite Europe’s postwar political economy. The political management of the Eurozone sovereign debt crisis is itself inscribed in the process of institutional transformation of the Eurozone South along the lines of Anglo-Saxon neoliberal capitalism. Diversity of national institutions is not tolerated. Policy-rule enforcement is the cornerstone of the European Commission’s recent legislation to enhance economic governance in the Eurozone. Chancellor Merkel in Germany, in alliance with a neoliberal bureaucratic elite in Brussels, treat social solidarity and human dignity as economic distortions and national sovereignty as a nuisance. Europe is forced to wear the straightjacket of austerity, discipline and deregulation. Even worse, a generation of young people expects to be worse off than their parents. This is not our Europe. This is only the Europe we want to change. In place of a Europe of fear of unemployment, disability, oldage and poverty. In place of a Europe in the service of bankers’ needs. We want a Europe in the service of human needs. We want the democratic and progressive reorientation of the European Union. Ending neoliberalism, austerity and the so-called European societies of two-thirds, where 1/3 of society behaves as if there were no economic crisis and 2/3 suffer every day, more and more. The European Left has the political vision and courage to build a wider social consensus on the programmatic goal to reconstruct Europe on a democratic, social and ecological basis. This is the political context of my candidacy for the Presidency of the European Commission on behalf of the Party of the European Left. It explains why it is not just another candidacy. It is, instead, a mandate for hope and change in Europe. It is a roll call to end austerity, safeguard Democracy and work for growth. It is a roll call to all the democratic and sensitive citizens in Europe, regardless of their ideology and political-party affiliation. Because, as recession, economic stagnation Remember social Europe? A union member holds a sign in front of the Berlaymont building.  In place of a Europe in the service of bankers’ needs, we want a Europe in the service of human needs or anemic and jobless growth engulf the entire Eurozone, austerity also engulfs people both in the South and North. Hence, reaction to austerity transcends the nation-state and aligns social forces at the European level. Austerity harms the working people regardless of their address. For that reason, we need to integrate the indispensable anti-Memoranda alliance of the South into a broad, European anti-austerity movement. A movement for the democratic reconstruction of the monetary union. The European Left is the main political force of change in Europe. • We support the immediate repeal of the Memoranda and the coordinated reflation of all European economies. • We want a genuine European Central Bank, acting as lender of last resort not only for banks but also for states. • We believe that Europe needs its own Glass-Steagall Act in order to separate commercial and investment banking activities and prevent such a dangerous merge of risks into one uncontrolled entity. • We want effective European legislation which taxes offshore economic and entrepre- neurial activities. • We are in the forefront of the fight against corruption of all forms. Our priority is to combat corporate corruption and enhance the ability of people and organisations to resist it. Corruption on the part of large BELGA PHOTO OLIVIER VIN companies, with their headquarters in large European countries, entails an economic and social cost for the people of those countries as well. • We support the collective, credible and definite resolution of the Eurozone debt crisis through a European Debt Conference, predicated on the 1953 London Conference for Germany’s debt. • We are working to dwindle fascism and Nazism in Europe, instead of dwindling democracy, as austerity does. In place of a Europe that redistributes income to the rich and fear to the poor, we propose our own Europe of solidarity, economic and social security, employment and prosperity. PICTURES OF THE YEAR A man wearing a Santa Claus hat checks his collection tin as he begs for money in Hong Kong.   AFP PHOTO / ALEX OGLE
  • 20. OUR WORLD IN 2014 NEWEUROPE www.neweurope.eu 20 JANUARY 2014 By George Osborne George Osborne, Chancellor of the Exchequer of the United Kingdom EUROPEAN PERSPECTIVE Britain fights back UK - LONDON A s the world recovers from the Great Recession, the question facing advanced economies is this: How do we deliver sustainable growth and rising prosperity for our citizens? In Britain, we have an economic plan that delivers economic stability, deals decisively with our record budget deficit, opens the country to trade and investment, and addresses the structural weaknesses that are holding us back as a place to do business and create jobs. Of course, every country is different – and the policy prescriptions for each need to recognize that. But the lesson from the British experience is that the only way to deliver prosperity – to win the so-called “global race” – is by tackling problems head-on. When the coalition government came to office three years ago, the United Kingdom’s deficit was forecast to be higher than that of any other country in the G-20, at more than 11% of GDP. Unlike the United States, we did not have the benefit of issuing the world’s major reserve currency. And our proximity to the eurozone, engulfed in a sovereign-debt crisis, meant that restoring fiscal credibility and preventing a spike in market interest rates was our most urgent priority. So, over the last three years, we have been working through a steady deficit-reduction plan. As a result, we have achieved a larger reduction in the structural deficit than any other major advanced economy. The eurozone crisis on our doorstep, and the lingering damage inflicted by the crash of our financial system, dragged down economic growth in 2011 and 2012. Even so, our labor market performed far better than in previous recessions, with record numbers of people remaining in work. And our economic plan created the foundation for the strengthening of the recovery that we have seen throughout 2013, with our Funding for Lending Scheme leading to significant improvements in credit A woman waiting at a bus stop uses a push chair to carry all her shopping bags on Oxford Street in central London on December 21, 2013.  AFP PHOTO/JUSTIN TALLIS conditions. As a result, the International Monetary Fund’s latest forecast has revised upward UK growth – and more so than for any other G-7 economy. But that does not mean that we can relax. The Office for Budget Responsibility, the body that provides an independent assessment of UK public finances, has shown that while the deficit has been coming down more quickly, stronger economic growth alone cannot be relied upon to address the deficit’s structural component. Dealing with the deficit has required difficult decisions – from reforming the welfare system and increasing the state pension age to controlling public-sector pay. But I have always believed that a country cannot make itself richer by writing checks to itself. We need to make responsible choices to ensure that we can live within our means – and that is what I am determined to deliver. A government that lives within its means PICTURES OF THE YEAR The spacesuits of European Space Agency Italian astronaut Samantha Cristoforetti (R), US astronaut Terry Virts (L) and Russian cosmonaut Anton Shkaplerov (C) are prepared for their preflight training session.  AFP is a necessary condition to secure the economy for the long term – but it is not sufficient. Success also requires taking bold steps to tear down trade barriers and open the economy to investment from fast-growing countries like China and India. That is precisely what we have done. I would go so far as to say that no country in the West is more open to investment than the UK. How many Western countries would allow, let alone encourage, Chinese investment in their new nuclear power stations? Indeed, how many Western countries have an ambitious civil nuclear program at all? We do, which is why I was in China in October agreeing a deal between Chinese investors and EDF Energy to build the first reactor in the UK for a generation. Indeed, in international forums, the UK is the first to argue for free trade. The deal reached at the World Trade Organization’s ministerial conference in Bali this month was a historic step forward – with an estimated benefit to the UK of $1 billion. But the UK will continue to argue that it must be the beginning, not the end, of a wider determination to liberalize trade, in order to benefit from the growth and jobs that doing so brings. We have also had to address the structural weaknesses that have been holding the UK back. Perhaps the most visible sign of this has been our decision to cut the corporate tax rate to the lowest level in the G-20. My reason is simple: I want competitive taxes that say Britain is open for business to global companies. At a time when other countries are considering financial transaction taxes, we are abolishing some of these taxes. And, with our banking reforms, we are strengthening our reputation as the home of global finance – from insurance to asset management, and from the new offshore renminbi markets to issuance of the first sovereign sukuk, or Islamic bond, in a non-Islamic country. This is not about a race to the bottom; so, at the same time, Britain has been leading the way in fighting tax avoidance and evasion. Yes, I want competitive taxes, but they must be paid. Tax avoidance and evasion was a central theme of the UK’s presidency of the G-8 this year, resulting in commitments to unprecedented new levels of automatic exchange of tax information between countries. Some 39 jurisdictions – from France and Germany to South Africa and Mexico – have already signed up to become early adopters of the new standard on automatic exchange. In a global race, one cannot stand still. So, while our education reforms are driving up standards, we need to do more. Britain’s universities are one of our biggest assets, attracting many thousands of international students from around the world every year. That is why, in my financial statement in the first week of December, I announced that we would lift the cap on the number of university students in the UK. Access to higher education is a basic prerequisite for economic success, and we need to ensure that Britain can compete with the likes of the US and South Korea, which send a much higher proportion of their young people to university. Here is the uncomfortable truth. In a global race, there are winners and losers. Some countries will do what it takes to remain competitive. Some will not. I am determined that Britain will not be left behind. More than almost any other major economy, Britain paid a heavy price in the Great Recession, which followed a decade of misguided economic policy. Now we are fighting back, and the message to the world is clear: the UK is open for business.   Copyright: Project Syndicate, 2013. www.project-syndicate.org
  • 21. OUR WORLD IN 2014 NEWEUROPE www.neweurope.eu EUROPEAN PERSPECTIVE JANUARY 2014 Is european politics bewcoming more regional? Independence movements are increasing.  Catalonia moves to a vote By Artur Mas i Gavarró President of Catalonia SPAIN- Catalonia C atalonia’s Government and opposition parties, as mandated by our voters, have together decided to hold a popular vote on self-determination on 9 November 2014. Catalans will be asked a two-part question: “Do you want Catalonia to be a state? If so, do you want Catalonia to be an independent state?” But why does Catalonia need to take such a step at this time? Catalonia is an ancient European nation, bordering the Pyrenees and the Mediterranean Sea. Our origins can be found in the Carolingian Empire a thousand years ago and, ever since, the small country of Catalonia has been at the junction of two great regional powers, a meeting place for different peoples, a bridge between Europe and the Mediterranean. Our language, Catalan, stretches beyond the administrative borders of Catalonia and is spoken by 9 million Europeans. As a people, we Catalans have always rooted our identity in culture and international openness. Barcelona, our capital, is a vibrant Mediterranean metropolis, a major destination for foreign direct investment, a cradle of Gothic and Modernist architecture and a magnet for many of Europe’s artistic movements of the 19th, 20th and 21st centuries. Our small nation lost its freedom in 1714 but has kept its identity alive despite dicta- We Catalans have always rooted our identity in culture and international openness torships and large-scale cultural repression. Spain’s return to democracy in 1978 allowed for recovering some of our autonomy. However, the Spanish state and governments of all parties constantly try to centralise and to build a homogenous, Hispanic country. This has convinced many Catalans that only the right of self-determination can guarantee their political, economic and cultural survival. From a legal perspective, in 2010 the Spanish Constitutional Court suppressed several fundamental aspects of the Statute of Autonomy of Catalonia, the basic law which guarantees our self-government and which was revised in 2006 after an agreement between the Parliament of Catalonia and the Parliament of Spain, as well as a referendum held in Catalonia. Economically, the Government of Catalonia has been the most efficient in implementing severe austerity policies that have helped reduce the Spanish budget deficit more than any other region. In spite of the severe economic crisis across Europe, Catalonia has continued to innovate in technology, and attract new foreign investment. Culturally speaking, a recent quote from the Spanish Minister of Culture and Education clearly illustrates the agenda of the central state: “it is in our interest to hispanicise Catalan children”. Our self-determination process has been led by our vibrant civil society with massive grassroots support across Catalonia as evidence by the 1.5 million citizens who marched through Barcelona on 11 September 2012, our national day. Again on 11 September 2013, following the example of the Baltic Way of 1989, which opened the door to recovering the independence of the three Baltic Republics, a 400 km-long human chain was organised on 11 September - the Catalan national day across Catalonia from the French border in the north to our southern limits. Inspired by the civic example of the Baltic peoples, the Catalans called for their right to freely decide the future of their people, showing Madrid – and the world - that Catalonia will not settle for anything short of a self-determination referendum, just like the one negotiated by the UK and Scottish governments. That is why we, Catalonia’s political leaders, have decided to move to the next stage – for our people to freely choose their own future in November. In twenty-first century Europe, we solve these disputes peacefully and democratically, with ballot boxes and votes. Madrid should abide by its professed democratic principles and allow the referendum our people desire. Let us vote, we say. Let us vote, we ask. Let us vote, we demand. 21 AFP PHOTO / REMY GABALDA QUOTE OF THE YEAR Amit Sood I’ve said it a hundred times, but you can never replicate the experience of seeing a work of art online. I still prefer seeing Van Gogh’s The Starry Night in person. - Amit Sood, founder of the Google Art Project
  • 22. OUR WORLD IN 2014 NEWEUROPE www.neweurope.eu 22 JANUARY 2014 By David Usupashvili Chairman of the Parliament of Georgia EUROPEAN PERSPECTIVE Georgia’s dream: Europeanization as democratic consolidation Georgia- Tbilisi F or years the Georgian Parliament was an uneventful political battlefield. Policy consensus and “bipartisan approaches” prevailed. It was in court and in prison that real political contestation took place. In this sense, fortunately, 2013 was an exceptional year. For a year, the Georgian political system experienced a period of cohabitation, with two parties sharing power. This situation gave rise to heated debates, gravitating mostly over the theme of continuity and change. This was to be expected from a political system that was unaccustomed to peaceful transfers of power, a milestone that Georgia reached only fifteen months ago. While these major landmarks were recognized and validated by our international allies, what made political contest distasteful and fundamentally un-European was the interpersonal character of these political encounters. Given a political tradition where political competition gravitates around personalities, where parties do not survive electoral defeat, where the most fearsome debates concern personal legacies rather than value agendas, politics often becomes too personal to be substantive. In March 2013, a 14 points Parliamentary Resolution committed the uneasily cohabiting parties, that is, the United National Movement and the Coalition of Georgian Dream to a sustained pro-Western trajectory. And in this scheme, the fundamental choice of committing to an Association Agreement in the Eastern Partnership Summit in Vilnius in November 2013 was expectable. In Georgia, there is a per mare, per terra consensus over the fact that we must remain an islet of Europeanization in the South Caucasus. Of course, there are two concerns in this respect. First, many in Georgia would agree that being in Europe is not an anti-Russian statement: competitiveness, rule of law, respect for cultural diversity, solid multilateralism, consensus driven policy, a reliable social safety net, People celebrate by the New Year tree in front of the parliament building in Tbilisi.  a social partnership culture, respectable institutions, and a commitment to human rights. This makes sense for us, in terms of what we want to be. The point of what we don’t want to be comes by defect, not in principle. However, given the wounds of the country since the War of 2008, noting the rising wave of xenophobia in Moscow, the scaling up of provocations with the so called “borderization policy,” not to mention heightened tension in the streets of Kiev, there is a fear that Georgia may once again be victimized. This is an enduring fear. Second, across the 28 capitals of EU member states, the Eastern Neighborhood does not occupy the same significance. With Ukraine not signing onto the Association Agreement, there is a mixture of disappointment and disengagement from the wider region. Moreover, the unfolding economic crisis triggers a rise of PICTURES OF THE YEAR People trying to cool off at a water park in Suining, southwest China’s Sichuan province on July 27, 2013, as a heatwave hit several provinces in China.  AFP Being in Europe is not an anti-Russian statement support for xenophobic and Eurosceptic political forces, imposing upon Brussels a timid approach to neighborhood policy. This is an emerging fear. Ultimately, without real certainties and plenty of fears, Georgia has no option but to be daring. Georgians broadly agree that commitment to the West has been crucial for the process of democratization. Human rights standards, free and fair elections, freedom of expression, are only some of the dimensions of democracy that have benefitted from Georgia’s commitment to a Euro-Atlantic trajectory, despite all odds. However, for this choice to be meaningful, we must now make a qualitative leap from transition to consolidation of democracy. And in this sense, “Europeanization” is becoming as important as democratization. At this point in time, Europeanization in Tbilisi must come to signify two things. Bottom line: we must go from fierce interpersonal rivalry and consensus politics to substantive political rivalry based on fundamental interpersonal respect. Reforms on public broadcasting constitute a tangible step toward this direction. However, substantive progress will entail building solid processes of interest aggregation, a social partner’s culture, strong parties, and stronger still institutions. The ultimate AFP PHOTO /VANO SHLAMOV political question is “who do we represent,” not who is more patriotic. In this respect, the laws on Consumer Protection and Labor Law reforms were far more significant landmarks. Overall, we must go beyond reforms aiming at the creation of a business-friendly environment to create an inclusive and citizen-friendly society: motivate the young and talented to stay on if not repatriate, promote small and medium businesses, and create a basic social safety net. For this kind of Europeanization, which goes well beyond façade reforms, the focus must be on bottom up policies, that is, hundreds of minor interventions rather than grand projects promising total transformation by a single stroke. In this sense, the Association Agreement and Visa liberalization will make this process of substantive Europeanization irrevocable, concluding the process of “transition.” However, once these grand commitments have been made, we should seize to think in terms of major “milestones.” Indeed, we should seize to reform our Constitution and begin to disagree politically rather than merely “in principle.” The Parliament rather than the Constitutional Court or the Prosecutor’s Office must become the epicenter of this Europeanizationas-consolidation process. We have perhaps obliterated the homo Sovieticus, but we must now create authentic and meaningful Georgian citizenship; the only role model we have for this project is European citizenship. Despite the crisis in Europe, there is no substitute to the vision of “returning to Europe.” For us, this is of course no “return;” this is uncharted waters. But, Georgians have no option but to be daring.
  • 23. OUR WORLD IN 2014 NEWEUROPE www.neweurope.eu EUROPEAN PERSPECTIVE By Giovanni Kessler Director-General, European Anti-Fraud Office (OLAF) Belgium - Brussels JANUARY 2014 23 Building a common space of justice in Europe T he crisis that hit Europe in recent years went beyond the financial sphere. It became a crisis of ailing trust in the European idea and the institutions that represent it. To overcome it, Europe has no choice but to emerge from this difficult period stronger, leaner and more efficient. To do so, Europe cannot rest on the laurels of past achievements such as the customs union or the free movement of goods and persons. We have a duty towards future generations to continue the European construction, to equip Europe with better tools to make it more integrated. One area where more work is needed is building a true single market for justice. This will be an important project for 2014 and the following years, and one of great importance for our citizens, our businesses and for consolidating Europe’s institutional architecture. As things stand today, there is still a huge amount of money that slips through the net and does not reach the public coffers or the projects that deserve financing. Criminal organisations are increasingly international and criminals can still afford the luxury of forum shopping when it comes to choosing where to operate. This is because EU Member States have been rather slow in creating a true common space for justice. There are still too many divergent rules, a lack of resources and an inability to gather evidence in cross-border cases. At a time when many citizens and lawabiding businesses feel the squeeze of the crisis but still pay their taxes, how can we explain to them that there are others who are deliberately evading their duties? At a time when the EU budget needs to focus on growth, jobs and innovation, how can we tolerate that EU funds are diverted into fraud, or used for corruption? We cannot. With public finances under pressure throughout the EU, every euro matters. Currently, Member States report an average of about €500 million of suspected fraud each year, but the real amount is likely to be much higher. This means that the EU budget is depleted of significant resources, and that the real victim down the road is the European taxpayer. Since 1999, the European Anti-Fraud Office (OLAF) has succeeded in recovering over €1.1 billion as a result of over 3500 administrative investigations. It is certainly a good result, but OLAF is acting with limited means since it has no power to conduct criminal investigations. Moreover, the conviction rate for fraud offences against EU resources still varies greatly at Member States’ level, with an EU average of just 42.3%. Less than half of cases result in convictions and many criminals who steal taxpayers’ money are getting away. This is why Europe needs to give itself real, tangible and modern means to protect Joint press conference by Viviane Reding, Vice-President of the EC, and Algirdas Šemeta, Member of the EC, on the EC proposal for establishing a European Public Prosecutor’s Office. A European Public Prosecutor is much needed to tackle fraud and corruption across Europe its budget. We need to do so through an integrated European perspective and not through a complicated puzzle of disparate national measures. A major step in this direction has already been taken. Last July, the Commission put forward its proposal for setting up a European Public Prosecutor’s Office, and the work towards turning this project into reality should continue at full speed in 2014. A core feature of the proposed European Public Prosecutor’s Office (EPPO) is its decentralised structure. It will consist of a European Public Prosecutor, supported by four Deputies located in a head office, and of European Delegated Prosecutors, based in each Member State. The Delegated Prosecutors will be in charge of directing investigations and prosecutions on the ground, and bringing cases before the national courts. They will remain part of their own national justice systems which is a major advantage because they will work within a system which is most familiar to them. Law enforcers, courts and defence counsels will also continue to work in a legal system they understand well. Meanwhile, the European Public Prosecutor will be responsible for initiating, directing and coordinating the EU anti-fraud cases around Europe. Understandably, this new institution will need to build on confidence and trust, which is why the Commission has proposed to embed it in strong procedural rights. At central level, the European Public Prosecutor would draw on the already existing resources of OLAF and Eurojust, with their wealth of experience. This decentralised integrated structure means that it can be set up at virtually no cost for the taxpayer. It is worth emphasising that these plans do not relate to some far-fetched ideals. If the European Parliament and the Member States rally behind these proposals, the European Public Prosecutor can assume its functions in 2015. Every case of suspected fraud against the EU budget would be followed up, and criminals would know they will be prosecuted and brought to justice. This will thus have a strong deterrent effect and significantly consolidate the EU space for justice. In parallel, the fight against fraud should continue to gain momentum in other related areas. For instance, the Commission proposed in 2012 a Directive on the protection of the financial interests of the EU by criminal law which aims to clarify, harmonise and strengthen Member States’ criminal laws as regards offences related to the EU budget. Upon adoption, this would put an end to the considerable differences in the level of protection of the EU budget across Member States. It would also reduce the patchiness of the existing national legal framework in this respect. Another area where the Commission recently launched a comprehensive strategy is the fight against illicit tobacco trade, especially cigarette smuggling. According to OLAF estimates, the illicit trade in cigarettes causes annual financial losses of over €10 billion in the budgets of the EU and its Member States in terms of unpaid taxes and duties. This hits national revenues hard, and illicit trade also fuels the shadow economy since it is almost exclusively the domain of organised criminal groups operating across borders. To effectively tackle this problem, the Commission’s strategy sets out a number of coordinated measures at national, EU and international level and work will continue well into 2014. All the above mentioned initiatives aim at ensuring that there are no distortions in the “single market” for justice in the EU and that the EU budget is protected with common and modern tools. These efforts also aim to reassure taxpayers that their contributions are put to good use and reach those projects that contribute to the common good across Europe.
  • 24. OUR WORLD IN 2014 NEWEUROPE www.neweurope.eu 24 JANUARY 2014 EUROPEAN PERSPECTIVE Roadmap for investment and innovation in 2014 By James Cicconi Senior Executive Vice President External and Legislative Affairs, AT&T I n the upcoming year, the United States and Europe will build on our many common interests: our values, our respect for the law and individual rights, our commitment to democracy and freedom, and our inter-dependent economies. During my years in public service, I had the privilege to witness this special relationship while serving two U.S. presidents, both of whom placed the highest value on the EU-U.S. trans-Atlantic partnership. They understood that when the U.S. and EU put into practice sound and effective solutions to common policy challenges, these not only advance our own economies and societies, they can also become standards useful to other regions. As we begin 2014, both sides of the Atlantic continue to face struggling economies. But our past shared experience demonstrates that if we work together on solutions that encourage economic growth and job creation, 2014 will strengthen Europe, the U.S. and all our global partners. I work in the field of technology, and this field has been one of the few bright spots during this time of economic uncertainty. It will certainly be one of the levers of a full and sustainable recovery. But before I discuss the potential of technology and innovation, and the related policy enablers, it is necessary to start with an even more important discussion of the fundamental purpose of technology, and of the responsibilities of a technology company like mine. As technology grows ever more remarkable, we must never forget its purpose to serve our citizens and society, to make their personal, professional, and social lives more fulfilling. And it is the responsibility of companies like mine to remain focused on this purpose. We must work together with our customers, with our policymakers, and with others in this complex technology ecosystem around the world, to advance the fundamental values of our customers and our societies. It is essential for all technology companies to make the necessary investments to safeguard our services and technology platforms, to protect our customers, and to work with policymakers to ensure we are advancing social objectives. And I know technology can help address many of our economic and societal challenges. We are in the midst of rapid technological Swiss scientist-adventurer and pilot Bertrand Piccard sits in the near-exact reconstruction of the cockpit of the sun-powered aircraft Solar Impulse HB-SIB at the beginning of a non-stop 72 hours simulation test flight.  AFP PHOTO / FABRICE COFFRINI and social change. There’s not an industry that hasn’t been affected by these technologies, or that will not be even more radically affected over the next few years. Only economies that embrace the digital revolution with a modern set of policies will prosper in a world where productivity, innovation, and efficiency will increasingly depend on reliable, mobile, and ubiquitous access to powerful, cloud-based information and information processing capabilities. Enabling this digital revolution is neither inexpensive nor easy. Massive ongoing investments are essential to maintain and expand the telecommunications infrastructure needed to connect all of us to ever more demanding applications and services. These types of investments are difficult. You must have focused leadership that is committed to constant innovation, constant reinvigoration of the business, and constant and persistent investment through good and bad times. In fact, the investments my company has made through the economic down cycles have always been when we have taken competitive leaps forward. But these large risks can only be taken in an environment with a policy framework conducive to such investments, one with supportive spectrum, regulatory, and tax policies. This is where we can benefit from an event stronger trans-Atlantic relationship. With a focus on our interconnected societies, Europe and the U.S. must work together ever more closely – and learn from each other – to promote a healthy policy climate for communications technology. On both sides of the Atlantic, telecom companies and their customers are looking to policymakers to create a transatlantic market without barriers, and to modernize their approach to communications regulation. A few years ago, I was walking through the streets of Rome, and it occurred to me that Rome’s infrastructure bears similarities to the broadband infrastructure of today. Indeed, everyone who comes to Rome is astonished by the artistic beauty of this city. Yet, these beautiful sites are just the surface of the extraordinary accomplishment the Romans created over many centuries. Rome is known around the world for innovation in infrastructure, as the Aqueducts are among the greatest achievements in the ancient world, and they stand as a testament to Roman engineering. When I think about the innovative system of water management, and the incredible technologies that the Romans created, the analogy to the present-day mobile and fixed broadband networks is clear. Many people think of the Internet as the content and applications that flow over it – like water. In reality it was the intelligence and innovation of the infrastructure the Romans built over which the water flowed, that was the fundamental innovation and breakthrough technology. It remains true today, where the network infrastructure is the fundamental innovative technology that allows for the creation and consumption of content. Supporting the websites and applications we use every day, there must be a robust, resilient and intelligent network infrastructure to deliver the content that consumers demand. If we as partners on both sides of the Atlantic can join forces to promote a healthy regulatory climate for investment in network infrastructure, our prospects for economic growth and recovery will increase, and so will innovation. It’s a virtuous cycle: when we build out this infrastructure, it enables other opportunities. Just look at the explosion in application development and smart phone technology that has occurred as a result of investments to build modern mobile broadband networks. Entirely new industries have emerged with enormous potential to not only entertain us, but to improve the quality of our lives. And these industries didn’t even exist just a few years ago. They were enabled by massive investments in new mobile broadband platforms. To help industry continue this rapid growth, the roadmap is clear in terms of priorities. First, you need spectrum — lots of it. Second, you need incentives for sustained capital investment. And third, you need modern regulation that looks to the future and doesn’t lock customers and providers into obsolete technologies and business models. The U.S. and Europe can together achieve tremendous advancements, for our societies and our economies, by working together on this roadmap for growth and investment in 2014.
  • 25. OUR WORLD IN 2014 NEWEUROPE www.neweurope.eu EUROPEAN PERSPECTIVE JANUARY 2014 25 For whom the bell tolls and is there something rotten in Brussels? By Tsvetan Vassilev Chairman, Supervisory Board, Corporate Commercial Bank There should be a change in the EU’s policy for overcoming the crisis Belgium - Brussels T he European Union’s enlargement strategy, which was accepted in the beginning of the 1980s, was intended to fill the gaps of socio-economic development in the countries of the Community. What is the situation thirty years later? · The crisis in the European Union is the longest and deepest when compared to the rest of the world; · The divergence between the developed countries of Northern Europe and the less developed states of Central and Southeastern Europe has not decreased, but one could say it has grown; · The lack of effective economic mechanisms, which can accomplish integration, has led to political decisions that are often unjustified and detached from the economic reality; · This environment is suitable for anti-European, xenophobic and other similar theories. Even worse, it is suitable for movements and political parties, as it allows them to become important factors in the political systems of the European countries. Where did we go wrong? Above all, the general approach was wrong! The inclusion of the EU countries into the Eurozone, especially after 2000, was done based on hasty, mainly political decisions and ungrounded euphoria. None of the factors and champions of this political expansion took into consideration the fact that the great divergence in labour productivity and labour compensation cannot be overcome using solely the intended European programmes. Furthermore, the absorption effectiveness and sector distribution turned out to be on much lower levels than the desired ones. The major problems in this direction are: - The insufficient volume of funds aimed at increasing the technological level and competitiveness of the less developed states’ economies; - The prioritised funding for infrastructure projects with no direct impact on the economic European Central Bank (ECB) president Mario Draghi (L) speaks with Dutch Finance Minister and Eurogroup president Jeroen Dijsselbloem.  AFP PHOTO/JOHN THYS growth of the countries, especially in the last budget period, which coincided with the global financial and economic crisis; - The ineffectiveness of the projects due to corruption in almost every country, combined with the practice of imposing companies from leading countries as contractors in most of the projects; - The excessively short-term view on the new EU countries mainly as new markets. The chronic deficit in the trade balance of these countries, especially in the period between 2000 and 2008, led to the incontrollable growth of their debt – a problem which is still to be resolved; -The concentration of Public-Private Investment (PPI) in a few countries (80% of the total PPI in the European Union in 2001 went to eight countries). At the same time, the majority of the investments in other EU countries (mostly the new ones) were used by banks which refinanced their local branches. These branches were mainly financing the import in these newly-joined counties in the period between 2005 and 2009. The withdrawal of these “direct investments” in the beginning of the crisis led to the situations that occurred in the Baltic countries, as well as in some other countries, including Bulgaria; - The hasty implementation of the single European currency and especially the acceptance of unprepared countries, such as Greece, Portugal and Spain, into the Eurozone. Moreover, the unfounded and prolonged “proud” support of the high exchange rate of the Euro to other currencies decreased the European Union countries’ export potential. Where to now? It is time to give a new meaning to the development model of the European integration in a Europe where even the Germans are ashamed to say “I am proud to be a European”. First and foremost, the emphasis should be on the change in the development of the EU from an “introvert” type of system to an “extrovert” one. What does this really mean? Above all, it means increasing the competitive advantages of the EU countries in comparison with third countries. This could be put into practice when the Community cooperates with every member state so the latter can work towards a gradual balancing of its trade balance, achieving a surplus. If a surplus is unachievable within the EU, it has to be an aim when trading with third countries. Otherwise, we would be forced to resolve the unachievable task of preventing the entropy of a system (the EU), which is comprised of imbalanced component elements – the countries. In practice, this means a completely new qualitative approach in the programme and funds distribution for the new budget period. This approach should be based on more research and analyses of the expected effects of these investments as regards their impact on the export potential of the member states. Secondly, there should be a change in the EU’s policy towards the overcoming of the crisis. The Nobel laureate Paul Krugman has recently stated that “Brussels has not had a single right decision since the beginning of the crisis”. The policy of short-term expenditure decreases has brought depression and deflation to most European economies. Instead of decreasing the government debt, it has increased from 70% (Debt to GDP) in 2008 to 95% in 2013. At the same time, we talk about a European Central Bank policy of negative interest rates (for example, why do banks have to be punished, more precisely for maintaining their liquidity levels). I think this policy will deepen the discrepan- cies and it will increase the countries’ debts and budget deficits. Last but not least, it will increase the unemployment levels. Unquestionably, these severe problems require drastic measures in the right direction. Such measures have been missing so far. All of that reflects as it breaches the fundamental economic principles of the European Union, laid out in its establishing agreement – The Treaty of Rome, which guarantees the free movement of people, goods and capital. Last but not least, it undermines the foundations of the system and the attractiveness of the European idea. QUOTE OF THE YEAR Nelson Mandela Death is something inevitable. When a man has done what he considers to be his duty to his people and his country, he can rest in peace  -Nelson Mandela
  • 26. OUR WORLD IN 2014 NEWEUROPE www.neweurope.eu 26 JANUARY 2014 By Emily O’Reilly European Ombudsman EUROPEAN PERSPECTIVE EU citizenship in crisis I believe that many people feel alienated from the EU institutions, which they simply refer to as “Brussels”, because they feel no connection with them belgium-brussels T he crisis that the European Union has been experiencing in recent years is not only of an economic nature – it is also an identity and legitimacy crisis. The Treaty of Maastricht created EU citizenship with the aim of strengthening and consolidating European identity. It specifically provides for EU citizenship rights, whose key objective is to involve citizens more deeply in the Union’s integration process. However, more than 20 years after the Treaty entered into force, the primary identity for the vast majority of Europeans continues to be based on national or ethnic considerations. Active citizenship is in decline in many Member States. I believe that many people feel alienated from the EU institutions, which they simply refer to as “Brussels”, because they feel no connection with them. Feelings of alienation are particularly high in these times of crisis, which are a breeding ground for extremist and xenophobic behaviour. In this connection, I must point out that in my brief experience as European Ombudsman, I can see that the EU administration is remote from ordinary people. In order to effectively narrow this gap, the institutions themselves must intensify their efforts to uphold citizens’ rights, and then encourage them to actively avail of those rights, while respecting the obligations. Europe is a work in progress, whose great achievements we must continue to build on. The contribution of citizens towards positive change is just as important as that of the institutions. To do so, however, European citizens firstly need to be aware of their rights as citizens before they can fully exercise them and thus actively participate in the construction of the EU. In particular, EU citizens have the right 2013 was the EU’s Year of the Citizen, but how many European citizens knew that?  not to be discriminated against on the grounds of nationality; to move and reside freely within the EU; to vote and stand as candidates in municipal and European Parliament elections; and to be assisted by any EU embassy or consulate outside the EU. The upcoming European Parliament elections provide a real opportunity for citizens to exercise their right to vote, to make their voices heard and to exert real influence at EU level. Voters will elect new MEPs, and through the newly elected representatives, they will help determine the election of the next President of the European Commission. It is equally important that candidates for the elections have the courage to challenge citizens to look beyond their personal and national interests. Despite the many efforts of the EU institutions to narrow the gap that separates them from the citizens that they serve, I see plenty of room for improvement. For instance, transparency within the institutions is lacking. For several years now, 20% to 30% of the complaints that my office investigates concern transparency, mainly with regard to access to documents. Our existing EU legislation on access to documents is inadequate and lacks an effective enforcement mechanism. The EU administration falls far short of the freedom of information laws which apply in some of the Member States, when it should be leading the way. I therefore call on the EU institutions to become more transparent and accountable, so that citizens do not perceive them as remote and distant. In addition, my office also investigates complaints through which the public questions the extent to which individuals known to be employed by, or linked to, insider business interests find themselves occupying positions of real influence on EU advisory bodies and working groups in areas such as pharmaceuticals, banking and the environment. These ‘revolving door’ cases point to real concerns that too many senior people are leaving EU positions and taking up lucrative employment where they advise private interests on areas in which they have specialist insider knowledge and contacts. I am concerned that many senior people may leave EU positions and take up lucrative private sector employment without adequate scrutiny of possible conflicts of interest following the changes that will take place at the Commission and Parliament, after the elections. The EU administration has to serve as a role model when it comes to openness, accountability, and good administration in the Union. How the EU institutions deal with these issues comes down to their living up to the standards and principles they have set themselves. This is a key precondition for winning the trust of Europe’s citizens. We need to keep in mind those values and principles on which the EU was founded. And by that I do not mean just the economic ones but also, and more importantly, respect for fundamental rights, the notion of freedom, solidarity, the protection of minorities and respect for cultural and language diversity. We need a ‘human Europe’ based on solidarity. And solidarity must not be understood as charity but as working together for the common good to build a shared future. As European Ombudsman, I will continue to support and encourage the institutions to live up to the obligations that the Treaties and the Charter of Fundamental Rights of the EU have placed on them, and to embrace fully the principles of public service. BELGA PHOTO BERNAL REVERT QUOTE OF THE YEAR Jim Yong Kim In the worst climate scenario, my kids will live in a world without coral reefs, with acid oceans and with wars fought over water. -Jim Yong Kim, President of The World Bank
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  • 28. OUR WORLD IN 2014 NEWEUROPE www.neweurope.eu 28 JANUARY 2014 By Jimmy Jamar Head of the European Commission Representation in Belgium Belgium - Brussels EUROPEAN PERSPECTIVE The EU in perspective: lessons from the people It would be erroneous to believe that we can build a European Union without – or against – its citizens T he end of 2013 saw a significant leap forward on the road to a closer European Union, with the agreement by Finance Ministers on a general approach for the Single Resolution Mechanism, following the previous agreements on Bank Resolution and Recovery and the Deposit Guarantee schemes. These developments represent a significant step forward on the road to a genuine Economic and Monetary Union. It is interesting to see that, in the middle of the deepest crisis the European project has ever faced, with the surge of national positions and the questioning of the core values of the Union, European leaders have found together the means to repair the flaws in the institutional mechanisms that characterised the birth of the euro, and that, as regards economic and financial governance, the Union has undoubtedly come out of the crisis stronger that it had ever been before. The buoyant atmosphere that marked the last European Council in December was a clear sign of a more positive and confident mood. So far for the economic and institutional pillar of the European project, a clear sign of hope for the future. The same cannot be said, unfortunately, for the other pillar of the project, namely popular support. Here, in contrast to the economic consolidation, the crisis has strongly shaken people’s support and confidence in the European endeavour. And in contrast to the first pillar, there has been no surge of forces joining in the middle of the storm to combat adversity and restore hope. Recent Eurobarometers show a continuous decrease in popular support for the European Union, stimulated by the inability – or unwillingness – of politicians to counteract the rising voices of populism and euro-scepticism. It would be a major mistake if the European leaders, carried away by the positive signs of institutional achievements and the first signs of a possible economic recovery, would neglect the adverse signals stemming from the ground. For two main reasons : First of all, because the project, which has followed for six decades a linear process by attracting new members and integrating more competencies, could very well take another pace, should the people de- Doughnut forget the citizens!  cide so – through referendum or by sending a strong proportion of Eurosceptics to the European Parliament in May 2014. The second reason is that, being the only project of its kind to affect daily the lives of 508 million people, the latter are, whether we want it or not, strongly embedded in the future shaping of the Union. For a long time, people supported the project because they had the feeling that they were protected. With the devastating effects of the crisis, this feeling has been seriously put into question. The consequences are straightforward: According to the latest Eurobarometer on country perceptions, published in July 2013, only 36 % of the Belgians had a positive opinion of the Union, only slightly more than the EU average (30 %). This gloomy picture should trigger strong reactions by the European leaders because, alongside the struggle for economic recovery, it may very well undermine the future of the project as a whole. One should never underestimate the weight of public support for projects that influence people. It would be erroneous to believe that we can build a European Union without – or against – its citizens, just like it would be totally erroneous to believe that we will recapture the support of those that turned away from the project by merely announcing a growth rate of 0.5 %. “The European crisis, recalled Pascal Lamy in a recent interview, is an integration crisis…. Europe is suffering from a gigantic lack of intercultural inter-penetration, the type of knowledge that formats the symbolic spaces of Europeans, their culture, their system, their dreams …”. Looking back at 2013, the European Year AFP PHOTO/ SERGEI SUPINSKY of Citizens, one particular initiative triggered hopes and messages for the future, namely the 70 citizen dialogues that were organised throughout the EU. The nine dialogues held in Belgium carried in this respect four concurring lessons. The first is that, contrary to a long established opinion, people are interested in debating Europe, provided that they have an occasion to do so – live. Throughout the year, dozens of such occasions were offered, triggering full houses and enhancing harsh debates. If two-thirds of the Belgians still have the impression that their voice is not heard in Europe, the debates have given them a unique chance to express their ideas about the future of the continent. The second lesson is that, contrary again to a widespread rumour, people are not against Europe. Quite to the contrary : people want actually more Europe. This came out in a straightforward manner through one of the questions that was systematically put to the audiences, the highest proportion of which coming from the 650 citizens in the newly renovated Théâtre de Liège where, in the middle of the most hectic debate of the series, 88 % of the voters claimed that they were for a political Union. If people want more Europe, the third lesson shows however that they want a different Europe. A Europe closer to its original values, with a specific emphasis on solidarity. Lastly, but this came as no surprise, 95 % of the people pleaded throughout the year for a continuation of the debating exercise, offering the foundations for the creation of one of the main missing structures in European so- ciety today, namely a genuine European Public Sphere, where all people involved, at their level of responsibility, have the opportunity to express themselves. This missing link is one of the tools put forward by President Barroso in his speech at the Palais des Beaux Arts in Brussels on 23 April 2013 on a “New Narrative for Europe”. In a year that might very well provide a strong signal through the results of the European elections in May, the occasion of the renewal of the institutions might provide an occasion to reflect on the causes of the declining support of the Europeans for their project. The coincidence with the commemoration of the centennial of the First World War might also offer the opportunity to rethink the fundamentals of the project, its purpose, achievements and way forward, keeping in mind that, as for all developments in the history of mankind, it is the people who ultimately determine the course of civilisation and shape the pace of time. QUOTE OF THE YEAR James McNeish In New Zealand nobody takes you seriously unless you can make them yawn
  • 29. OUR WORLD IN 2014 NEWEUROPE www.neweurope.eu EUROPEAN PERSPECTIVE JANUARY 2014 29 Our Affluenza-ridden leadership and the relatable extremists By Alexandros Koronakis Director, New Europe Belgium - Brussels ur world today, is led not by revolutionaries born of war and strife, but nepotism and a balance of power, which is negotiated or dictated by the centres of wealth. Rare in the 21st Century is the leader born of merit and charisma. Whether we care to accept it or not, in the current state of the capitalist democracy, the most successful capitalists have the most power to exert influence on the governing, pseudodemocratic structures. This is not “news”. It is a reality, which leaders brush off, claiming that decisions made, that are favourable to specific people/corporations are made to effect a decrease in unemployment or some other economic indicator they can use send in a press release to journalists. Public tenders are cut up like pies, giving a few slices away to keep the publics happy, meanwhile the all-star stakeholders divide the remains, making sure not to raise too much trouble unless their cut is simply disproportionately small in comparison to the power they yield. In December 2013, A Texan State District Judge sentenced a teenager, Ethan Couch to 10 years probation for drunk driving and killing four pedestrians and injuring 11 after his attorneys successfully argued that the teen suffered from affluenza and needed rehabilitation, and not prison. G. Dick Miller, a psychologist hired as an expert by the defense, testified in court that the teen was a product of affluenza and was unable to link his bad behavior with consequences due to his parents teaching him that wealth buys privilege. The ailment of the teenage drunk-driving killer, has infected and plagued our European and national political structures at the entire 21st Century. Our political leaders have lost touch with reality, and sadly, this precedent means that it’s potentially legally justifiable too. Over time, the political figures leading the democratic world somewhat incestuously start O to get a taste for the honey of money, and by this we mean not corruption (though susceptibility to corruption may be affected by affluenza too), but the economic benefits that come with being a Prime Minister, a Minister, a Commissioner, or a Member of Parliament at the national or European level. And yes, sometimes corruption is a factor too. On a very human level, what kind of social interactions (not with your constituents but in your daily life) can you possibly have when you are chauffeured everywhere, most of the time escorted by security, unable to have a human chat with a person on the street. It’s impossible to make new friends (and here we talk of friendship, not connections), go to a café to relax and read a newspaper, or just go to the cinema or hang out at a bar with a few friends (like normal people might do). Their affluenza has not only changed their value sets and thought processes, it has changed the way they live their lives. It’s sad. I genuinely feel sad for some of these people. On the other hand, we find ourselves on the eve of a European Election; a new European Parliament, and following this exciting battle of political groups we will see the formation of a new European Commission, with the affluenza “Patient Zero”, President José Manuel Barroso passing the scepter to someone new. In the last few years, the distant affluenza ridden leaders of the European project have ensured only one thing (apart from the failed austerity approach): That politicians from the right edge of the political spectrum which have simple, and relatable messages seeking to tackle every-day social problems not being dealt with by those with the mandate to do so suddenly seem like a viable and acceptable alternative. These extremists should not be relatable. They should be outcasts, minorities of deluded and mentally unstable personalities. Yet people can relate to them. Why? Because a senior citizen in Athens (still) cannot walk around Constitution square which is in front of the National Parliament and surrounded by 4 ministries including Foreign Affairs, after dark without being afraid of getting mugged (or worse). And a group from the extreme right, with its leadership in jail, and Members of Parliament purposely garnering the appearance of shaved bulldogs crossed with bodyguards, offers a “solution”. As we go to print, the latest official polls have the Greek extremist political group, Golden Dawn, at about 10%. This commentary, is nothing more than a plea. A plea to those in power, the believers and guardians of democracy, to take a step down from their realities. To try and remember who their voters are, and look at the very different reality which they are exposed to in their every day lives. A plea to the current and future leaders of Europe to look at the speeches and writings of the European dreamers who set up the project, and a plea for national politicians to go back and read their country’s constitutions and founding principles. The New Europe which we hope to build deserves better from their leaders. And the world we want to live in deserves a better fate than the landscape shaped by the 0.01%. I end, with the comfort, that this commentary does not apply to all of the leaders that I have had the luck and opportunity to meet, or others who I have admired from afar, and with the solace that things can only get better in this respect.
  • 30. OUR WORLD IN 2014 NEWEUROPE www.neweurope.eu 30 JANUARY 2014 EUROPEAN PERSPECTIVE Islamophobia in Europe! A new kind of anti-Semitism is on the verge of reaching new dimensions By Theodoros Benakis Managing Editor, New Europe (Print ed.) I GREECE - ATHENS n recent years, far-right politics in Europe have mainly focussed on attacks against Muslims living in European countries. These attacks, in the name of an anti-Islam, have reached the dimensions of what can be called a “Christian jihad”. In fact, it is a new twist to the classical xenophobic and racist behaviours - even if it presents itself in the form of a war against Islam. Let’s not forget, however, that Islam is already in Europe and that several million European citizens are Muslim. This is why instead of conflict, there is a need for dialogue. After all, we are and we will be living together with Muslims and we have to learn to do so as best we can. History teaches us that the middle class is always prone to feelings of xenophobia and intolerance of any form of diversity in times of crisis. Increasing poverty, social exclusion and uncertainty about the future - all characteristic of today’s European societies - trigger emotional reactions in large parts of the population. As a result, the search for someone to blame in the face of the weak is an inevitable result. Immigrants have always been easy scapegoats that are held “responsible”. The same applies to Roma (Gypsies), drug addicts, carriers of HIV Aids and homosexuals. Political parties have been built around such sentiments and politicians have enjoyed brilliant careers by taking advantage of human misery. This is nothing new. Europe has experienced these trends since the 19th century. It was an inevitable consequence of the rise of capitalism and the establishment and strengthening of national states. Back then, the easy scapegoats were the Jewish communities. Anti-Semitism has deep roots in European history, culminating in the Holocaust. As for the Roma (Gypsies), they have always lived on the margins of European societies. The aversion of the Roma was so widespread that it made them a very easy target. This was evidenced recently in France when the socialist government turned against Roma immigrants. The HIV Aids carriers were another easy target group in the 1980s and at certain times (when needed) today. After the collapse of Communism, there was an influx of people moving to countries of the so-called Western World. Europe received a very large number. The arrival of so many of these “others” awakened feelings of xenophobia French muslims protest after wearing a veil in public was outlawed.  which were reinforced by the high rates of unemployment and the transfer of industrial activity in countries with cheaper labour. The “battle against immigration” became a very lucrative industry for far-right and populist politicians during the last decade of the 20th century and the first half of the 21st century. But in the second decade of the 21st century, the situation completely changed. Most immigrant-exporting countries (Poland, Czech Republic, Hungary, Bulgaria etc.) became members of the European Union. Other countries like the former state of Yugoslavia, Moldova, Albania and Georgia entered into a process of engagement with the EU. Russia set a course for its own economic development. On the other hand, European societies have partially transferred the European identity to the immigrants of the above countries and these ethnic groups are not an element for exploitation by xenophobic politicians. Instead, they turned their attention to the people arriving from Africa and Asia. This new and rather large displacement of people does not have the classic character of immigration in the sense that the immigrants have come to Europe in search of a better life. Instead, they are searching for a chance to live. They have come from countries where hunger, misery and death are all part of their daily life. They are first and foremost refugees; they are immigrants only secondarily. But their language, their appearance and especially their religion are all disliked by the Europeans. Together with them, far-right and xenophobic politicians have discovered Islam and the supposed dangers that it represents. European societies, now struggling in a deep economic crisis, are looking for a scapegoat. Unscrupulous and ambitious politicians are anxious to seize the opportunity like predators. Their victim is tired and weak. This new anti-Semitism now has a new definition: Islamic terror or the war against Muslim immigrants in Europe. In the collective memory of the Europeans, Islam is connected to invasions and wars, pirates and violent proselytizing. These are memories that have their roots in the Middle Ages and particularly during the Arab advance into southern Spain, Italy and southern France and the rise and expansion of the Ottoman Empire. If anti-Semitism is fundamentally based in the hate towards the created image of the rich Jew, then anti-Islamism also has its base in fear. This is a fear that comes from the very distant past. But Islam is already here. Several million European citizens are Muslim. Many were born in Europe, they are first or second generation immigrant Muslims. The European far-right is linking the Muslim identity to radical and fighting Islam. As evidence for this, they point to the recent participation of hundreds of young people from EU countries in different groups of fundamentalist warlords in war-torn Syria. But do all Muslims in EU, regardless if they are European citizens or not, have the same perception about Islam? Of course not. Anyone EPA/EMMA FOSTER who has travelled to Lebanon has seen the Shiites with long beards (the stereotype) and the Shiites who entertain in the evenings without discriminating between men and women. Anyone who has travelled to Central Asia knows of the non-denominational Muslims - those who are neither Shiites nor Sounites, but who accept Islam as a religion generally. Those who have travelled to Turkey, Albania and Syria will have heard of the Alevis, the Bechtasi and Allaouites - all forms of Islam that are completely tolerant and secular. Are there fundamentalists among Muslims living in Europe? Of course there are. So what is the appropriate policy response? Is it a political dialogue aimed at understanding each other together with the goal of integration or the hysterical voices of hatred and a climate of witch hunting? The anti-Islamist policy of the far-right is playing a dangerous game. There is a serious risk of overturning the process of integration of European Muslims in European societies. The appearance of European Muslims in Syria is indicative. It is indicative of the fact that the integration of Muslims in Europe has been obstructed. We will understand each other only when we, as Europeans, learn to respect the differences of others. We have to move on, protecting, on the one hand, our fundamental values of democracy and human rights and, on the other hand, starting a serious dialogue with the European Muslims. We do not have another choice, but to live together.
  • 31. OUR WORLD IN 2014 NEWEUROPE www.neweurope.eu EUROPEAN PERSPECTIVE JANUARY 2014 The parliament has been learning how to use new post Lisbon powers.  31 AFP PHOTO/FREDERICK FLORIN A strong EU needs a strong parliament By Gianni Pittella Vice-President of the European Parliament and Member of the Group of the Progressive Alliance of Socialists and Democrats in the European Parliament (Italy) Belgium- Brussels T he deep crisis that we find ourselves in also offers us a great opportunity: to radically transform the international economic system. Europe, as a civilizing project, will survive only if it finds a global dimension. Such an ambition can be centred around two pillars: the struggle against the aberrations of financial capitalism and the construction of a new international monetary system. The clash between markets and democracy will be decisive for the future of the “United States of Europe”. Europe will be truly independent only when it escapes the grip of financial markets. Moreover, it’s precisely from this struggle that a transnational European political space can emerge. To disarm financial markets we need a strong, healthy democracy, centred around the only institution that is directly legitimated by the European people: the European Parliament. The 2014 elections will thus be decisive because they will empower the Parliament to initiate a de facto constituent phase. Only a strong European Parliament will be able to en- We can start transforming the Commission into the democratic government of Europe, fully accountable to the European Parliament force a constituent phase, beginning in 2014. An open debate about the future of Europe is the most powerful weapon at our disposal to support the next Parliament’s initiative. In these months, each political group is nominating a candidate for the presidency of the European Commission and presenting a program for Europe. That way, we can finally start having a debate about concrete issues, and we can start transforming the Commission into the democratic government of Europe, fully accountable to the European Parliament. This new Europe will take a stand in the world, and might even save it from the brink of destruction. The euro-crisis allowed the US to hide its weaknesses but given the country’s massive current account deficit and its rapidly- declining economic influence, the role of the dollar as the world’s privileged reserved currency faces the risk of a dramatic and sudden devaluation. This would pose a serious threat to global stability. As Paul de Grauwe writes: In terms of size, the eurozone is comparable to the United States […]. Its problem is, however, that […] it is a “currency without a country”. This, as has been shown during the debt crisis, is a fatal handicap. A strong Europe will foster the development of a euro capable of becoming a true international currency and thus of counterbalancing the power of the dollar. Europe will use its power to impose a new Bretton Woodsstyle financial and monetary conference in which the world’s major countries can cooperatively and multilaterally discuss the future of the international monetary system. The European crisis and the dominance of turbo- capitalism are symptoms of a deeper crisis: a crisis of political meaning. If financial turbo-capitalism was able to assert its supremacy over human affairs, it’s because politics was absent; or, if it was present, was weak and corrupt. If we aim to restore the primacy of politics, and thus of people, over finance, we have to first restore politics. If we don’t first reform politics, no other reform, in Europe or in the world, will be possible. Cooperation, democracy and generosity: these are the seeds of Political Union. They have to be watered and tended to, and debated in the European public arena. We must deeply believe in an idea, a project, an ambition, because we can only convince others if we ourselves are convinced. That’s how, in the past, collective movements that have changed the world, and the course of history, were born. We cannot surrender to the decline of politics and the triumph of finance. Since the dawn of time, the thirst for justice, cooperation and the respect for human dignity has pushed humanity to better itself, to find meaning in political activism, and to build and safeguard democracy. And it’s what, today, at the dawn of the third millennium, fuels the battle that we have ahead of us: a battle of democracy against finance. QUOTE OF THE YEAR Henri Malosse The era where people had to choose between Moscow and Brussels is now behind us  - Henri Malosse,  EESC President
  • 32. OUR WORLD IN 2014 NEWEUROPE www.neweurope.eu 32 JANUARY 2014 EUROPEAN PERSPECTIVE Three prerequisites to sustain the European project By Anni Podimata Vice President of the European Parliament, Member of the Group of the Progressive Alliance of Socialists and Democrats in the European Parliament (Greece) Belgium - Brussels T he year 2014 is going to be a milestone for the European Union. Even though we can already observe the first signs of recovery, Europe is still facing big challenges and very demanding problems. Europeans expect the Union to prove that is now wiser and has learned the lessons from the successes and failures of its crisis management. They expect a rebalancing between economic and political priorities in a way that peoples’ prosperity will return to the core of the targets of the European policies. However, today, we are faced with a historical paradox: while more Europe is the only promising way to return to prosperity, anti-Europeanism, extremism and nationalism gain more and more power in European societies. This trend is being fed not only by the economic and social problems caused by the crisis, but also by the egoistic approaches that in some cases dominated the official European policy making. This trend must be reversed in view of the European elections if we are to stop anti-Europeanism from becoming a mainstream force in the official European policy-making. What is at stake at the European elections is the European project per se. In this framework, the challenge for the first semester 2014 is clear. We have to run and win in a very difficult race: to convince European citizens to come to the poles and vote in favour of the European Union and against the widespread anti-Europeanism that is being propagated by existing and new extremists groups. To achieve this we have to rebuild the confidence of the citizens in the European project on the basis of a common vision, of democratic values and of a coherent, concrete and consistent plan to drive Europe from stagnation to prosperity. This must be the ultimate target for Europe and the Greek presidency on which they have to concentrate all of their efforts. Our starting point is not an easy one. Despite the progress that has been achieved in a number of areas seeking to complete and strengthen the European Union and the Eurozone there are some essential prerequisites that are still missing. First, we need a common vision for Europe. A vision that takes into account and responds Unpopularity is likely to increase the turnout in the May European elections.  What is at stake at the European elections is the European project per se to the challenges and risks for Europe in the new global environment, while it is also consistent with the historical reason of existence and the values of the EU. The EU as conceived some decades ago is not about becoming a mere collection of bilateral and intergovernmental agreements based on the occasional national interests and priorities. It is rather about the unification of European peoples and states under common sets of values, targets, rules and institutions; a Union of the people for the people. An incomplete European Union has already disappointed its citizens and is not an option for the future. Pro-European political forces have to frankly reassure their commitment to European Union’s fundamental values, as well as their commitment - not only through pledges but mainly through deeds - to the economic and political integration of Europe. The second prerequisite is the elimination of the democratic deficit. This deficit increased because of the crisis and the “urgent” character of the decisions that led to ad hoc, incomplete solutions, largely decided behind closed doors. The uncontrolled power of the Council and the over-reliance on intergovernmental negotiations as opposed to the community method of decision-making inevitably challenged the democratic legitimacy, and with it the social acceptance, the consistency and the effectiveness of the European decisions. Intergovernmentalism damaged democracy not only on the level of the Union but also on the national level. After the institutional advances on the field of economic governance and the very large prize we paid in terms of people’s confidence there is no excuse for discounts in democracy. The more we allow ad hoc decisions to be taken with the pretext of addressing “special circumstances” through bilateral negotiations the more we increase the feeling of imposition of policies and of reduction of national sovereignty. Not in favour of a supranational democratic institutions where we all participate on equal terms but in favour of the interests of the strongest. EPA/LUCAS DOLEGA The third and last prerequisite is a clear strategy, to strengthen this fragile recovery and return to growth. We need a common, coherent and concrete plan through which European economy will exit stagnation and create new jobs and new perspectives for the almost 27 million unemployed people, most of which young. We need a credible strategy to achieve the revitalisation of competitiveness and convergence. And we must do all this under the constraint of fiscal sustainability. The solution to the equation is not as linear as the aggregate of the national achievements. The European economies are interlinked and a common strategy for growth, employment, competitiveness and convergence is needed – not only as a pledge but as a determined action. These three prerequisites – namely, a clear vision for Europe away from national short-term egoisms, a strong commitment to democracy and a common, coherent and consistent strategy for growth, employment, competitiveness and convergence – do not yet exist. But with the European elections approaching, time is running out. Greece, the country that has suffered most heavily by the crisis and its management – on the European and national levels – will be in the lead of the European Council. It is an opportunity for this country - which has been scapegoated by many for the shortcomings of our Union - and for the European Union as a whole to signal a new vision for a united, democratic, advanced and social Europe and bring hope once again to its citizens.
  • 33. OUR WORLD IN 2014 NEWEUROPE www.neweurope.eu EUROPEAN PERSPECTIVE By Rodi Kratsa-Tsagaropoulou Member of the European People’s Party Group in the European Parliament (Greece) Belgium- Brussels 014 will be a year of crucial global economic and political challenges, which are directly or indirectly related to the stability, the economic recovery and the international influence of the European Union. 2014 will be a year of developments at all levels and in this respect EU will have to define strategy and take decisive steps in an unstable international environment. Despite the improved growth forecasts at an international level, the euro zone crisis and the growth slowdown in the large emerging market economies (EMEs) will continue to cause concern, while the political instability in the Middle East and other parts of the world may adversely affect the local business climate as well as potential investment opportunities and trade benefits. Global growth is still in low gear and the drivers of growth are shifting, according to the IMF’s latest World Economic Outlook (WEO) report. The latest OECD Economic Outlook highlights the fact that the six BRIICS alone now account for 30% of world GDP and 15% of global equity markets, while a slowdown in EMEs has greater effects on the world economy than in the past, via trade and financial cross-border linkages. According to the World Trade Organisation, for 2013 growth of 2.5% is predicted (down from the 3.3% forecast in April) and 4.5% in 2014 (down from 5.0%), but conditions are gradually being crated for improved trade. E.U. is the major global player in international trade therefore it should further exploit the improved trade environment, in order to increase its opportunities as well as to enhance the framework for an international trade system that could offer equal opportunities at international level. Advancing bilateral negotiations particularly between key strategic partners, such as Europe and USA, is also necessary to utilize mutually beneficial investment and trade opportunities which contribute to growth and jobs. An ambitious deal between these two major partners would increase the size of the EU economy by € 120 billion equal to 0, 5% of G.D.P.. JANUARY 2014 33 2014: EU at crossroads 2 Coming out of the shadows?  2014 is the year of major decisions and orientations for the governments and the citizens In the face of social and economic crises, more frequent natural disasters and poverty, global solidarity must become more evident. E.U is the biggest donor of development and humanitarian aid, thus it should fully justify its role. PICTURES OF THE YEAR June floods in France.  AFP PHOTO LAURENT DARD AFP PHOTO/ DANI POZO Despite tough economic times, a global coalition of developed and developing countries pledged the previous month to accelerate the fight to end extreme poverty by committing a record $52 billion in financing over the next three years for the World Bank’s fund for the poorest, the International Development Association (IDA). Under these global trends the EU needs to stay united and stable. The main challenge for Europe is to make significant steps towards fiscal and economic consolidation and cohesioon, while combating fiscal and economic asymmetries and regional imbalances. Unemployment rate in Germany is 5%, rose to 10, 5% in France, climbed to 12,5% in Italy, while in Spain and Greece almost reached a record high of 28%. Apart from implementing structural reforms at national level it is necessary to develop mutual tools for strengthening the cohesion. Initial target is the creation of the banking union which is essential in order to overcome the fragmentation of the financial market and break the link between sovereigns and banks, while ensuring a common level of protection for the depositors across south and north Europe as well as equal treatment in terms of access of investors and enterprises to liquidity. Most important, though, EU must adapt new tools for growth and investments in SMEs and infrastructure, combat obstacles and barriers within the single market, boost innovation and competitiveness. In 2013 EU worked for laying sound foundations for fiscal stability and in 2014 EU will have to work for growth, development and cohesion. The Greek presidency of the Council of E.U. defined as priority the finalisation of these pending issues while it aims to boost growth and employment based on the exploitation of E.U. funding and strategic advantages such as the maritime sector. E.U. has also to define its geopolitical inter- ests and priorities with the aim of protecting its achievements and values and broadening its influence on promoting peace, security and global stability. At the moment, E.U. seems reluctant to exercise its geopolitical influence, not only at its north east borders as the case of Ukraine demonstrated, but also at its south borders. The evolution of the ‘Arab Spring’, the crisis in Syria that turns into tragedy and the unresolved Israeli-Palestinian problem create conditions for instability in the broader region. E.U. didn’t seem to have the capacity to anticipate, intervene and deal with these challenges. Different priorities between economically powerful Germany exhibiting an introverted attitude, France with economic weaknesses playing a global role, Great Britain being military powerful but politically anti European, are still evident. The recent fruitless discussions in the European Council for the common tools towards strengthening security and defence after the commitment of France for combating terrorism in Africa, is a sign of weakness of Europe as an international player. 2014 will also be the year of European citizens. In the following European elections taking place on May, citizens will have the chance to elect their representatives in the European Parliament by choosing political parties and candidates. Thus they will have the responsibility through their vote to contribute to the composition of a Parliament that will define the route of the E.U. within the midterm future. A deeper and more efficient Europe that we all seek for depends on the commitments of the political parties and the M.E.P.s representing them. The populism and the introversion that rise within E.U. are not aligned with the process of European integration and are definitely not serving the interests of EU citizens. 2014 is the year of major decisions and orientations for the governments and the citizens.
  • 34. OUR WORLD IN 2014 NEWEUROPE www.neweurope.eu 34 JANUARY 2014 EUROPEAN PERSPECTIVE Mass surveillance is a danger for democracy By Christian Engstrom Member of The Greens European Free Alliance Group in the European Parliament (Sweden) The cloak of legal secrecy that surrounds this activity is such that no company dares come out openly and discuss its relations with the secret services Belgium- Brussels dward Snowden’s revelations about the global mass surveillance apparatus operated by the United States has shocked us all. Thanks to the secret US documents leaked by Snowden, we are now beginning to see both the enormous scale of the mass surveillance, and the level of complicity of our own European governments and security agencies. Snowden’s motive for leaking the documents was “to inform the public as to that which is done in their name and that which is done against them.” So far, he has been very successful in what he set out to achieve. The revelations have sparked a global wave of anger and finally a debate of blanket mass surveillance, came to everybody’s attention. It has become apparent that mass surveillance “just because you can” has become the norm. But not even the staunchest defenders can really point at all this mass surveillance having had any concrete positive results in averting terrorist plots or fighting serious crime. Throughout the autumn, the European Parliament has held a number of hearings to learn more about the mass surveillance. We have learned that the NSA and its counterparts work closely with Internet service providers and telecom companies to amass enormous quantities of data on us. Some of it is done through the front door, formal legal requests. Some of it is done “upstream” of tech companies and phone companies, that means they intercept signals in transit. The spying agencies have attached probes to transatlantic E I’ve just picked up a fault in the AE35 unit. It’s going to go 100% failure in 72 hours.  cables, enabling them to vacuum up data on millions of users on both sides of the Atlantic. If all this mass surveillance had really resulted in numerous terrorist plots foiled, we would have heard about it. After all, preparing to commit a terrorist attack is a serious crime in itself. If the blanket mass surveillance was effective in combating a real threat, we would expect regular reports about arrests followed by well-proven convictions in court. But according to former US congressman James Sensenbrenner, who testified in the European Parliament hearings, there have been exactly zero convictions for terrorist crimes in the US as a result of the mass surveillance. There are no known cases in Europe either. This is a fact to bear in mind in the debate over mass surveillance, government secrecy, and the balance between national security and information privacy. As Snowden’s revelations proceeded, it became apparent how reliant the security services are on the commercial services we all use for help, official and unofficial alike. On both sides of the Atlantic, the cloak of legal secrecy that surrounds this activity is such that no company dares come out openly and discuss its relations with the secret services. It is illegal for it to do so. For their part, Western governments are terrified that commercial companies will “run for the hills” if consumers learn quite how accommodating they have been with their data. Without some sort of wider debate now, it is difficult to see what would restrict the intelligence business from asking for more. This overall issue matters, because as technology develops, the police and intelligence agencies (and others) will always want more, and bigger, haystacks—and the ability to keep them longer. We have also learned about how the agencies have spent vast sums of money on subverting the integrity of the Internet itself. If you’re worried about your bank details or medical records sitting online, you’re probably right to be. The backdoors that the NSA has installed all over the internet pose a threat to us all. They expose us to risks not only from the NSA itself, but also to any other party that may get access to the backdoors by coercion, bribery or by other means. To have our entire communications infrastructure rigged for mass surveillance does not increase our security. Instead, it puts our democratic society at risk. But now, at long last, there may be a growing sense amongst decision makers that civil AFP PHOTO / FABRICE COFFRINI liberties, whether on-line or off-line, should not be compromised in the name of antiterrorism. Let one thing be clear, crime – any crime – should be fought. The police should continue to have the right to targeted surveillance according to court orders, as they always have had. We also need capable intelligence agencies, who act within the law. Liberal democracies do have determined and resourceful enemies. But when the “good side” behave worse than the “bad side”; society and human decency is lost forever and we stand to loose our humanity. We need to act to counter the depressing state of affairs where governments spy on everyone, friend and foe alike. We need to regain the civil liberties that were lost in a cloud of debris from those horrible events on 9/11, while at the same time working towards a world where citizens are protected and our privacy secure. QUOTE OF THE YEAR The concept of national security does not mean that ‘anything goes.’ States Viviane Reding do not enjoy an unlimited right of secret surveillance
  • 35. OUR WORLD IN 2014 NEWEUROPE www.neweurope.eu EUROPEAN PERSPECTIVE JANUARY 2014 A memorial chapel dedicated to Gavrilo Princip and his accomplices who took part in the assassination of the Archduke of Austria and his wife in 1914.  35 AFP PHOTO / ELVIS BARUKCIC The case for a new EU approach in Bosnia and Herzegovina By Davor Ivo Stier Member of the European People’s Party Group in the European Parliament (Croatia) I Belgium- Brussels n 2013 we said farewell to the last US tank deployed in Europe. Just in time to mark in 2014 the hundredth anniversary of Archduke Ferdinand’s assassination in Sarajevo, the event which prompted the Great War and subsequently the first US military intervention in our continent. Now, a century after WWI, Washington is confident enough to reduce its European deployments and refocus on Asia, expecting from Europe to provide more itself for its own security and defence. US shift of attention and resources to the Pacific is only logical after the end of the Cold War and after a thorough reassessment of threats in the emerging multipolar world. This could have been done earlier, but Europe’s internal divisions and ultimate inability to stop Slobodan Milošević’s campaign of ethnic cleansing, forced the Clinton Administration to have a military intervention in Europe once again. Over time, the European Union drew some lessons from its past foreign and security policy failures. Croatia’s EU accession in July 2013 and Catherine Ashton’s success in brokering a deal between Serbia and Kosovo proved Europe to be more assertive and effective in se- This country still remains the biggest challenge to regional stability, as well as to the EU’s capacity to project peace, stability and prosperity throughout the entire continent curing its southeast corner this time. However, the EU still seems to be clueless in the case of Bosnia and Herzegovina. This country still remains the biggest challenge to regional stability, as well as to the EU’s capacity to project peace, stability and prosperity throughout the entire continent. A century ago, Gavrilo Princip’s shooting of the heir to the Habsburg throne during his visit to Sarajevo provoked not only a conflict between Belgrade and Vienna, but also activated their respective alliances with Russia and Germany thus precipitating the first all-European fratricidal war. Fortunately, the current internal instabilities in Bosnia and Herzegovina cannot prompt a new continental hecatomb, but nonetheless, EU should not allow itself to remain blind to the deteriorating situation in a country with which it shares more than 1000 kilometres of land border. Waiting for the Americans to step-in as they did in the nineties is not a real- istic expectation. Letting Moscow or Ankara to constantly increase their leverage in the country, in the absence of credible EU leadership, could not be a desirable goal either. The only alternative for the EU is to develop its own, common, new and effective approach to Bosnia and Herzegovina in the upcoming 2014. As the rest of Southeast Europe has either joined the EU, achieved a candidate status or is moving forward to it, Bosnia and Herzegovina at the moment is the only country sliding backwards at increasing speed. Its European path has been internally blocked by the inability of its political leaders to implement the ruling of the European Court on Human Rights in the case Sejdić-Finci, which requires the amendment of the current electoral legislation. However, behind that political disagreement lays a far deeper reason for B&H problems. While Dayton has been instrumental in stopping the war, its internal partition of the country in two entities has failed to address the unresolved national issues among the three constituent peoples; Bosniaks, Serbs and Croats. The lack of common purpose is palpable in almost any debate and it is evident that under the current structure B&H cannot undergo the reforms needed for EU accession. Even the 2013 population census turned into a campaign of positioning among the three constituent peoples for an eventual new constitutional arrangement. In the meantime, two conflicting forces continue to bring the country further down. On one side the centrifugal and separatist forces see the country as a transitional experiment and expect B&H to fail apart. On the other, the centralist forces have already managed to turn one of the entities, the initially Bosniak-Croat Federation, into a Bosniak controlled entity and dream of doing the same with the entire country eventually. Both sides are less interested in the European future of the country than in getting foreign support for their narrow goals. In such a situation, Russia and Turkey have significantly increased their political and economic influence in Bosnia and Herzegovina over the last years. In this context, a new EU approach should be built upon the honest attempt carried out by Enlargement Commissioner Stefan Fule, who brought on October 1st B&H political leaders closer to a consensus on new electoral legislation, as a first step for the much needed transition from the Dayton structure to the European future of Bosnia and Herzegovina. Without a new strategy endorsed by the Council and the full support and coordination of Member States, Fule lacked the instruments to move the process further. Yet, it is worth continuing the quest and develop now a new and common EU approach aimed at replacing the current conflicting forces of separatism and centralism by a federal and European concept of Bosnia and Herzegovina, truly embracing all three peoples, reinvigorating all its citizens and enabling an EU perspective for the country. In doing so, the EU will be wise to take into account the insights and support of nonEU powers, in particular of our US allies. However, a hundred years after WWI started in Sarajevo, the EU should definitely be the one to reclaim leadership, present its own vision and show itself as an effective force for peace and prosperity.
  • 36. OUR WORLD IN 2014 NEWEUROPE www.neweurope.eu 36 JANUARY 2014 By Jorgo Chatzimarkakis Member of Alliance of Liberal Democrats for Europe Group of the European Parliament (Germany) EUROPEAN PERSPECTIVE 2014: Building a strong Greece and resetting Europe Europe still has a long way to go with regards to placing citizens at the very heart of European affairs Belgium - Brussels L ooking back at the last few years of back-breaking austerity measures, force-fed failed economic remedies resulting in social turmoil and mass disillusionment, I cannot help but wonder how we got here. I started my first term as a Member of the European Parliament ten years ago with the conviction that the EU was the best situation for all our countries; assuming of course that a united Europe would be united in economic success and crisis, that it would share its achievements but also its difficulties and that the foundation of its strength was its diversity and its united stance. I am not sure that this is the case now. These were catchy phrases and lofty ideas appealing to the better side of human nature. The euro crisis has brought out the other, darker side of mankind; our instinct for survival of the fittest; a jungle mentality we thought we had left behind ages ago. How did we get to a point where fraternity and solidarity were replaced by polarisation and where pure economic interests replaced political decisions? Where the core ‘rich’ member states segregated the ‘poor’ ones in the periphery and used the acronym ‘PIIGs’ to identify Portugal, Ireland, Italy, Greece and Spain? They make a desolation and call it peace – Tacitus.  Where national interests supersede European interests, only to result in further misery and poverty for the crisis-stricken member states? Finally, how did we get to a point where the breakup of the European Union is not merely a sensationalist headline, but a hotly debated topic? At the end of 2013, Europe finds herself in the middle of an existential and social crisis. Cross-country alliances are already forming among nationalist parties with one goal; to bring the European Union down from within, starting with the European Parliament Elections. The potential is great for radical anti Europeans to join this only directly elected insti- PICTURES OF THE YEAR Former Prime Minister and leader of Forza Italia, Silvio Berlusconi gestures on October 2, 2013.  AFP PHOTO / FILIPPO MONTEFORTE tution and to fuel the centrifugal powers in the EU. This is an extremely dangerous scenario for a time when the EU needs more cooperation in central fields, not less. It is therefore high time the moderate, pro-European forces make their voices heard, if the European project is to survive. This hope has marked the vision of a citizens’ movement I have helped establish in Greece that will take part in the European elections. The suffering of Greece’s citizens and the worsening turn that European affairs have taken are the reasons I am seeking a third term in the European Parliament, this time representing Greece. Οver the last few years, I have been continuously opposed to the austerity measures that have brought the country to its knees. Instead, I have been advocating for more support of smart, sustainable and inclusive growth and for concrete measures to tackle youth unemployment before it becomes too late. What we will fight for is a democratic, incorrupt, socially just Greece in a European Union that places all member states on an equal footing. At the same time, we want to show Greeks that change can come from within Europe, to the benefit of everyone. We also want to bring back the concept of the ancient Greek ‘Polis’, where citizens were both consulted and actively involved in the political decisions which affected them. Greek politics are characterised by dogmatism, but the time has finally come to be pragmatic. Concrete solutions are needed to the problems faced by the country at every level. EPA/ORESTIS PANAGIOTOU And a system which builds on the concept of direct democracy, in which citizens can engage every day, will allow the appropriate solutions and measures to come to fruition. Though 2013 was designated as the European Year of the Citizen, Europe still has a long way to go with regards to placing citizens at the very heart of European affairs. We want the decisions taken to be based on European, not national interest; We want to put in place a system that not only deals with youth unemployment but actively provides its young with ‘life chances’ and opportunities to prosper and therefore with hope and optimism for the future. I hope this vision serves as a blueprint for pro-active, citizen-centric, pro-European actions in other member states; a real citizens’ alliance for a new vision of Europe. Only a United Europe, making steps towards a federal union can move forward. ‘Federalism’ is a word that causes controversy; ‘federation’ may be more appropriate to describe my vision of a unification of autonomous but solidary entities, pushing for more integration rather than disintegration. Even stronger United in Diversity, as the motto goes. As a new year starts, so may we start fresh with a renewed vision and conviction of what a united Europe (or even United States of Europe) should be and may we all work towards helping the our European Union succeed in this. This is my pledge for a third term in the European Parliament, working for the European Union, and my native Greece.
  • 37. OUR WORLD IN 2014 NEWEUROPE www.neweurope.eu EUROPEAN PERSPECTIVE By Saïd El Khadraoui Member of the Group of the Progressive Alliance of Socialists and Democrats in the European Parliament (Belgium) Today a new pact, this time not on the national level but on the European level, should create a new ambitious framework which lays down the European social model 2.0 for the coming decennia I Belgium - Brussels can see three major challenges for which we must find adequate solutions to ensure that by 2050 Europe becomes the successful, sustainable economy, as well as the social community which we strive for. The democratic legitimacy of the European project must be strengthened, the conversion into a low-carbon and sustainable economy must be completed and we must finally pursue the social Europe for which we all long. We live in turbulent times. People are stirring, not only in Europe but also in the rest of the world. If the EU wants to continue to have any say in how the important challenges of the future are handled (climate, migration, the economic model in which trading takes place, war and peace), we will have to speak with one voice. The interrelations with the rest of the world became painfully obvious during the implosion of the financial and banking system, and because of which a number of construction faults in the European house have surfaced. The individual states, therefore the taxpayers, have had to contribute significantly in order to keep the banking system from sinking. In a peculiar way the attention in Europe has shifted to the absolute reduction of government deficits by draconian tightening of government budgets. In many cases this also results in the dismantling of public services and social provisions. Crisis also have their benefits. The shocks are of such a magnitude that necessary change becomes possible. This brings me to an interesting paradox which characterises this period. The popularity of Europe and its institutions is in a sharp decline and the mistrust of those in power is visibly growing. At the same time a European banking union is being designed, with stronger regulatory and intervention mechanisms on the European level, agree- JANUARY 2014 37 Making Europe Change Course to Recapture Confidence A ‘No to austerity’ banner pictured in front of the Berlaymont building during a protest march near the European Union headquarters, in Brussels.  BELGA PHOTO OLIVIER VIN ments to automatically exchange fiscal data are entered into, and member states with budgetary problems are placed under the guardianship of the European Commission through tougher supervision of their budgets. In other words, solutions are not longer found on a national level, but increasingly on a European level. I see three main challenges for which we need to find adequate solutions during the upcoming decennia in order to achieve a competitive, sustainable economy and that social society which we as social democrats strive for by 2050: strengthen the democratic legitimacy of the European project, change into a low-carbon sustainable economy and finally achieve the social Europe which we long for. A necessary condition for the creation of a more democratic European space is that the politics become more europeanised and that Europe becomes more politicized. Fundamental differences in opinion must become more visible thanks to stronger European parties and better communication techniques. More transparency must be achieved concerning the points of view adopted by members of government on behalf of their country at European meetings. They should systematically be held accountable in the national parliaments. The second challenge was, until the onset of the crisis, a top priority for Europe: The change into a low-carbon and sustainable economy. In the fields of energy supply, house building and transport a lot still needs to be done. Solutions must include more stringent standards, pricing incentives, smart infrastructure investments and technological innovation. More means are required than have been budgeted in the coming years for ambitious research programmes as well as for the development of truly European transport and energy networks. This brings me to the third main chal- lenge: making Europe more social. This implies a Europe in which the market is an instrument which can help the economy to grow, but which is not an aim in itself. It is therefore necessary to subject the market to rules. The same is valid for budgetary aims. Therefore the quantitative budgetary benchmarks which have become mandatory in recent years must be supplemented with qualitative ones which are equally important. De facto this means that we should not only continue to strive for a balanced budget, but also that we must defend and enforce with just as much vigour the realising of social aims such as the reduction of poverty, the improving of the performance of education or increasing the employment rate, as the reduction of the labour costs, the budget deficits and government debt. It is self-evident that this must be accompanied by European regulations which secure more ambitious minimum standards, for instance in the form of a European minimum wage, and better cooperation between social inspection services. Possibly even more important is the fight against fiscal fraud and tax evasion. The crisis which is currently hitting Europe is of such importance and the challenges are so great that a new social pact imposes itself. After the Second World War Western Europe managed to find a consensus on a national level among the social partners concerning the social and economical model which has led to the social welfare state. Today a new pact, this time not on the national level but on the European level, should create a new ambitious framework which lays down the European social model 2.0 for the coming decennia. In order to be successful and to gain the hearts of the European it is imperative for the European Union to strengthen its democratic legitimacy, make its economy stronger and more sustainable, and to increase its social cohesion. Let us seize this opportunity with both hands and build a better Europe, a better future. PICTURES OF THE YEAR Afghan schoolchildren take lessons in an open classroom at a refugee camp on the outskirts of Jalalabad, Nangarhar province.  AFP PHOTO/Noorullah Shirzada
  • 38. OUR WORLD IN 2014 NEWEUROPE www.neweurope.eu 38 JANUARY 2014 EUROPEAN PERSPECTIVE Europa mutanda. Dinosaur or gazelle? By Tanja Fajon Member of the Group of the Progressive Alliance of Socialists and Democrats in the European Parliament (Slovenia), ViceChairwoman of the Social Democrats of Slovenia (SD) Unfortunately, Europe, for many years, has lacked leaders with vision A man wearing a construction work helmet decorated with European Union flags takes part in an opposition protest at Independence Square in central Kiev on December 17, 2013. AFP PHOTO/GENYA SAVILOV Belgium- Brussels R ecently in my homeland of Slovenia, a 12-year-old drew Europe as a dinosaur. The word dinosaur means “terrible lizard” and, although it is somewhat misleading, it accurately represents the idea of “something” unknown and unfamiliar that was on earth millions of years ago before becoming extinct. Is this how the new generation feels about Europe? This is not too far from the truth. What about the European Union? Is it dying out? Can it be mutated? Theoretically, the dinosaurs could be brought back to life, according to some biochemists. A real-life Jurassic Park, possibly? Many Europeans feel, especially amidst today’s crisis, that the European Project is a project of the political elite. They believe the EU is a project of Brussels, which dictates and imposes the rules, and its bureaucratic administration, and that of EU officials, who misuse public funds for their own personal benefit. While on the other side, the same elite creates millions of unemployed, youth deprived of a vision and causes a social state to fall apart. But Europe is not just about the economy. We tend to forget that European integration started on the ruins of war and poverty. It built the strongest feelings of solidarity and reconciliation. It set up the most modern model of democratic and human ideals. It raised the wellbeing of each and every European citizen to the forefront. Yes, the solutions to the current crisis, which is not only economic and financial but also social and moral, are very complex. The crisis is as complex as the possible solutions, and these solutions can only be found by working together, not in isolation of one or another state. It is true, that the citizens feel too far removed from the decision-making process. Too many decisions in the past have been made by the Member States and EU institutions behind the closed doors. Too many measures to resolve the EU crisis - the recession and high unemployment - have PICTURES OF THE YEAR Chinese models perform in surgical masks due to pollution.  AFP been wrong, too late or not well thought out. We have created the Euro currency, but have failed to set up a control mechanism. However, things are slowly moving in the right direction with the establishment of the Banking Union. But, we need to regain the confidence of Europeans. We need to rebuild trust in the European Project - a project that once brought peace and stability to our continent. But neither is selfevident. Unfortunately, Europe, for many years, has lacked leaders with vision. Instead, we have witnessed the spread of populist and nationalist rhetoric and the rise of the extreme right, which is a consequence of the present crisis. Can we truly imagine our return to a Europe of democratic deficit and deep divisions, and a Europe of borders, isolation and disrespect of human values? Or, even worse, a Europe of hate mongering, hate speeches, intolerance, xenophobia and homophobia? We are not living in a perfect Union, but we do have and follow certain common values and norms. There are countries in our immediate neighbourhood that still dream of a European future. We have delivered promises to Western Balkan nations that they will become a part of our EU. The abolishment of visas for the citizens of five countries with Kosovo still waiting in the wings has been the most tangible achievement so far. The EU has also strengthened people’s contacts in this region, once divided by bloody wars. This is why we have to keep the enlargement process high on the EU agenda - it will make Europe stronger. We are still the richest continent in the world, but the distribution of wealth is more and more unequal. This is very worrying. If we want to make EU credible, we have to fight injustice, poverty and unemployment. We have to ensure that our legal system is efficient, transparent and most of all independent. We are losing millions of Euros through well-organised criminal networks, individuals, secret bank accounts and tax oases. We are losing a whopping 120bn from corruption alone each year. This is as much as the EU’s annual budget. The coming year will be crucial for the future of Europe. The European elections will decide which way Europe will go. We Europeans need to discuss Europe’s future and priorities in this world of globalisation. Not a single country can fight the challenges of the 21st century on its own today. Other economies are taking the lead, passing us left and right, re-shifting the balance of the world powers from Europe to the Middle East and Asia. We have a choice. Europe is changing. Do we want a Jurassic Park, the old Europe, which is in the eyes of too many Europeans, slowly dying out? Or do we want to see a new different Europe, a gazelle, a swift animal, which is able to run at a fast speed and often symbolises the largest and most famous and successful companies and businesses? The European Union is the world’s best project as regards integration, solidarity, peace, stability and prosperity. But we have to inject new life into these strong values. It is essential that we bring young people closer to Europe because they are the future. They need a vision. They need faith in democracy and trust in the rule of law. They need a model of respect for humanity and human dignity. They need opportunities, education and jobs. Srečko Kosovel, a post–WWI Slovene poet, once wrote: “Our ideal is a European human being that is different for its many faces, but only one in its vision: to love all people and in this love, to work”.
  • 39. OUR WORLD IN 2014 NEWEUROPE www.neweurope.eu EUROPEAN PERSPECTIVE JANUARY 2014 39 It’s time to beat dementia Britain’s Prime Minister David Cameron speaks at the G8 Dementia Summit in central London on December 11, 2013. By Marina Yannakoudakis Member of the European Conservatives and Reformists Group in the European Parliament (United Kingdom) People across Europe are saying we want less Europe I Belgium- Brussels believe 2014 will be the year the European Union will be given a wakeup call by its citizens. People across Europe are saying we want less Europe. I believe the message is not anti-Europe but more pro-sovereignty - and in 2014 we would be wise to remember this. We need to focus on areas where we can share best practice, work within the context of respect for our very different cultures, have more flexibility and less forced bureaucracy. As a member of both the Environment, Public Health & Food Safety committee (ENVI) and the Women’s Rights & Gender Equality committee (FEMM) in the European Parliament, I have covered a wide spectrum over the past parliamentary term. From the tobacco directive to compulsory quotas for women, from sex education reform to the maternity leave directive. Some are areas we need to work together in, if only for practical purposes, such as counterfeit medicines and child abuse- both of which have no borders. Other issues can be markedly irrelevant though and should not require legislation, such as women in climate change… does the weather not affect men too? We should give no credence to ideas like this. Going into 2014, I will continue to fight for the people of my constituency of London and stay true to my core principle that the EU must respect member state sovereignty. I remain resolute in my commitment to continue cutting EU red tape and bureaucracy. The EU is at its most effective when it provides a platform for member state governments to come together, debate and resolve the most pressing problems facing citizens across the continent. There is no doubt that there are many challenges to come in 2014, many areas we can take positive action in. When I look at key areas in my portfolio in 2014 I will be looking towards my work in health. I will busy myself by contributing to the fight against dementia and FGM (female genital mutilation). 2014 must be the year we begin to beat dementia. We must turn the tide with better research and improved treatment. Someone is diagnosed every four seconds in the world and it is thought that by 2050 around 135 million people will be diagnosed with the disease. Sufferers can experience a decade of brain cell degeneration before any symptoms ap- pear, making it a silent and creeping death for many. Tackling the disease is thought to cost the world economy over £370 billion a year, with costs due to rise sharply over the next 40 years as the world population continues to age. Leading health experts emphasise that nearly half of cases could be attributable to known risk factors, by taking action immediately on such factors it is generally thought that countries could prevent up to one-fifth of predicted new cases by 2025. In the Women’s Equality committee I plan to run an EU-wide campaign to stop FGM. The World Health Organisation estimates that around 140 million women and girls are currently living with the consequences of FGM. 66,000 girls in the UK alone have undergone this abhorrent practice, with an estimated further 30,000 at risk. FGM is carried out predominantly on young girls, ranging from infancy to teenage life, putting their health in danger and causing excruciating pain. It violates the rights of women and girls and must be eradicated. Through my work on the FEMM committee I have sought to highlight this appalling problem. But in most countries, prosecution rates remain either very low or non-existent. I have highlighted just two challenges facing us, but I am confident that we can make this year count by beating both dementia and FGM. Having said this there will also be challenges in other areas of health and equality- and there will be opportunities to champion practical solutions in the next term. In all cases, working with a respect for member sovereignty, realizing that sometimes less means more and that learning from each other is more effective than bossing each other around will give the EU some much-needed medicine. AFP PHOTO/POOL/ Stefan Rousseau QUOTE OF THE YEAR Laurie Anderson His hands were doing the waterflowing 21-form of tai chi. His eyes were wide open. I was holding in my arms the person I loved the most in the world, and talking to him as he died. His heart stopped. He wasn’t afraid. -Laurie Anderson describes Lou Reed’s final moments
  • 40. OUR WORLD IN 2014 NEWEUROPE www.neweurope.eu 40 JANUARY 2014 EUROPEAN PERSPECTIVE Minimum wage required in all EU countries Eirini Ioannou, a Greek-Cypriot citizen, walks home carrying bags containing food items distributed to the poor in Nicosia, Cyprus, on December 16, 2013. 6% of the population now depend on food banks. AFP PHOTO/YIANNIS KOURTOGLOU By Ria Oomen-Ruijten Member of the European People’s Party Group in the European Parliament (Netherlands) belgium-brussels T wo jobs, working 60 hours a week and you are still not able to make ends meet with the money you earn. Such a scenario is hard to imagine for me, because since 1968, every Dutch citizen is entitled to the minimum wage. But within the European Union, there are still seven countries which do not have the minimum wage, including economic powerhouses like Germany and Italy. The result is that many European employees get paid a pittance. This is incomprehensible and most of all, unacceptable. In Germany, the wages in some sectors are very tight. Some people earn 3 to 4 Euros an hour from which they can barely live in this neighbouring country. Germany is therefore more attractive for foreign investors than France for example. However, Germany does have a guaranteed minimum income. In 2005, following recommendations of the Hartz Committee, major reforms in the German labour market were made. The proposals of this Hartz IV Committee led to an equalisation of unemployment and social assistance. The financial assistance is retrenched to encourage unemployed people to find a job. After Germany, more EU countries should introduce a minimum income, the amount depending on the purchasing power Many women, retired and unemployed who are entitled to financial assistance have socalled ‘mini-jobs’ which provide few social security rights. As a result, thousands of workers with full-time jobs still have to get help from social services. Low wages are replenished to the guaranteed minimum income supplemented by public money. And this leads to unfair competition which makes mainly entrepreneurs at the borders suffer. Fortunately, an agreement has been reached on the introduction of a statutory minimum wage during the negotiations on the establishment of the new German government. This minimum wage is set at €8.50 starting on January 1 2015. A good thing. However, the battle is not yet over as Italy, Austria, Denmark, Sweden, Finland and Cyprus still have no statutory minimum wage. There too, people can hardly survive on a pittance. European minimum wage? French President François Hollande recently argued to set the same minimum wage level across Europe. I think his idea is not feasible at this point, due to the economic differences between Member States. The differences only get bigger with the crisis. The Netherlands and France, for example, use an hourly rate of more than nine Euros, while employees in Romania have to do with less than one Euro. What we can do and should have is a European minimum wage where each Member State determines the amount regarding its economic circumstances. This is important for the right to financial stability (guaranteed minimum income) for all employees, but also in line with European legislation and the Directive on the Posting of Workers and the Services Directive. This legislation determines that workers who are posted in another EU country should receive the minimum statutory wage of the host country. Social dumping and unfair competition is prevented in this way. Mobile workers qualify for social assistance, such as a guaranteed minimum income, only under very specific circumstances. In short, it is time to introduce a European minimum wage of which the amount is determined by the Member States themselves. This is good for the employees and also strengthens competitiveness on the internal market. QUOTE OF THE YEAR Leave the office Christine Lagarde at 5.30, take the difference and Wednesday deliver. afternoon off, - Christine Lagarde offers don’t fill in your advice to women in timesheet… Dare business
  • 41. OUR WORLD IN 2014 NEWEUROPE www.neweurope.eu EUROPEAN PERSPECTIVE JANUARY 2014 41 For a strong EU competition policy By Ramon Tremosa i Balcells Member of the Group of the Progressive Alliance of Socialists and Democrats in the European Parliament (Spain) The Directorate General for Competition should be more active in the transport sector and the challenges and problems of competition in the rail sector as well as in the aviation sector Belgium - Brussels he policy of competition is undoubtedly one of the most important areas within the portfolio of the European Commission. The Directorate General for Competition has the power to act against cartels and monopolies that harm the interests of European consumers and SMEs. Therefore, I am of the view that more human and budgetary resources should be allocated to the Directorate General for Competition to ensure that it can defend European interests in this area efficiently and quickly. Today, 20 years after the single market was born, still many consumers are gravely affected by anti-competitive practices in many economic sectors. Sometimes, these practices have their roots in the private sector, as it is the case for cartels, but it’s widely common that the public sector also tends to be against the opening up of competition in many important economic sectors as rail, airports, telecoms or electricity. Moreover, too many times, the public sector doesn’t provide T Regent Street in London is a leading commercial centre in Europe. EU needs more work on competition policy to improve business and growth.  AFP PHOTO / LEON NEAL with fully independent regulators that can ensure that markets keep functioning properly, in a fair and non-discriminatory way. The same situation happens with competition authorities. Another matter of great importance is the rules and practices regarding state aid. Particularly, state aid to banks has for long been controversial in some political circles. It’s understandable, as at the same time that in many parts of Europe social services have to be cut in order to regain fiscal sustainability, banks receive billions in public money. We should make sure that banks are fully accountable regarding the way they use this public money. I am of the view that Parliament should have the power of co-decision especially in regard to state aid. In the case of state aid to banks, I think the Commission should take a more active role in cases like Bankia and rapid clearance of the industrial portfolio of the bank, since keep injecting public money has a relevant opportunity cost. Europe should ensure that the bill for the taxpayer is as small as possible. In my report, I PICTURES OF THE YEAR Two Polish nuns look at people bathing as hundreds of thousands of young Catholic pilgrims attending World Youth Day (WYD) start gathering at Copacabana beach in Rio de Janeiro for a prayer vigil with Pope Francis, on July 27, 2013.  AFP PHOTO / YASUYOSHI CHIBA propose to include an obligation for banks to sell their stakes in other companies before receiving state aid. Another sector of fundamental importance for me is the transport sector. It is urgent to complete the implementation of the Single European Railway Area, and to ensure that the single market in the rail passenger and freight sector is not harmed by an incorrect or incomplete transposition of Community Law by Member States. In the field of aviation, I find that bilateral agreements between a Member State and a third country that force the consumer to use a determined airline or airport should be revised as soon as possible to eliminate such provisions that are in breach of fair competition. I therefore think it is important that the Directorate General for Competition should be more active in the transport sector and the challenges and problems of competition in the rail sector as well as in the aviation sector. In some Member States such as Spain for example there is virtually no competition in the railway sector! I would also like to remark my concern over the situation of credit to SMEs in Europe. As the crisis deepens, credit to the real economy continues to fall and to be more and more expensive. Not because of the financial situation of the SMEs, but because of their location inside the Eurozone. This situation has to be tackled as the transmission mechanism of monetary policy is de facto broken. Another distortion is created by the fact that some banks receiving State aid use this money to buy more sovereign debt when at the same time they reduce the credit to SMEs and households. Finally, in my report I also address some concerns on the energy and Internet sectors, in particular the Google antitrust case. These are markets where the preservation of fair competition is fundamental if we, as Europeans, want to create an innovative, competitive and sustainable economy. QUOTE OF THE YEAR John Kerry Instead of being tucked safely in their beds at home, we saw rows of children lying side by side, sprawled on a hospital floor, all of them dead from Assad’s gas, and surrounded by parents and grandparents who had suffered the same fate. - U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry, condemning chemical weapons in Syria
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  • 43. OUR WORLD IN 2014 NEWEUROPE www.neweurope.eu 44 JANUARY 2014 EUROPEAN PERSPECTIVE A elderly woman ,93, has a beauty treatment done by Dutch visagist Mari van der Ven. The Beauty Plus Bus is a new initiative of the Dutch National Elderly foundation (Nationaal Ouderenfonds) of a team travelling along caring homes to give free beauty treatments to older people.  EPA/ MARCEL ANTONISSE Don’t limit solidarity, innovate it! Ambient Assisted Living Programme for the elderly promotes solidarity in society By Lambert van Nistelrooij Member of the European People’s Party Group in the European Parliament (Netherlands) S belgium-brussels olidarity: a word that has been increasingly used lately but which is found less and less in our society. Everyone is suffering from the crisis and calls for individual interests are becoming louder. Solidarity is easy when there is plenty of food, money or freedom to express your opinion. Real solidarity is expressed only when it means giving up something to help others. Our society is built on solidarity. Our tax system is founded on the idea that the strongest shoulders should carry the heaviest burden. Unfortunately, the idea of ‘together we are a society’ has, in recent years, transformed into ‘society begins with me’. This is exactly where the sore point is: we have built a society based on the principle of solidarity, but in times of crisis, solidarity is under pressure. I think that we should cherish solidarity in society, both for the elderly and the young. Even in the prosperous 90s, the media called for more solidarity and warned about the gap between the young and the old. It seems like we haven’t moved on much since then. Some suggest reducing the demand for Unfortunately, the idea of ‘together we are a society’ has, in recent years, transformed into ‘society begins with me’ solidarity. A collective retirement programme? Not necessary if everyone has their own retirement plan. Care for each other? Not required if everyone makes their own contribution and takes care of their own welfare. This individualistic thinking about the future (‘what’s in it for me?’) limits solidarity and doesn’t expand it. It leads to abolishing compulsory solidarity because it doesn’t fit in the worlds of the young and the elderly. But isn’t it better to still try to manage things together, now that we have entered a period of ageing? Calls for more solidarity without a role for the government, or the contrary (like the attempts to level incomes by the Dutch Liberal-Social Democratic Govern- ment Rutte II), ensures that solidarity will suffer more and more. I choose to create the freedom for people to live in solidarity with each other. We can find this freedom thanks to innovation, just like we made energy supply more sustainable with new techniques. This is especially necessary now that the European population is getting older. For every two Europeans who retire until 2040, only one young person is available to fill their place. Europe offers the ‘Ambient Assisted Living’ (AAL) Programme to develop care and participation by the elderly in our society. This programme relieves the pressure on healthcare and society and at the same time supports the lives of the elderly. The AAL Programme is proving to be a success. €600m was available for this programme between 2008 and 2013. For the period 2014-2020, around €700m will be available through this fund. Thanks to innovation, we can look at old problems in a new way in order to bolster solidarity. This is just one example of how we can look to the future. Through innovation, we address issues of demographic change and crisis on a regional, national and European level so that the elderly and young people can continue to live in solidarity and enjoy a better future together. PICTURES OF THE YEAR A Balinese surfer dressed in a Santa Claus outfit trains orphan children before they surf on Kuta beach near Denpasar on Indonesia’s tourist island of Bali on December 21, 2013.  AFP PHOTO / SONNY TUMBELAKA
  • 44. OUR WORLD IN 2014 NEWEUROPE www.neweurope.eu EUROPEAN PERSPECTIVE JANUARY 2014 While it has become easier for citizens to file taxes some of the world’s biggest companies are accused of not paying their share.  45 BELGA PHOTO SISKA GREMMELPREZ Fighting tax avoidance a must for a social Europe By Satu Hassi Member of The Greens European Free Alliance Group in the European Parliament (Finland) I Belgium - Brussels t is estimated that the lost tax revenues due to tax avoidance for EU member states amount to approximately 1,000 billion euros per year. This corresponds to nearly the total expenditure on health care in the EU, or more than the combined annual budget deficit of all EU member states during the economic recession. When considering financing public services, the EU becomes a double-edged sword. Internal markets boost the economic activity while simultaneously making tax avoidance easier. State budget deficits and cuts in public services are here to stay unless we manage to restrict tax avoidance. A recent OECD report states that Cyprus, Luxembourg and Switzerland are tax havens comparable to the well-known small islands. Many other countries, too, play their part. For instance, the Finnish-Swedish paper company Stora Enso imports pulp from its Brazilian factories to Finland. However, the pulp is declared as arrived in EU in the Netherlands due to the Taxes for each activity should be paid to that country where the activity takes place lower Dutch import tax, which is only 1.5 %. All EU member states face pressure of cutting company taxes in order to prevent all corporate taxes from fleeing abroad. A recent corporate tax reduction in Sweden got Finland to follow suit. According to OECD big multinational firms pay on average 5% taxes of their revenues, while SMEs on the average pay 30%. Tax avoidance by multinational companies is often in practice so-called aggressive tax planning. A couple of weeks ago the Commission finally published its proposal for closing some of the loopholes that enable the practise. Companies ARE misusing the rules aim at preventing double taxation. This practise results in “double non-taxation”, taxes being levied nowhere. As an example, hybrid loans are in the source country considered as deductible debt payment, whereas in the receiving country they are considered as franked dividend on own capital. Tax is not levied in either country. The Commission proposes closing this loophole. In October 2013, Finnwatch published a report stating that Attendo, the biggest private healthcare concern in Finland and Scandinavia, has used hybrid loans for tax minimisation purposes. As if this were not enough, the company is owned by a fund registered in the Jersey Islands where the legislation enables concealing all financial transfers. Along with financial arrangements, another problem is the lack of transparency. Another case revealed by Finnwatch is the matter of company Outotec operating e.g. in Zambia, Ghana and South-Africa. Information on transactions in these countries is not available. According to NGOs and officials, it is impossible to shed light on the company’s internal money flows and the (un)lawfulness of its arrangements. Rules for reporting the activities and tax payments country by country are lacking. It is in the best interest of an individual tax payer that better rules to prevent tax avoidance are quickly put in place in the EU as well as on the global level. Taxes for each activity should be paid to that country where the activity takes place. Deliberate tax minimisation has to be made illegal. PICTURES OF THE YEAR Actor Gerard Depardieu fights Hollande’s socialist tax increases by fleeing to Russia.  AFP PHOTO / CAROLINE LARSON
  • 45. OUR WORLD IN 2014 NEWEUROPE www.neweurope.eu 46 JANUARY 2014 By David Martin Member of the Group of the Progressive Alliance of Socialists and Democrats in the European Parliament (United Kingdom) EUROPEAN PERSPECTIVE Blacklisting Belgium - Brussels A ccording to the Oxford Dictionary a blacklist is ‘...a list of people or groups regarded as unacceptable or untrustworthy and often marked down for punishment or exclusion.’ And on Wikipedia: ‘...a blacklist (or black list) is a list or register of entities who, for one reason or another, are being denied a particular privilege, service, mobility, access or recognition.’ As a verb to blacklist can mean to deny someone work in a particular field, or to ostracize from a certain social circle – as a concept it runs totally counter to the ethos of the European Union (EU). Thanks to the Treaty of Rome (1957) being members of the European Union (EU) allows, nay gives us the right, to access the four freedoms of movement: of goods, capital, services and workers and citizens. In essence we, as EU citizens and workers, can live, travel and work anywhere in the European Union’s 28 Member States. As far as the EU Treaties are concerned we are all equal in these rights. Blacklisting is total anathema to civilised society - or the principles on which the EU was founded on. That is why I am very pleased that the fight to totally outlaw this practice has been taken up in Brussels and Strasbourg. According to recently released figures from the General Municipal and Boilermakers Union (GMB), the union for construction workers, 528 workers in Scotland are now known to have been blackilsted: and MEP’s and the GMB Union now know exactly where in Scotland this blacklisting has taken place. People have been deprived of an honest living through these illegal tactics which have blighted their families’ lives - and not a single company has yet been punished nor have any of them paid compensation! The blacklist first came to light when, in 2009, the Information Commissioners Office Trade unionists protesting against being blacklisted.  (ICO) seized a Consulting Association database of 3,213 construction workers which was used by 44 companies to vet new recruits and keep out of employment trade union and health and safety activists. The ICO never contacted anyone on the list to let them know they were blacklisted. This is against natural justice, if not an infringement of human rights. I know this from my work on the Human Rights sub-Committeee in Brussels. The right to work is one of our basic human rights. I dedicated myself to supporting measures at the European level to try and outlaw this petty and mean employment practice. PICTURES OF THE YEAR Rescuers work at night on the site of a train accident on July 12, 2013 at the railway station of Bretigny-sur-Orge, near Paris.  AFP PHOTO / LIONEL BONAVENTURE U Empower U People have been deprived of an honest living through these illegal tactics Last year I and my colleagues in Brussels gave a cautious welcome to a confirmation from the European Commission that, as part of its upcoming review of health & safety legislation, it would ensure that EU law is being followed and that workers’ health and safety reps are not being put at a disadvantage by employers. Labour MEPs demanded a clearer commitment on the issue of blacklisting of workers and called for a positive statement that the European Commission that would specifically address the issue of blacklisting. Unfortunately it has come to light at the European level that this practice, where workers are refused employment by employers across a whole sector of industry, still exists in Scotland, the United Kingdom and the European Union. However, if we can get legislation enforced at the EU level it will apply at all other levels and throughout the 28 Member States – not a mean achievement! The EU Commissioner for Employment, László Andor, admitted the Commission is aware that some employers continue to blacklist workers. But thanks to our pressure - by 2015 - the European Commission must carry out a review of the implementation of EU health and safety legislation across Member States. The Commission has been asked to confirm that this review will look at blacklisting of workers’ health and safety reps - a practice which is illegal under EU law. The Commissioner confirmed that if the review does find that blacklisting remains a problem, then it will ensure that national governments apply ‘dissuasive, effective and proportionate penalties’ to infringers. There remains considerable concern that more work remains to be done to gain a cast iron commitment from the European Commission that they will do all in their power to outlaw entirely – and throughout the EU - the blacklisting of workers whose only crime has been to defend the safety of their colleagues in the workplace.
  • 46. OUR WORLD IN 2014 NEWEUROPE www.neweurope.eu EUROPEAN PERSPECTIVE JANUARY 2014 47 The fear of “L” By Kaushik Basu Senior Vice President and Chief Economist, World Bank USA - WASHINGTON, DC or the last few years, economists have been running through the alphabet to describe the shape of the long-awaited recovery – starting with an optimistic V, proceeding to a more downbeat U, and ending up at a despairing W. But now a deeper anxiety is beginning to stalk the profession: the fear of what I call an “L-shaped” recovery. Viewed in the light of the past five dismal years, 2013 was not bad for the advanced economies. The eurozone technically emerged from recession, the unemployment rate in the United States was lower than in previous years, and Japan began to stir after a long slumber and the negative shock of the earthquake and tsunami in 2011. But if we look beneath the surface, it becomes evident that we are still hovering on the edge of a precipice. In the third quarter of this year, GDP contracted, on a year-on-year basis, not just in well-known cases like Greece and Portugal, but also in Italy, Spain, the Netherlands, and the Czech Republic. And GDP in some countries, like France and Sweden, grew at rates lower than population growth, implying that per capita income declined. Moreover, labor-market conditions deteriorated toward the end of the year. The number of unemployed in Germany grew for four consecutive months up to November. Among the industrialized countries, the US is the bright spot. But, even there, while the unemployment rate has dropped during the year, and now stands at 7%, long-term joblessness is at an unusually high 36% of total unemployment, threatening to erode the skills base and make recovery that much more difficult. Japan’s revival, meanwhile, was caused F by a much-needed liquidity injection. But Japan’s upturn will be short-lived unless Prime Minister Shinzo Abe’s government follows through on its promise of deeper structural reforms. Given these developments, a few commentators have written recently about the possibility of a prolonged slowdown in industrialized countries. This is not a popular view, with others criticizing its advocates for stoking pessimism. But the pessimists cannot be dismissed out of hand. The fear of an L-shaped recovery is legitimate. Modern technology has enabled workers in emerging economies to join a global labor market; in the absence of major policy innovation, this is likely to cause a prolonged drag on rich countries. And there are few signs of innovation. A recession is a time when we tend to become cautious and stick to familiar territory, steering clear ofnew projects There is, instead, a crisis of the economics profession, one that mirrors the crisis of the advanced economies. Thanks to technological change and relentless globalization, the character of entire economies has changed dramatically over the last 50 years. This has not been matched by changes in policymakers’ thinking. Why this stasis? One possibility is that the same factors that are making entrepreneurs over-cautious about new ventures are making policymakers prone to conservatism. An engaging paper by the World Bank economists Leora Klapper and Inessa Love shows that one major consequence of the financial PICTURES OF THE YEAR An office of the French state-run employment agency, Pole Emploi.  crisis has been entrepreneurs’ reluctance to start new firms. They show that after a steady increase from 2004 to 2007, firm creation dropped sharply. In the United Kingdom, for example, the number of newly registered limited-liability companies fell from 450,000 in 2007 to 372,000 in 2008 and 330,000 in 2009. What is interesting is that while this decline is most marked in advanced economies, which are especially dependent on financial markets, it is visible in virtually all of the 95 countries that the authors studied. The reason is not hard to fathom: A recession is a time when we tend to become cautious and stick to familiar territory, steering clear of new projects. The same mindset has become apparent among economists and policymakers. In times of profound uncertainty, the tendency is to cling to the domain of the familiar and avoid innovative thinking. This is especially unfortunate nowadays, when the structure of the global economy is changing rapidly. A telltale sign of over-caution among economists and policymakers has been their propensity to convert the need for evidence to an aversion to analytical creativity. We should, of course, use the best available evidence in crafting policy. But there are areas in which there is no evidence. In these unchart- AFP PHOTO / FRED DUFOUR ed territories, one must rely on a combination of intuition and theory. To resist new policy on the grounds that it is not founded in hard evidence is to trap us in the status quo. To see the mistake in this criticism, imagine that, on the basis of theory and some assumptions, one recommends new policy X, even though there is no hard evidence regarding whether or not X works. Now use Y to refer to “not doing X.” If there is no evidence regarding whether X works, there clearly is no evidence concerning whether Y works. So, if the lack of evidence is considered a good reason not to do X, it is also a good reason not to do Y. But this is a contradiction, because it is impossible not to do either X or Y. The propensity to use this inconsistent argument reflects a proclivity for the status quo and a bias against policy innovation. But what we need now is precisely the type of new analytical thinking that spurred the great advances of economics as a discipline over the last two and a half centuries – and that led to major policy breakthroughs during the Great Depression. It is the absence of such creative thinking that has led the economics profession into an impasse, forcing economists and policymakers to contend with the fear of “L.”  Copyright: Project Syndicate, 2013. www.project-syndicate.org QUOTE OF THE YEAR Opposition fighters open fire taking cover from behind a car during fightings in the Salaheddin district of the northern Syrian city of Aleppo on October 9, 2013.  AFP PHOTO KARAM AL-MASRI Nolle timere. - Irish poet Seamus Heaney’s final words (“Don’t be afraid”), to his wife Seamus Heaney
  • 47. OUR WORLD IN 2014 NEWEUROPE www.neweurope.eu 48 JANUARY 2014 EUROPEAN PERSPECTIVE Europe needs a new path By Bernadette Ségol Secretary General, European Trade Union Confederation (ETUC) Re-installing borders is not a solution to unemployment; in a globalised world isolation has nothing to offer to future generations A fter more than five years of a twin economic and social crisis, austerity policies have failed in Europe. In the EU, economies continue to stagnate, while current levels of unemployment remain at 12%. Often those with a job find themselves in a situation of precarious work with no social protection. Educational opportunities are denied to millions of young people, who, in many cases are forced into emigration. In addition, we have seen divisions open up in Europe; inequalities between people, certainly, but also clear divisions between member states. Social cohesion has been eroded. There are some who claim that the worst of the crisis is over. It is hard to agree with this assessment, given the current rates of joblessness and examples of inequality we still witness in the EU today. Economic recovery is welcome, of course, but it is not acceptable if this is achieved at the expense of citizens. The crisis cannot be solved if it does not contain a sound basis in social policy. This represents a threat to the economic, social and political development of Europe. The European Trade Union Confederation (ETUC) is convinced that the EU has the potential to combat the crisis. That potential already exists here in Europe, but risks being neglected by leaders and governments who seem determined to push ahead with their current route, instead of looking for a new path. The trade union movement is striving to unlock this potential; which, sadly, continues to be underused, or undervalued, by many of today’s leaders. It is a potential borne out of a strong industrial base, good public and private sector services, a well-educated population with access to innovative research and educational institutions, and a fair and inclusive society. The EU must mobilise its strengths for a better, more equal, prosperous, democratic and peaceful future. European trade unionists gathered in Brussels at the December summit to protest against austerity measures.  The European Trade Union Confederation was founded in 1973, and over these past four decades we have made many significant gains in advancing an equitable society in Europe. But now, as the crisis continues, many European politicians seem determined to roll-back on these advances. This must not be allowed to happen. We in the trade union movement will continue to resist any moves that seek to destroy the social dimension of the European project. There have been many social advances made since European integration began, but since the start of the crisis in 2008, the social dimension of the EU has been non-existent. If European leaders continue to ignore the real needs of people, not only will the EU continue to stagnate, but it will also lose the trust and support of its citizens. There has been much speculation about the rise of far-right and populist parties in Europe, and how that will affect the working of the European Parliament, should voters chose to express their dissatisfaction that way when they vote for MEPs in May 2014. But we trust in the European citizens : re-installing borders, is not a solution to unemployment; in a globalised world isolation has nothing to offer to future generations. Our countries are too small to fight global competition They must find a positive way to economic and social integration. To this end, the ETUC has launched its manifesto for the European Parliament elections. This document calls on candidates to endorse policies that uphold and foster the social dimension of the European Union; a Europe that provides its citizens with quality jobs and a sound future that seeks an end to austerity, uncertainty and division. Effectively, we are calling of European citizens to vote for candidates that will change the way the EU is being run. Regretfully, those same citizens have an in- creased sense that Europe is not been run on their behalf; and this feeling of loss will continue as long as there is a sense that its political leaders are not prepared to change course. This is why we in the trade union movement are fighting for a new path for Europe. It is in response to failed policies, both economic and social, that ETUC is calling for this new direction, this new path for Europe. Instead of further cutbacks and austerity, we are proposing an alternative; an investment plan with a long-term perspective that seeks to avoid a lost decade of mass unemployment, precarious work and tax injustice. In an era when €1,000 billion has been spent to save the financial sector, and the same amount is lost each year in tax evasion and fraud, it is now time to spend money on a sustainable future for European citizens, who have endured much hardship these past years. Our plan envisages an investment of 2% of European Union GDP over a ten-year period. Such an investment would help in building up a strong industrial base, good public and private services, properly functioning state systems and innovative research and educational institutions. It is this level of investment that is needed at this time to give our ailing economies a boost, to reverse stagnation and give people hope and confidence for the future. This is the task facing all of us who care about the European project today; trade unions, citizens, the EU institutions and political leaders. It is a sad fact that many feel let down by the policies of the EU at present. But this does not mean it has to be that way. European trade unions are proposing an alternative, a new path that allows its citizens to share in a different direction. European recovery is not just about keeping markets open, it is also about social protection and cohesion amongst its people. That is what we will continue to fight for. BELGA PHOTO OLIVIER VIN QUOTE OF THE YEAR Matt Damon He [Obama] broke up with me. There are a lot of things that I really question. The legality of the drone strikes, these NSA revelations, are like, you know... Jimmy Carter came out and said we don’t live in a democracy. That’s a little intense when an ex-president says that... So, you know, he’s got some explaining to do, particularly for a constitutional law professor.
  • 48. OUR WORLD IN 2014 NEWEUROPE www.neweurope.eu EUROPEAN PERSPECTIVE JANUARY 2014 49 EU political changes create unique opportunity for stakeholders By Michael Carney Senior Vice President, FleishmanHillard Belgium- Brussels F or decades, the European Union was eclipsed by its more powerful members. Those days are long gone. Brussels has joined Berlin, Paris and London as a center of global power, yet the world is still relatively uninformed about the EU’s role in monumental decisions that impact everything from economics and trade to the environment and civil society. We all feel the effects of these policies, yet few of us are paying attention to the people and institutions behind them. For all intents and purposes, the EU has been “draped in…a cloak of invisibility,” according to scholar John McCormick. That’s true on the continent, where voter turnout has fallen with each successive parliamentary election since 1979, even though the co-decision process has made the legislature an essential player in dozens of policy areas. It’s also true in other parts of the world, where we’ve seen a steady decline in interest in “Europe” as measured by Google searches since 2004. That’s likely to change in 2014. Europeans are Charting a Course for the Next Five Years Voters in the 28 member states go to the polls in late May. Unlike previous parliamentary elections, this one is likely to galvanize those with a deep hostility toward the European Union. Then, later in the year, new appointees will assume leadership of the European Commission. This is when agendas for the next 5 years will be set. These changes offer public-sector entities from other parts of the world a golden opportunity to engage with EU institutions and build stronger relationships with decision makers. The introduction of new faces into the political process gives interested parties the opportunity to educate European officials about the nuances of complex issues – trade deals, cooperation agreements, cybersecurity, etc. – they are sure to confront in the coming years. Despite the prospect of significant changes at a leadership level, the EU has set an ambitious agenda for 2014. For example, the Commission hopes to make significant progress toward a Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership (TTIP) with the United States before the current Commission leaves office. The decades-old discussion about the A member of the EU Parliament gives a thumb up as he takes part in a vote during a plenary session at the European Parliament.  AFP PHOTO/FREDERICK FLORIN kets were being shaped – or reshaped – by the Commission and Parliament. Within the EU, the institutions recognize their responsibility to inform and involve the people of Europe need for a common approach to security continues. These debates occur amidst significant declines in defense spending and questions about whether some members have the ability to fulfill their obligations to the North Atlantic Treaty Organization. At the same time, the U.S. pivot to Asia, combined with the partisan rancor that has Washington hamstrung, will create pressure for the EU to get more involved in thorny problems like Syria’s civil war. International Connections Remain Weak in a World Awash With Data This is a historic moment in the decadesold effort to unify Europe. As the EU continues to mature, it will be important for its institutions to build even deeper connections with other parts of the world, and for other countries to join the meaty conversations that are taking place in Brussels. Within the EU, the institutions recognize their responsibility to inform and involve the people of Europe. Beyond its borders, Europe provides development assistance and promotes democracy, yet its young diplomatic arm is still overshadowed by member states. As EU delegations take on more of the functions traditionally associated with those embassies, they will have to find new ways to go beyond the norm and engage in a dialogue with foreign publics. There is a strong tradition of such “public diplomacy” in Europe, where the forerunner of the EU serves for some practitioners as a powerful example of the benefits of nontraditional diplomacy. This is what will define Europe to new generations around the world. And make no mistake about it: the EU’s “brand” is subject to the vicissitudes of public opinion. In Canada, for example, favorable opinions of the EU dropped from 73% in 2007 to 57% in 2013, probably due in part to the EU’s position on shale. Regardless of the cause, that’s a significant change. At the same time, it is even more important for non-European stakeholders to participate in the policy-heavy conversations that are taking place in Brussels. While everyone was focused on the member states, global mar- 2014 Offers a Chance to Help Shape the Future Going forward, international stakeholders must find ways to engage productively with these institutions and the people they represent. This is essential to ensure decisions are based on facts, not misperceptions based on inaccurate or outdated information. What’s the best approach? Europe does not speak with a single voice, nor does it listen with one set of ears. It’s a complex personality. In Brussels, people pay a lot of attention to media sources back in their home countries. To reach them, you have to know how (or where) they consume information. Therefore, it is not enough to write a position paper or have a few meetings. Breaking through requires a creative multi-track strategy with activities in Brussels and the most relevant member states. It could include media outreach that informs public discourse, cultural events that demonstrate points of commonality or paid media that emphasizes a key message. Do not underestimate the value of expertise to non-specialist policymakers. Success in Brussels is based more on “what” you know than “who” you know ... but it still requires authentic relationships based on shared values and mutual understanding. Now is the time for forward-thinking organizations to begin planning for the political changes in Europe that will reverberate across our world for the rest of the decade.
  • 49. OUR WORLD IN 2014 NEWEUROPE www.neweurope.eu 50 JANUARY 2014 By Spyros A. Pappas Managing Partner, Pappas & Associates GREECE - ATHENS ow sad. After almost 50 ascending years, from the three EECs to the EU, it is as if the European construction, as soon as it reached its peak, started its steady descent to an out of control disintegration. The addition of new Member States or new Eurozone members should not be taken as a sign for optimism or as a sign of a constructive reaction to the downturn. Indeed, the success of the tested dogma of simultaneously deepening and widening the Union is by far not the case any more; on the contrary, the emphasis on widening at the expense of deepening further corroborates the slow disintegration process. What a contrast between the incomparable and historically unprecedented achievement of having created a kind of super-state in a short period of time that is seemingly being replaced by an evading phantom, signalling a predictable winding up of its role, consistency and welfare. Crudely, this is an objective observation deprived from words of complacency. And such observations are exactly what is needed in order to check the viability of the remedies sought. Only if the real facts and the reasons for this abrupt turn are established, a counter way could be drawn up. Certainly, these few lines do not aspire to address the whole issue. This should be the task of more and wiser people on the basis of thorough analysis. However, looking from distance at the headlines of the European trajectory what strikes me is that the Institution that has led this unique itinerary during all this glorious period, namely the European Commission (EC), instead of capitalising on its measurable successes, found itself censored and its real role almost reduced to the one of an executive secretariat. More significantly, what is more striking is that quite a lot of this destruction is done in the name of democracy. In fact, it is the European Parliament (EP) that for years now has embarked upon an effort EUROPEAN PERSPECTIVE Europe – after the peak H Cypriots show their palms reading “No” during a protest against an EU bailout deal outside the parliament in Nicosia on March 18, 2013.  AFP PHOTO/PATRICK BAZ In the name of democracy the power has in effect shifted not to the people but to the most powerful to increase its role as if the EU were a “State” in the classical interpretation of the term and as if the fundamental principle of the separation of powers had to be satisfied as forming part of the notion of the rule of law. It is true that the latter is part of the Community jargon PICTURES OF THE YEAR A Puma helicopter lands near legionnaires of the French army’s 2nd Foreign Parachute Regiment in the Adrar of the Ifoghas mountains on March 17, 2013 AFP PHOTO / KENZO TRIBOUILLARD (preamble of the TEU). However, it is clear at the same time that what is at stake at the European level is not the control by each of the three powers of the other two, but the balance between the national and the supra-national (Union level) enshrined in the principle of subsidiarity. Hence, the rule of law should not be understood in its technical meaning containing the principle of separation of powers, the submission of the administration to the law and the check of the administrative action by the judiciary; instead, rule of law means in this context the prevalence of law as well as what the law should entail, openness, fairness and justice, but not the separation of powers. Obviously these are too fine distinctions for most of those in command and thus it has come to witnessing phenomena such as the opening of a European Parliament’s Liaison Office in Washington D.C. (to represent whom or what – or is this another opportunity to spend budget?), the confusion created by maintaining two official voices for the EU by affording the EP its own, distinct communication and information policy next to the EC’s, although this duty was being already conducted in the name of the EU by the EC, watering down of the right of initiative of the EC, provision for a President of the European Council and for a High Representative of the Union for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy, all in all a shift of power from the EC to the EP and at the end of the day back to the capitals, i.e., under the current circumstances, Berlin. Amusingly enough all of this happens while all in one voice rightly plead for a strong EC as a conditio sine qua non for defining the Union’s interest, as this is the only competent and independent Institution for such a task; yet at the same time measures are taken to reduce the number of EC staff even as the EU becomes wider; to diminish the EC staff ’s salaries while striving to attract the most qualified people; and most destructively to burden its internal management with endless procedures of control in the glory of transparency and objectiveness, while subordinating its senior management to the hypocritical measure of rotation. As a result, the most ever competent and effective administration tends to become irresponsible, inefficient and ineffective as a true bureaucratic organisation under the command of its masters, who are pursuing in a secretive and unclear way the Union’s interests. In this way it is not to wonder how in the name of democracy the power has in effect shifted not to the people but to the most powerful. And this is the way ahead unless it is understood that democracy is an undisputable value at the national level and subsidiarity is the golden thin line that is appropriate to ensure constructive cooperation at the Union’s level that has to be defined by a respected EC under the control of the Court of Justice of the EU.
  • 50. OUR WORLD IN 2014 NEWEUROPE www.neweurope.eu EUROPEAN PERSPECTIVE By Dan Alexe Contributing Editor, New Europe JANUARY 2014 51 Islam and the West Waiting for an “Arab summer” and its future harvest The lack of basic knowledge about Islam has been seen along the years in declarations of important Western politicians Belgium- Brussels T he year 2014 might bring a redefinition of the relations between the West and Islam. The “Clash of Civilizations” announced two decades ago by Samuel Huntington did not happen and it is safe to assume that it will not happen, at least not in the form of a generalized conflict between the West and some phantasmagoric Muslim coalition based on a common faith. Islam is too varied and impossible to unite, while the divergencies between the Shia countries, mainly Iran, and the theocratic Sunni regional powers remain unbridgeable. The chasm between Iran and Saudi Arabia could be said to be even bigger than the one between Iran and the “Great Satan” that remain the USA. For decades, Europe and the US have led A man stands outside a faculty building at Cairo’s Al-Azhar University after student supporters of the Muslim Brotherhood stormed it on December 28, 2013.  AFP PHOTO / KHALED KAMEL divergent policies in the Middle East. America has been a staunch supporter of the Saudi regime, in spite of the lack of many basic human rights in the country that hosts Islam’s holiest sites. This has led to a distortion in the West’s perception of what is the “real”Islam. The Wahhabi version of Islam, which is the official faith and ideology of the Saudi monarchy, came to be identified with the “legitimate” Islam, leading to the marginalization of other, more tolerant, branches of Islam. The evolution of the situation in Turkey might also lead to a reshuffling of the balance of power in that country, a NATO member whose stability is essential for Europe and the Middle East. In spite of having started years ago its accession negotiations with the EU, Turkey still does not allow some basic rights to its religious Mus- PICTURES OF THE YEAR Two children and a woman taking cover behind a bar inside a shopping mall following an attack by masked gunmen in Nairobi on September 21, 2013.  AFP PHOTO/AFPTV/NICHOLE SOBECKI lim minorities, especially the Sufi brotherhoods and the crypto-Shia Alevis, some of whom are ethnic Kurds. Tensions are also appearing between the mainstream sober Wahhabi-oriented Islam sanctioned by premier Erdogan’s AKP party and the very influent, and more open and tolerant, Gülen movement led by the exiled scholar Fethullah Gülen. This year should also be the starting point of a common reflection on the European Islam. The EU countries had until now widely divergent and contradictory approaches towards the Muslim faith practiced by their own citizens, from the extreme tolerance and lax attitude of Britain, which became along the years a shelter for hate-preachers from Middle East countries, to Slovenia, where work on the country’s first mosque started only in November 2013, 44 years after the initial request to build it was made. The proposal for a mosque had been held up by reluctant local officials, some of whom forced a referendum on the matter in 2009, invalidated by Slovenia’s Constitutional Court. But Europe is also witnessing the rise of a home-grown, militant, extremist, fire-brand version of Islam. It is not isolated incidents, like the killing of a military in London by two lone, self-declared, “soldiers of Allah”, that is alarming, but rather the afflux of young European Muslims into Syria to fight on the side of various jihadi groups. Western secret services estimate that right now Al-Qaeda has four to five thousand fighters carrying Schengen passports in Syria. From Belgium alone, 200 jihadist have been identified, some of them teenagers, the majority of them from Flanders, either con- verts, or born into Muslim families. 20 of them have already died on the front, and at least one instance is known of Belgian Muslim fighters having taken part in a terror attack in Iraq. In the absence of a coordinated policy, there is a great risk of having important numbers of well-trained, radicalized young European Muslims coming back home with an agenda that has nothing in common with the message of peace the established, official Islam is trying to spread. In most Western countries where Islam is an officially sanctioned religion, the servants of the cult still come mostly from conservative Middle East universities, or have followed studies sponsored by the Gulf monarchies. The lack of basic knowledge about Islam has been seen along the years in declarations of important Western politicians, like Donald Rumsfeld’s (former US Defence Secretary) made-up story of Al-Qaeda attacking American troops in Iraq from Iran bases (Al-Qaeda is actually a mortal enemy of Iran and of Shia Islam). Or in Catherine Ashton’s recent announcement (Ashton is the chief of the EU’s diplomacy) that she met with the “Iman of Egypt”… Iman is actually a common noun designating the Muslim faith - “Imam” is the title that she wanted to use. Also, Europe has permanently helped, materially and financially, the Palestinians, while Israel has benefitted from permanent American backing. A balanced Western approach would do more good to the stability of the region. The “Arab spring” should be followed by an “Arab summer”, even if the harvest still seems a distant goal.
  • 51. OUR WORLD IN 2014 NEWEUROPE www.neweurope.eu 52 JANUARY 2014 By Francisco Jaime Quesado General Manager of the Innovation and Knowledge Society in Portugal I EUROPEAN PERSPECTIVE Europe calling Portugal - Lisbon n 2014 we want more than never a real Europe Calling. Europe Calling means the opportunity of developing new challenges focused on Change and Creativity in order to give a central contribution to a New Europe. Europe Calling is an open appeal to the reinvention of Europe, to the reinvention of its people and institutions. An active commitment, in which the focus in the participation and development of new competences, on a collaborative basis, must be the key of the difference. The Time of Europe will not stop. It demands an effective participation from all the European Citizens in an Agenda of Change for the future. Lisbon is calling for a collective commitment of everyone with this idea of excellence for the future: 1- The Excellence of the People - Europe must know how to integrate in a positive way its citizens. Social cohesion is done with the constructive participation of the citizens and it is more and more necessary an effective attitude of mobilization for this effort. Education must be the right tool for this strategic ambition for Europe. 2- The Excellence of Innovation – Innovation and Technology are the “enablers” for competitiveness in Europe. Universities and Companies must perform a new strategic partnership centered in the objectives of the added value, creativity and knowledge. This is the basis for a future effective implementation of the Lisbon Agenda. Europe has still a strong opportunity to implement an agenda of innovation – the opportunity is more and more know and it can´t be lost. 3- The Excellence of the Regions – The excellence of Europe is more and more the excellence of its Regions. The development of strategic projects like the Poles of Competitiveness, Clusters of Innovations and Knowledge Cities and Regions is the effec- Woman holds a EU flag during a meeting of Pro-Western opposition parties supporters at the Europe square in Kiev on November 26, 2013 .  AFP PHOTO / GENYA SAVILOV tive confirmation that the basis for a new agenda in Europe depends on the capacity of its regions. A New Europe is more and more the confidence of the development of New Regions. 4 – The Excellence of the Culture – Europe has a unique identity based on its strong culture. The European Culture is a unique asset. Europe must be able to involve other global partners in the construction of integrated projects focused on the development of culture as a driver for development. The reinvention of culture is itself a very innovative way to involve more and more the European actors in this project for the future. 5 – The Excellence of the Institutions – We want a Europe of the citizens. Where people know who they are and have a strong PICTURES OF THE YEAR A woman and a child stand in the “Step into the Void” glass skywalk overlooking the French Alps on top of a 3842-metre peak in Chamonix on December 23, 2013.  AFP PHOTO / JEAN-PIERRE CLATOT commitment with the values of freedom, social justice and development. This is the reason to believe that New Europe, more than a possibility, is an individual and collective necessity for all of us, effective European citizens. Europe must be more closer to its citizens. Where people know who they are and have a strong commitment with the values of freedom, social justice and development. This is the reason to believe that a new standard of Democracy in Europe, more than a possibility, is an individual and collective necessity for all of us, effective European citizens. Habermas is more than ever present – the difference of Europe will be in the exercise of the capacity of the individual participation as the central contribution to the reinvention of the collective society. This is a process that is not determined by law. It is effectively constructed by all the actors in a free and collaborative strategic interaction. This new economic strategy demands an effective Partnership Contract between all the actors (States, Universities, Companies, Civil Society), in order to build a real Strategy of Confidence in the implementation of the different policies. The focus on Innovation and Knowledge as the drivers of creating added value with international dissemination is a unique challenge that may be the answer to a new way of interaction between those who have the responsibility of thinking and those that have the responsibility of producing goods and services. Europe Calling is an invitation to be different. Different in our thinkings, different in our individual and collective attitudes toward the future of Europe. We must be very positive to this new wave of change that will be the basis of our distinction as a modern society. QUOTE OF THE YEAR Prince Charles With an ageing population and pension fund liabilities that are therefore stretching out for many decades, surely the current focus on quarterly capitalism is becoming increasingly unfit for purpose.
  • 52. OUR WORLD IN 2014 NEWEUROPE www.neweurope.eu EUROPEAN PERSPECTIVE By Foteini Kalantzi Economist/International and European Relations Specialist UK - LONDON JANUARY 2014 53 Euroscepticism: Moving beyond the naysayers H onoré Daumier’s 1867 lithograph titled “Nouvelle suspension aerienne” (new aerial suspension) shows an allegorical figure of Europe supported precariously on tip of a bayonet-like weapon, her pose resembling a reclining classical sculpture. At the time, the artist and his fellow citizens were concerned about the military and political instability of the Prussian victory over Austria, a development that was interpreted by the French as a threat to their own country. This image still speaks to us, reflecting the perilous balancing act of Europe today. 2013 left Europeans with a bitter taste and further eroded remaining confidence in their politicians. The persisting repercussions of recession along with futile austerity measures have increasingly tried the patience of a large segment of Europeans, who are turning against the EU. This feeling might transform the European political scene in the coming 2014 spring elections. We might see the mainstream parties cede further ground to the rising tide of more extreme anti-European parties. On the verge of economic, political and social catastrophe, the EU has to fight an ever returning malady; Euroscepticism and more specifically EU-scepticism. Eurosceptics hail from the entire political spectrum, but the greatest concern is the extreme right. Recent polls forecast that in the upcoming elections they will have their greatest success since the formation of the EU. Euroscepticism may have changed in its form and manifestations, however is not a new phenomenon. Even since the EU’s first steps, it has been present; lack of trust between member states and fear over the loss of national sovereignty constitute some of the major reasons. For example, Britain, particularly with the legacy of Thatcher, has viewed the whole European project as a threat to national identity. Despite the negativity within several European countries, the EU progressed by expanding and enhancing cooperation. The extension of the European Economic Community to other remits, such as foreign policy and judicial cooperation, showed a path toward a political union in the 90s. At the time, this development elicited discomfort within a number of countries and Euroscepticism pervaded the political scene as more aspects of national sovereignty were yielded to the EU. The 1992 Maastricht Treaty did not manage to eliminate criticism of the ‘democratic deficit’ and neither did the 2007 Lisbon Treaty, which aimed at strengthening the EU’s democratisation. Nevertheless, one cannot deny that the constitutional reform set by Lisbon, inter alia, increased the pow- Demonstrators in Athens in November. The Greek presidency of the EU is an opportunity, hopefully not a golden one.  Today, the financial and sovereign debt crisis in Europe has been the ultimate chance for populist politicians to demonstrate the shortcomings of the system ers of the European Parliament and facilitated greater effectiveness and accountability in its decision-making processes. Today, the financial and sovereign debt crisis in Europe has been the ultimate chance for populist politicians to demonstrate the shortcomings of the system. With their ‘historic’ alliance, Marine Le Pen and Geert Wilders declared their intention “to give freedom back” to their people. After the European elections in May, they plan to establish a panEuropean far-right alliance, potentially including the Belgian Vlaams Belang, the Austrian Freedom Party and Italy’s Lega Nord. Although there are some points where these two politicians disagree (e.g. Anti-Semitism), they are in agreement in their anti-EU/immigration agendas; in essence, they intend to demolish everything that the EU has constructed with such great struggle over the preceding decades. The EU has hitherto been keenly observed as an imperfect yet mostly successful model for regional integration, wielding a unique ‘soft power’. However, the increased mainstream success of populist Euroscepticism may have global implications for both how other actors interact with the EU and the path of integration taken by other regional blocs. In an age characterised by strong interdependence, where issues like the financial crisis, terrorism and immigration prevail, regional partnerships can certainly offer more ample and complete solutions. The Lampedusa shipwreck highlights the importance of rapid and coordinated action by European countries. According to the International Organisation for Migration more than 20,000 people have lost their lives since 1993 in their efforts to reach Europe. One wonders... Is this not a sufficient reason in itself to warrant close European cooperation? The European ideal itself means cooperation. It has the potential to outlive the opportunism of the Eurosceptics, which has no long-term agenda. Seen as a successor to the Lisbon Treaty, the ‘EU 2020’ strategy lays out the EU’s goals prioritising innovation, inclusive societies and competitive/greener economies. This is a far more convincing and optimistic plan than the outdated, populist discourse against migrants. In a way, it transcends the negative discourse and rejectionist politics that is permeating Europe. 2014 may see a further rise of eurosceptic parties and demagogic speeches about the purposeless ‘ever-closer union’ or about the ‘Other’, be it immigrants, Jews or Muslims. AFP PHOTO / ARIS MESSINIS Nonetheless, in the long-run they will burst like a speculative bubble for the simple reason that their arguments will become increasingly redundant because Euroscepticism has always lurked in the shadows of the progressing European project, regional partnerships are prone to be far more successful than individual countries and there is a evident need for European countries to collaborate. Democratically, these Eurosceptic positions must and are being incorporated into our political debate. However, the populism and fear mongering cloud any serious arguments contained within. Many times before, the EU has undergone an identity crisis; its priorities, actions, and aspirations have defined and continue to define its character. At present, there is an urgent need to strengthen member states’ willingness for effective cooperation and citizens’ active participation in the European demos, in order to evolve an EU that no longer meets the needs of its people. Perhaps the fear is not only of the mounting populism and extremism as suggested by Jose Manuel Barroso, but of the EU itself which needs to redefine its identity and goals. 2014 offers a tremendous opportunity for the Greek EU Presidency not only to achieve its set objectives (e.g. growth, maritime issues and immigration), but also to enhance the perception of Greece and its role in the EU. Perhaps, Greece could propose a different paradigm for itself and also its fellow member states – A Europe of less economism and more of the common good.
  • 53. OUR WORLD IN 2014 NEWEUROPE www.neweurope.eu 54 JANUARY 2014 EUROPEAN PERSPECTIVE Making sense of pension reform By Jan Krzysztof Bielecki & Mark Allen Former Prime Minister of Poland Fellow, CASE Research, Warsaw Poland - WARSAW P ension reform has become one of the most troubling fiscal dilemmas facing developed countries, especially those with a shrinking workforce and an aging population. The issues are both complex and controversial, while seeming quite dull to much, if not most, of the public. As a result, serious discussion is too often hijacked by those with an ulterior motive. Consider the intemperate responses to recent proposals by Poland’s government to resolve its pension system’s problems. The proposals have been disparaged as the “nationalization of private assets,” a “pension swindle,” and “an asset grab worthy of Lenin or Stalin.” In fact, the reforms are a sensible and sustainable response to the fiscal squeeze that many other developed (and some developing) countries are facing. Since the mid-1990’s, many countries in Central and Eastern Europe have adopted the so-called three-pillar pension system, comprising a publicly managed, pay-as-you-go (PAYG) pillar; a privately managed, mandatory, definedcontribution pillar; and a supplementary, voluntary private pillar. Like many pension schemes, compulsory employer and employee contributions underpin the system. In 1999, Poland replaced its defined-benefits system, which sets pensions as a percentage of final salary at retirement, with one in which pensions are based on the accumulated value of contributions during a person’s working life. This allowed the government to cap the system’s French attempts at pension reform met strong protests.  liabilities while reducing expected final-salary replacement rates by about one-half. The fiscal position was further strengthened when the government raised the retirement age to 67. These changes put Poland at the forefront of international efforts to control aging-related budget deficits. The problem with the reform, however, lay in the decision to divert one-third of the compulsory pension contributions from the PAYG pillar to create a funded component of the system. The hope was that this would diversify the sources of future pensions, with superior investment performance boosting the salaryreplacement rate. This second pillar remained within the state system, but its management, through “open pension funds” (OFEs), was outsourced to the private sector. But, though the state guaranteed the pensions from both pillars, the diversion of contributions created a growing hole in the PAYG system as the resources available to cover current pensions dwindled. These “transition costs” have been particularly high in Central Europe, because the new approach replaced a compre- PICTURES OF THE YEAR Berlaymont lowers its flags following the death of South African president Nelson Mandela in Johannesburg on 05 December 5.  BELGA PHOTO SISKA GREMMELPREZ hensive system that promised pensions that were, to put it bluntly, unaffordable. In Poland’s case, the annual funding gap, which had to be covered by more government borrowing, reached 2.4% of GDP in 2010. Since 1999, the accumulated PAYG deficit reached 18% of GDP, about one-third of Poland’s entire government debt. The OFEs failed to boost overall savings, because the increase in public debt almost exactly matched the pool of assets in the funded part of the state pension system. Moreover, the OFEs’ assets comprised mainly government bonds, which cost about €1.35 billion annually (or 0.3% of GDP) to service, while the OFEs’ high management fees swallowed up any hoped-for market premium. It soon became obvious that, given Poland’s constitutional 60%-of-GDP debt limit and 3%-of-GDP cap on the budget deficit, together with the squeeze on public finances in the wake of the global financial crisis, the OFE funding model was unsustainable. As a result, the government proposed replacing this unnecessary debt in the pension system with an equivalent claim on accounts in the PAYG pillar, indexed by nominal GDP. By modifying these accounts within the publicsector balance sheet, expected pensions will be unchanged, while the public debt/GDP ratio will fall by eight percentage points. This change will allow Poland to continue its investment spending plans and access European Union funds, which together will create a sound basis for sustainable GDP growth and, ultimately, future pensions. As the international rating agencies have noted, Poland’s economy has expanded by 20% since 2008, and, as a result of healthier public finances, will probably enjoy lower borrowing costs, too. This virtuous circle is the reason why Poland is introducing a stringent anti-cyclical budget rule that prohibits any unwarranted fiscal loosening, while gradually lowering its debt/GDP AFP PHOTO / JEFF PACHOUD ratio to about 40%. The government refuses to sacrifice future pensions, or financial stability, for the sake of short-term funding goals. After all, the switch to a defined-contribution system, with actuarially justified pensions, guarantees the pension system’s long-term sustainability. And no economy with Poland’s development needs should be required to cut vital investment spending just so that it can sustain its fund-management industry. One must always remember: pensions are ultimately a claim on future output, whether in the form of a tradable financial asset or a legally binding commitment of the state. Poland’s experience serves as a warning to other governments that, unless a funded pillar is financed by additional private savings, the impact on overall savings and output can be negative. Poland is now following the Czech Republic’s example by making further participation in the funded pillar voluntary. It will also liberalize the funds’ investment strategies, in order to increase competition and reduce excessive management fees. Moreover, the government will encourage future pensioners to invest in the fully private and voluntary third pillar, which is more typical in mature economies. In this way, Poland’s pension funds will also make a major contribution to the country’s capital markets. Detractors have argued that the reforms will deter foreign investment. This is unlikely, given Poland’s political stability, prudent macroeconomic policies, high GDP growth rates, skilled workforce, and liquid financial markets. Under the premiership of Donald Tusk, Poland’s economy has outperformed all other OECD members since 2008. Indeed, the sobering lesson of Poland’s experience is that pension reform is difficult enough to implement in a strong economy, so no government can afford to wait until hard times force it to act. Copyright: Project Syndicate/Europe’s World, 2014. www.project-syndicate.org www.europesworld.org
  • 54. GLOBAL PERSPECTIVE NEWEUROPE www.neweurope.eu CONTENTS By Joseph E. Stiglitz OUR WORLD IN 2014 By Mehmet Şimşek By Park Geun-hye Reinventing the inter-Korean relationship Economic shadows and light 56 Mexico turns a corner 57 By Christine Lagarde What Iran wants 60 By Ehud Barak 2014 is our climate moment By Shinzo Abe Japan’s coming “Wage surprise” By Wang Yi China’s development makes for a better World 61 By Burhan Jaf By Isaev Asein The formation of a democratic Kyrgyzstan 62 67 68 69 By Dmitry Chernyshenko One month to go – a legacy already achieved The perilous retreat from global trade rules By Niall Ferguson By Turki bin Faisal al-Saud Has Iran Changed? 63 66 Tipping point for China and Taiwan By Pascal Lamy Living in an ever- changing world in 2013 By Christopher J. Loeak 65 The shifting world economy By Greg Austin Middle East security in 2014 By Hassan Rouhani 64 The great malaise drags on By George Soros Re-empowering the global economy By Enrique Peña Nieto JANUARY 2014 70 Rehab World By Wolfgang Pape East Asia: visually faster informed? By Mai Yamani The Bewildered Kingdom 71 72 73 74 75 76 77
  • 55. OUR WORLD IN 2014 NEWEUROPE www.neweurope.eu 56 JANUARY 2014 GLOBAL PERSPECTIVE Reinventing the inter-Korean relationship By Park Geun-hye President of the Republic of Korea South Korea - SEOUL O n February 12, 2013, North Korea carried out its third nuclear test in the run-up to the inauguration of a new administration – my own – in the South. Around that time, the Presidential Transition Committee adopted the “Trust-Building Process on the Korean Peninsula” as a key policy of the new administration. It aimed at creating a fresh dynamic in inter-Korean relations. Though the North’s nuclear test created pressure to revise the trustbuilding process, I made it clear that I would stay the course. Indeed, the trust-building process was intended specifically to break the vicious cycle of rewarding North Korean provocations to placate tensions. The trust-building process was formulated to overcome the limitations of both appeasement and hardline policies: while the former depended entirely on the North’s tenuous good faith, the latter implied only relentless pressure. The trust-building process, based on the strength of formidable deterrence, is intended to build sustainable peace on the Korean Peninsula by making North Korea pay dearly for its aggressive acts while ensuring opportunities for change and assistance if it is willing to become a responsible member of the international community. Since the launch of my administration, North Korea has escalated its military threats and bellicose rhetoric against the South. In April 2013, the North took the extreme step of unilaterally barring South Korean workers from entering the Gaesong Industrial Complex, a symbol of inter-Korean exchanges and cooperation, and withdrawing all of its own workers. Following the shutdown of the Gaesong facility, some suggested that the North be offered, through back-channel contacts, incentives to improve inter-Korean relations. But, aware that such contacts with the North had produced many adverse effects in the past, I opted for an open and transparent proposal for dialogue. I repeatedly emphasized to North Korea that trust can be built only by cooperating on small but meaningful projects and abiding by our promises – and calling attention to problematic behaviors – along the way. I have also explained to the international community the credibility and necessity of anchoring our policy in the trust-building process, securing support from many countries. North Korea finally came to the dialogue in mid-July, and a month later agreed to normalize the operation of the Gaesong Industrial Complex in a constructive manner. As follow-up measures, a secretariat for the joint management of the complex was established, and government officials from the two Koreas began daily meetings. It was a small but significant step forward, The G20 Seoul Conference delegation look at a miniature model of the Kaesong Industrial Complex (KIC).  considering that inter-Korean dialogue has been virtually non-existent over the past five years, and that tensions stoked by the North reached a peak in the early days of my administration. But there is still a long way to go to full normalization of the Gaesong facility, not to mention inter-Korean relations. The North remains lukewarm on the follow-up dialogue for passage of workers, communication, and customs clearance, all of which are essential. Furthermore, North Korea unilaterally canceled the reunion of separated families only a few days before the agreed date, breaking the hearts of those who had long been eagerly awaiting it. North Korea then resumed its slander and threats against us. All such behavior is extremely disappointing, reminding us how difficult it is to build trust with the North. For the past ten months, my government has sought to abide by international norms in implementing its North Korea policy, while trying to meet people’s expectations. Policies cannot succeed if the public cannot be reasoned with and persuaded; and inter-Korean relations cannot make progress in harmony with neighboring countries if they fail to meet international standards. We will stick to these fundamental principles and set the following priorities for future North Korea policies. First, we will pave the way to peace and a unification process that improves the quality of life and happiness of all Koreans. My government will maintain a strong deterrent capability, because airtight security constitutes the foundation of genuine peace. From this point, the government will strive to forge sustainable peace through dialogue, exchanges, and cooperation. The two Koreas must establish mutual trust by discussing matters with prudence and mutual respect, and by keeping promises on what has been agreed. Korea will also work to consolidate coop- eration with the international community in this process. Unification is certainly a matter for the Korean people to decide, but it should be achieved with the support of neighboring countries, ensuring that unification benefits all parties in the region. Second, the government will endeavor to upgrade the Trust-Building Process on the Korean Peninsula. Considering the deep-rooted suspicion between the two Koreas, restoring trust will not be an easy task. Notwithstanding this, my government will continue its efforts to refine the process and induce the North to change course. My government will devise various measures to expand the scope of South-North dialogue and cooperation. And we will continue providing humanitarian assistance to the North, as well as maintaining efforts to hold reunions of separated families and to resolve the issue of prisoners of war and abductees who have been kept in the North. In addition, we will increase the transparency of our North Korea policies. Of course, considering the nature of inter-Korean relations, not all matters can be disclosed in full detail. But providing as much accurate information as possible to the public is the best way to ensure firm popular support for these policies and their effective implementation. Third, Korea will seek denuclearization of the North as a means to pursue joint progress on the Korean Peninsula and across Northeast Asia. Indeed, inter-Korean relations can properly progress when the North forswears its nuclear development and joins the South in a partnership based on mutual confidence. With Iran’s nuclear program now being addressed through credible negotiations, the international community is turning its attention to North Korea. The North must take advantage of this opportunity. If the North shows a firm com- AFP PHOTO / POOL / Kim Hong-Ji mitment to denuclearization and takes practical steps to this end, we will take the lead in securing the international community’s support for active assistance in the North’s economic development. Furthermore, we will endeavor to help the peninsula progress together with our neighbors in the Northeast Asian region. North Korea has recently shown interest in setting up special economic development zones. But no country including South Korea would invest in North Korea if it persists in nuclear development. If North Korea truly cares for its people, it must give up the unrealistic twin goals of nuclearization and economic development. Instead, it must abide by international norms and get along with its neighbors to become a credible partner. Bringing North Korea in from the cold is a national-security strategy that cannot be blown off course by internal events there. Thus, I have proposed the Eurasian Initiative, which dovetails with my plan for peace and cooperation in Northeast Asia and envisions connecting the Eurasian continent’s divided logistics networks and removing obstacles that hinder exchanges to make it a viable single entity. To make this Initiative succeed, the Korean Peninsula must be the first to dismantle the wall of distrust, for it is the gateway that links Eurasia and the Pacific. The project to build a World Peace Park in the DMZ (demilitarized zone) that divides the Korean Peninsula could be a starting point. From here, the countries of the Continent and the Ocean together with the two Koreas must build trust and promote cooperation, and disseminate such practices to other areas. As such, the Korean Peninsula would be able to cast off its old role as a stumbling block and revive itself as a stepping-stone for peace in Eurasia and Northeast Asia.  Copyright: Project Syndicate, 2013. www.project-syndicate.org
  • 56. OUR WORLD IN 2014 NEWEUROPE www.neweurope.eu GLOBAL PERSPECTIVE JANUARY 2014 Containers of import and export trade at the Lazaro Cardenas port, one of the biggest of the country, in Michoacan state, Mexico on December 02, 2013.  Mexico turns a corner By Enrique Peña Nieto President of Mexico MEXICO - MEXICO CITY ears of political squabbling and divided governments weakened state institutions in Mexico, greatly hampering their ability to meet their basic obligations to the country’s citizens: to foster economic growth, to create well-paying jobs, to provide quality education and social services, and to guarantee public safety. But that has begun to change, thanks to a political innovation that has united Mexico’s political leaders around a shared reform agenda. In 2012, I campaigned for the presidency on a promise to transform Mexico into a more modern, dynamic, and competitive country, one that could compete and succeed in the twenty-first century. In order to achieve this, I proposed major structural reforms. Soon after a majority of Mexico’s voters backed my candidacy at the ballot box, my team met with the leaders of the country’s three main political forces to define a common reform agenda and a collaborative framework to realize it. The result was a political agreement on a clear and comprehensive action plan consisting of 95 points, now known as the “Pact for Mexico.” Among the Pact’s provisions are major structural reforms that all parties agreed to support at the outset of the current administration. A package of education reforms, which Congress has already approved, will improve the quality of teaching and the formation of human capital throughout the country. Teachers will be assessed, schools will be managed Y I firmly believe that with the implementation of these structural reforms, Mexicans will be able to resolve the country’s most pressing problems and build a more prosperous, inclusive, and productive country with greater autonomy, and a commitment to academic excellence will become the backbone of the public education system. Equally important, telecommunications reforms will expand coverage, lower consumer prices, and improve the quality of services. By allowing more open markets and leveling the playing field, we seek to increase productivity and ensure that companies operating in Mexico have access to strategic inputs. As for financial reform, the Chamber of Deputies has already approved legislation (soon to be taken up by the Senate) that promises to foster economic growth and enhance financial inclusion. By enabling financial institutions to grant more loans at more favorable rates, small and medium-sized businesses will have the means to grow and prosper. Finally, the tax reform that Congress recently approved will guarantee sound public finances and promote growth by increasing public investment in infrastructure, education, research and development, and welfare services (including universal pension and unemployment insurance). And yet, while the Pact for Mexico has led to important legislative developments, some key items on the agenda are still pending. The most important of these items – energy and political reforms – are currently under consideration in Congress. We recognize that many people are eagerly awaiting energy-sector reform in particular. Indeed, reform in this sector of the economy is both desirable and necessary. Today, it is neither technically nor economically feasible for Mexico to take full advantage of its energy resources without legislative changes. Energysector reform is crucial if we want to strengthen energy security and increase our economy’s productivity. Our proposal allows for more private investment in the energy sector, while 57 AFP PHOTO/OMAR TORRES guaranteeing that Mexico maintains the property rights over its vast natural resources. I firmly believe that with the implementation of these structural reforms, Mexicans will be able to resolve the country’s most pressing problems and build a more prosperous, inclusive, and productive country. The Pact for Mexico has already taught us the important lesson that national priorities and partisan loyalties are not mutually exclusive. Broad agreement on a bold reform package is possible. To be sure, as is true in any other democracy, elections will continue to be highly competitive; but, despite our differences, the vast majority of Mexicans – regardless of their partisan loyalties – share an overriding desire to build a better future for Mexico. I hope other countries that struggle regularly with political paralysis can find similar roads to reform.  Copyright: Project Syndicate, 2013. www.project-syndicate.org PICTURES OF THE YEAR People watch the waves after one university student died and five others are missing when the group of seven were swept away by a huge wave on a beach in Portugal on December 15.  AFP PHOTO/ FRANCISCO LEONG
  • 57. OUR WORLD IN 2014 NEWEUROPE www.neweurope.eu 60 JANUARY 2014 By Hassan Rouhani President of the Islamic Republic of Iran GLOBAL PERSPECTIVE What Iran wants IRAN - TEHRAN W hen I campaigned to become President of Iran, I promised to balance realism and the pursuit of the Islamic Republic’s ideals – and won Iranian voters’ support by a large margin. By virtue of the popular mandate that I received, I am committed to moderation and common sense, which is now guiding all of my government’s policies. That commitment led directly to the interim international agreement reached in November in Geneva on Iran’s nuclear program. It will continue to guide our decision-making in 2014. Indeed, in terms of foreign policy, my government is discarding extreme approaches. We seek effective and constructive diplomatic relations and a focus on mutual confidence-building with our neighbors and other regional and international actors, thereby enabling us to orient our foreign policy toward economic development at home. To this end, we will work to eliminate tensions in our foreign relations and strengthen our ties with traditional and new partners alike. This obviously requires domestic consensus-building and transparent goal-setting – processes that are now underway. While we will avoid confrontation and antagonism, we will also actively pursue our larger interests. But, given an increasingly interconnected and interdependent world, challenges can be addressed only through interaction and active cooperation among states. No country – including big powers – can effectively address on its own the challenges that it faces. Indeed, developing and emerging economies’ rapid “catch-up growth” suggests that their aggregate economic weight is about to surpass that of the advanced world. Today’s developing and emerging countries are likely to account for nearly 60% of world GDP by 2030, up from around 40% in 2000, enabling them to play a much greater role on the world stage. In such a period of transition, Iran can enhance its global role. The election this year, in which close to 75% of eligible voters turned out, showed how our religious democracy is maturing. Iran’s ancient culture and civilization, long state continuity, geopolitical position, social stability amid regional turmoil, and well-educated youth enable us to look to the future with confidence, and aspire to assume the major global role that our people deserve – a role that no actor in global politics can ignore. We are also considering how to rebuild and improve our bilateral and multilateral relations with European and North American countries on the basis of mutual respect. This requires easing tensions and implementing a comprehensive approach that includes economic ties. We can begin by avoiding any new strain in relations between Iran and the United States and, at the same time, endeavoring to eliminate inherited tensions that continue to mar relations between our countries. While we may not be able to forget the mistrust and suspicion that have haunted Ira- Marching confidently forwards. President Hassan Rouhani hiking in the Tochal mountain, north of Tehran, on December 6, 2013.  AFP PHOTO/HOJAT SEPAHVAND/ROUHANI.IR nians’ thinking about US governments for the last 60 years, now we must focus on the present and look to the future. That means rising above petty politics and leading, rather than following, pressure groups in our respective countries. In our view, cooperating on issues of mutual interest and concern would contribute to easing tensions in our region as well. This means countering those in the US and our region who seek to distract international attention from issues in which they are directly involved and prevent Iran from enhancing its regional status. By diminishing the prospects for a permanent negotiated agreement on our nuclear program, such behavior increases the likelihood that the Iran-US standoff will continue. Our region is grappling more than ever with sectarianism, group enmities, and potential new breeding grounds for extremism and terrorism. At the same time, the recent use of chemical weapons in Syria could haunt the region’s peoples for many years. We believe that, under such circumstances, a voice of moderation in the region could affect the course of events in a constructive and positive way. There is no doubt that the turmoil in nearby countries affects the interests of many regional and global actors, which need to act in concert to ensure long-term stability. Iran, as a major regional power, is fully prepared to move in this direction, sparing no effort to facilitate solutions. So those who portray Iran as a threat and thus seek to undermine its regional and global credibility should cease – in the interest of peace and tranquility in the region and beyond. I am profoundly disturbed over the humanitarian tragedy in Syria and the enormous suffering that the Syrian people have endured for almost three years. Representing a people who have experienced the horror of chemical weapons, my government strongly condemned their use in the Syrian conflict. I am also concerned that parts of Syrian territory have become breeding grounds for extremist ideologies and rallying points for terrorists, which is reminiscent of the situation on our eastern border in the 1990’s. This is an issue of concern to many other countries as well, and finding a durable political solution in Syria requires cooperation and joint efforts. So we are pleased that in 2013 diplomacy prevailed over threats of military intervention in Syria. We must build on this headway and understand that Syria is in dire need of coordinated regional and international efforts. We are ready to contribute to peace and stability in Syria in the course of serious negotiations among regional and extra-regional parties. Here, too, we need to prevent the talks from becoming a zero-sum game. That is no less true of Iran’s peaceful nuclear-energy program, which has been subject to enormous hype in recent decades. Since the early 1990’s, one prediction after another regarding how close Iran was to acquiring a nuclear bomb has proved baseless. Throughout this period, alarmists tried to paint Iran as a threat to the Middle East and the world. We all know who the chief agitator is, and what purposes are to be served by hyping this issue. We know also that this claim fluctuates in proportion to the amount of international pressure to stop settlement construction and end the occupation of Palestinian lands. These false alarms continue, despite US national intelligence estimates according to which Iran has not decided to build a nuclear weapon. In fact, we are committed not to work toward developing and producing a nuclear bomb. As enunciated in the fatwa issued by Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei, we strongly believe that the development, production, stockpiling, and use of nuclear weapons are contrary to Islamic norms. We never even contemplated the option of acquiring nuclear weapons, because we believe that such weapons could undermine our nationalsecurity interests; as a result, they have no place in Iran’s security doctrine. Even the perception that Iran may develop nuclear weapons is detrimental to our security and overall national interest. During my presidential campaign, I committed myself to doing everything in my power to fast-track a resolution to the standoff over our nuclear-energy program. To fulfill this commitment and benefit from the window of opportunity that the recent election opened, my government is prepared to leave no stone unturned in seeking a mutually acceptable permanent solution. Following up on November’s interim agreement, we are ready to continue to work with the P5+1 (the five permanent members of the United Nations Security Council plus Germany) and others with a view to ensuring our nuclear program’s full transparency. The peaceful nuclear capability that we have achieved will be used within an internationally recognized framework of safeguards, and it will be accessible to multilateral monitoring by the International Atomic Energy Agency, as has been the case in the past several years. In this way, the international community can ensure the exclusively peaceful nature of our nuclear program. We will never forgo our right to benefit from nuclear energy; but we are ready to work toward removing any ambiguity and answer any reasonable question about our program. The continuation of pressure, arm-twisting, intimidation, and measures aimed at cutting off Iranians’ access to a whole range of necessities – from technology to medicines and foodstuffs – can only poison the atmosphere and undermine the conditions needed to make progress. As we showed in 2013, Iran is fully prepared to engage seriously with the international community and to negotiate with our interlocutors in good faith. We hope that our counterparts, too, are ready to take advantage of this window of opportunity. Copyright: Project Syndicate 2014. www.project-syndicate.org
  • 58. OUR WORLD IN 2014 NEWEUROPE www.neweurope.eu GLOBAL PERSPECTIVE JANUARY 2014 61 2014 is our climate moment By Christopher J. Loeak President of the Republic of the Marshall Islands and current Chair of the Pacific Islands Forum F ew leaders can say that the decisions taken in 2014 will play a big part in determining whether their country will still grace the world map at the end of this century. I can. Lying at an average of just two metres above sea level, my tiny atoll nation stands at the precipice, threatened existentially by the gathering storm called climate change. The year just passed must surely have settled whatever debate, if any, still remained on the science of climate change. The world’s biggest and most expert group of climate scientists, the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change, or IPCC, found that it is now “unequivocal” that human activity is warming our planet, and that many of the environmental changes we are currently experiencing are unprecedented for millennia. As U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry said to an audience in my country late last year, “the science is clear, it is irrefutable, and it is alarming.” In the Marshall Islands, 2013 was a particularly difficult year. In May, our northern atolls suffered through an unprecedented drought, which forced my Government to declare a State of Disaster. Just six weeks later, our capital, Majuro, was hit by a king tide and rising seas that flooded the airport runway and many nearby homes, including my own. Then in November, we gasped and prayed as the devastating Typhoon Haiyan smashed into our neighbours in Palau and the Philippines, killing 6,000 people and destroying close to one million homes. Nearly 2,000 people are still unaccounted for. While the Pacific is perhaps the region most vulnerable to the impacts of climate change, this story is fast becoming a global one. In October, Cyclone Phailin battered India’s eastern coastline and, during the Christmas just passed, the United Kingdom was brought to a standstill by fierce winds, driving rains and power blackouts. Just a little more than a year after Superstorm Sandy, scientists are already predicting 17 Atlantic hurricanes for 2014 – this would be 15 more than last year, and the highest number since records began. Climate disasters are fast becoming the new norm right around the world. Despite all these warnings and the knowledge that we have the economic means and technologies to accelerate the necessary shift to clean and green development, the fight against climate change is unfortunately suffering from a misplaced hope that we still have plenty of time to act, or that the proverbial silver bullet is just around the corner. In reality, time is already up. In 2014, world leaders must finally rise to this challenge. Focusing exclusively on talks to conclude a new global climate agreement in 2015 in Paris is not a risk we can afford to take, not least because that agreement is not due to come into effect until 2020. As scientists have told us, global emissions must peak THIS dec- The aftermath of Typhoon Haiyan, a vision of the future without action?  ade if we are to have a realistic chance of avoiding the worst of climate change’s impacts. It is time for us all to live up to our own lofty rhetoric, and actually do what is necessary to slow and eventually reverse the pollution of our atmosphere, in turn curbing global warming and the rising seas that threaten to engulf my homeland. Last September, the leaders of the Pacific decided to do just that. Gathered in Majuro for the 44th Pacific Islands Forum Leaders’ meeting, we adopted the Majuro Declaration for Climate Leadership, committing ourselves to be “Climate Leaders”, and listed a set of commitments to urgently phase down greenhouse gas emissions and embrace the switch to renewable energy. It is the kind of leadership that has the tiny countries of Niue, the Cook Islands, Tuvalu and Vanuatu striving to achieve 100 per cent renewable energy by 2020, and my own Government to fully solarise the power for each and every one of our outer atoll island communities. While these examples of Pacific leadership help to set the right tone, they of course will not be enough to bend the trajectory of global emissions set by the world’s high-emitting countries and companies. For this reason, the Majuro Declaration challenged all governments, businesses and organisations to join our call for climate leadership, and register their own commitments to new and more ambitious climate action. While we are pleased with the support the Declaration has received so far from beyond the membership of the Pacific Islands Forum – including the listing of commitments by the United States, the United Kingdom, the European Union and the U.S. State of Hawaii – we are now looking to others to follow their lead. With the urgency of the climate crisis intensifying with each passing day, the UN SecretaryGeneral’s invitation to world leaders to attend a climate change summit in New York this September could not have come soon enough. Learning from the Copenhagen experience, the Secretary-General sees his 2014 summit as a stage to announce new collaborations and initiatives to accelerate action now, and not simply as a podium for countries to “commit to commit” ahead of Paris. As Ban Ki-moon said himself in Warsaw in November, the summit must “propel us forward through concrete action” towards 2015. This is why 2014 must not merely be a “Year of Climate Action”, as Mr Ban has labelled it, but rather a “Year of New Climate Action.” In other words, we need to commit to do more now than we have committed to previously, including a new wave of climate action that sees us peaking global emissions before 2020. It is in this spirit that we welcome positive signals from China as it prepares for new emissions standards and working carbon markets under its next Five Year Plan, and ongoing efforts by President Obama to implement his Climate Action Plan, including the phasing out of coal power stations in the United States. In contrast, Japan’s decision to renege on its 25 per cent emission reduction target and the recent carbon price policy reversals in Australia are unhelpful blips on the otherwise steady course towards the low-carbon world economy. Everyone needs to play their part, especially those with the biggest carbon footprint, and those who count among their closest friends the vulnerable countries that will bear the brunt of their polluting ways. For our part, we look forward to September’s Summit with a renewed sense of hope, and a strong resolve to use 2014’s ministerial meetings and diplomatic opportunities to develop new ideas and forge new partnerships that make a real dent in emissions now. One critical area of focus must be the energy sector, which is currently responsible for some two-thirds of global emissions. While renewable energy is already the fastest growing source of power and expected to increase by 40 per cent in the next five years, we AFP PHOTO / Jay DIRECTO need to quickly accelerate the transition to clean, green and more efficient energy systems. Having recently achieved a record 59 per cent peaking in the renewables contribution to the power grid in Europe’s biggest economy, Germany has shown us that it can be done. And the quicker it is done, the better and cheaper it will be. As the International Energy Agency has told us, for every one dollar not invested now in new clean energy, it will cost us more than $4 after 2020 to compensate for the missed opportunity to reduce emissions this decade. While understanding the need and accepting the logic to act now, we continue to emit and emit. There are signs of progress, and yet humanity has the world barrelling towards 4 degrees or more of dangerous global warming. Our window to secure a climate future capable of sustaining my country’s culture, its dignity and its territory is closing quickly. Leaders must come to New York in September with their sights set high, and with bold new announcements that get us back on a pathway to a safe climate future. The European Union could play a catalytic role by recording internationally that it will easily overachieve on its current target to reduce emissions by 20% by 2020, and that this will enable deeper and more ambitious EU cuts under a new global agreement. Others would surely follow suit. It is increasingly clear to political leaders of all persuasions that if they are prepared to set out a bold vision for ambitious climate action, their constituencies will stand with them, including big business, and they are all prepared to do the necessary work. The release of updated and more alarming scientific data from the IPCC later this year should reinforce the political resolve to act. If the science and summits of 2014 don’t finally turn the tide, it is difficult to see what will. This is the battle of our generation, and 2014 is our moment.
  • 59. OUR WORLD IN 2014 NEWEUROPE www.neweurope.eu 62 JANUARY 2014 GLOBAL PERSPECTIVE Japan’s coming “Wage surprise” By Shinzo Abe Prime minister of Japan Abenomics, I am proud to say, has been successful in a more fundamental sense: we have rebooted Japan’s collective psyche JAPAN - TOKYO T he year 2013 saw the Japanese economy turn the corner on two decades of stagnation. And the future will become even brighter with the appearance of what we are calling the “wage surprise.” Intensive discussions since September among Japanese government, business, and labor leaders have been geared toward setting in motion an upward, virtuous cycle whereby increased wages lead to more robust growth. I have taken part in two of the four meetings so far, joining our finance minister, economy minister, and labor minister, as well as industry and labor leaders like Akio Toyoda, the head of Toyota Motors, and Nobuaki Koga, who leads the Japanese Trade Union Confederation. Each time, I have come away from the meeting feeling confident and invigorated. Let’s face it. Deflationary pressure in Japan – and only in Japan – has persisted for Pedestrians are reflected on a share prices board in Tokyo, Japan.  well over a decade. At the beginning of my premiership, I launched what observers have called “Abenomics,” because only in my country had the nominal wage level remained in negative territory for a staggering length of time. I was appalled when I first saw the statistics: Japan’s wage level since 2000 has fallen at an average annual rate of 0.8%, compared to average nominal-wage growth of 3.3% in the United States and the United Kingdom and 2.8% in France. In 1997, wage earners in Japan received a gross total of ¥279 trillion; by 2012, the total had fallen to ¥244.7 trillion. In other words, Japan’s wage earners have lost ¥34.3 trillion over the last decade and a half – an amount larger than the annual GDP of Denmark, Malaysia, or Singapore. Only when this trend is reversed can Japan’s economy resume a long-term upward trajectory. Meanwhile, Japan’s companies are no longer poorly capitalized. I, for one, remem- PICTURES OF THE YEAR An Indian parrot hatchling is fed by hand in Dimapur, India.  AFP/STR ber how low the net-worth ratio for Japanese corporations was 15 years ago – below 20%, compared to more than 30% in Europe and the US. As a result, economists said, Japanese corporate behavior would be characterized by over-borrowing. That is no longer the case. Thanks to the continued surge in corporate profitability and firms’ sustained deleveraging efforts during the last decade and a half, indebtedness has fallen dramatically. In terms of the net-worth ratio, corporate Japan is now on a par with Europe and the US. Abenomics, I am proud to say, has been successful in a more fundamental sense: we have rebooted Japan’s collective psyche. In the year since my government took office, a mindset of resignation has given way to one of limitless possibility – a shift symbolized for many by Tokyo’s winning bid for the 2020 Olympic and Paralympic Games. As a result, many Wall Street investors have bought the narrative and gone long on Japan. That is what Abenomics’ first two “arrows” – bold monetary policy and flexible fiscal policy – have achieved so far. How about the third arrow, a set of policies to promote private investment so that productivity growth sustains Japan’s long-term recovery? Some say that, unlike the first and second arrows, the third is hard to come by. I do not disagree: by definition, structural reforms take more time than changes in monetary and fiscal policy do. Many will require legislation, on which my colleagues in the Diet have been spending much of their time over the last couple of months. During this process, with its seemingly endless and convoluted floor debates, observers should not lose sight of the forest for the trees. From joining the negotiations for the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) to intro- AFP PHOTO / Yoshikazu TSUNO ducing specially deregulated zones (my own office will oversee their implementation), my government is committed to catalyzing economic recovery by all means available. Here, the wage surprise stands out, because only when the long-missing link between corporate profitability and wages is restored will investment in houses, cars, and other durables, and household consumption in general, finally rid Japan of its deflation and put its economy on a sustained growth path. The wage surprise draws its inspiration from the Netherlands, where a consensus emerged in the early 1980’s that in order to sustain employment, the burden of taming rampant inflation should be shared by employers and the employed. That consensus was enshrined in the 1982 “Wassenaar Agreement,” named after The Hague suburb where it was forged. Japan is now witnessing the emergence of a similar national consensus, or, rather, the Dutch consensus in reverse: a shared sense that the government, major industries, and organized labor should work together to increase wages and bonuses (while facilitating incentives that could enhance productivity). Needless to say, wage levels ought to be determined solely by management and workers. But it is equally true that the emerging consensus among the government, business leaders, and trade unions already has led a growing number of companies to promise significantly higher wages and bonuses. This is the essence of the wage surprise. It will be an entirely new phenomenon, one that, together with the massive ¥5 trillion fiscal stimulus, will more than offset the potential negative effect of a sales-tax increase. Most important, it will continue to put Japan’s economy on a sustainable growth trajectory. Of this I am certain.
  • 60. OUR WORLD IN 2014 NEWEUROPE www.neweurope.eu GLOBAL PERSPECTIVE By Wang Yi Minister of Foreign Affairs of China China - Beijing JANUARY 2014 63 China’s development makes for a better World N early one year into office by the current Chinese government, China, which has enjoyed stability and steady progress, is attracting increasing attention from around the world. Many are eager to see what China will bring to the world. My answer: a better China will make for a better world. As the Report to the 18th National Congress of the Communist Party of China (CPC) pointed out, China will remain committed to peace, development, cooperation and mutual benefit, unswervingly follow the path of peaceful development, get more actively involved in international affairs, play its due role as a major responsible country, and continue to promote friendship and partnership with its neighbors and consolidate amicable relations with them. This is the pledge China has made to the world. A China that constantly deepens reform and opens still wider to the outside is an important force for peace and stability in the world. The defining features of the present-day China are reform and opening-up. To achieve modernization, China needs to secure a peaceful international environment to develop itself, and safeguard and promote world peace with its own development. It needs to enlarge the convergence of interests of all parties and work toward a harmonious world of lasting peace and common prosperity. That is why our diplomacy flatly rejects the law of the jungle, embraces equality of all countries irrespective of size and stands against hegemonism. China has the confidence to prove, with its own actions and by working with other countries, that a country growing stronger does not inevitably seek hegemony. As the world’s largest developing country and largest grouping of developed countries, China and the European Union should respect each other’s development paths as chosen in line with respective realities and work together to maintain world peace and stability. A China that upholds win-win cooperation is providing a strong impetus to global prosperity and development. “A single flower does not make spring.” China is ready to join the rest of the world to share opportunity and seek prosperity. China and the United States have agreed to build a new model of major-country relationship featuring nonconfrontation, non-conflict, mutual respect and win-win cooperation. China and Russia, by vigorously deepening their comprehensive strategic partnership of coordination, have set a good example of mutual trust and cooperation between major countries. Committed to a right approach to morality and interests, China is willing to give greater consideration to the interests of other developing countries. We are also happy to see the developed countries sharing in the dividends of China’s development. The Workers undertake drainage repairs on a street on a commercial street in Beijing on December 10, 2013.  recently concluded Third Plenum of the 18th CPC Central Committee has put forth specific goals for a comprehensively deepened reform in the political, economic, cultural, social and ecological fields. In all these areas, we find Europe our important cooperation partner. We hope to see a combination of China’s ongoing program of urbanization, industrialization, IT application and agricultural modernization with Europe’s project of economic recovery. We would also like to see the Chinese and European markets reinforce each other to boost our respective development and provide fresh impetus to a dynamic, sustainable and balanced growth of the world economy. A more proactive and enterprising China is making important contribution to appropriate resolutions of international hotspot issues. As a permanent member of the UN Security Council, China knows full well its major mandates and responsibilities and works hard to address hotspot issues at regional and international levels. In December 2013, China sent its peacekeeping troops to Mali, the 24th UN peacekeeping mission it has participated in since 1990. Not long ago, I attended on behalf of China the dialogue of P5+1 and the EU with Iran. The Chinese side upheld justice, made constructive recommendations and encouraged the parties to reach agreement on the first step measures to resolve the Iranian nuclear issue. We have also actively supported the destruction of chemical weapons in Syria and decided to provide naval escort for the Syrian weapons. As two major forces working for world peace, both China and the EU stand for defusing crises with diplomacy. And the two sides should work together to uphold the sanctity of the UN Charter and make still greater contribution to world peace and development. A China that is committed to good neighborliness is injecting still greater positive energy to peace and development in the AsiaPacific region. With 20 land and maritime neighbors and a land boundary totalling 22,000 kilometers, China has more neighbors than any other country in the world. The neighborhood where China finds itself is what China depends on for survival, development and prosperity. Therefore, we will commit ourselves to developing amicable relationships and partnerships with our neighbors, fostering an amicable, secure and prosperous neighborhood and pursuing the principles of amity, sincerity, mutual benefit and inclusiveness. China and Russia are committed to ensuring peace and friendship generation after generation along their 4,300-kilometer boundary. From Dandong (on China-DPRK border) to Manzhouli (on China-Russia border), and from Horgos (on China-Kazakhstan border) to Dongxing (on China-Viet Nam border), over 50 Chinese ports are bustling with people doing a brisk business. China has worked vigorously to develop a partnership of maritime cooperation with ASEAN countries and its initiative for a Maritime Silk Road of the 21st century has been enthusiastically received. All this stands as a convincing proof that peace, development and cooperation prevails in China’s neighborhood. Admittedly, there are outstanding territorial or maritime disputes between China and certain countries. We have always stood for peaceful settlement of such issues through AFP PHOTO / Ed Jones negotiations and hope relevant countries will work with us toward the same goal. What deserves our attention is that 68 years after World War II came to its end, Japan remains unwilling to face up to its past of aggression and its leader has gone so far as to pay homage to the Yasukuni Shrine where 14 Class A war criminals of World War II are honored and even regarded war criminals as “those who had fought for the country and made ultimate sacrifices”. Japan’s attitude toward its past of militarist aggression contrasts sharply with that of Europe which made a thorough condemnation of Nazi crimes. The Japanese leader, by trying to turn back the wheel of history, is leading his country down a dangerous road. The international community needs to stay vigilant and stand firmly for human conscience and the post-war international order. Today’s China has come under the spotlight of the world, but the international stage belongs to all countries. China is increasingly in need of the world for its development while the world also needs China for its prosperity. Looking into 2014, countries in the world will form a community of shared destinies in which their interests mingle and integrate more closely, while at the same time they will face still more complicated global challenges. In the new year, China will play its role as a responsible major country more effectively. Its diplomacy will display a broader global vision, an enterprising and innovative spirit and more actions to translate the principle of win-win cooperation into practice. We will respond to what the international community has expected of us with a more proactive and vigorous diplomacy and present the world with a better China. Together, we, all of us, will make our world an even better place.
  • 61. OUR WORLD IN 2014 NEWEUROPE www.neweurope.eu 64 JANUARY 2014 GLOBAL PERSPECTIVE Economic shadows and light By Mehmet Şimşek Minister of Finance of Turkey Turkey’s authorities have implemented major reforms aimed at improving the business environment I TURKEY - ANKARA f it is true that we live in a “global village,” bound to one another through commercial, financial, and social ties, then it is also true that informal economic activity in one part of the world has a negative impact elsewhere. That means that formalizing every economy should be viewed as a global public good. The G-20 and other international entities should take the lead in ensuring the coordination and cooperation needed to provide it. The biggest losers of the informal economy are ordinary citizens, because informality inhibits long-term economic growth and productivity gains; creates unfair competition; hinders the growth of small and medium-size enterprises (the main sources of employment); and leaves millions of workers without basic rights, such as health insurance and pensions. It also leads to significant tax-revenue losses, reducing both the quality and quantity of public services. Income inequality and social injustice invariably increase as well. Reducing the scope of the formal econo- There are come clouds on the horizon, not least from tear gas fired at demonstrators in Taksim Square, Istanbul.  my may seem to be a national task; and governments should indeed act. They should reduce the tax burden, simplify tax systems, and reduce regulatory compliance costs, while strengthening enforcement. Likewise, they should eliminate barriers to competition, simplify business registration processes, increase the transparency of public procurement, and improve access to credit. But combating the informal economy requires international cooperation as well. According to the European Commission, “non-cooperative” and “non-transparent” jurisdictions – also known as tax havens – cost the European Union’s member states more than $1 trillion in revenue every year. Controlling and decreasing the risks that these jurisdictions pose can happen only at the global level. Here the OECD and G-20 can play an important role. The OECD already provides vital support in promoting international cooperation on taxation. Article 26 of the OECD Model Tax Convention on Income and on Capital regulates PICTURES OF THE YEAR Survivors of Super Typhoon Haiyan march during a religious procession in Tolosa on the eastern Philippine island of Leyte on November 18, 2013 over one week after Super Typhoon Haiyan devastated the area.  AFP PHOTO / Philippe Lopez the content and practice of bilateral exchanges of tax information, which are crucial to fighting tax avoidance and evasion and combating harmful tax competition. Similarly, the OECD Global Forum on Transparency and Exchange of Information for Tax Purposes is leading an extensive peer-review process of legal frameworks and implementation of standards. The OECD recently issued an Action Plan on Base Erosion and Profit Shifting (BEPS) that identifies specific measures to combat double non-taxation and to establish comprehensive and transparent standards of fair taxation. The focus of G-20 summits on global tax evasion in recent years is also encouraging. When the G-20 leaders convened in Los Cabos, Mexico, in June 2012, they reiterated their commitment to strengthen transparency and comprehensive exchange of tax information. They also reiterated the need to prevent BEPS. Moreover, the G-20 has launched efforts to encourage all jurisdictions to sign the Multilateral Convention on Mutual Administrative Assistance in Tax Matters, developed jointly by the Council of Europe and the OECD. But more must be done to combat the informal economy. I can easily imagine bilateral agreements – and then a multilateral arrangement – that establishes a unique global tax ID for all taxpayers. In Turkey, a comprehensive plan to reduce the scope of the informal economy involves 14 major public institutions, including the Ministry of Finance. Proactive tax-collection mechanisms to improve voluntary tax compliance have been put in place. For example, a system developed for landlords has helped to double the number of taxpayers reporting rental income. Turkey has also improved regulatory enforcement, created a more effective Tax Audit Board, and invested in human capital and technology. Macroeconomic reforms have also helped AFP PHOTO / BULENT KILIC to curtail Turkey’s shadow economy. In 2006, the corporate-tax rate was lowered from 33% to 20%, and rates for personal-income tax were also reduced, with the highest rate falling from 49.5% to 35%, and the lowest rate to 15%, from 22%. Moreover, in 2008, the income-tax burden on minimum-wage earners was set at a low of 0%, depending on marital status and number of children. Further, the rate for value-added tax on health, education, clothing, and tourism was cut from 18% to 8%, while the VAT on major food items is now 1%. Last but not least, Turkey’s authorities have implemented major reforms aimed at improving the business environment. These include a new commercial code and debt legislation. A new income-tax law is currently under parliamentary consideration, and a law on tax procedures will be submitted soon. Turkish policymakers have also focused on international cooperation and coordination in creating a level playing field globally. Turkey now has double-taxation agreements with 82 countries and information-exchange agreements with five countries. As a result of these efforts, informal employment in Turkey has declined by 14.5 percentage points since 2002, to 37.6% in April 2013. Likewise, the informal economy as a share of GDP declined by six percentage points during this period, to 26.5% in 2013. But these ratios remain too high. The authorities’ medium-term objective is to reduce the informal economy’s GDP share by five more percentage points and to reduce informal employment in non-agricultural sectors by five percentage points as well. Determined efforts such as these are indispensable to dispelling the shadows in which informal economic activity exists. But national policymakers cannot hold the light alone.  Copyright: Project Syndicate, 2013. www.project-syndicate.org
  • 62. OUR WORLD IN 2014 NEWEUROPE www.neweurope.eu GLOBAL PERSPECTIVE JANUARY 2014 65 Re-empowering the global economy By Christine Lagarde Managing Director of the International Monetary Fund (IMF) Europe is also at a key juncture. The eurozone is finally showing signs of recovery, but growth is uneven and unbalanced USA - WASHINGTON, DC The global economy in 2013 remained suspended between the poles of hope and uncertainty. While recovery gained momentum, particularly in some advanced economies, the world economy is not yet flying on all engines – and is likely to remain underpowered next year as well. The International Monetary Fund’s latest forecast puts global GDP growth at 3.6% in 2014, which is decent, but still below potential growth of around 4%. In other words, the world could still generate considerably more jobs without fueling inflationary pressure. This means that the IMF’s members – whether advanced, emerging-market, or developing economies – have more work to do. A strong and lasting recovery that lifts all countries and all peoples requires policymakers to press ahead on all fronts – fiscal, structural, and financial. At the same time, the international community must reinvigorate its efforts to strengthen cooperation through the G-20, the IMF, and other actors. Indeed, only through such collaboration can we overcome the lingering impact of the global crisis. We have certainly avoided the worst-case scenario (Great Depression II) over the past five years, thanks to the efforts of global policymakers – particularly the determination of central banks to keep global interest rates low and to support the financial system, coupled with fiscal stimulus in some countries. But the time has come to push further, including by using the room created by unconventional monetary policies to implement structural reforms that can jump-start growth and create jobs. What happens in advanced economies is central to global prospects; and, despite their stronger performance recently, the risks of stagnation and deflation continue to loom A protester covers his mouth with a dollar bill as he joins others in a demonstration in front of the US Capitol in Washington, DC, on October 1, 2013 urging congress to pass the budget bill.  AFP Photo / Jewel Samad large. Central banks should return to more conventional monetary policies only when robust growth is firmly rooted. The United States has long been the main engine driving the global economy, and private demand there has regained vigor. But key challenges lie ahead. For example, it is vitally important that policymakers follow through on the recent budget agreement and end the political wrangling over the country’s fiscal future. Greater certainty about the direction of policy could restore growth to a level that would lift the entire global economy. In Japan, recovery has been spurred by the mix of aggressive monetary and fiscal policies known as “Abenomics.” This is an important development. The challenge now is to agree on medium-term fiscal adjustments and implement the structural reforms – including deregulation of product and service markets and measures to boost the share of women in the workplace – that are needed to give growth a firm foundation and finally banish the specter of deflation. Europe is also at a key juncture. The eurozone is finally showing signs of recovery, but growth is uneven and unbalanced. While many countries are doing well, demand in general remains weak, and unemployment in the periphery remains obstinately high, particularly for young people. One area of uncertainty for Europe is the health of its banks. The forthcoming stress tests and asset-quality review can help restore confidence and advance financial integration, but only if they are conducted well. Europe also needs to boost demand, strengthen its financial and fiscal architecture, and put in place structural reforms to ensure sustained growth and job creation. Over the past half-decade, the emerging markets have been in the vanguard of economic recovery: together with developing countries, they have accounted for three-quarters of global GDP growth. But these economies’ momentum slowed in 2013, as uncertainty about the timing of monetary-policy normalization in the US coincided with doubts about the sustainability of their growth path. While the worst fears have faded, the emerging economies face new policy challenges. In responding to slower demand, policymakers must be wary of financial excess, especially in the form of asset bubbles or rising debt. They should also focus on strengthening financial regulation, in order to manage credit cycles and capital flows more effectively, and on reestablishing fiscal room for maneuver. Low-income countries have been a bright spot for the global economy over the last five years as well. They proved resilient in the face of crisis, and many – especially in Africa, where annual output rose by about 5% in 2013 – are enjoying strong growth. Now is the time to build on these gains, primarily by strengthening these countries’ capacity to raise revenues. With demand from emerging markets weakening, low-income countries should bolster their defenses against a serious downturn, even as they continue to focus their spending on key social programs and infrastructure projects. Middle Eastern countries in transition face additional challenges in the form of social instability and political uncertainty. These problems should be addressed by laying the groundwork for dynamic, transparent economies, promoting more inclusive growth, and ensuring continued support from the international community. While challenges vary by country and region, many common problems must be addressed in the years ahead. Too many countries face a legacy of high public and private debt, fiscal and current-account imbalances, and growth models that are unable to generate enough jobs. The international community also needs to complete the regulatory reforms required to create a safer financial system that better supports the needs of the real economy. These are not abstract challenges. Only by addressing them can we ensure future prosperity at a time when billions of people have rising aspirations – to find jobs, to rise out of poverty, and to one day join the global middle class. In 2014, we need to take the steps that would help make this dream a reality. The IMF is committed to working with its 188 member countries to define and implement the policy measures that can power the engines of growth – and lift all people to renewed prosperity.  Copyright: Project Syndicate, 2013. www.project-syndicate.org QUOTE OF THE YEAR Tim Berners-Lee A hacker to me is someone creative who does wonderful things. -Tim Berners-Lee, inventor of the World Wide Web
  • 63. OUR WORLD IN 2014 NEWEUROPE www.neweurope.eu 66 JANUARY 2014 GLOBAL PERSPECTIVE Syrian government forces patrol on a tank in a devastated street on July 31, 2013 in the district of al-Khalidiyah in the central Syrian city of Homs.  AFP PHOTO/JOSEPH EID Middle East security in 2014 By Ehud Barak Former Prime Minister of Israel (1999-2001) and Minister of Defense (2009-2013) Israel - JERUSALEM T he Middle East is a region where predictions go to die. And the region’s recent turbulence has made forecasting the course of events there even more treacherous. But, as became increasingly clear in 2013, the main source of the Middle East’s crises is not a “clash of civilizations,” but a clash within Islam, centered on the Sunni-Shia divide. The civilian death toll from this struggle is staggering. The combined figure for Afghanistan, Egypt, Iraq, Libya, and Syria is now approaching many hundreds of thousands – perhaps ten times the total death toll of the Israeli-Palestinian conflict since 1948 – while millions more are leading squalid lives as refugees. With the Arab Spring now frozen over, the regional outlook for 2014 appears gloomy. Some opportunities are still on the table, and more will surely emerge during the coming year. But seizing them will demand global leadership, strategic clarity, nuance, and decisiveness – almost all of which were absent in 2013. Indeed, there is a spreading perception among world leaders and publics, adversaries and allies alike, that the longtime incumbent global leader, the United States, has been significantly weakened. Consider President Barack Obama’s failure to defend his “red line” after Syrian President Bashar al-Assad’s regime used chemical weapons this past summer; Egypt’s return to military rule; Iran’s post-election protests in 2009; or the instability in Iraq, Afghanistan, and Pakistan. As a result of American uncertainty, the radical axis of Iran, Syria, and Hezbollah feels emboldened, and will certainly try to leverage its achievements in the year ahead. Assad ended up using the shock caused by his chemical-weapons attack as a bargaining chip in a disarmament deal – still to be executed and verified – that bought him a valuable pause in the efforts to topple him, if not salvation. Assad will seek in 2014 to delay the actual implementation of the chemical-weapons deal, in order to gain time to split and weaken his opponents further. He could then muddle through until the US mid-term elections in November, when attacking him would be politically impossible. There is a good chance that he will get away with it. Hezbollah will support Assad to the end, because his continuing hold on power is critical to its own survival. The Syrian rebels, weakened by infighting, have also been victims of the growing rift between the US and its closest Arab allies. Short of a successful attack on Assad himself, the chances of a rebel triumph on the ground are slim. Renewed peace negotiations in Geneva next year can succeed only if Assad comes to the table substantially weaker, which probably will not happen. Israel will continue to act proactively to prevent the transfer of heavy missiles or advanced air-defense systems from Syria to Hezbollah in southern Lebanon, which of course carries the risk of a military showdown. But such pre-emptive measures could also promote Lebanon’s survival by preventing Hezbollah from gaining absolute dominance over the country. Though Assad may survive for now, Syria, like Iraq and Libya, faces creeping disintegration into more ethnically homogenous subentities, either completely separate or very loosely tied together, similar to post-Tito Yugoslavia, where communal rage filled the po- litical void left by the dictator’s iron fist. Paradoxically, disintegration in the Arab world is taking place just when Iran is emerging from its decades-long diplomatic deep freeze. Following the six-month interim agreement on its nuclear program reached in Geneva in November, Iran’s military nuclear program may be stopped temporarily. But Iran got relief from crippling international sanctions at a low price; and, because the two-phase structure of the interim agreement delays verification of its success or failure, the true test for Iran – and the world – is still to come. Saudi Arabia might have nuclear weapons within weeks, with Turkey and Egypt feeling compelled to follow The immediate risk is that Iran still possesses the capability to enrich uranium, as well as a substantial amount of low-enriched uranium. The decision about how to proceed is Iran’s, and its rulers will most likely simply wait for an opportunity to charge ahead toward nuclear capability when the US is unable, for whatever reasons, to respond. This might take 6-12 months, with some risks from the Iranians’ point of view; but once they have enough weapon-grade material, nothing could be done to stop Iran from becoming a military nuclear power. Both Pakistan and North Korea took that path. And, following America’s Syrian zigzag, the Iranians are convinced that, for the time being, a physical attack (at least by the US) is not on the table. The consequences of a nuclear-armed Iran could be devastating for regional order and global stability. Saudi Arabia might have nuclear weapons within weeks, with Turkey and Egypt feeling compelled to follow. The international non-proliferation regime would collapse. Hegemonic Iran would intimidate its Gulf neighbors, sponsor terrorist activities abroad, and feel immune from international intervention. Of course, if negotiations on a permanent agreement collapse, Israel and probably even the US might feel compelled to contemplate further action. But, for now, Iran’s leaders clearly believe that they have bought themselves time. Moreover, in six months, Iran might propose another slightly modified interim agreement with a further loosening of sanctions, leveraging once again the paralysis imposed by election-year dynamics on American decision-making. Such a strategy could drag the permanent phase of the agreement far beyond 2014. Iranians are chess players; they know what a gambit is. They have not given up on winning the game. The only solution – for which there is still time – is to find a way to tell the Iranians unequivocally: “We respect your needs. We will not embarrass you in public. But you should understand that we mean business. You will have to dismantle the military nuclear program in the coming few months, or face the consequences.” Such a message has never reached Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei. Without hearing and believing it, there is no way that he will yield.  Copyright: Project Syndicate, 2013. www.project-syndicate.org
  • 64. OUR WORLD IN 2014 NEWEUROPE www.neweurope.eu GLOBAL PERSPECTIVE JANUARY 2014 67 Living in an ever- changing world in 2013 By Burhan Jaf Ambassador of Iraq to Greece GREECE - ATHENS W e have to admit we live during a very exciting time in history. Everyday there is something new- as we read the newspaper or watch the world news tonight, in all probability we will be observing dramatic political and social changes that were unthinkable, even a decade ago. Not only we realize that we live in a global community, but also we get used to the fact that events happening in remote corners of the globe affect us in the country we live in, almost as soon as they occur. In the midst of global continuous developments, we are called to build up for ourselves a strong sense of composure, to nurture and define all things important to us. This is an ever- ending challenge, a challenge that leads us through life on an adventure that completes the puzzle of our growth and development. What is left to be answered is not if we are up to the challenge, but whether we consider ourselves ready for this adventure. Iraq’s adventure for example is widely known. Ten years after the war, Iraq has opened its gates to the world and is continually active building stable relations and cooperation with the international community. Iraq began its transition towards a process of democratisation that gradually has transferred important powers to the citizens. This is a very significant step away from the authoritarian rule in Iraq, when governments were only replaced by violence and coups. Iraq in the new era is an advocate of constructive dialogue, has the confidence to become a key player in the region and is determined to be involved in the international community as a credible interlocutor, a fair and honest partner! Iraq’s future lies on the Iraqis eat at the food hall of Baghdad’s first newly opened shopping mall in the upmarket Mansur neighborhood on December 12, 2013.  AFP PHOTO/AHMAD AL-RUBAYE Ten years after the war, Iraq has opened its gates to the world and is continually active building stable relations and cooperation with the international community constitution protecting human rights and ensuring economic and social justice. It is critical for Iraq’s future that the constitution fosters a common identity, promotes national unity and distributes state power fairly. In this spectrum, Iraq’s Constitution, based on a federal structure of governance provides for devolution of power from the center to the regions, or provinces, entrusting a large number of policy areas, from education PICTURES OF THE YEAR Waves lash the ferry pier on the North Sea coast in Dagebuell, Germany, on December 5, 2013 as storm front Xaver hits Germany.  AFP PHOTO / DPA / CARSTEN REHDER to healthcare, with the regional or even on the local level. This development gives us every right to be optimistic, to see the glass half full, since it provided a subtle solution to a series of power-related issues, allowing our country and its people to flourish. We realise, of course, that reformulating the face of Iraq in a new era is a gradual and timely process, during which concrete and wise steps need to be taken. However, perceptions are sometimes falsely maintained. I realised that while in Greece. Greece of the economic crisis and nothing else is only a reproduction of weak, if not bad, journalism. Greece, economic crisis aside, remains a wealthy country in terms of cultural heritage, human capital, democratic values, fertile land, hospitality and the list can go on and on. The case of Iraq is quite similar. That is why I believe we, in Iraq, can still become, as a nation, the unexpected surprise against the negative perceptions of Iraq as a “warzone”, gaining back our national confidence and unity. Communicating our country through our own eyes is the key to finally see Iraq as the country it really is- in principle, a country of historical heritage, rich resources, and courageous people. Of course, building a democratic country like Iraq is not only about the right to vote, having federal parliament and elected government. It is really about establishing the rule of law, a separation of religious and secular authority, freedom of speech, accountability, gender equality and constitutional protection of minorities. In addition, due to the strong economic foundations of Iraq and the country’s human resources’ potentials, it is possible that economic development could cause higher levels of democratic values in the political culture that, in turn, would produce higher, more stable levels of democracy. This means that the long-term survival of democratic institutions requires a particular political culture that solidly supports democracy. For sure, Iraq has taken a first, but courageous and decisive step. The process of democratisation has all prospects to succeed, and if it does, possibilities for the rest of the Middle East could be tremendous! For democracy to work, Iraq has to think beyond ethnic and religious categories. The constitution gives us a roadmap of how to govern. What the country now needs are far sighted politicians, dedicated to the good of the nation, committed to the restoration of Iraq’s cultural prominence. For years now we expect so and so, we wish this and that … for the year 2014 and the years to come, we expect the number of electoral democracies to grow and countries to move from partly free to free. Wishing to eradicate poverty, achieve universal primary education, promote gender equality, and ensure environmental sustainability, are bound to remain just wishes if we don’t act. I know… the essence of an ever-changing world may be this twofold: development and hope. But the question is: Is it enough to expect and estimate? It is enough to hope? In my view, 2014 should be the year not of words, but of actions.
  • 65. OUR WORLD IN 2014 NEWEUROPE www.neweurope.eu 68 JANUARY 2014 GLOBAL PERSPECTIVE The formation of a democratic Kyrgyzstan By Isaev Asein Charge d’Affaires of the Embassy of the Republic of Kyrgyzstan Belgium - Brussels K yrgyzstan is a country located in the middle of Asia, with a rich and ancient history. The Kyrgyz, who represent the major ethnic group of the country, have undertaken a long historical way. There were periods of sovereignty and periods, when the Kyrgyz people were part of other state formations. As a modern state, Kyrgyzstan exists for over 20 years. Being a nomadic folk, the Kyrgyz were formerly committed to traditions of military democracy. It has been a difficult way towards modern democracy for the last 20 years. Twice during this period, people of Kyrgyzstan have learned to their cost that accountability of the leadership to the people and society is the only way of fair governance and a guarantee of sustainable development. Otherwise, the likelihood of rise of an authoritarian regime increases, which the people will eventually reject. This is what happened to the two Presidents of Kyrgyzstan in 2005 and 2010. In April 2010, a series of large-scale and tragic events took place, which left a deep trace in the history of Kyrgyzstan. Under the conditions of dramatic political struggle of the year 2010, the outgoing regime used the interregional and interethnic disputes for provoking the tragic events in the south of Kyrgyzstan. More than 400 citizens of our country lost their lives. The damage estimates for the south Kyrgyzstan’s trade, for the transport and housing infrastructure reached hundreds of millions euros. The conflict was stifled just in 4 days, without its further escalation, by common efforts of the leadership and the whole nation. More than 10 national and international commissions, including the International independent commission, invitation of which showed an unprecedented, for any post-Soviet country, openness of Kyrgyzstan, analyzed the southern events. Their reports stated that the June 2010 events in the Republic’s south were consequential to a whole complex of socio-economic and political issues, an acute development of the spring 2010. Those interethnic clashes jeopardized further democratic changes initiated after the April 2010 revolution. It was important not only to ensure the process of reconstruction, but also to continue the reforms aimed at the formation of the first parliamentary democracy in the region. Despite all the difficulties, the new Constitution was adopted at the nationwide referendum; it significantly limited President’s authority and anticipated the creation of parliamentary form of governance. This decision was achieved through much suffering by Kyrgyzstani nation, who endured the fall of two authoritarian regimes in 2005 and 2010. The nation realized that a simple change of presidential figures without changing the totalitarian and corrupted sys- tem could lead to the same result in the future. Parliamentary elections took place in October 2010. The opinion of competent observers, and the fact that the resulting Parliament represented all political spectrums, supported their fair and democratic character. Despite many negative forecasts, a broad governing coalition effectively functions for more than three years. Cases of other countries from all over the globe show that achieving consensus under the conditions of a difficult socio-economic situation and post-conflict reconstruction is a complex issue. Despite many obstacles, the country moves towards the stated objectives with confidence. The infrastructure of damaged cities and villages was being actively restored; a whole range of major political reforms were carried out in order to improve country’s political system; President Almazbek Atambayev  certain measures were taken for reaching tangible results in the aftermath of the conflict, including those concerning protection of human rights. First, large-scale reform of the judicial system was initiated. The selection principle of 445 judges of all levels was changed in order to provide for real independence of the judicial system. The program of judges’ interregional rotation was started. Prosecutor’s office role in torture prevention was strengthened; video cameras were installed in the places of investigative interrogation; for the first time certain official were actually sentenced in conformity with this article. Having signed the Convention and the facultative protocol for torture prevention, Kyrgyzstan cooperates with international organizations in order to create a nationwide mechanism for torture prevention. Presidential elections were an important and difficult examination, against the backdrop of the endured turmoil. Thus, the international community was eagerly expecting answers for difficult questions: having struggled through all the challenges, under the continuing unstable socio-political conditions, would Kyrgyzstan be able to perform the necessary breakthrough and to start learning to live with gained democratic freedoms; would the authorities and the people be able to manage a peaceful transfer of power? The elections of the President of the Kyrgyz Republic took place on October 30, 2011. For the first time in 20 years of independence, the power was transferred to the elected President without disturbances and violence. 62% of votes were given to support the newly elected President, Almazbek Atambaev. Thus, the tradition of democratic and peaceful transfer of power was founded in Kyrgyzstan. The past presiden- AFP PHOTO / VYACHESLAV OSELEDKO tial elections were highly lauded by local and international observers. Around 800 international observers from 47 international organizations and 56 countries, more than 100 representatives of international mass media were involved in the process. People of Kyrgyzstan displayed wisdom three times and executed their historical mission: at the referendum, at the parliamentary and presidential elections they openly and freely voted for democratic changes and stability in the country. Kyrgyzstan proved its loyalty to the chosen principles, for the world to witness. The nation understood that the only effective way for sustainable development was to keep the authorities clean and fair, to maintain correct and functional laws, and to encourage accountability of the government to the people, collective responsibility and civic consciousness. People realized that every taken step must work for the future of the country and the state, that there was a common responsibility for country’s present and future history. Meanwhile the key priorities remained the same: building and maximizing development of a close, constructive and open partnership with the civic society, and restoration of trust to the institutions of state authority. They required various mechanisms. First, an unprecedented fight against corruption was launched, the main political and moral burden of which weighed on President Atambaev. The historical lesson of overthrowing authoritarian regime and following stabilization of the situation in the aftermath of the tragic events is obvious. It is important now that the beginnings of democracy and freedom give their sprouts - all the prerequisites are already in place. One of the keys is the work of coalition government formed by the Parliament, which, alongside with an active and powerful parliamentary opposition, learns to seek and adopt decisions in the interests of the whole society. Mechanisms, providing for the transparency of governmental decisions, are employed in practice. Openness of the society and accountability of the authorities to the people are already delivering their first fruits. GDP growth, slightly perceptible, but steady, fluctuates around 9%. Many spheres of the economy have come out of the shadow sector. Increased growth of investment in education and healthcare is observable. The reform of the judicial power and law-enforcement system is to be continued. Observance of the rule of law, of a fair and free from discrimination justice is the main precondition for people’s emerging trust to the authorities’ activity, law-enforcement bodies and justice system as a whole. At this historically important stage of rise in spirits and democratic values, it is very important to feel support and understanding of the international community. Kyrgyzstan’s fragile stability and growth need serious economic and political backing in order to strengthen the reforms and changes in the country. The events in the Republic have shown that democratic transformations are real, but they remain very delicate. Today it is crucial to secure all that has been gained by now, all the positive tendencies, and continue moving forward. The country possesses the principal elements of human potential: strong and consistent civic society, solid traditions of freedom of speech and independent mass media. This invaluable resource has been forming the basis of impossibility for the return to authoritarianism. Today, there is a concrete program and vision of what must be done to strengthen peace and stability, which were achieved by incredible efforts. It is clear that the overall progress is slower than desired – the situation with human rights remains difficult. It is understandable that the restored democracy might be threatened; however, obtained experience and comprehension of historical lessons give reliance for transformations’ sustainability. There is hope that all the development partners will help to carry out the mission until the end and to maintain the absolute rule of law and justice in Kyrgyzstan.
  • 66. OUR WORLD IN 2014 NEWEUROPE www.neweurope.eu GLOBAL PERSPECTIVE By Turki bin Faisal al-Saud Chairman of the King Faisal Center for Research and Islamic Studies JANUARY 2014 69 Has Iran Changed? Saudi Arabia - RIYADH A s 2014 begins, there is no more important question in world diplomacy than this: Has Iran changed? Since his election in June, Iran’s new president, Hassan Rouhani, has signaled a more moderate stance in his country’s international relations. But caution is in order – now and in the years ahead. The world’s second-largest oil producer, and self-proclaimed leader of Shia Islam and anti-Western Muslim revolutionaries everywhere, remains a danger not just to Saudi Arabia but also to peace and stability in the Middle East and beyond. Saudi Arabia has two large concerns about the Islamic Republic: its quest for nuclear weapons and its interference in its neighbors’ affairs. For starters, Iran’s efforts to develop nuclear weapons pose a huge danger, and, if left unchecked, are likely to trigger a wave of proliferation across the Middle East. Faced with a nuclear-armed Iran, the Gulf Cooperation Council members, for example, will be forced to weigh their options carefully – and possibly to acquire a nuclear deterrent of their own. While all countries have the right to develop a civilian nuclear program – we Saudis have our own – Iran’s attempt to pursue nuclear weapons has brought nothing but hardship to the country. Unfortunately, the international community’s increasingly severe economic sanctions have so far failed to deter its leaders’ ambitions. If Rouhani proves unwilling or unable to engineer a change of course, what else might be done? A unilateral military strike would carry potentially dire consequences. Alas, given US President Barack Obama’s lamentable handling of the crisis in Syria, Israeli Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu may conclude that he has no option but to go it alone. Indeed, Iranian hardliners may welcome an Israeli strike, and even seek to provoke it, as a means of rallying the Iranian population behind them. There is a better way to prevent the proliferation of nuclear and other weapons of mass destruction in the region: a “WMD-free zone,” built on a system of incentives that include economic and technical support for countries that join, as well as security guarantees from the United Nations Security Council’s permanent members. The zone should also enforce economic and political sanctions on states that choose to remain outside, and – again, supported by the Security Council’s permanent members – impose military sanctions on those that try to develop WMDs. Iran’s acquisition of nuclear weapons would only heighten Saudi Arabia’s second major concern: the Iranian government’s policy of destabilizing its neighbors. Iran has been using such tactics since 1979, when Ayatollah Ruhollah Khomeini took power and began ex- Iranian Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif (2nd L) shakes hands with US Secretary of State John Kerry next to Chinese Foreign Minister Wang Yi (far L) and French Foreign Minister Laurent Fabius (far R) after reaching a deal on Irans nuclear programme.  AFP PHOTO / FABRICE COFFRINI porting his Islamist revolution across the Muslim world. The regime has specifically targeted countries with Shia majorities, such as Iraq and Bahrain, and those with significant Shia minorities, such as Kuwait, Lebanon, and Yemen. Iran also occupies three Emirati islands in the Gulf (a policy that it refuses to discuss) and has in effect launched an invasion of Syria. The irony is that Iran is the first to assert the principle of non-intervention when it suspects other countries of meddling in its internal affairs. It should practice what it preaches. Iran has no right to meddle in other countries, least of all Arab states. The impact of this policy has been devastating. In the aftermath of the US-led invasion, Iraq, a country of highly capable and diverse people that could one day return to its pivotal role in the Arab community, has become a playground for Iranian influence. Too many Iraqis are now completely beholden to the Islamic Republic. We know, for example, that a certain Iranian general was negotiating on behalf of Iraqi Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki for the support of Shia and Kurdish groups. This influence bodes ill for Iraq’s future as an ethnically and religiously diverse country, and it cannot be allowed to continue. Indeed, it is one reason why Saudi Arabia maintains an equal distance from all Iraqi factions, and why we are the only country not to have sent a permanent ambassador. Yet we will work with the Iraqi people in whatever way we can to encourage the emergence of a stable, constructive, and independent member of the Arab world. Iran’s influence in Bahrain, our closest neighbor, is similarly destructive. Hezbollah in Bahrain, created by Khomeini, has long been a source of Iranian propaganda in broadcasts beamed at the country. Indeed, Iranian officials often declare that Bahrain is a province of Iran. Saudi Arabia has supported peaceful negotiations with street protesters in Bahrain, and has provided the country with considerable economic aid to improve life there, but we will never accept an Iranian takeover. The picture is even worse in Syria, where, from the outset of the country’s civil war, Iranian support for President Bashar al-Assad has amounted to a criminal act for which Iran’s leaders should be tried at the International Criminal Court. And Syria’s western neighbor, Lebanon, is increasingly coming under Iran’s sway, as the Iranian-backed Hezbollah there pushes the country to the brink of another civil war. The main question now is whether Rouhani can be trusted. Saudi Arabia’s King Abdullah welcomed Rouhani’s election and wished him well, in the hope that this might allow him to escape the clutches of Iranian Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei’s extremist entourage and the Revolutionary Guard. But the forces of darkness in Iran are well entrenched. The legacy of Khomeini’s expansionist ambitions is as powerful as ever. Even if Rouhani’s intentions are genuine, his efforts, like those of two previous would-be reformers, Mohammad Khatami and Akbar Hashemi Rafsanjani, may be thwarted by the hardline ideology that continues to dominate in Tehran. We are prepared for either eventuality. The world should be as well.  Copyright: Project Syndicate, 2013. www.project-syndicate.org QUOTE OF THE YEAR Hassan Rouhani @BarackObama I express my gratitude for your #hospitality and your phone call. Have a good day Mr. President. - Iranian President Hassan Rouhani tweets to the US President after the first phone call between the two nations leaders in 34 years
  • 67. OUR WORLD IN 2014 NEWEUROPE www.neweurope.eu 70 JANUARY 2014 GLOBAL PERSPECTIVE Torchbearers ‘kissing’ with their torches to pass the Olympic flame in Russia’s industrial Urals city of Nizhny Tagil 1370 km (850 miles) east of Moscow. AFP PHOTO / SOCHI 2014 ORGANIZING COMMITTEE One month to go – a legacy already achieved By Dmitry Chernyshenko President of the Sochi 2014 Olympic Organizing Committee RUSSIA- Moscow O ver the past months, I have had the pleasure of following the longest torch relay in the history of the Winter Games, which will see the Olympic Torch travel to all 83 regions of Russia, and even to space! With little over a month to go before the start of Sochi 2014, we are now in full Olympic mode. Following a rule of “check and recheck”, we have carried out a comprehensive series of games-wide simulations, as well as full technology rehearsals testing 600 scenarios. I am proud to say that all 11 of our innovative, world-class sports venues have been tried and tested and are “Games ready”. We are now impatiently waiting for February 7, when the torch will complete the final leg of its journey to the Opening Ceremony at the Fisht Olympic Stadium. My colleagues and I in the Organizing Committee, and the people of Sochi and Russia, are looking forward to welcoming spectators from across the globe to The preparations for the Olympic and Paralympic Games in Sochi have been a catalyst for positive changes watch the world’s finest athletes attain Olympic Glory. However, as we look forward to two weeks of basking in the Olympic spirit, it is important to recognize that Sochi 2014 will also be the celebration of a legacy we have worked diligently towards for the past seven years. The preparations for the Olympic and Paralympic Games in Sochi have been a catalyst for positive changes in the social, economic and environmental spheres at both regional and the national level. The Games will leave a lasting legacy which will benefit Russia as a whole for generations to come. We have strived not only to leave a tangible legacy but also to build an intangible one of knowledge, skills, experience and patriotism. Bringing the Olympic Games to Sochi was a huge challenge, and one that definitely raised some eyebrows. Winter Games in subtropics! But it has paid off. The Games has helped transform Sochi from an outdated, Soviettype summer resort into а world-class centre for business and tourism, open all year round. What you see today is sunshine at the coast and snow in the mountains. We have achieved in 7 years the kind of lasting change that would usually take decades. Investment in the region has sparked wide scale transformation. Significant investment in modern transport and engineering infrastructure will spur the economic development of the region. To date more than 200 transport, education, health, culture and sports facilities have been built in addition to 1,500 km of new engineering networks, transmission lines and communications cables, 360 km of roads and bridges and 42 new hotels with 27,000 rooms. The Olympic project has already created and supported more than 560,000 jobs – 40,000 of which will be preserved after the Games. Sochi currently has the lowest level of unemployment in Russia; a mere 0.17%. This is no mean feat in times when large parts of Europe are struggling economically. And this development is future-proof. A system of “green” building standards is be- QUOTE OF THE YEAR I had two experiences of criminality: one was my conman father, the other was teaching at Eton  John Le Carre ing used for the first time in Russia, with key Olympic Games venues in the process of being certified under the BREEAM international construction standard. Also, all 10 Olympic venues will live beyond the Games. For example, the Fisht stadium will host the Football World Cup in 2018 and become a training centre for Russia’s national football team. The Bolshoy Ice Dome and Ice Cube Curling Center will both serve as a multi-purpose sports centre. And the Iceberg Skating Palace will be transformed into a velodrome for cycling competitions. But the Games are first and foremost about people. In true Olympic spirit, these new infrastructures will be inclusive of everyone. Everything which is being constructed for the Games, transport, roads, sports venues and public infrastructure, is being built taking into account the needs of those with disabilities. This accessible city model will become a standard for the whole country. Finally, I have also been inspired by the unprecedented number of volunteers wanting to be a part of the Sochi Olympics. Our Volunteer Program attracted over 200,000 applications– a staggering eight applications for every position. A new spirit of volunteering in Russia which I am positive will live well beyond the Games. The positive changes seen in Sochi and around the country are proof that the Olympic and Paralympic Games are more than just an international sporting event. As Sochi will attest, the Games provide a real opportunity for host countries to create significant change, delivering rich, long-lasting legacies for their people.
  • 68. OUR WORLD IN 2014 NEWEUROPE www.neweurope.eu GLOBAL PERSPECTIVE JANUARY 2014 71 By Joseph E. Stiglitz Nobel laureate in economics, is University Professor at Columbia University As in previous years, the fundamental problem haunting the global economy in 2013 remained a lack of global aggregate demand Protesters clashed with police during anti-austerity demonstrations in Rome, Turin and Venice, as part of a wave of social action led by the “Forconi” (Pitchforks) farmers and truck drivers movements.  AFP PHOTO/MARCO BERTORELLO The great malaise drags on USA - NEW YORK here’s something dismal about writing year-end roundups in the half-decade since the eruption of the 2008 global financial crisis. Yes, we avoided a Great Depression II, but only to emerge into a Great Malaise, with barely increasing incomes for a large proportion of citizens in advanced economies. We can expect more of the same in 2014. In the United States, median incomes have continued their seemingly relentless decline; for male workers, income has fallen to levels below those attained more than 40 years ago. Europe’s double-dip recession ended in 2013, but no one can responsibly claim that recovery has followed. More than 50% of young people in Spain and Greece remain unemployed. According to the International Monetary Fund, Spain can expect unemployment to be above 25% for years to come. The real danger for Europe is that a sense of complacency may set in. As the year passed, one could feel the pace of vital institutional reforms in the eurozone slowing. For example, the monetary union needs a real banking union – including not just common supervision, but also common deposit insurance and a common resolution mechanism – and Eurobonds, or some similar vehicle for mutualizing debt. The eurozone is not much closer to implementing either measure than it was a year ago. One could also sense a renewed commitment to the austerity policies that incited Europe’s double-dip recession. Europe’s continuing stagnation is bad enough; but there is still a significant risk of another crisis in yet another eurozone country, if not next year, in the nottoo-distant future. Matters are only slightly better in the US, where a growing economic divide – with more inequality than in any other advanced country T – has been accompanied by severe political polarization. One can only hope that the lunatics in the Republican Party who forced a government shutdown and pushed the country to the brink of default will decide against a repeat performance. But even if they do, the likely contraction from the next round of austerity – which already cost 1-2 percentage points of GDP growth in 2013 –  means that growth will remain anemic, barely strong enough to generate jobs for new entrants into the labor force. A dynamic tax-avoiding Silicon Valley and a thriving hydrocarbon sector are not enough to offset austerity’s weight. Thus, while there may be some reduction of the Federal Reserve’s purchases of longterm assets (so-called quantitative easing, or QE), a move away from rock-bottom interest rates is not expected until 2015 at the earliest. Ending low-interest-rates now would not be sensible, though QE has probably benefited the US economy only slightly, and may have raised risks abroad. The tremors in global financial markets set off by discussions earlier in 2013 of tapering QE highlighted the extent of interdependence in the global economy. Just as QE’s introduction fueled currency appreciation, announcing its eventual end triggered depreciation. The good news was that most major emerging countries had built up large foreign-exchange reserves and had sufficiently strong economies that they could withstand the shock. Still, the growth slowdown in emerging economies was disappointing – all the more so because it is likely to continue through 2014. Each country produced its own story: India’s downturn, for example, was attributed to political problems in New Delhi and a central bank worried about price stability (though there was little reason to believe that raising in- terest rates would do much about the price of onions and the other items underlying Indian inflation). Social unrest in Brazil made it clear that, despite remarkable progress in reducing poverty and inequality over the past decade, the country still has much to do to achieve broadly shared prosperity. At the same time, the wave of protest showed the growing political clout of the country’s expanding middle class. China’s decelerating growth had a significant impact on commodity prices, and thus on commodity exporters around the world. But China’s slowdown needs to be put in perspective: even its lower growth rate is the envy of the rest of the world, and its move toward more sustainable growth, even if at a somewhat lower level, will serve it – and the world – well in the long run. As in previous years, the fundamental problem haunting the global economy in 2013 remained a lack of global aggregate demand. This does not mean, of course, that there is an absence of real needs – for infrastructure, to take one example, or, more broadly, for retrofitting economies everywhere in response to the challenges of climate change. But the global private financial system seems incapable of recycling the world’s surpluses to meet these needs. And prevailing ideology prevents us from thinking about alternative arrangements. We have a global market economy that is not working. We have unmet needs and underutilized resources. The system is not delivering benefits for large segments of our societies. And the prospect of significant improvement in 2014 – or in the foreseeable future – seems unrealistic. At both the national and global levels, political systems seem incapable of introducing the reforms that might create prospects for a brighter future. Maybe the global economy will perform a little better in 2014 than it did in 2013, or maybe not. Seen in the broader context of the continuing Great Malaise, both years will come to be regarded as a time of wasted opportunities.  Copyright: Project Syndicate, 2013. www.project-syndicate.org QUOTE OF THE YEAR White House The administration does not support blowing up planets. -Paul Shawcross, chief of science and space in the White House Office of Management and Budget denying a petition from Star Wars fans asking for a ‘Death Star’
  • 69. OUR WORLD IN 2014 NEWEUROPE www.neweurope.eu 72 JANUARY 2014 GLOBAL PERSPECTIVE The shifting world economy By George Soros Chairman of Soros Fund Management and of the Open Society Foundations USA - NEW YORK s 2013 comes to a close, efforts to revive growth in the world’s most influential economies – with the exception of the eurozone – are having a beneficial effect worldwide. All of the looming problems for the global economy are political in character. After 25 years of stagnation, Japan is attempting to reinvigorate its economy by engaging in quantitative easing on an unprecedented scale. It is a risky experiment: faster growth could drive up interest rates, making debt-servicing costs unsustainable. But Prime Minister Shinzo Abe would rather take that risk than condemn Japan to a slow death. And, judging from the public’s enthusiastic support, so would ordinary Japanese. By contrast, the European Union is heading toward the type of long-lasting stagnation from which Japan is desperate to escape. The stakes are high: Nation-states can survive a lost decade or more; but the EU, an incomplete association of nation-states, could easily be destroyed by it. The euro’s design – which was modeled on the Deutsche Mark – has a fatal flaw. Creating a common central bank without a common treasury means that government debts are denominated in a currency that no single member country controls, making them subject to the risk of default. As a consequence of the crash of 2008, several member countries became over indebted, and risk premia made the eurozone’s division into creditor and debtor countries permanent. This defect could have been corrected by replacing individual countries’ bonds with Eurobonds. Unfortunately, German Chancellor Angela Merkel, reflecting the radical change that Germans’ attitudes toward European integration have undergone, ruled that out. Prior to reunification, Germany was the main motor of integration; now, weighed down by reunification’s costs, German taxpayers are determined to avoid becoming European debtors’ deep pocket. After the crash of 2008, Merkel insisted that each country should look after its own financial institutions and government debts should be paid in full. Without realizing it, Germany is repeating the tragic error of the French after World War I. Prime Minister Aristide Briand’s insistence on reparations led to the rise of Hitler; Angela Merkel’s policies are giving rise to extremist movements in the rest of Europe. The current arrangements governing the euro are here to stay, because Germany will always do the bare minimum to preserve the common currency – and because the markets A Links between the EU and China have been of increasing importance, to Europe at least.  and the European authorities would punish any other country that challenged these arrangements. Nonetheless, the acute phase of the financial crisis is now over. The European financial authorities have tacitly recognized that austerity is counterproductive and have stopped imposing additional fiscal constraints. This has given the debtor countries some breathing room, and, even in the absence of any growth prospects, financial markets have stabilized. Future crises will be political in origin. Indeed, this is already apparent, because the EU has become so inward-looking that it cannot adequately respond to external threats, be they in Syria or Ukraine. But the outlook is far from hopeless; the revival of a threat from Russia may reverse the prevailing trend toward European disintegration. As a result, the crisis has transformed the EU from the “fantastic object” that inspired enthusiasm into something radically different. What was meant to be a voluntary association of equal states that sacrificed part of their sovereignty for the common good – the embodiment of the principles of an open society – has now been transformed by the euro crisis into a relationship between creditor and debtor countries that is neither voluntary nor equal. Indeed, the euro could destroy the EU altogether. In contrast to Europe, the United States is emerging as the developed world’s strongest economy. Shale energy has given the US an important competitive advantage in manufacturing in general and in petrochemicals in particular. The banking and household sectors have made some progress in deleveraging. Quantitative easing has boosted asset values. And the housing market has improved, with construction lowering unemployment. The fiscal drag exerted by sequestration is also about to expire. More surprising, the polarization of American politics shows signs of reversing. The twoparty system worked reasonably well for two centuries, because both parties had to compete for the middle ground in general elections. Then the Republican Party was captured by a coalition of religious and market fundamentalists, later reinforced by neo-conservatives, that moved it to a far-right extreme. The Democrats tried to catch up in order to capture the middle ground, and both parties colluded in gerrymandering Congressional districts. As a consequence, activist-dominated party primaries took precedence over general elections. That completed the polarization of American politics. Eventually, the Republican Party’s Tea Party wing overplayed its hand. After the recent debacle of the government shutdown, what remains of the Republican establishment has begun fighting back, and this should lead to a revival of the two-party system. The major uncertainty facing the world today is not the euro but the future direction of China. The growth model responsible for its rapid rise has run out of steam. That model depended on financial repression of the household sector, in order to drive the growth of exports and investments. As a result, the household sector has now shrunk to 35% of GDP, and its forced savings are no longer sufficient to finance the current growth model. This has led to an exponential rise in the use of various forms of debt financing. There are some eerie resemblances with the financial conditions that prevailed in the US in the years preceding the crash of 2008. But there is a significant difference, too. In the US, financial markets tend to dominate politics; in China, the state owns the banks and the bulk of the economy, and the Communist Party controls the state-owned enterprises. AFP/POOL Aware of the dangers, the People’s Bank of China took steps starting in 2012 to curb the growth of debt; but when the slowdown started to cause real distress in the economy, the Party asserted its supremacy. In July 2013, the leadership ordered the steel industry to restart the furnaces and the PBOC to ease credit. The economy turned around on a dime. In November, the Third Plenum of the 18th Central Committee announced far-reaching reforms. These developments are largely responsible for the recent improvement in the global outlook. The Chinese leadership was right to give precedence to economic growth over structural reforms, because structural reforms, when combined with fiscal austerity, push economies into a deflationary tailspin. But there is an unresolved self-contradiction in China’s current policies: restarting the furnaces also reignites exponential debt growth, which cannot be sustained for much longer than a couple of years. How and when this contradiction will be resolved will have profound consequences for China and the world. A successful transition in China will most likely entail political as well as economic reforms, while failure would undermine still-widespread trust in the country’s political leadership, resulting in repression at home and military confrontation abroad. The other great unresolved problem is the absence of proper global governance. The lack of agreement among the United Nations Security Council’s five permanent members is exacerbating humanitarian catastrophes in countries like Syria – not to mention allowing global warming to proceed largely unhindered. But, in contrast to the Chinese conundrum, which will come to a head in the next few years, the absence of global governance may continue indefinitely.  Copyright: Project Syndicate, 2013. www.project-syndicate.org
  • 70. OUR WORLD IN 2014 NEWEUROPE www.neweurope.eu GLOBAL PERSPECTIVE JANUARY 2014 73 Tipping point for China and Taiwan By Greg Austin Professorial Fellow, the EastWest Institute (New York) There is now a naval arms race in East Asia USA - New York M uch of 20th Century history unfolded in the shadow of events in Europe in August 1914, when major powers in Europe launched one of the most savage wars the world had seen. August 2014 is looking very different. The most powerful countries are as intent on avoiding war today as their European forebears were intent on making it 100 years ago. Yet the consequences of confrontations and alliances in this coming year may well determine much of what follows for decades to come. The wild card for 2014 in global alliance architecture is the geography between China and Japan. It includes the Korean Peninsula, the East China Sea and Taiwan. All three have changed their geopolitical character in significant and destabilizing ways in the past decade. Yet unlike 1914, geopolitics today is seated in an interlocking web of globalized investment, trade and networked communications. This globalization of interest seems to offer a massive counterweight to any shocks that geopo- Taiwan started 2014 with a traditional flag raising ceremony marking the 103rd anniversary of the country’s birth. litical confrontation might deliver. The major potential catalyst for a shock that I see concerns Taiwan. While we have seen a strong positive trend in the relationship between it and China, it is this new closeness that is itself creating the danger. The United States has undertaken a strategic rebalancing to Asia to hedge against military destabilization there. That move, understandable in its own limited terms, has taken on more negative overtones for China as a result of the subsequent return to power in Japan of Shinzo Abe. He leads an unapologetically robust Japanese government, which is intent on normalizing its international security status, recalibrating its armed forces against China’s military modernization, and consigning apology diplomacy to the dustbin of history. There is now a naval arms race in East Asia. Taiwan has done nothing to inflame the situation and has been promoting cooperative diplomacy between Japan and China. The conduct of Taiwan/China relations by both PICTURES OF THE YEAR A life-sized gold horse, made of bronze and coated with gold foil, is displayed at Japanese jeweler Tanaka Kikinzoku Jewelry’s shop in Nagoya. The gold horse, has a price of $150,000.  AFP PHOTO / JIJI PRESS sides has been a model of cooperation. What is the crisis potential around Taiwan? For decades, China has threatened the use of military force against Taiwan and any intervening U.S. forces to prevent the permanent separation of the island from its mother state. What we now see emerging is the opportunity for China to promote the permanent separation of Taiwan from military alliance with the United States. China and Taiwan now have common cause against Japan’s uncompromising stand on territorial sovereignty over the disputed islands. Both claim the islands based on their common history as part of a unified China. The issue has become more emotional than ever. The United States position on the dispute has inflamed sentiment in China regardless of the logic of it. A century ago, the change in allegiance of a strategically placed “client state” at a time of anxiety about changing balance of power was a classic recipe for military crisis. Luckily, the world has changed, Taiwan is not a client state of the United States, and aggressive war of the sort that such changes of allegiance once provoked has been outlawed for at least seventy years, since the signing of the United Nations Charter. But there should be no mistaking the strategic trends. Taiwan’s geopolitical position is changing fundamentally and events in the past year and in prospect for 2014 suggest a quickening of the pace. The only question we have to answer is what form will any shift in alliances take, and what sort of crisis might it provoke? Perhaps we can take a hint from the early days of the George W. Bush Administration when anti-China neo-conservatives tried to force more arms purchases on Taiwan that its parliament and government wanted. Those days are long gone, but they revealed the AFP PHOTO / Mandy CHENG American geopolitical mentality at its worst and the Taiwan geo-economic mentality at its best. This is not as inevitable a partnership as many in Washington believe. What is Taiwan’s situation? A 2013 paper from Brookings by Joshua Melzer shows China (including Hong Kong) now taking 40 per cent of Taiwan’s trade, with the United States dropping to a 10 per cent share. The reversal over two decades of the relative positions of China and the United States in Taiwan’s trade pattern is historic, even if as Melzer points out, the United States is a primary destination of production from Taiwan-invested factories in China. Deeper analysis is needed. What is the significance of the statement on 10 October 2013 by President Ma Ying-jeou that the people of Taiwan are part of the Chinese nationality and that cross-strait relations are not “international” relations? What is the significance of the 30-year low in arms purchases from the United States by Taiwan? What are the trends in people to people contacts? Is China’s policy of binding Taiwan to it with economic ropes (in place for twenty years) finally working? Does 17 years of the “one country two systems” model in place in Hong Kong have any impact in Taiwan? Above all, what would the impact be of a scene in 2014 of Chinese PLA navy vessels defending Taiwanese national dignity and possibly its citizens against Japanese actions in the Senkaku/Diaoyu Islands–when the United States has been so visibly backing Japan, with the former having invoked the 1951 Mutual Defense Treaty? I will not predict an outcome for East Asian alliances in 2014, but are we approaching an historic tipping point equivalent in geopolitical significance to the events of August 1914? I believe we probably are. Much more skilful and creative diplomacy may be needed in East Asia than we have seen so far.
  • 71. OUR WORLD IN 2014 NEWEUROPE www.neweurope.eu 74 JANUARY 2014 By Pascal Lamy Former Director General of the World Trade Organization, and Chair of the Oxford Martin Commission for Future Generations Switzerland - GENEVA GLOBAL PERSPECTIVE The perilous retreat from global trade rules O ver the last half-century, the world has been undergoing a “great convergence,” with per capita incomes in developed countries rising almost three times faster than those in advanced countries. But developments in 2013 revealed that the open trade regime that has facilitated this progress is now under grave threat, as stalemate in multilateral trade negotiations spurs the proliferation of “preferential trade agreements” (PTAs), including the two biggest ever negotiated – the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP), and the Trans-Atlantic Trade and Investment Partnership (TTIP). The rules and norms arising from the General Agreement on Tariffs and Trade (GATT) and its successor, the World Trade Organization (WTO), have underpinned the export-led growth model that has enabled developing countries to lift millions of people out of poverty. The irony is that large developing economies’ rise to systemic significance is at the heart of the current deadlock in multilateral trade negotiations. Advanced countries argue that emerging economies should embrace reciprocity and establish trade regimes similar to their own. Emerging economies counter that their per capita incomes remain far lower than those of their developed counterparts, and insist that addressing their enormous development challenges demands flexibility in terms of their trade obligations. The resulting stalemate has impeded meaningful discussion of the main issues – including non-tariff measures, export restrictions, electronic commerce, exchange rates, and the trade implications of climate-change-related policies – raised by an open global economy. Against this background, mega-PTAs seem poised to re-shape world trade. The TPP negotiations involve a dozen Asian, Latin American, and North American countries, including Japan, Mexico, and the United States; the TTIP would encompass the world’s two largest economies, the European Union and the US; and the Regional Comprehensive Economic Partnership (RCEP) includes 16 Asia-Pacific countries. Japan is also developing an agreement with China and South Korea, as well as a deal with the EU. Such PTAs are said to have the potential to improve conditions well beyond the borders of the countries involved. If either the TPP or the TTIP produces meaningful reforms to tradedistorting farm subsidies – becoming the first non-multilateral agreement to do so – the benefits will be truly international. But the PTAs that now exist or are being negotiated focus more on regulatory issues than tariffs, and would therefore require participants to reach agreement on a wide range of rules covering, for example, investment, fair competition, health and safety standards, and technical regulations. This presents a number of obstacles. While some non-tariff measures might be easy to dismiss as protectionist, many others serve legitimate public-policy objectives, such as consumer Many questioning global trade and how it appears to be harming the worst off in the world.  Global rules on investment could enhance the efficiency of resource allocation safety or environmental protection, making it difficult to ensure that they do not conflict with the basic principles of fairness and openness. Moreover, such agreements can lock various groups into different regulatory approaches, raising transaction costs for domestic traders and making it difficult for external goods and services to penetrate the bloc. Such market segmentation could disrupt supply chains and lead to efficiency-damaging trade diversion. Finally, the ability of mega-PTAs to set norms that benefit non-participants might prove to be more limited than many believe. Transatlantic trade rules on currency valuation, for example, might leave Japan indifferent. And specific rules to protect intellectual property could do nothing more than prevent Brazil and India from participating. Overcoming these obstacles will require, first and foremost, some level of coherence among PTAs, with the various deals following roughly similar principles when addressing regulatory issues. Furthermore, if regionalism comes to be perceived as coercive and unfriendly, countries could form defensive trade blocs, leading to economic fragmentation and heightened security tension. To prevent such an outcome, the deals should be relatively open to newcomers and amenable to the possibility of “multilateralization.” But the need for policy coherence extends beyond the mega-PTAs. Optimal outcomes for international trade require attention at all levels to the interface between trade and a host of other policy areas. Consider food security. Effective national policies concerning land, water, and naturalresource management, infrastructure and transport networks, agricultural-extension services, land-ownership rights, energy, storage, credit, and research are as important as trade arrangements to transferring food from surplus countries to those in need. Likewise, regional cooperation on water and infrastructure is critical to improving diplomatic relations and establishing well-functioning markets. And, at the multilateral level, agricultural production and trade is influenced by policies on subsidies, tariffs, and export restrictions (although the latter are not currently governed by strict WTO rules). Despite the great value of regional cooperation and coherent national policies, a functional multilateral trade system remains vital. In order to reinvigorate multilateral trade cooperation, governments must work together to address unresolved issues from the Doha agenda, such as agricultural subsidies and tariff escalation. To be sure, the agreement reached at the WTO’s recent ministerial conference in Bali represents a boon for world trade and multilateral cooperation. But governments must expand the agenda to include guidelines aimed at ensuring that megaPTAs do not lead to economic fragmentation. Future WTO rules on export restrictions could BELGA PHOTO OLIVIER VIN help to stabilize international markets for agricultural commodities. Trade in services could be liberalized further, and industrial subsidies could prevent countries’ green-innovation objectives from getting lost amid pressure to boost employment at home. Moreover, global rules on investment could enhance the efficiency of resource allocation, while international guidelines for competition policy would serve the interests of consumers and most producers more effectively than the existing patchwork system. Increased cooperation with the International Monetary Fund on exchange-rate issues, and with the International Labor Organization on labor standards, could diminish trade tensions and enhance trade’s contribution to improving people’s lives. A shared strategy for addressing non-tariff measures would help countries to avoid unnecessary trade friction. And new developments in energy production might facilitate more meaningful international cooperation on energy trade and investment. All of this would require that emerging economies accept eventual alignment of their trade commitments with those of advanced economies, and that advanced countries accept that emerging countries deserve long transition periods. In 2014 and beyond, all parties must recognize that, in a multipolar world, an international trading system based on an updated set of rules is the least risky means of pursuing their growth objectives. The recent WTO agreement reached in Bali on streamlining border protocols, among other issues, shows that important steps in this direction can indeed be taken.  Copyright: Project Syndicate, 2013. www.project-syndicate.org
  • 72. OUR WORLD IN 2014 NEWEUROPE www.neweurope.eu GLOBAL PERSPECTIVE JANUARY 2014 75 Rehab World By Niall Ferguson Professor of History, Harvard University UK - CAMBRIDGE erhaps we should call 2013 the year of Winehouse economics. As the late English chanteuse Amy Winehouse sang: “They tried to make me go to rehab, but I said ‘No, no, no.’” In 2013, the singers were the world’s most important central banks, led by the Federal Reserve. In the summer, both the Fed and the People’s Bank of China signaled their intention to normalize monetary policy. Fed Chairman Ben Bernanke talked openly of “tapering” the Fed’s policy of open-ended bond purchases, also known as quantitative easing (QE). PBOC Governor Zhou Xiaochuan actually did try to rein in his country’s runaway credit growth. But when markets in both countries reacted more violently than expected – with bond yields soaring in the United States and inter-bank lending rates spiking in China – the monetary authorities backed off. It is a problem many a pop singer has encountered: After years of stimulus, rehab is just not that easy. True, there remain strong intellectual justifications for continued economic stimulus of one sort or another. In November, the man who once seemed poised to succeed Bernanke, Larry Summers, suggested that the US economy might be in the grip of “secular stagnation.” Other economists continue to fret that in Europe, if not in America, the benign disinflation of recent decades could yet turn into malign deflation. And yet there are indications that the world economy as a whole is perking up. The International Monetary Fund forecasts that annual global growth will accelerate from 2.9% this year to 3.6% in 2014, and will be 4% or higher for the next four years – above the average growth rates recorded in the 1980’s, P 1990’s, and 2000’s. The mismatch between advanced-economy under-performance and resurgent growth in the rest of the world raises (at least) seven questions, especially for the major central banks themselves. Each of these institutions has some kind of national mandate. Yet, in our interconnected world, their decisions inevitably have global consequences. Question 1: What exactly will the Fed do under its new boss, Janet Yellen? She certainly sounds as if she favors ongoing medication over cold turkey. The tapering of QE has to happen sooner or later, but Yellen’s genuine concern about the state of the US labor market suggests that she will promise lower interest rates for longer than might seem warranted by other indicators. The challenge will be to make this new regime of “forward guidance” work if other indicators suggest that recovery is underway (just ask Mark Carney, Governor of the Bank of England). After years of stimulus, rehab is just not that easy The US is on the mend in more ways than one. Shale gas and oil have brought an energy bonanza. Silicon Valley is thriving. The stock market is hitting record highs. And, amazingly, a deeply polarized US Congress has just struck a two-year fiscal deal that will boost spending slightly in the short run, while reducing the deficit in the long run. There is a strong possibility that markets will react to this and other good news by ignoring forward guidance, focusing on the tapering of QE and nudging up long-term rates. And PICTURES OF THE YEAR A sculpture is silhouetted against the full moon in Hanover, central Germany.  AFP PHOTO / DPA / JULIAN STRATENSCHULTE US Federal Reserve Chairman Ben Bernanke is seen on a large TV screen over the trading pits at the CME Group Chicago Board of Trade in Chicago.  EPA/TANNEN MAURY one short-run consequence of this might be the kind of sharp stock-market correction that we saw in 1980 and 1987. Wall Street likes to test a new Fed chairman. Question 2: How will other central banks react to a changing monetary policy regime in Washington? In Frankfurt, the European Central Bank knows that the eurozone periphery is not ready for higher interest rates yet, even if Spain, Ireland, and Greece are showing signs of economic life. Unemployment on the eurozone periphery remains appallingly high. Moreover, the biggest political risk in Europe is still populism – and next year’s European parliamentary elections will give the likes of France’s far-right leader, Marine Le Pen, a golden opportunity. Question 3: Will the populists do well enough to disrupt the complex process of establishing a banking union, a prerequisite for the sustainable recovery of Europe’s financial system? Probably not. Indeed, populist success may even encourage Social Democrats and Christian Democrats to form a “grand coalition” in the European Parliament – which would represent another step in the European Union’s quiet Germanization. Meanwhile, in Japan, there is even less enthusiasm for monetary rehab: the Abe government clearly expects more, not less, stimulus from the Bank of Japan. Without it, hopes that “Abenomics” will get Japan’s annual inflation rate up to 2% will surely be dashed. Question 4: Will Japan be able to maintain QE while the US tapers? Probably, but the extent to which it serves the cause of sustained growth and higher inflation depends on the so-called “third arrow” of structural reform, which has yet to hit real targets. The contrast with Japan’s neighbor and strategic rival, China, is striking. There is at least some evidence that the PBOC has already resumed monetary tightening in an effort to impose a controlled credit crunch on the country’s shadow banking sector. That brings me to the final three questions: Question 5: Can China really sustain growth while simultaneously deflating a credit bubble and implementing the structural reforms announced after the Communist Party Central Committee’s Third Plenum? Question 6: How will China’s vast new middle class react if the answer to question 5 is “No”? Question 7: Will the leadership in Beijing respond to domestic discontent with more of the foreign-policy saber rattling that we have seen this year? I do not pretend to know the answers to these last questions. But they may prove to be the key to how well – or badly – a “Rehab World” turns out.  Copyright: Project Syndicate, 2013. www.project-syndicate.org
  • 73. OUR WORLD IN 2014 NEWEUROPE www.neweurope.eu 76 JANUARY 2014 GLOBAL PERSPECTIVE East Asia: visually faster informed? By Wolfgang Pape Former official of the European Commission Belgium - Brussels G oogle’s co-founder Sergey was recently waiting for a friend while wearing his high-tech Google ‘Glasses’, in a fast reply to a text message, he relied on what he saw and just tapped the built-in camera to send a picture of the scene surrounding him. He did not need to write alphabetic text or utter sounds for a spoken message. One click was enough to communicate plenty of relevant visual information. 150 million notably younger people already use Instagram, to document their lives and share their pictures with friends. A Chinese proverb of old says every picture contains a thousand words, and in most of East Asia, they practice their more visual cultures in daily life, ranging from their ancient script of Chinese symbols to the modern images of Nippon’s ‘Anime’ and ‘Manga’. A Japanese bestseller of 1996 confirms that their fast input via the eye amounts to more than ninety percent of all the information they retain. We in the West, however, in the slower lane are still writing only sounds. We keep inefficiently typing alphabetic sound-letters without direct meaning, unless it is in the right context of a full word in one language-culture (i.e. representing merely a spoken ‘tongue’). China – still the ‘Middle Kingdom’ (中國) in its own and in its Japanese naming – seems to prove to the contrary with her commonalty of a meaningful written script of ideogrammes to work more efficiently and effectively in information exchanges, and also in retaining moral codes including century-old Confucianism. The input of information only indirectly through phonetic letters like in alphabetic The ‘Golden Record’ contains signs designed to be understood by alien civilisations.  English is extremely cumbersome and timeconsuming, as is its retrieval of reading by combining alphabetic letters into meaningful words. Much more direct and economical is the input as well as output of information in visual symbols, as it has been increasingly used for computing, for instance Windows originally spelled out “Home” button was soon replaced by its faster and omnilaterally recognised symbol of a little house. Vision is a much faster intake with the highest-bandwidth of information transmission to our human brain. Moreover, the comprehension of such symbols is mostly transcultural and beyond any particular spoken language, like the Chinese script with a common meaning but pronounced differently in Mandarin and other tongues in the country. One is tempted to regard Chinese calligraphy as a “cultural comparative advantage” in the age of digitalisation over the West’s less PICTURES OF THE YEAR The Aurora Borealis bright up the sky at twilight on March 17, 2013 between the towns of Are and Ostersund, Sweden. AFP PHOTO/JONATHAN NACKSTRAND economic phonetic writing system of the alphabet. Not only China, Taiwan, Japan and traditional Korea share to a large extent the basic script of symbolic characters, but before European occupation also Vietnam and other parts of Indochina used meaningful Chinese script. By no means is this a mere legacy of the past, on the contrary, at last year’s Northeast Asia Trilateral Forum reached an agreement to release a selected list of popular Chinese characters to further promote the commonality of their writing symbols with emphasis on the importance of easily recognised images. Now, with tele-‘vision’ and notably the computer-screen as the main medium of communication the Eastern long lasting way of more visual orientation as exemplified in the Chinese script increasingly plays out as an advantage over the West’s still lingering fascination with the spoken word and rhetoric skills that seem to make a ‘per-sona’ here through the sound. Europe should advance in the Information Society, and in a culturally neutral fashion, reduce its red tape and paperwork by introducing common symbols for clearer and faster communication. The EU could start for instance by greatly simplifying its public procurement documents. Instead of describing all the objects of desire of the EU institutions written out in the official 24 languages, a common symbol for instance for a pencil or a computer could be found that everybody involved easily recognises as such. In the 1920s, a movement called ‘Vienna Method’ started to develop ‘Isotype’ (International System of Typographic Picture Education) as a universal ‘language’ leading i.a. to ‘pictorial statistics’ and the Isotype Institutes in the Netherlands and the UK. NASA One is tempted to regard Chinese calligraphy as a “cultural comparative advantage” in the age of digitalisation Their work also exerted influence on the design of road and airport signs, websites, instructions and directions at international events. Likewise the more recent scientific advances of Umberto Eco’s Semiotics of recognition of ‘stimulans’ and ‘respons’ mediated by ‘interpretans’ could fruitfully contribute to the research. Furthermore, along with the now more than fifty sectoral dialogues of the EU with Chinese authorities and others with Japan, a joint project to link Isotype’s scientific approach of visualisation to the experience of pictorial writings and simplifications of Chinese/Japanese could constitute a concrete case for mutually beneficial Asia-Europe cooperation (perhaps through ASEF funding). It could lead to deliverables that are possibly recognised omnilaterally as useful symbols for information exchanges globally, starting with Public Procurement Codes. Such cooperative efforts of Western analytic science and Eastern empiric culture towards agreed lists of global symbols might significantly serve the enhancement of communication worldwide.
  • 74. OUR WORLD IN 2014 NEWEUROPE www.neweurope.eu GLOBAL PERSPECTIVE JANUARY 2014 77 By Mai Yamani Author of ‘Cradle of Islam’ To the relief of the Saudi royals, the Arab Spring did not lead to the creation of functioning democracies in Tunisia, Egypt, Yemen, Bahrain, Libya, or Syria England - LONDON D uring the three years of political upheaval in the Middle East since the “Arab Spring” began, Saudi Arabia has attempted to maintain its dominant status in the region by any means necessary. In 2013, the Saudi royal family searched for regional allies, and sought – as in Egypt – to restore old allies to power. The Kingdom also used its vast oil wealth to bring about the type of regional stability with which they have been familiar for decades. To the relief of the Saudi royals, the Arab Spring did not lead to the creation of functioning democracies in Tunisia, Egypt, Yemen, Bahrain, Libya, or Syria. Better still, from their perspective, the Islamist regimes that emerged proved to be either fundamentally incompetent, and thus easily overthrown (as with President Mohamed Morsi’s government in Egypt), or merely dysfunctional (as in Tunisia), and thus possessing no appeal as a model for other countries. Still, the Arab Spring revolutions did fundamentally undermine the pillars of the old regional system with which the Kingdom was so comfortable. It ousted reliable old allies like Egypt’s Hosni Mubarak and Tunisia’s Zine El Abidine Ben Ali (now hiding out in Riyadh), and turned once-tolerable regimes like Bashar al-Assad’s in Syria into murderous opponents. Saudi Arabia’s initial response to the fracturing of a system that it had underwritten with petrodollars was to increase support for those of its allies that were still standing – Jordan, Lebanon, and Bahrain. Its next move was to underwrite the Egyptian army’s removal of Morsi’s Muslim Brotherhood government in Egypt, thumbing its nose at the United States in the process. As became clear in 2013, Syria is now the Saudi Crown Prince Salman bin Abdulaziz waits for the arrival of US Secretary of Defense Chuck Hagel at the Urga Palace, on December 9, 2013, in Riyadh.  AFP PHOTO / POOL / MARK WILSON The Bewildered Kingdom main focus of Saudi Arabia’s attention in the region, and for existential reasons. The Saudis consider the struggle between Assad and his opponents a proxy war against their own main adversary, Iran. The Kingdom has been the primary source of financing and weaponry for Sunni Syrian rebel forces fighting Assad’s army, which is backed heavily by Shia Iran and Hezbollah, the Lebanon-based Shia militia. Of course, in their struggle against an Iranian regime that is backed by Russia, the Saudi royals would like continued protection from their main ally, the US. But they no longer feel constrained to wait for US approval of their actions or even to refrain from acting against American preferences. Saudi Arabia is experiencing a fear of abandonment by the US, and it is acting accordingly. Since World War II, the Kingdom has been nurtured by the US – and has relied on it for military and political support since the first oil concession in 1938. Following US President Barack Obama’s refusal to enforce his “red line” concerning the Assad regime’s use of chemical weapons, the Kingdom’s rulers concluded that they were facing a different America from the one that 22 years ago sent a half-million troops to expel Saddam Hussein’s forces from neighboring Kuwait. The question for the Saudi royals now is this: Will the US merely be indifferent to their deepest fears, or will American policy in the region actually aggravate these fears? Iran will be the litmus test for Saudi-US relations in 2014 and beyond. Iran, a US rival in the region ever since the 1979 Islamic Revolution, may be in the early stages of normalizing its relations with America. In fact, this may not prove as difficult as three decades of animus might suggest. As Henry Kissinger has often argued, the US and Iran have strategic interests that are fundamentally in harmony; what is abnormal is the post-1979 estrangement. Indeed, before the Islamic Revolution, Iran formed the bedrock of US policy in the Middle East and South Asia. The Kingdom’s rulers, like all royals, think in the past, remember this history well, and fear its repetition. Of course, the Saudi royals recognize why America wants to reach a deal with Iran. There is no easy military response to Iran’s nuclear program, and no bombing campaign can eliminate the country’s nuclear knowledge. But, though sanctions alone will not stop Iran’s nuclear ambitions, their progressive tightening has severely damaged the regime. Now, instead of applying another turn of the screw – and possibly causing the regime to buckle – Obama is easing the pressure. The issue for the Saudis is not merely Iran’s putative nuclear capability. A deal on Iran’s nuclear program would legitimize the regime’s regional influence in a way that has not occurred in decades, thereby serving its hegemonic objectives. The deeper threat or fear is that Iran’s ultimate target is leadership of Mecca, the cradle of Islam. That is why the Saudi royals prefer to keep Iran chained with international sanctions. True, even under economic sanctions, Iran has intruded ever more deeply into Arab politics, but it was the US that opened the door by overthrowing Saddam’s Sunni-minority regime in Iraq, which ultimately brought an Iranian-backed Shia government to power. The Saudi regime is particularly wary of Iran’s decade-long efforts to persuade the small Gulf sheikhdoms to create security and economic arrangements that exclude the US. This is one reason why the Kingdom moved troops into Bahrain when Arab Spring protests by the country’s Shia majority erupted – and why America, having learned its lesson in Iraq, gave its tacit consent. Making matters more bewildering is the declining potency of Saudi Arabia’s trump card – oil. New energy supplies – particularly shale oil in the US and Australia – have diminished America’s need for the Kingdom. The potential return of Iran as a major oil exporter if a nuclear agreement is reached in 2014 would further loosen the Saudi grip on oil prices as “Shia” oil from Iran and Iraq flood the market. In that case, even the Saudi king’s adopted title “Custodian of the Two Holy Mosques” would not guarantee leadership of the Muslim world.  Copyright: Project Syndicate, 2013. www.project-syndicate.org QUOTE OF THE YEAR Malala Yousafzai One child, one teacher, one book, and one pen can change the world. - Pakistani student activist Malala Yousafzai, who was shot in the head by the Taliban in 2012
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  • 76. ENERGY CONTENTS NEWEUROPE www.neweurope.eu JANUARY 2014 OUR WORLD IN 2014 By Nicos A. Rolandis 80 The hydrocarbons of Cyprus By Konstantin Simonov By Kostis Geropoulos European gas market: Russia is returning? Gazing into the Energy Crystal Ball for 2014 81 By Daniel Yergin The global impact of US shale 82 83
  • 77. OUR WORLD IN 2014 NEWEUROPE www.neweurope.eu 80 JANUARY 2014 ENERGY The hydrocarbons of Cyprus The past and the future By Nicos A. Rolandis Former Minister of Foreign Affairs (19781983), Minister of Commerce, Industry and Tourism (1998-2003) of Cyprus The smell of oil & gas and the tens of billions of dollars it may represent one day, would be felt strongly all over Cyprus Pump up the volume! Noble Energy’s Homer Ferrington platform off Cyprus’ south coast.  C yprus is today one of the main players in the oil and gas sector of the Levant Basin in the Eastern Mediterranean. There were some abortive efforts by cypriot and foreign entrepreneurs in the 1940s, 50s, 60s to trace and pump oil or gas mainly onshore Cyprus. Many years later, on the 4th August 1980, when I was Minister of Foreign Affairs of the Republic of Cyprus I received in my office a senior executive of the Standard Oil of Indiana and of Amoco, two of the US oil majors of those days. His name was Ambrose and he expressed the readiness of the above corporations to drill offshore for oil & gas. The Law of the Sea Convention was still under negotiation at Montego Bay, Jamaica. Turkey, which eventually refused to sign the convention, had learned about Ambrose’s interest before he came to see me. According to our Public Relations office in Washington, Turkey had “threatened to study the possibility of a further military operation in Cyprus”. In the light of the above I arranged a meeting of Mr. Ambrose with President Spyros Kyprianou on the following day. We considered the matter cautiously with the President and he asked me to seek the advice of U.N. Secretary-General Kurt Waldheim. I called Waldheim who listened carefully. He asked me to leave the matter with him for a few days. He called me back a week later. He was negative. We were just six years away from the Turkish invasion of 1974 and he feared that PICTURES OF THE YEAR Two Lebanese women wearing Santa Claus outfits and waving their national flag north of Beruit.  AFP PHOTO / PATRICK BAZ trouble might follow. The decision of President Kyprianou was that we should postpone the whole matter. Almost 20 years later, in 1998, I became Minister of Commerce, Industry and Tourism, which includes the portfolio of Energy. Oil & gas was in my mind. I was encouraged in this regard by a US corporation called Crest and by the Egyptian government. So I took the matter up with President Glafcos Clerides. Clerides had some doubts at the beginning but eventually, after he heard my arguments, he gave me the green light to proceed. I commenced the process in an atmosphere of disbelief and derision. The public at large and the media were not convinced that the venture was serious. They thought it was a flash in the pan. Many meetings and contacts ensued. Egypt, Lebanon, Syria, Israel, Algeria, the United States of America and the Russian Federation were the main countries I visited in connection with the subject. Eventually and after long deliberations I signed in Cairo, on the 17th of February 2003, with Foreign Minister of Egypt, Ahmed Maher, the first Exclusive Economic Zone (EEZ) Agreement in the Mediterranean. It was based on the median line between the two countries. So, what are the prospects today, 11 years after the above signature? 1. In her Block 12, Cyprus has a quantity of about 4 trillion cubic feet (tcf) of gas. This is less than 1/1000 of the world reserves. According to the Egyptians, Cyprus may have as much as 0.5% of gas in her overall EEZ out of the 2% which the Levant Basin may contain. EPA/CYPRIOT PRESS OFFICE The US Geological Survey have reached the same conclusion about the Levant Basin. 2. Cyprus may also have oil. According to estimates this may amount 2-3 billion barrels of oil. Noble Energy, Total and ENI will drill for oil in the years to come. 3. The above wealth is colossal for a small country. It has to be exploited with a lot of wisdom. Good planning and expertise will be necessary as well. 4. When I commenced the oil & gas process back in 1998, I knew that a new dimension would be added to the Cyprus problem. The smell of oil & gas and the tens of billions of dollars it may represent one day, would be felt strongly all over Cyprus. They would become an integral part of the problem of Cyprus. And they would even reach Greece and Turkey. 5. The oil bonanza may be a blessing or an Armageddon, depending on the wisdom of those who handle it. It constitutes a prey and an object of desire for those who, irrespective of what is right or wrong, are strong and greedy and like to possess it. 6. In recent years I always felt that hydrocarbons might constitute the catalyst for the solution of the Cyprus problem and also of the wider conflict in the triangle between Cyprus, Greece and Turkey. I have put forward a number of proposals towards this end. I hope and trust that this wealth will be utilized to bring about peace in the Eastern Mediterranean, in exactly the same way in which coal started the process for peace and prosperity in Europe 60 years ago, as the President of the European Council Herman Van Rompuy stated during a visit to Cyprus last year.
  • 78. OUR WORLD IN 2014 NEWEUROPE www.neweurope.eu ENERGY By Konstantin Simonov Director General of Russia’s National Energy Security Fund (NESF) RUSSIA – MOSCOW D espite structural problems on the gas market in the European Union and the ongoing crisis in the Eurozone, Gazprom’s standing in 2013 strengthened substantially. The reason is problems of other suppliers, depletion of reserves at European underground gas storages and discounts to major clients made by Gazprom. Meanwhile, by the end of 2013 the European Commission planned to complete antimonopoly investigation against Gazprom suspecting the Russian gas giant of abuse of its dominating position in markets in Eastern Europe, limiting competition and overstating prices. The procedure was overly politicized. It was initiated by Lithuania that, instead of a constructive dialogue, openly confronted the only supplier making radical decisions aimed against Gazprom as bona-fide investor and co-owner of the national holding. Moreover, since initial searches the process has been invisibly linked to efforts of Brussels on developing the Southern Gas Corridor, especially with pressure on Moscow regarding the unimpeded laying of a trans-Caspian gas pipeline from Turkmenistan to Azerbaijan and further to the EU. With the investigation entering the final straight it turns out that Europe strongly needs substantial additional gas imports from Russia, especially on the eve of the winter season. The desire to go through the upcoming heating season calmly and not to sharpen relations with the largest supplier during the period of peak demand probably is the main hidden motive for postponing announcement of the investigation results until next spring at least. On the other side, the mandate of the current European Commission expires next autumn, and the new commission will be approved by the European Parliament and formed as a result of the May elections. Thus, the team of Jose Manuel Barroso has an incentive to slam the door before they leave by presenting claims against Gazprom, which may somehow distract attention from the failed energy and ecological policy of the EU during Barosso’s two terms. But this will obviously reinforce distrust between Russia and the EU and create additional risks for partnership development and even for maintaining and implementing the current mutual obligations. As far as the third energy package implementation and functioning of the common gas market that is to be launched in 2014 are concerned, it is rather problematic in reality. Out of 12 necessary network codes that are obligatory for adoption to form a stable normative and regulatory base of new organization of the market, only two documents were passed at the end of 2013, and only one entered into force. This concerns the network code on regulating the use of contracted but unutilized JANUARY 2014 81 European gas market: Russia is returning? Russia’s gas giant Gazprom CEO Alexei Miller attends the world biggest gas company’s annual meeting in Moscow. Despite structural problems on the gas market in the European Union and the ongoing crisis in the Eurozone, Gazprom’s standing in 2013 strengthened substantially. AFP PHOTO/VASILY MAXIMOV From the point of view of fundamental parameters in the next few years Gazprom’s standing in the European market will be strong or very strong capacities (congestion management) that was approved in late 2012, as well as on the network code on transit capacity at non-discriminatory auctions. The EC approved it in October 2013, but it will come into force only in November 2015, which again shows that there will be no common gas market established in the EU in the declared period. From the point of view of fundamental parameters in the next few years Gazprom’s standing in the European market will be strong or very strong. The EU seems to be running out of possibilities to restrain the share of gas in the energy balance, as well as to reduce gross energy consumption amid gradual recovery of the Eurozone after the economic downturn. Decline in domestic consumption, problems with resources in Norway and Algeria, political instability in Libya, as well as the LNG deficit on the market caused by a small number of new projects will lead to stable and high imports of Russian gas under long-term projects. Discounts provided to European partners will also contribute to the demand for Russian gas imports. These are ideal conditions to use soft power to settle the antimonopoly investigation launched by the EU against Gazprom. In Europe everybody seems to understand that producing real penalties to Gazprom will lead to worsening of relations with Russia and will deteriorate energy security of the European Union. Whatever big the desire of the European Commission headed by Barroso leaving next year is, objective reasons for sharp moves are weak currently. No wonder European commissioner for competition Joaquin Almunia who conducted the antimonopoly investigation at first declared about postponing promulgation of the claims from the end of 2013 to spring 2014, but in early December said that a possibility of peaceful settlement of the problem with Gazprom was considered. Besides, that day, long before the deadline, the European Commission issued a permit to an asset swap deal of Gazprom and Wintershall that will significantly reinforce positions of the Russian gas giant on the sales market and increase its competitive advantages due to availability of storing capacities. Gazprom being ready to skim the cream off and try to strengthen its positions on the EU market, while the conjuncture is favorable for the Russian gas, seems to be prepared for a compromise. Now the question is about the conditions the sides will withdraw from the process saving the face and not causing significant financial damage. Lithuania may play the role of token money for Gazprom and the EU; Vilnius will probably get the long-awaited 15% to 25% discount off gas prices; another option is the sale of gas transportation assets of the concern in Europe (e.g. stakes in Gascade and gas transportation companies in the Baltic States), as well as some minor issues regarding adjustment of long-term contracts that can be portrayed as success of the European energy policy. Moreover, the process of settling antimonopoly claims, as we believe, may facilitate removal of disagreements on infrastructural projects of gas deliveries to Europe. The mechanism of releasing the OPAL gas pipeline is already finalised with European regulators and it will probably be verified by the European Commission soon. The fate of South Stream will largely depend on developments in the Russia-Ukraine-EU triangle. Brussels may stop pretending there is a necessity to protect Kiev from Moscow’s pressure, and the Russian side will not have to implement the South Stream project in the shortest time possible and at its full designed capacity.
  • 79. OUR WORLD IN 2014 NEWEUROPE www.neweurope.eu 82 JANUARY 2014 ENERGY Gazing into the Energy Crystal Ball for 2014 By Kostis Geropoulos Energy & Russian Affairs Editor at New Europe GREECE- ATHENS weaker crude oil price is in the cards for the second half of 2014 and into 2015 as new supply is expected to surpass demand and economic growth is slow. Manouchehr Takin, senior petroleum upstream analyst with London’s Centre for Global Energy Studies (CGES), told New Europe that there will be downward pressure on the oil price in 2014. Despite problems in Libya and Iraq there will be oil supply coming on stream gradually. West Africa, Brazil and Mexico are also expected to supply more oil to the market. “My view is that we will have better supply from non-OPEC [Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries] as well as some OPEC countries in 2014 than we experienced in 2013,” Takin said. He also said that there is potential increased oil output from Iran if a deal between Tehran and six world powers is implemented. “Iran was selling about 2.5 million barrels of oil per day in 2010-11. Now it’s about 1 million. So this 1.5 million barrels of oil per day is there and available to be exported if the customers are there,” the CGES Iranian analyst said. “From spring onwards there is a likelihood that Iranian oil exports would increase. So we will have that on top of prospects of more supply in 2014,” Takin said. “The oil price would not collapse but it will come below $100 a barrel and then OPEC would get together and try to control it,” he said. He predicts an average oil price of $90 to $100 a barrel. Chris Weafer, a senior partner at Moscow’s Macro Advisory, told New Europe that his forecast for Brent in 2014 is for an average of $95 per barrel. “I believe the price will remain close to current levels, i.e. around $110 per barrel, through the first half year but come under downward pressure in the second half,” he said. “The wild card on the upside is if there is another major disruption from an oil exporter or if the Iran nuclear deal falls apart and delays the return of Iranian oil to the export market. The country most at risk of experiencing internal problems and, therefore, export disruption, is Nigeria. The incidence of violence in the north, between Islamic forces and the military, is increasing and risks spreading to the delta region,” he said. “The wild card on the downside is the trade value of the US dollar. Historically there is a strong link between where the Dollar trades and oil,” he added. London’s Seven Investment Management A A construction worker stands in front of the Serbian stretch of Russia’s South Stream gas pipeline near the village of Sajkas, 80 kilometres north of Serbian capital Belgrade, 24 November 2013. Like the Nord Stream pipeline, which bypasses all other countries and supplies Germany with over one-third of its annual gas consumption, South Stream will bypass Ukraine, aiming to supply Southern Europe with Russian gas . AFP PHOTO/ANDREJ ISAKOVIC Brussels bureaucrats lost the battle of Kiev and will undoubtedly stick to a tough position on the Gazprom issue Director Justin Urquhart Stewart told New Europe that the oil price is going to be under further pressure in 2014. “And if the global economy continues to grow, that’s fine. But you got America now in a position where it would find itself in the first quarter of 2014 fuel independent and so their demand for international crude would be weaker; the eurozone may get slightly stronger but it won’t feel like it and although there will be rising demand elsewhere it probably still also won’t feel like it,” he said. “I suspect that unless we see significant cutting of production, the price could actually weaken from here quite significantly, which will mean you’ll end up cutting production to try to get the price up again. It depends what the Saudis want to do. But the Russians will continue to pump out as much as they can so I see little reason at the moment to see that price to going up,” Urquhart Stewart said, adding that only geopolitical action could push the price back up again. Turning to gas, the big issue for 2014 is much more likely to be the dispute between Russian gas giant Gazprom and Brussels over the former’s monopoly position. “Brussels bureaucrats lost the battle of Kiev and will undoubtedly stick to a tough position on the Gazprom issue,” Weafer said. The Macro Advisory senior partner reminded that Germany is the most powerful country within the EU and German Chancellor Angela Merkel’s political position is now again secured. Berlin’s most important trade and investment relationship is with Moscow. “German investors have the biggest share of the Russian market. Recall that Germany also has its own exclusive supply deal with Russia via the Nord Stream pipeline which bypasses all other countries and supplies Germany with over one-third of its annual gas consumption. That is a critical link for a country that is moving away from nuclear,” Weafer said, adding that liquefied natural gas (LNG) may well be an alternative but is viewed as much less secure as a fixed pipeline. Weafer also reminded that Germany played a key role in the release of former YUKOS owner Mikhail Khodorkovsky which shows most clearly the close working relationship between the two governments. “Germany can be counted to act as a mediator to bring this issue to an end. We should get some guidance on the subject at the planned EU-Russia summit scheduled for late January,” Weafer said. From the Russian side two possible compromises may be the abandonment of the transBlack Sea section of the Gazprom-backed South Stream pile in favour of upgrading the Ukraine transit pipeline, especially if a previous proposal to include the EU as an equity partner is revived, and an end to Gazprom’s export monopoly to Europe, Weafer said. Gazprom has already lost its overall export monopoly as the government has awarded an LNG export licence to Russia’s largest independent oil and gas company Novatek. “Novatek now has supply agreements in Germany and may well also get an export licence here also,” Weafer said. Slava Smolyaninov, chief strategist at UralSib Financial Corp in Moscow, told New Europe that EU-Russia tensions are ongoing but there are signals for a compromise. “What matters the most for the Russian market and Gazprom as an equity, as a stock is that they maintain the volume delivered to Europe and to Ukraine and the price. It remains to be seen how the Gazprom expansion into Europe ultimately plays out in the financials because that’s what investors care about,” Smolyaninov said, adding that so far it has been negligible and there have been lots of tensions but no tangible result. “From the political perspective it appears to be important for both the European Commission and the Russian government and President [Vladimir] Putin but from the market perspective, that’s too small,” he said.
  • 80. OUR WORLD IN 2014 NEWEUROPE www.neweurope.eu ENERGY JANUARY 2014 83 The global impact of US shale By Daniel Yergin Vice Chairman of IHS, author, Pulitzer Prize winner USA- WASHINGTON, DC T he biggest innovation in energy so far this century has been the development of shale gas and the associated resource known as “tight oil.” Shale energy ranks at the top not only because of its abundance in the United States, but also because of its profound global impact – as events in 2014 will continue to demonstrate. America’s shale gas and tight oil are already changing global energy markets and reducing both Europe’s competitiveness vis-à-vis the US and China’s overall manufacturing competitiveness. They are also bringing shifts in global politics. Indeed, how shale energy may change America’s role in the Middle East is becoming a hot topic in Washington, DC, and in the Middle East itself. This “unconventional revolution” in oil and gas did not come quickly. Hydraulic fracturing – known as “fracking” – has been around since 1947, and initial efforts to adapt it to dense shale began in Texas in the early 1980’s. But it was not until the late 1990’s and early 2000’s that the specific type of fracturing for shale, combined with horizontal drilling, was perfected. And it was not until 2008 that its impact on the US energy supply became notable. Since then, the industry has developed fast, with shale gas currently accounting for 44% of total US natural-gas production. Given abundant supply, US gas prices have fallen to a third of those in Europe, while Asia pays five times as much. Tight oil, produced with the same technology as shale gas, is boosting US oil production as well, with output up 56% since 2008 – an increase that, in absolute terms, is larger than the total output of each of eight of the 12 Indian technicians work on the country’s first shale-gas exploratory well at ONGC Ankleshwar Asset near Jambusar, some 170 kms from Ahmedabad on November 26, 2013.  AFP PHOTO / Sam PANTHAKY OPEC countries. Indeed, the International Energy Agency predicts that in the next few years the US will overtake Saudi Arabia and Russia to become the world’s largest oil producer. Five years ago, it was expected that the US would be importing large volumes of liquefied natural gas to make up for an anticipated shortfall in domestic production. Now the US is not importing any LNG – thereby saving $100 billion on its annual import bill. At current prices, the increase in US oil production has been cutting another $100 billion from that bill. In addition, the unconventional revolution supports over two million jobs. The global impact has been enormous. Much of the new global LNG capacity was developed with the US in mind. Now, with the US market cordoned off by cheap domestic gas, some of that LNG is going to Europe, introducing unexpected competition for traditional suppliers Russia and Norway. For Japan, the lack of US demand for LNG proved fortunate in the aftermath of the disaster PICTURES OF THE YEAR Unknown anti-gay activist hits Russia’s gay and LGBT rights activist Nikolai Alexeyev (C) during unauthorized gay rights activists rally in cental Moscow on May 25, 2013.  AFP PHOTO/ANDREY SVITAILO at the Fukushima Daiichi nuclear-power plant in 2011. Much of that LNG could go to Japan to generate electricity, replacing the electricity lost from the total shutdown of nuclear power. Many other countries are reassessing their own energy policies in light of the unconventional-energy revolution. China, seeing the speed and extent of US shale-gas development, has placed a high priority on developing its extensive unconventional gas resources. For China, replacing coal with natural gas in electricity generation is essential to mitigate public discontent and health problems stemming from the heavy burden of urban air pollution. The rise of US shale energy is also having a broader global economic impact: American shale gas is changing the balance of competitiveness in the world economy, giving the US an unanticipated advantage. Indeed, inexpensive natural gas is fueling a US manufacturing renaissance, as companies build new plants and expand existing facilities. Throughout Europe, industrial leaders are becoming increasingly alarmed by enterprises’ loss of competitiveness to factories that use low-cost natural gas and the consequent shift of manufacturing from Europe to the US. This is particularly worrying in Germany, which relies on exports for half of its GDP, and where energy costs remain on a stubbornly upward trajectory. These high costs mean that German industry will lose global market share. Whatever their targets for shifting their energy mix, European Union countries, already suffering from high unemployment, will be forced to reconsider high-cost energy strategies or face weakening competitiveness and loss of jobs. The geopolitical impact is already evident. For example, Iran is now seriously at the table in nuclear negotiations, which might well not have happened were it not for tight oil. When strict sanctions were imposed on Iranian oil exports, many feared that world oil prices would spike, and that the sanctions would ultimately fail, owing to insufficient alternative supply. But the increase in US oil production over the last two years has more than made up for the missing Iranian output, enabling the sanctions (bolstered by parallel financial measures) to work – impelling Iran to negotiate seriously, which it was unwilling to do only two years ago. In Arab capitals, anxiety is mounting that a rapid increase in US tight-oil production will fuel wholesale US disengagement from the Middle East. But this overstates the extent to which direct oil imports shape US policy toward the region. To be sure, rising US output, combined with greater automotive fuel efficiency, will continue to reduce US oil imports. And, while the US will still import oil in the years ahead, more of it will come from Canada (notwithstanding the debate about the Keystone XL pipeline). But the fact is that Middle East supply has not loomed very large in the overall US petroleum picture for some time. After all, even before the growth of tight oil, the Persian Gulf provided only about 10% of total US supply. It was not direct US oil imports from the Middle East, but rather oil’s importance to the global economy and world politics, that helped define US strategic interests. The Middle East will continue to be an arena of great geopolitical importance, and its oil will be essential to the functioning of the global economy. This implies that the region will likely remain a central strategic interest for the US. Overall, however, the shale-energy revolution does provide a new source of resilience for the US and enhances America’s position in the world. The emergence of shale gas and tight oil in the US demonstrates, once again, how innovation can change the balance of global economic and political power.  Copyright: Project Syndicate, 2013. www.project-syndicate.org
  • 81. ADVERTISEMENT Last wish (carrot) Marta Zarina-Gelze (Latvia)
  • 82. TECHNOLOGY CONTENTS NEWEUROPE www.neweurope.eu JANUARY 2014 OUR WORLD IN 2014 By Dominic Barton 86 Age of disruption By Rick Falkvinge Digital world needs the same rights as in the analogue world By Anne Bouverot How mobile can create a truly connected continent 87 88 By Leo Sun Building trust – a long way to go but will be achieved By Andy Carling Still searching – what we asked Google 2013 – The year on social media 89 90 91
  • 83. OUR WORLD IN 2014 NEWEUROPE www.neweurope.eu 86 JANUARY 2014 By Dominic Barton Global managing director, McKinsey & Company TECHNOLOGY Age of disruption England - LONDON T he year 2013 moved the world further into the Digital Age – a global epoch of changes whose likely impact on the world economy will be 2-3 times greater than that of the Industrial Revolution. Some 90% of the world’s total data were created in the past two years. By 2020, the quantity of stored data could be 50 times greater than it was in 2010. Many pundits regard this massive explosion of data as the new oil, even a new asset class. This profusion of data is being fueled by the near ubiquity of the Internet. Smart phones are set to connect an additional 2-3 billion of the world’s citizens by 2020, with billions of machine sensors monitoring everything from tractors to jet engines, and further breakthroughs in computing power enabling massive increases in data storage and analysis. In this environment, fluency in data management and analytics will be vital for successful organizations. A study published in 2011 by MIT’s Erik Brynjolfsson and his colleagues found that companies using datadriven decision-making had a 5-6% higher productivity rate than those that did not. The ability to capture, organize, extract insights from, and transact with data has now become a core competency for every industry and across every sector.The disruptions resulting from the new crucible of data and analytics are spreading across both the public and private sectors. Netflix, the popular video-streaming website, used its vast database of user searches, views, pauses, and reviews to design the madefor-the-Internet series “House of Cards.” The series combined a popular director (David Fincher), actor (Kevin Spacey), and plotlines borrowed from a popular British show with the same title – all of which scored highly on Netflix’s popularity metrics. In other industries, too, data-driven decision-making in product development, marketing, and customer interactions is fast becoming the standard, supplementing (and in some cases replacing) intuition and experience. It is also streamlining supply chains, refining workforce schedules, and optimizing manufacturing processes. More significant disruption is likely to occur across industries, as privileged access to proprietary data redraws competitive battle lines. Companies with deep data sets will increasingly have the ability to play in markets outside their traditional domains – and leaders already are seizing the opportunities. At Alibaba, the Chinese e-commerce company, small and midsize vendors in its network can also apply for credit. Alibaba has financed the working capital of 320,000 companies (more than $16 billion) using transaction data to underwrite the lending – and has done so far more efficiently than the average bank. Governments, too, are sensing that data analytics can change their global standing. Sin- Thinking differently, can you put your finger on it?  CEOs and their boards will need to establish new priorities, invest wisely, and be willing to support experimentation gapore, for example, has a ten-year master plan that focuses on the development of a robust information and communications industry, including data analytics. More recently, the authorities launched an open-data initiative, making vast amounts of government data easily accessible. And yet, though many organizations recognize the importance of data analytics, there is wide variation in how aggressively they have moved to embrace it. Early adopters, such as Amazon and Tesco, which quickly built up the requisite talent bases and experience, are now shifting gears to maximize the impact of analytics on their organizations (that is, exploring disruptive opportunities). Many more organizations, however, are still only conducting small-scale experiments and hiring their first data scientists. The good news is that many companies will be able to accelerate the pace of change. Talent is one promising area. Tapping the potential of data analytics requires deep pools of advanced technical expertise. To be sure, workers skilled in data management and advanced analytics are in short supply, as are members of an emerging class of “translators” – those whose talents bridge IT and data, analytics, and business decision-making. Translators are essential to complex transformation efforts that cross many business functions. Universities are quickly adapting to meet the swelling demand, and many have launched interdisciplinary programs that combine analytics and business expertise. Rapid advances in technology are also making it easier to realize the impact of analytics. One of the biggest challenges for many companies has been to convert insights from statistical models into real changes in day-today operations. Individuals on the front lines have lacked intuitive tools that link insights to action. But advances in data visualization, faster development cycles for applications, and the steady consumerization of technology are changing that, putting customized, easy-tounderstand solutions in managers’ hands. For example, the Climate Corporation, recently acquired by Monsanto, combines more than 30 years of weather data, 60 years of cropyield data, and multiple terabytes of information on soil types. With that reservoir of historical information and sophisticated algorithms, the company offers fee-based advice to farmers through an intuitive online portal. As organizations pursue these opportunities to innovate, boost revenues, or increase productivity, leadership teams will also need to adjust. Defining new data-driven strategies, managing massive new stores of information, reaching out to new partners, managing across Tsahi Levent-Levi functions, and energizing the organization around a new mission will likely require new management capacity. Firms innovate organizationally all the time. In 1961, Ampex, a California electronics manufacturer, became the first company formally to use the term “Chief Financial Officer.” Today, that role is ubiquitous. Leading in the Digital Age may require creating new roles such as Chief Digital Officer, Chief Analytics Officer, or Chief Data Officer, though relatively few companies so far have taken such steps. In the future, an organization’s overall success will require that the leader responsible for such capabilities be a trusted member of the top management team. Few leaders have ever developed management muscle in completely new fields while assembling teams combining previously unknown types of talent. The strategic options confront equally fresh terrain, perhaps similar to when mass media opened a new era of marketing, or globalization required radical reshaping of organizational footprints. In 2014 and beyond, CEOs and their boards will need to establish new priorities, invest wisely, and be willing to support experimentation. In times when major disruption is certain, the enormous potential rewards accrue to those who, while vigilant against risk, are prepared to act boldly and swiftly.  Copyright: Project Syndicate, 2013. www.project-syndicate.org QUOTE OF THE YEAR I think we should Jose Manuel Barroso acknowledge that 2013 has be proud of what has been been a very busy year and as it draws to a close we can achieved.
  • 84. OUR WORLD IN 2014 NEWEUROPE www.neweurope.eu TECHNOLOGY By Rick Falkvinge Founder of the first Pirate Party and campaigner for next-generation civil liberties and sensible information policy. JANUARY 2014 87 Digital world needs the same rights as in the analogue world But many leaders are refusing to accept change The camera is no longer quite so candid.  Belgium - Brussels W hen making predictions for the coming year, it’s not just interesting to see what will probably change for the coming year - it’s often just as interesting to see what won’t change despite pressure to do so. The Powers That Be, predominantly in the United States and Europe, will keep pretending the world didn’t change in 2012 and 2013 with the SOPA/ACTA protests and the Snowden revelations of mass surveillance. Meanwhile and partially as a result, we are seeing what amounts to the downfall of the United States’ empire worldwide, or at least its last semblance of moral credibility. In its wake, we are seeing Russia, China, and Brazil rise as contenders. On the net, “Russia Today” has firmly established itself as the go-to news channel for anything that concerns corruption in the West (but at the same time, obviously doesn’t deal with the same subject in any Russian flavour). China’s lunar landing sends clear signals that the Chinese seek to establish themselves as technology mindshare leaders. And Brazil’s break with the United States after the NSA revelations, including rejecting a large order of F/A-18 fighter jets in favour of the Swedish Gripen fighter, sends a similarly clear signal that Brazil walks in nobody’s star-spangled leash. In contrast, European executive leaders - with the welcome exception of Germany seem determined to pretend that 2012 and 2013 never happened, that mass surveillance has not been exposed by Edward Snowden to IntelFreePress Net liberty is an issue that spans all ideologies and all political colours worldwide outrage and fury, and that the complete rejection of SOPA and ACTA were mere speedbumps in trying to establish more of the same, cheered on by that same United States. It is a rather sad state of affairs when the executive of the largest economy on the planet - the European Union - has gotten the idea that they can achieve a leading position by following in the footsteps of somebody else. However, Europe’s bureaucracy is a very multifaceted complex, and the European Parliament in particular responds well to the electorate. This would in no small part be influenced by the fact that the Members of European Parliament are the only decision-makers in the European legislation who are actually held accountable to voters, in contrast with the other parts of the EU machinery. There are elections to the European Parliament in 2014, which brings much hope. Net liberty is an issue that spans all ideologies and all political colours, and separates the offlineborns from the net generation, the people that live and socialize online and offline without distinction. They simply don’t accept this kleptocratic governmental wholesale invasion of their privacy, nor should they. If the current Parliament is unhappy with mass surveillance and corporate kleptocratic attempts to subdue the net - and it is - then the next Parliament will be, on average, five years of age younger more so. This is promising. Speaking of refusing to accept change, it comes as no surprise that the copyright industry still hasn’t accepted the Internet. In their push for SOPA and ACTA, they were placing demands that were beyond outrageous, and which would never have come near acceptance if the legislators understood what it was they were asking for, in terms that would be equivalent to the pre-internet analog world. On the other hand, the copyright industry is obsolete with the internet, so it comes as no surprise that that particular industry is fighting it tooth and nail. The surprise is that the executive politicians seem to think it’s a good idea to play along with an obsolete U.S.-led industry, something that makes the net generation positively enraged. This is why we saw the outraged protests against SOPA and ACTA, and this is why we will see similar outrages against the similar TPP and TTIP in 2014, ultimately defeating them. In order to come to terms with this dissonance, we must start thinking in Analog Equiv- alent Rights - going by the simple principle that if a particular invasion of privacy wasn’t okay in the age of the letter, then it’s not okay in the age of the net, either. This isn’t rocket science thinking: it’s the technology neutrality that everybody likes talking about, but seems to ignore completely as soon as it comes to civil liberties, for no acceptable reason whatsoever. Analog Equivalent Rights would look at the characteristics of the analog letter, and make sure that our children have the same rights in their communicative environment. So what were those rights of the analog letter? The letter was anonymous. You, and you alone, determined if you identified yourself as sender on the envelope, on the inside of the letter, or not at all. The letter was secret in transit, unless you were under formal, prior, and individual suspicion of a committed and very serious crime. It was untracked - nobody was allowed to see who communicated with whom. Lastly, the mailman was never responsible for the contents of the message, not under any circumstance. By adapting these simple four Analog Equivalent Rights for communications in the digital age in 2014 and beyond, we will have an end to mass surveillance, and we will eliminate any need for uprisings against the copyright industry’s future attempts to kill the Internet. Only good things would come from that. QUOTE OF THE YEAR When innovation destroys systems we must go slowly  - Arnaud Montebourg, French Minister of Industrial Renewal Arnaud Montebourg
  • 85. OUR WORLD IN 2014 NEWEUROPE www.neweurope.eu 88 JANUARY 2014 By Anne Bouverot Director General, GSMA, an association representing mobile operators worldwide TECHNOLOGY How mobile can create a truly connected continent NFC-enabled mobile services will also continue to transform the everyday lives of Europe’s citizens BELGIUM-BRUSSELS E urope is at a crossroads in mobile. The region was a pioneer and a leader in mobile and the sector continues to be a key driver for productivity and competitiveness, but it is now lagging behind other regions in the deployment of next generation wireless infrastructures and the advanced services they make possible, particularly in 4G. The economic downturn, strict regulation, a highly fragmented market and delays in spectrum allocation have all played a part in setting Europe back. However, despite these challenges, the mobile industry can and should play a key role in Europe’s economic recovery, both as an industry in its own right and as an enabling platform for an increasing range of other industries and services. Policy makers and industry members need to join forces to realise a regulatory environment that will support the full potential of mobile and the move to a Connected Life, Lower roaming costs and more competition, but what else lies ahead for mobiles?  where nearly everything and everyone are connected. So, what was the good news last year? According to the GSMA’s Mobile Economy Europe 2013 report, the mobile ecosystem generated around 2.2 per cent of Europe’s GDP in 2012, directly contributing €53 billion to public funding and creating 390,000 jobs. The smartphone market has seen dynamic growth in Europe — nearly half of all mobile phones last year were smartphones. There are also more active 3G SIMs per capita in Europe than in any other developed region in the world. Beyond the numbers, mobile solutions have proved to be powerful drivers of sustainable urban transformation and growth. At a time when many European cities have to make PICTURES OF THE YEAR A Bahraini protester, whose face is covered, poses during clashes with riot police following an anti-regime demonstration on December 3, 2013.  AFP PHOTO/MOHAMMED AL-SHAIKH considerable budget cuts, it is more important than ever to invest in technologies that drive efficiencies and better services. Connected devices can optimise our use of energy, tackle transport issues through smart transport management, or improve public safety through the integration of emergency services’ information systems. In early 2013, we estimated that mobile-enabled “smart solutions” were already deployed in more than 50 cities across Europe. Mobile also offers new, more convenient ways to carry out payments, transfers, ticketing and a range of other transactions. mCommerce can increase consumer convenience, reduce costs and potentially boost sales for businesses and other service providers. For example, European banks are now offering mobile banking services, while mobile ticketing and check-in are now widely used by airlines and the travel industry. mCommerce currently accounts for 1 per cent of total web sales but is forecast to grow to 6.8 per cent over the next five years. These examples give just a snapshot of the transformative power of mobile technology and its potential to improve the quality of our lives and accelerate the pace of economic recovery. Through smart policy reforms, I believe there will be far greater opportunities to drive growth, create jobs and foster innovation in Europe through mobile in 2014 and beyond. This year, 4G SIM connections in Europe are set to increase almost threefold in comparison to 2013, from nine to 25 million connections, fuelling a sharp growth in mobile data traffic in the next few years. Although Europe is already one of the most developed mobile markets in the world, the number of individual AFP PHOTO PHILIPPE HUGUEN mobile subscribers will continue to increase, reaching 407 million by the end of this year. NFC-enabled mobile services will also continue to transform the everyday lives of Europe’s citizens. Some services have already been successfully deployed in my home country, France. In Nice, for example, commuters can buy tickets for public transport and validate them via contactless technology, using their mobile phones to manage their accounts or to access real time information on transport services. In 2014, similar projects will be rolled out in other French cities. This year and beyond, the reach of mobile will continue to expand into key vertical industry sectors through “Connected Living”. The adoption of mobile technology in industry sectors such as automotive, commerce, education, health, government and utilities, among others will create opportunities for new business models and revenue streams. mHealth services alone have the potential to deliver cost savings in healthcare delivery of up to €99 billion, whilst adding €93 billion to European GDP by 2017, as well as addressing issues around quality of life and mortality rates for millions of people. Overall, the mobile ecosystem has the potential to contribute €335 billion to Europe’s GDP in 2020. While it is private investment, innovation and enterprise that will boost the sluggish economic recovery and underpin the digital economy, effective regulatory reform can make a significant contribution. The Connected Life presents an important opportunity for Europe to regain its leadership position one that we cannot afford to miss!
  • 86. OUR WORLD IN 2014 NEWEUROPE www.neweurope.eu TECHNOLOGY By Leo Sun President, Huawei European Public Affairs and Communications Office, Brussels Belgium - Brussels his is my third New Year day since I moved to Brussels while I have spent more than ten years in Europe. My initial task for coming to Brussels is to, said by my CEO of the company, build strategic partnership with European industry and policy makers. After three years, I would like to say, despite all the complicated issue debates, policy talks or quarrels, my mission is, to the end, just one: to build trust. It is the elephant in the room that Huawei doesn’t gain trust by default in Europe because Huawei is a Chinese company and because Huawei is a quite successful one till now, just like once a Commission official said to me: “You should understand that we [European] have questions on how you grow so fast and successfully, and you shall help us to get the answers”. I of course understand but what makes me feel challenging is when I offer the answers, the expression on the people’s face is telling me “Ooook, but I don’t simple buy it, there must be more”. In the last three years, I learned a magic world “transparency”. More or less everyone told me that Huawei should be more transparent, even more than the western companies, to gain the same level of trust. But no one can actually tell what kind of information are expected for Huawei to provide which actually not yet. Just say “more”. Not to complain the situation, I understand that the real reason is the trust for Chinese companies are nowhere. Until very recently Chinese companies are not in European public opinion’s sight. People in Europe talks very well about China macro economy, trade, or other geopolitical matters. But few has knowledge of micro level of Chinese economy: the each individual companies. Huawei in 2011 made a public survey, quite a number of European stakeholders even have difficulties to name another Chinese company! European’s perception of Chinese companies is a unified one, an easy one, usually equal to that of the whole country (which is another big subject to talk about) or very few SOE. The simple fact that the variety of the millions of Chinese companies are huge is usually ignored or unknown. On the other hand, such kind of lack of knowledge is reasonable because the Chinese companies, especially the private ones, are not exposing themselves enough, if not at all, to European public stakeholders. Huawei is the first one, probably still the only one, to setup the permanent office in Brussels to continuously exchange with European Institutions. Huawei does that is not just because it has farther sight than the other Chinese companies, but because its own business senses the impact if not doing so, its relationship with clients would have been severely damaged by the non-trust of the public stakeholders. Nevertheless, that Chinese companies don’t have such proactive communication behavior is not necessarily because they JANUARY 2014 89 Building trust – a long way to go but will be achieved T A food outlet staff member holds up balloons to attract customers in the central business district of Beijing, China.  What Huawei is facing today will be faced by others in the future operate their business any big differently comparing with the western peers, but maybe simple because the culture difference: do more and talk less, keep humble and never expose itself. What Huawei is facing today will be faced by others in the future – let’s hope it is the case because otherwise can it only means a significant drawback of EU-China trade and investment activities. Therefore the Chinese companies should prepare itself to invest the trust for the long term. Let’s take a look at ten year later, EU is one of most ideal destination for Chinese investment and if Chinese companies don’t want to miss such a bright opportunity, then investment trust and image should start now because it takes time. Trust can only be built not only by saying, but by doing what being said, and saying what will be done. Trust can only be built not by only one or a few Chinese companies, but by a majority of big number of ones because company can’t be naive to build the trust without considering the perception to the whole group, as said by another senior Commission official, “the DNA of the original country”. For Europeans, it is better to put it in mind that Chinese companies is not a simple group of similar ones. It is always valuable and more serious to look into the fact, look into the individual case and discuss the relevant subject accordingly. To use macro wording or data or conclusion, no matter is right one or wrong one, to analyze a specific company may lead European farther away from truth. Simply China is too big and too complex. To deal with such complexity, a more comprehensive study of detail is highly needed. No use to emphasize the importance of the EPA/HOW HWEE YOUNG trust build for political and economic affairs. It is most difficult one and costs long time. But it can be done as long as the both sides consistently making the effort. Huawei ten years ago in Europe had no trust at all by the clients, but after ten year continuously bringing the value to its clients, Huawei wins the trust for better technology, then for the capability to deploy and service, then for the role of strategic partner to offer long term vision. Clients’ trust to Huawei is built step by step over numerous small behaviors and successes. This experience makes the company, and myself who fortunately is the witness of all these, believe the trust building will be achieved and bring value to all parties. PICTURES OF THE YEAR The bucket list. An employee shapes stainless steel at an industrial estate in Ahmedabad.  AFP PHOTO / Sam PANTHAKY
  • 87. OUR WORLD IN 2014 NEWEUROPE www.neweurope.eu 90 JANUARY 2014 Technology Google Glass Facebook Could this be the return of the monocle? Apple BELGA PHOTO BENOIT DOPPAGNE Google Maps Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg saw his stock price fall and rise, but they managed to become ubiquitous on mobile phones and tablets.  Justin Sullivan/Getty Images/AFP Not all searches are frivolous. Seen here are satellite photos of the North Korean prison camp No. 16 in Hwasong, North Hamkyong Province. The locations were discovered through Google Maps Apple still has its appeal. AFP PHOTO / Robyn Beck Still searching – what we asked Google Trends and search terms of 2013 By Andy Carling EU Affairs Editor, New Europe Belgium - Brussels W ith billions of daily users, one aspect of search giant Google, is that we can take a snapshot of ourselves and our curiosity. One way of becoming the most searched for person is to depart the world. Nelson Mandela was the most looked for in 2013, and also on the list was James Gandolfini and Paul Walker, two actors who passed away unexpectedly. There are a couple of sportsmen, usually caught up in scandals, like Oscar Pistorus and actresses also in the top ten. The top two women are very different. In third place is Malala Youfsafzai, who inspired millions after being shot by the Taliban for attending school. In fifth place is Miley Cyrus, who got to number 5 by waving her bottom in the air. As Kipling said, East is East and West is West. None of the EU leaders make it into the lists, not even in Belgium. When it comes to technology, the iPhone5S was the third highest trending search of the year, its competitor the Samsung Galaxy S4 only reached eighth place, one above the PlayStation 4. Instagram announced the most photographed location in the world was a shopping mall in Bangkok The biggest event for Google users was the bombings at the Boston marathon but international events figured highly, Typhoon Haiyan was second, the US government shutdown third. They were followed by the 2014 FIFA World Cup, Chinese New Year, The Australian Open and at seven, the Eurovision Song contest. The last three spots in the top ten went to Wimbledon, the Syria conflictand Eurobasket – about sports, not the currency. The most frequent question asked the search engine was ‘What is twerking?’ One could wonder if anyone really needs to know the answer. The second most posed question in the UK was wondering what YOLO was – it is slang for ‘you only live once.’ The Brits tenth most common question was what is the meaning of life? The answer was explained by a British author, Douglas Adams. It’s 42. The search engine is also an excellent educational tool. The biggest ‘how to’ query was the knotty question of ‘How to tie a tie?’ Interestingly, the sixth most common how to was how to kiss. One place above asking how to flirt. Perhaps an indication of a little optimism in there. China had some interesting ‘why?’ questions. The most common was ‘Why give up treatment? Australians were asking how to draw, kiss, crochet, meditate and knit in their top five queries. Bulgarians were asking how to lose weight most of all, perhaps connected to their most common ‘what is,’ query, what is love? The same inquiry was top in Greece, Latvia, Lithuania and Estonia. Greeks second most common question was ‘what is the internet?’ The Czech’s most queried car was Skoda. Danes were mainly asking where Qatar is and who was Lenin? The French were asking what Skyfall is – James Bond’s ancestral home – and looking for New Direction gifs. As Ireland exits the bailout, perhaps there’s a positive sign already. The third most common ‘what’ question was… What is anxiety? Italians, meanwhile, seemed to be preoccupied with “cheesecake in Philadelphia”. I guess even Google can’t explain human behaviour yet, just push out some figures. The top two questions posed by Latvians was on losing weight and stopping smoking. They also seemed keen on the Dikāna diet. Lithuania’s second highest question was ‘How to delete Facebook?’ They also searched recipes for waffles most of all. The Dutch were looking at news on Zwarte Piet, a controversial character accused of being a grave racial stereotype, who accompanies Father Christmas. There has been much discussion on Piet’s future. Poland was asking how to make frosting… secondly, how to segregate garbage. Image search was, once again, dominated by requests for various young, pretty actresses and singers, but monkey loser Justin Bieber and One Direction also squeezed in. Surprisingly, the ninth most popular image search was for the periodic table. Lucky numbers When it comes to smartphones, the numbers just keep on rising. From Apple’s initial lead and dominance, the Google supported Android platform made up for lost ground and is now the dominant mobile operating system. The most downloaded app for Apple’s iOS is Candy Crush Sage, one of seven games in their top ten. Google Maps and Google-owned YouTube also make the list.Google dominated the Android app market, with their products, taking seven of the top ten most downloaded apps. The three others are Facebook, Angry Birds and Skype. Just outside it Twitter at eleventh place. Looking ahead What will 2014 bring? One advance predicted is the increase in wearable computing. The lead project is currently Google Glass, but there also seems to be some resistance to them and privacy implications. The next year will goive an indication of how it will fare, will it be available widely? Google’s Nexus products receive excellent reviews, but they can be hard to find, certainly compared with Apple’s slowly expanding range.
  • 88. OUR WORLD IN 2014 NEWEUROPE www.neweurope.eu TECHNOLOGY JANUARY 2014 91 2013 – The year on social media The most popular person in Europe is Pope Francis, who has attracted the attention of millions on social media, being the most talked about person globally What would Jesus tweet? Pope Francis has been a huge success on social media, and has used it to spread his message. W hile social media will turn out to be the great white hope or great white elephant, the EU institutions have certainly hailed it as a magical means of connecting with the continent. However, the evidence does point to the Brussels bubble engaging almost exclusively with, well, the Brussels bubble. The European parliament bragged that it had a million ‘Likes’ for its Facebook page, but are those one million people who admire the institution, or a collection of bots and fake accounts? When it comes to the top ten lists, the EU doesn’t register. When it comes to Facebook ‘check-ins’ notifications of where a person is, Europe’s most popular place is the O2 Arena in the UK, trailing in second and third place are Disneyland Paris and the Reeperbahn in Hamburg. The most popular person in Europe is Pope Francis, who has attracted the attention of millions on social media, being the most talked about person globally, although in his native Argentina, he trailed behind La Plata and Justin Bieber. In fact, football, or a particular team was frequently the top topic in a nation. Germany’s was FC Bayern, France PSG, Spain’s Real Madrid. Britain went for Andy Murray, who is occasionally Scottish. India had a politician as top topic, the highly controversial Narendra Modi even beat the almost god-like status of Sachin Tendulkar, the phenomenal cricketer into second place. Italy also remained political, their top facebook topic was ‘Lampedusa’, the elections second. It would be unfair to expect too much political activity from a medium restricted to 140 characters, but Twitter’s top message was confirming the death of Cory Monteith, an American actor in Glee. His co-star Lea Michelesent a brief message with an informal photo of the pair, “Thank you all for helping me through this time with your enormous love & support. Cory will forever be in my heart.” This message was repeated over 400,000 times in over 130 different countries. The second most popular tweet was the official announcement that actor Paul Walker had perished in a car accident. Marking a passing on Twitter has been one of the ways that the medium has matured into being authoritative, a move perhaps made possible by having ‘verified’ accounts. And so, on 5 December, the account for Nelson Mandela sent a simple quote, “Death is something inevitable. When a man has done what he considers to be his duty to his people & his country, he can rest in peace” #Madiba” And for a moment, the world stopped. And then it tweeted. 7.2 million messages were sent on the South African statesman’s death, peaking at 95,000 a minute. Of course, not all tweets were earth shattering or profound. The third most popular message was from someone called Niall Horan, part of the popular beat combo One Direction, who pleasured 367,156 fans by noting he had reached the age of 20. The photo sharing Instagram announced the most photographed location in the world was a shopping mall in Bangkok, beating vari- AFP PHOTO / VINCENZO PINTO ous Disney resorts and Times Square. Bangkok airport even made it to number 9. The most popular Instagram was a photo of Will Smith and Justin Bieber. Yahoo search was dominated by requests for a series of young women known for never being knowingly overdressed, with Obamacare, iPhone 5 and Minecraft being the only exceptions… and the famous monkey loser, Justin Bieber. Musically, Spotify had a year of extraordinary figures. 4.5 billion hours of music was streamed through their services in 2013. To add context, the Earth is estimated to be 4.7 billion years old. Daft Punk’s ‘Get Lucky’ alone was played 1.5 million times… in one day. If that drives you to drink, then you should take note that Bruno Mars’ track ‘The Lazy Song’ is the listeners ‘Best Hangover Cure.’ If you feel the need to be driven to drink, then perhaps contemplate that, on social media, the image that sums up the medium would probably be a picture of Miley Cyrus twerking Justin Bieber over Nelson’ Mandela’s coffin. While Pope Francis looks on. Twitter Facebook Instagram Spotify Twitter is now part of mainstream political discourse, with public Q&A sessions becoming more common and politicians using the medium to talk directly to a wide audience. This has been followed by reporters tweeting reactions to politicians messages.  EPA/MICHAEL REYNOLDS There were ongoing concerns over privacy but this year Facebook recovered from initial falls in its share price and has continued to grow, especially on mobile devices and remains the most successful social media platform.  AFP PHOTO/JONATHAN NACKSTRAND Picture perfect. Kevin Systrom’s Instagram has revitalised photography for ordinary people and has made the most of his $!bn sale to Facebook in 2012. It helped put ‘selfie’ in the Oxford English Dictionary, which must make everyone feel very proud.  AFP PHOTO/Emmanuel Dunand Spotify founder and CEO Daniel Ek may be a saviour of the music industry, which has been slow to reacxt to new technology. From founding a bit torrent file sharer, Ek now is working with the industry to stream music.  AFP PHOTO/Emmanuel Dunand
  • 89. ADVERTISEMENT Last wish (fries) Marta Zarina-Gelze (Latvia)
  • 90. HUMAN RIGHTS CONTENTS NEWEUROPE www.neweurope.eu JANUARY 2014 OUR WORLD IN 2014 By Jan Malinowski Threat of a 21st century gulag By Nicolas Beger 2014: a chance for the EU to put people before politics By Neil Datta A critical year ahead for the human rights of women and girls 94 95 By Nigel Chapman 96 Disasters put girls at double risk By Manfred Neun 2014: The year global cities return to human values 97 98
  • 91. OUR WORLD IN 2014 NEWEUROPE www.neweurope.eu 94 JANUARY 2014 HUMAN RIGHTS Patrick Mueller opens a bunker door of the Deltalis Swiss Mountain Data Center, a former Swiss Army bunker built in the Alps during the Cold War, on November 18, 2013. Switzerland, already renowned for its super-safe banks, aims to become the world’s data vault.  AFP PHOTO / FABRICE COFFRINI Threat of a 21st century gulag By Jan MALINOWSKI Head of the Information Society Department, Council of Europe I belgium-brussels f we are not living the 1930s of a World War “e”, mass electronic surveillance could well be the razor wire of the 21st Century Gulag. The following quote from Winston Churchill’s 1946 “Iron Curtain” speech resonates like a wakeup call: “Last time I saw it all coming, and cried aloud to my fellow country- men and to the world, but no one paid any attention … We surely must not let that happen again.” Close attention ought to be paid to the risk of a still avoidable electronic Gulag even if it is only a remote possibility. This is why Winston Churchill and other great European leaders set up the Council of Europe in the first place, to prevent the horrors of World War II from happening again. The Council of Europe was set up to manage risk and give early warning so that future generations would not suddenly wake up to a new Holocaust. George Orwell alerted us of the risk long ago. The European Convention on Human Rights and the Strasbourg Human Rights Court are there to deal with the early symp- PICTURES OF THE YEAR Angry farmers from Crete clash with police in front of the parliament on December 20, 2013.  AFP PHOTO / LOUISA GOULIAMAKI Close attention ought to be paid to the risk of a still avoidable electronic Gulag toms of folly. But this machinery might not be quick enough for the fast moving digital world. The Council of Europe has launched a reflection, including a public consultation, on the longer-term future of Europe’s human rights system, based on that Convention and the Strasbourg Court. Radical change is unlikely. This renders action by other Council of Europe bodies and institutions even more important. In a June 2013 declaration, shortly after Snowden blew the whistle, the Council of Europe’s 47 alerted to the risks of digital tracking and other surveillance technologies for human rights, democracy and the rule of law, and drew attention to the criminal law implications of unlawful surveillance and tracking in cyberspace. We have since heard calls for the Secretary General of the Council of Europe to use his power of inquiry under the Convention on Human Rights to cast light on mass surveillance in Europe. In early November in Belgrade, the ministers responsible for information society in the 47 asked the organisation to examine closely the question of mass electronic surveillance which, everyone agrees, can destroy democracy under the cloak of protecting it. The World Forum on Democracy in Strasbourg at the end of November also echoed these threats. Penn International reports that, in just one week, 170,000 writers added their names to an appeal against mass surveillance. The UN General Assembly is considering a Resolution on the right to privacy in the digital age. It will be of little use to re-wire democracy if we do not first de-bug the system. Part of the response might be to put a cap on big data. According to the Advocate General in the Court of Justice of the European Union, the EU’s Data Retention Directive is incompatible with the Charter of Fundamental Rights, it constitutes a serious interference with the fundamental right of citizens to privacy and can be misused. A serious discussion is needed to get off the slippery slope to a 21st Century Gulag. For that, policy-makers and governments have to assume their responsibilities, embrace a vision that firmly defends and promotes human rights, democracy and the rule of law, and cease to pay heed to lobbyists who are to today’s decision-makers without a vision what obsequious courtesans were to kings and rulers without character. With the Report and Recommendations of the US President’s Review Group on Intelligence and Communications Technologies is out, slamming the NSA’s “Avida Data” rampage, the dialogue can commence.
  • 92. OUR WORLD IN 2014 NEWEUROPE www.neweurope.eu HUMAN RIGHTS By Nicolas Beger Director, Amnesty International’s European Institutions Office An overarching internal EU human rights framework strategy is one answer that is urgently required JANUARY 2014 95 2014: a chance for the EU to put people before politics Belgium - Brussels W hen a new year begins it is natural to reflect upon the one that has just ended. We have several reasons to celebrate 2013 on the human rights front: the Lithuanian presidency of the European Union (EU) made efforts to promote Roma integration strategies; the EU was part of opening a new chapter in history with the world’s first ever Arms Trade Treaty; and the European Commission released a good action plan on ending female genital mutilation. In addition, a debate was started under the Irish EU presidency on the need for a new internal human rights mechanism to strengthen the EU’s response to human rights challenges on its own soil. These developments were encouraging. 2014 poses a new set of challenges for our human rights work. When I wrote for New Europe this time last year, I focused on what the EU is doing to protect human rights beyond its borders. Sitting here today, questions of internal coherence play more on my mind. Of late, member states appear to often look outwards to foreign affairs, rather than confronting the reality of human rights violations within their territory. I have been thinking about this inconsistency more and more: how can the EU call itself a credible human rights actor outside of its borders when serious questions remain unaddressed around the protection of human rights within them? Widespread discrimination of Roma During 2013 we again witnessed widespread discrimination against Roma across the board, through access to housing, schooling, forced evictions, media stereotyping and politicians’ misrepresentative rhetoric. All of this shows member states’ blatant disregard for EU legislation to combat racial or ethnic discrimination, and ensure equal treatment (the Race Equality directive). The questions remain: why are member states allowed to violate these laws? And why is the European Commission, the body responsible for holding member states accountable, not implementing legal procedures (infringement proceedings) against culpable member states? Migrants during a rescue operation off the coast of Sicily on December 17, 2013  Deaths at EU borders Worrying human rights violations are occurring on a daily basis at the EU’s shores. The deaths of 364 migrants off Lampedusa in October put the EU’s migration policy firmly in the spotlight. Men, women and children are risking their lives in dangerous journeys, only to be often pushed back when they reach EU waters. For those who do manage to reach EU soil alive, they too often are put through detention conditions nothing short of shameful. If the EU is to prevent yet more people dying at its shores, a fundamental turnaround of EU policy away from its focus on border control and towards protecting and saving people is urgently needed. When will member states start to realise that no matter how high they build their walls, people will still come to seek protection? Hate-motivated violence The increase in hate-motivated violence across the EU is another alarming trend; Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender, and Intersex (LGBTI) people are targeted because of their sexual orientation or gender identity, and migrants have experienced racist attacks. Gaps in the EU’s and member states’ legislation on hate crime mean that certain victims are being left vulnerable and unprotected.Too often, we see little to no action by member states’ authorities to thoroughly acknowledge, investigate and prosecute the hate motive behind these attacks. Whilst an EU Framework decision to Combat Racism and Xenophobia exists, it is limited in scope, failing to provide guidance on investigation and prosecution, and does not cover hate crimes beyond those on the grounds of race and ethnicity. When will the EU ensure justice for all victims of hate crime, upgrade EU standards to define and integrate hate crime within its broader anti-discrimination polices, and support robust national responses to hate crime? Moving forward As we move forward in 2014, dubbed by many the ‘’year of change’’, many answers are needed but one thing is overwhelmingly clear – the EU and its member states must look inwards and ask themselves why these abuses remain so often unaddressed on their own territory and at their borders; how this impacts the EU’s role as a credible human rights actor abroad; and what more they can do to jointly prevent these violations. With the transition to a new European Parliament and a changing European Commission, this is the moment for significant and concrete steps to be taken in the field of human rights protection. An overarching internal EU human rights framework strategy is one answer that is ur- AFP PHOTO / MARINA MILITARE gently required. This would guide the EU’s human rights work at home, and be a step on the way towards a proactive, protective response to human rights abuses and mutual support between the EU and member states when addressing these violations. A comprehensive framework at EU level would encourage leaders to address these issues and share the burden of responsibility for doing so. Salil Shetty, Secretary General of Amnesty International, will be coming to Brussels on 20 and 21 January and will put these questions to EU leaders and remind them that, now more than ever, human rights must remain at the centre of EU decision making. Defending human rights is not always the most popular choice. But it is the right one. If the EU and its member states’ leaders are to fully represent the people living in the Union, they must support the weak and voiceless as well as the powerful and vocal. As the new year starts, new opportunities will emerge and decisions will be taken to protect or disregard human rights in the EU. We truly hope that these decisions are the right ones. Will 2014 be the year in which the EU finally puts people before politics? QUOTE OF THE YEAR Budget consolidation and economic growth Angela Merkel are two sides of the same coin.
  • 93. OUR WORLD IN 2014 NEWEUROPE www.neweurope.eu 96 JANUARY 2014 HUMAN RIGHTS A critical year ahead for the human rights of women and girls By Neil Datta Secretary of the European Parliamentary Forum on Population and Development Belgium - Brussels A s the clock struck midnight on 31 December 2013 the number of adolescents in developing countries to die during pregnancy and childbirth in the previous 12 months reached an estimated 70,000. During that same period we can confidently say that girls between the ages of 15 and 19 accounted for as many as 3.2 million unsafe abortions in developing countries. Why? Lack of availability of contraception, poor levels of education, low social status of females, and lack of access to safe abortion resulting in recourse to backstreet abortion. The good news is that in 2014 these are statistics we can change for a generation to come, through a focus on women’s health and the set of specific human rights known as sexual and reproductive health rights (SRHR). In practical terms, this bundle of rights translates as: education, information, promotion of gender equality, availability of contraception, and access to safe abortion. To support SRHR is to recognise the massive importance sex and reproduction have at each stage of a person’s lifecycle and that, therefore, every human must have control over these areas. This year we celebrate the 20th anniversary of the watershed moment when SRHR were defined and internationally recognised by 179 countries (including all EU member states). As well as recognising these rights, the 1994 International Conference on Population and Development (ICPD) set out a 20- A girl runs with a red balloon during a vigil for victims of AIDS during the celebration of the World AIDS Day.  year programme of action that places women at the centre of an integrated approach to reproduction. In the past 20 years, that plan has had a profound and measurable impact in improving the lives and health of millions around the world. Pregnancy and childbirth is safer - the number of women dying due to complications during pregnancy and childbirth has almost halved in the past 20 years, families are smaller, unwanted pregnancies are fewer, and the number of people with AIDS has plummeted. The coming year is a time to take stock of the progress made since 1994 but, more importantly, it is also a time to look at how the ICPD can be further implemented and adapted to the challenges of today’s world. A UN level review of the ICPD involv- PICTURES OF THE YEAR An Indian youth dangles from a power line before diving into the floodwaters of an overflowing Ganges river in Allahabad on August 6, 2013.  AFP PHOTO/ SANJAY KANOJIA The number of women dying due to complications during pregnancy and childbirth has almost halved in the past 20 years ing governments, parliamentarians, and civil society is at an advanced stage and is due to be completed at a special session of the UN General Assembly in September. An important stage in this review will be the 6th International Parliamentarians’ Conference on the Implementation of the ICPD Programme of Action (IPCI) in Stockholm next April. This conference aims to promote dialogue among parliamentarians from all regions of the world on creating a political environment for making the aspirations of the ICPD a reality. In a parallel process, the next 12 months will see an intensification of international efforts to produce a single set of universal development targets to replace the Millennium Development Goals. It is essential that the ICPD review be fed into this process and that population concerns form a key foundation for the UN development agenda beyond 2015. We have already seen encouraging moves in this direction at a UN meeting of world leaders last September aimed at achieving the EPA/SAUL MARTINEZ MDGs. In an outcome document adopted at the event, member states committed to “promote gender equality and eliminate the range of barriers to women’s and girls’ empowerment in our societies.” At European Union level, 2013 was quite an encouraging year for the human rights of women and girls. It was lamentable that, at its December plenary, the European Parliament did not pass the progressive ‘Estrela’ report on SRHR. However it was heartening that, at the same session, the Parliament resoundingly rejected an anti-SRHR resolution proposed by a right-wing, eurosceptic group. Further encouragement is to be taken from the fact the EP overwhelmingly voted to adopt a report on the EU’s external human rights policy that clearly emphasises the importance of SRHR. Taken together, these events reveal support for a progressive approach to SRHR in the European Parliament that spans many political groups. Such support is consistent with the prioritised status SRHR and family planning have in EU development policy. The EU has always been very supportive of SRHR in international negotiations and it is vital that during 2014 EU governments and institutions work together in contributing to the review of the ICPD and ensuring that these human rights are an integral part of the post-2015 development targets. While these international goals may seen abstract, we have seen over the past 20 years that they have a real impact in changing and saving lives. In 2014 we have a unique opportunity to build on progress made in advancing SRHR and in improving the lives of women and girls for a generation to come.
  • 94. OUR WORLD IN 2014 NEWEUROPE www.neweurope.eu HUMAN RIGHTS JANUARY 2014 97 Disasters put girls at double risk Girls are often overlooked by the humanitarian community People walk amongst debris next to a ship washed ashore in the aftermath of Super Typhoon Haiyan at Anibong in Tacloban, eastern island of Leyte on November 11, 2013.  By Nigel Chapman CEO, Plan International, one of the world’s largest and oldest child rights organisations working in 50 developing countries worldwide UK - WOKING D isasters, whether natural or manmade, are on the increase. Of this there is no doubt: in the 1970s, there were 90 disasters a year; in 2014 there will be almost 450. Nine out of 10 of these will be in developing countries least able to cope with them, resulting in 95% of all disaster-related deaths. But not only are disasters becoming ever more common, they are also becoming ever more ferocious. The devastation wrought by Typhoon Haiyan in the Philippines is a tragic case in point: it is the largest storm ever to make landfall, and has affected over 14.1 million people, damaged or destroyed 1.1 million homes and displaced more than 4.1 million people – including an estimated 1.8 million children. Disasters such as this have a negative effect on everybody involved: people die and are injured, lose their families and their livelihoods. The economic productivity of the entire country can be all but wiped out. Children, inevitably, are among the hardest hit. In times like these, the unscrupulous can play on the hopes of families, offering their children opportunities for work in the cities. The reality can be very different, trafficked into sex work or poorly paid labour. It is estimated that child trafficking increases by at least 10% in the aftermath of a disaster like Haiyan. Whether you are a girl, boy, man or woman, no storm or conflict, however severe, should have the potential to jeopardise your entire future As Plan’s 2013 State of the World’s Girls Report highlights, girls face a double jeopardy: because of their age and sex, disasters increase girls’ vulnerability when their families and communities are least able to protect them. They are at increased risk of rape and other sexual violence, and may be forced into selling sex as a ‘coping strategy’ to meet their own or their family’s needs during an emergency. Girls are more likely to be pulled out of school during emergencies than boys, and least likely to return after. This has both immediate and long-term implications for the girls themselves, their families and their communities as a whole. Girls are effectively invisible in a disaster: in the clamour for survival, their specific health, education and protection needs – which are different to those of men, women and boys – are often overlooked by the humanitarian community. The European Union can, and must, change this. With the introduction of the Gender and Age Marker in 2014, the European Commission can make a lasting difference to those whose lives have been shattered; to ensure that girls are not permanently robbed of the chance to realise their full potential. This tool, if properly implemented, should ensure that all humanitarian projects funded by the Commission are gender and age sensitive, with aid reaching those who need it most. It should, in short, ensure that girls are no longer forced to suffer in silence. But whether you are a girl, boy, man or woman, no storm or conflict, however severe, should have the potential to jeopardise your entire future. This means the international community must take steps to ensure communities are both less exposed to risk and better prepared to deal with the effects when a disaster does occur – not just in the immediate aftermath, but in the longer term. Reducing vulnerability to disasters is a key step towards building resilience so individuals, communities and countries are able to withstand, adapt and quickly recover from stresses and shocks. The European Commission has recognised this, and the 2014-2020 Development Cooperation Instrument shows a clear commitment to forge strong links between its development and humanitarian arms – in both policies and funding – when preparing for, and responding AFP PHOTO / NOEL CELIS to, future emergencies. Following any major disaster, there is an outpouring of support from the international community. But inevitably, over time, international attention wanes; camera crews disappear and the emergency fades from peoples conscious. As the media interest subsides, Plan will continue to work with the children and their communities caught up in disasters and crises, to rebuild their lives and get back on their feet. We will help them build back, and build back stronger. As a traditional development organisation, our work is grounded in the needs of the communities we work with, having built up relationships and expertise over an extended period of time. Crucially, we remain accountable to these communities once the immediate emergency response has passed. The tragic end to 2013 in the Philippines must serve as a wake-up call for EU and global leaders – if one were needed – that we must act decisively to tackle the global threat posed by disasters. Plan is prepared to take on the challenge and the EU, as the world’s largest development and humanitarian aid donor, must do the same. QUOTE OF THE YEAR I am not the woman president of Harvard, Drew Faust I am the President of Harvard.
  • 95. OUR WORLD IN 2014 NEWEUROPE www.neweurope.eu 98 JANUARY 2014 By Manfred Neun President, European Cyclists’ Federation (ECF) HUMAN RIGHTS 2014: The year global cities return to human values Belgium - Brussels 014 promises to be a year of transition. The EU starts a new political cycle with the new financial framework, European elections and a new Commission. The UN edges towards its 2015 deadlines for new Development Goals and a Global Climate package. In this time of change we can make choices. We have the chance to reset our values and ensure that we put humanity at the heart of policies, thinking global, but acting local. There are solutions to many of today’s global challenges that are low cost, politically acceptable and popular. Let me give an example. As the President of the world’s largest cycling advocacy organization, I see on an almost daily basis the evidence that restoring the human dimension to our cities is having a transformative effect the world over. Livable cities are the flourishing cities that are setting the pace. 2 Building cities around people They start from different cultures, histories and traditions, but we see cities like Amsterdam, Copenhagen, Vienna, New York, Vancouver, Adelaide, Taipei and Bogota realize that the way we move in our urban environment, the way we use our public spaces and the way we build our housing decides the health and vitality of our cities. The politicians that have invested in these human values are seeing great political and economic advantage from their vision. What they have realized is that the old model of urban development is broken. Success is no longer about the size of the freeways, or the height of the tallest buildings, or allowing the most selfish and inefficient users of space and fuel to decide the shape of the lives of millions of city dwellers. Nor will the marketplace fix the challenges of climate change, obesity, economic recession and urbanization. Every time I see a city build itself around its people, I see it flourish. The winners in the post-2014 economies and societies will be Car free Sundays have proven popular all over the globe.  those that can look at the human dimension of cities and build them around people. In these human cities it is children’s play, walking, cycling and public space that get priority in policies and investments. Saving the EU €200 billion per year In a time where many countries are looking towards solutions for sustainable growth, numbers are inevitably important. ECF’s analysis of the economic benefits of cycling showed that in Europe alone, cycling contributes more than €200 billion to the EU economy every year. That is more than the GDP of whole countries such as Ireland. The biggest part of these benefits is healthrelated – more than €100 billion every year. This is more than most healthcare reforms will ever be able to achieve. Austria, for example, PICTURES OF THE YEAR A giant balloon with the shape of Superman participates in the Christmas parade in Acapulco.  AFP PHOTO / Pedro PARDO Every time I see a city build itself around its people, I see it flourish saves more than €1200 in health costs per person every year just because of people cycling. Psychological health is not to be neglected; cycling countries like Denmark or the Netherlands consistently rank amongst the happiest countries in the world. And behind the savings to society is an important global industry, investing in new technologies and solutions such as public bike sharing that are just as impactful as new metro systems and much more effective than electric car systems. Megacities and social equality In 2013, the world counted 24 megacities like Tokyo, Delhi, Mexico City, New York and Shanghai, whose population exceeds 10 million inhabitants. Traffic congestion and air pollution are among the biggest challenges they face. Billions of hours of productivity are lost inside jammed motorized vehicles and huge amounts of money, effort and technology needed to treat the enormous environmental hazard and energy waste. However, there is much more than that. In car-oriented cities divisions created by BELGA PHOTO NICOLAS LAMBERT lack of transport impedes social mobility and the right to a better life. Cities are beginning to understand that the key to equality is accessible mobility. Cycling or walking are choices that let people take the way they move into their own hands. One strong global example is bike sharing schemes: in one decade their number skyrocketed, exceeding 500 worldwide today. The mix includes cities like Paris, New York, Taipei and Moscow. Ebikes and Pedelecs have started their own growing trend, paving the way for cycling to conquer traditionally “difficult” geographic settings. What to do? It is time for national and international leaders to catch up with the world’s most successful cities and innovative mayors. National governments and international funders have to wake up to the fact that billions of their investments for the future are not delivering their promised results. For the EU, it is not enough to think changing fuels, but leaving cars in the cities will ever be a holistic solution to achieve one of its main targets, zero carbon transport in city centres by 2030. It is time to redirect those investments into local sustainable transport, active mobility and the creation of public space that works for people. It will not happen tomorrow. As long as governments and international organizations do not bet on long-term sustainable policies like cycling, the momentum of a new active transport paradigm will fade away. Yet 2014 can be the year started bringing the human dimension back to public investments, and the year we started building the future on our citizens’ demand – a future built on human values.
  • 96. CULTURE AND SOCIETY CONTENTS NEWEUROPE www.neweurope.eu JANUARY 2014 OUR WORLD IN 2014 By Bill Gates The emerging world’s vaccine pioneers 100 By Yannis Vardakastanis The Disability Movement Votes for Inclusion! By Kofi Annan Sympathy for the migrant 101 102 By H.H. Sri Sri Ravi Shankar Four powerful ways to happiness 103 2014 – it’s time to balance our social accounts By Theodota Nantsou 2013: a year of missed opportunities for sustainability in Europe By Andy Winters Restorative justice can save people and society 104 105 108 By Dr. Carol Cosgrove-Sacks Health, wealth & ethical? By Sonja Van Tichelen The EU must lead the herd and save elephants By Richard Eason By Christina Vasilaki Unemployment, the post-crisis bubble 109 110 111 By Cav. Stéphane Marti Fellini and The Fondation Fellini pour le cinema: A European adventure By Maria Kagkelidou EU austerity hurts more than the poor By Louise Kissa Cyber Cute 112 113 114 By Alexander Anghelou The optimised new year’s resolution 115
  • 97. OUR WORLD IN 2014 NEWEUROPE www.neweurope.eu 100 JANUARY 2014 CULTURE AND SOCIETY The emerging world’s vaccine pioneers By Bill Gates Co-Chair,the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation Today, emergingcountry manufacturers produce about 50% of vaccines purchased by United Nations agencies for use inthe developing world USA - SEATTLE accines work wonders. They prevent disease from striking, which is better than treating it after the fact. They are also relatively cheap and easy to deliver. Yet millions of children do not get them. This has always been stunning to me. When we started the Gates Foundation 15 years ago, we assumed that all of the obvious steps were already being taken, and that we would have to go after the expensive or unproven solutions. In fact, delivering basic vaccines is still one of our top priorities. As I look ahead to 2014, I am more optimistic than ever about the progress that we can make using the power of vaccines to give all children – wherever they live – a healthy start to life. We have new resources from generous donors worldwide. We are developing new and better vaccines to protect kids from deadly diseases. And we are finding innovative ways to deliver them, especially in hardto-reach areas. One of the most exciting – and often overlooked – developments in the global push to give all children access to immunization is the growing role of emerging-country vaccine suppliers. Countries like Brazil, China, and India have faced many health and development challenges of their own, and they have made tremendous progress. Now they are using their experience and technical capacity to help other countries make similar progress. You have probably never heard of many of the pharmaceutical companies – Serum Institute of India, Bharat Biotech, Biological E, China National Biotec Group, and BioManguinhos, to name just a few – that have become some of our most valuable partners in global health. By harnessing the same innovative spirit that transformed emerging mar- V A Syrian child gets a polio vaccination at a clinic in Damascus on November 20, 2013. The UN health agency launched a large-scale campaign on October 24 to immunise 1.6 million children in Syria against polio, measles, mumps and rubella.  AFP PHOTO /LOUAI BESHARA kets into manufacturing hubs for everything from cars to computers, these companies have become leaders in supplying the world with high quality, low-cost vaccines. The increased competition and new manufacturing approaches created by these companies have made it possible to protect a child against eight major diseases – including tetanus, whooping cough, polio, and tuberculosis – for less than $30. Serum Institute produces a higher volume of vaccines than any other company in the world and has played a key role in cutting costs and boosting volumes. Thanks to the efforts of these suppliers and their close partnerships with the GAVI Alliance, multinational vaccine manufacturers, and international donors, more than 100 million children a year – more than ever before – are being immunized. As more suppliers enter the market and stimulate competition with innovative manufacturing techniques, prices will likely drop even further. Consider the progress that has been made with the lifesaving pentavalent vaccine, which protects a child against diphtheria, tetanus, whooping cough, hepatitis B, and haemophilus influenza type b (Hib) – all in one dose. When the GAVI Alliance first introduced it in 2001, there was one supplier and the cost was $3.50 per dose. As demand for the vaccine grew, GAVI encouraged other suppliers to enter the market, and the price tumbled. Now there are five suppliers, and Biological E, an Indian pharmaceutical company, announced earlier this year that it would offer the vaccine for just $1.19 per dose. We have also seen major emerging countries invest in biomedical technology to supply developing countries with new vaccines. India’s Department of Biotechnology and Bharat Biotech announced plans this year to release a new vaccine against rotavirus – which kills hundreds of thousands of children – for $1 per dose, significantly cheaper than existing vaccines. Likewise, a Chinese biotech company won approval in October from the World Health Organization to bring to market an improved vaccine protecting children against Japanese encephalitis. The same month, Brazil’s top biomedical research and development center, Bio-Manguinhos, in partnership with the Gates Foundation, announced plans to produce a combined measles and rubella vaccine. When I first got involved in global health more than 15 years ago, these kinds of announcements were rare. The vaccine field was dominated by a handful of multinational pharmaceutical companies in rich countries, and the entire sector suffered from a lack of competition. Today, emerging-country manufacturers produce about 50% of vaccines purchased by United Nations agencies for use in the developing world, up from less than 10% in 1997. The contributions of emerging-country vaccine producers often complement the work of their counterparts in developed countries. In fact, some of the most innovative ideas have come from their combined efforts. The Gates Foundation supported a major partnership between the Serum Institute of India and SynCo Bio Partners, a Dutch vaccine producer, to produce a low-cost vac- cine to protect more than 450 million people in Africa from meningitis. This year, Biological E announced two major partnerships with multinational vaccine manufacturers. A joint partnership with GlaxoSmithKline will produce a six-in-one vaccine protecting children against polio and other infectious diseases; another, with Novartis, will produce two vaccines that will protect millions of people in the developing world from typhoid and paratyphoid fevers. Despite all of this progress, more must be done to target the 22 million children, mainly in the poorest countries, who do not have access to lifesaving vaccines. Without protection against deadly diseases like measles, pneumonia, and rotavirus, many of these children are being denied a chance to grow up healthy, attend school, and lead productive lives. Their countries lose, too. Disease robs a poor country of the energy and talents of its people, raises treatment costs, and stymies economic growth. We live in a world where we have the power to correct this injustice. We have the knowhow to produce effective vaccines, make them affordable, and deliver them to the children who need them. Emerging-country vaccine suppliers are a critical part of this process. Thanks to their contributions, we are moving closer to the day when all children can have a healthy start to life.  Copyright: Project Syndicate, 2013. www.project-syndicate.org QUOTE OF THE YEAR Trayvon Martin could’ve been me 35 years ago. Barack Obama
  • 98. OUR WORLD IN 2014 NEWEUROPE www.neweurope.eu CULTURE AND SOCIETY By Yannis Vardakastanis President, European Disability Forum (EDF) Belgium - Brussels 2 013 was the European Year of Citizens. Active citizenship means active involvement and participation of all citizens in all aspects of society. In the disability movement, we believe that nothing can be decided about us without us and this is not just a motto. It’s a way of thinking, living and acting. In times of crisis, it is more imperative than ever to make most of our rights as citizens and not let any decisions concerning our lives be taken for us without us. Europe is entering the 7th year of an economic crisis that has devastating effects mostly on the lives of the most vulnerable categories of citizens and in all European countries persons with disabilities have been the first to pay for this. EDF continues monitoring the impact of the economic crisis on the lives of persons with disabilities through its ‘observatory of the crisis’, while persistently pushing the European institutions for a social and human rights way out of the crisis. Last summer, we met the leaders of the main political groups of the European Parliament; they all signed a declaration to take up a series of important initiatives for the full inclusion of 80 million Europeans with disabilities and the implementation of the UN Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities (UN CRPD). Among others, the leaders of the political groups agreed to ensure the accessibility of their websites, documents and information to persons with disabilities in view of the 2014 European elections and to push for an ambitious and legally binding European Accessibility Act with strong measures at EU level to improve the accessibility of goods and services for persons with disabilities. EDF has strongly and long campaigned for the adoption of such legislation. Through our Freedom of Movement Top Campaign, we have been calling on the EU to proceed to the adoption of an ambitious and legally binding European Accessibility Act and to ensure that persons with disabilities can participate JANUARY 2014 101 The Disability Movement Votes for Inclusion! From the European Year of Citizens to the European elections in society on equal terms with other citizens. In November 2013, the disability movement met with the Vice President of the European Commission, Viviane Reding to discuss the actions that the Commission is taking on the implementation of the rights of persons with disabilities and the upcoming European Accessibility Act. Ms Reding expressed the European Commission’s commitment to the preparation of the legislative proposal of the Act and confirmed that the Act is included in the Commission’s 2014 work plan. The political will and ambition of the European Commission and subsequently of the European Parliament and the Council will be a test of the real commitment of the EU to the implementation of the UN Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities (UN CRPD), the first international human rights treaty that has been ever concluded by the EU itself, as well as by almost all of the EU Member States. In 2014 the EU will submit for the first time a report to the UN Committee on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities and will be questioned on the steps it has taken to date in order to ensure the implementation of the human rights enshrined in the UN CRPD. With regard to this, EDF conducted a survey through its member organisations all around Europe and is preparing an alternative report to the EU report on the implementation of the UN CRPD. EDF has also become a full member and chair of the EU Monitoring Framework, together with the European Ombudsman, the EU Agency for Fundamental Rights, the European Parliament’s Petitions Committee and the European Commission. The Framework has the mandate to promote, protect and monitor the implementation of the UN CRPD by the EU. Despite the fact that the UN CRPD foresees equal access to all information and communication technologies, 2/3 of public bodies’ websites in Europe are still far from being accessible. Over a year ago, the Commission published a legislative proposal for the accessibility of public websites. Throughout all this period, EDF has strongly campaigned for a wider scope of the proposal in order to cover all public sector bodies’ websites and websites delivering publicly available services. Only in this way, a real change for persons with disabilities will occur. There is no doubt that we have a lot to anticipate in 2014. The upcoming European elections will be a good opportunity for Europe to live up to its commitment to the 80 million Europeans with disabilities and ensure that they fully enjoy their civil, political, social, economic and cultural rights. Many Europeans with disabilities will not have access to their right to vote, nor to stand as candidates. Europe should ensure that all European citizens with disabilities will have access to vote and to participation in political life on equal basis with others, as foreseen clearly in the UN Convention, to which the EU is a party. We expect from the candidate MEPs and political parties to reform Europe’s economic recovery policies in order to ensure the protection of Europeans with disabilities from exclusion, discrimination and poverty and to allow them to enjoy their human rights. Furthermore, we ask them to push for the adoption of the European Accessibility Act, the proposed EU directive on the accessibility of public websites, as well as the proposed general non-discrimination directive to protect from discrimination in all areas of life. It is of major importance to establish mechanisms within EU institutions to mainstream the UN Convention, while ensuring the involvement of persons with disabilities through their representative organisations. “Act. React. Impact.” is the slogan of the 2014 European election campaign and we are here to accept the challenge and to vote for the inclusion of all citizens.
  • 99. OUR WORLD IN 2014 NEWEUROPE www.neweurope.eu 102 JANUARY 2014 By Kofi Annan Former SecretaryGeneral, United Nations, founding chair of the Kofi Annan Foundation, chair of The Elders and the Africa Progress Panel. CULTURE AND SOCIETY Sympathy for the migrant States that tighten their borders encourage desperate people, exploited by cynical smugglers and traffickers, to take greater risks to cross them Switzerland - Geneva he tragic fate of the several hundred Africans who drowned near the Italian island of Lampedusa in October made international headlines, leading to a rare moment of compassion and reflection about the dangers facing many migrants. But the only exceptional aspect of this disaster was the magnitude of the death toll. For Lampedusa’s residents, shipwrecks involving refugees and migrants are a common occurrence: a week later, a boat carrying Syrian and Palestinian refugees capsized off the shores of the island, leaving more than 30 people dead. The year 2013 demonstrated, as if any further demonstration were needed, that these catastrophes are not restricted to European shores or to the Mediterranean Sea. In November, nearly 30 Haitians perished when their boat ran aground on its way to the United States – the third case in the northern Caribbean since October. Along the MexicoUS border, the deployment of sophisticated border controls leads people to starve while attempting passage in the desert’s remotest stretches. In the Asia-Pacific region, hundreds of migrants and refugees have drowned this year in the Bay of Bengal or while trying to reach Australia. Wealthy states and regions face the dilemma of designing border controls that reflect not only the needs and demands of their populations, but also their responsibility to those seeking to enter their territory. None of this is new: ever since national frontiers were invented, people have been crossing them, whether T Syrian children stand next to aid boxes from the Bulgarian Red Cross during an aid distribution of food, clothes and blankets at a refugee center in Sofia on December 17, 2013. AFP PHOTO / NIKOLAY DOYCHINOV formally or under the radar. Whether they have done so in search of economic opportunities or to escape violence or environmental disasters, host countries have reacted with a mix of welcome and wariness. States that tighten their borders encourage desperate people, exploited by cynical smugglers and traffickers, to take greater risks to cross them. As the International Organization for Migration stated shortly after the Lampedusa tragedy, implementation of enhanced border controls “did not have sufficient impact or decrease the number of arrivals to the South of Europe in the long run. On the contrary, migrants started to explore alternative and mostly dangerous routes with a frequent rate of deaths at sea.” Of course, not all migrants are refugees or require protection. In fact, migrants on the same boat may have very different motives – what policymakers call “mixed migration.” But, faced with a complex picture, states have tended to address the flow of migrants they deem undesirable by saying, in effect, “out of sight, out of mind.” This is especially true when domestic anti-immigrant sentiment spikes, typically during economic downturns like the one that many regions currently are experiencing. A single-minded focus on sealing borders – a particularly worrying trend in states’ approach to migration controls today – tends to regard migrants as unwanted trespassers even before their status can be determined, their rights upheld, or their contributions acknowledged. It may also discourage people from helping the vulnerable: there are reports in the Mediterranean of private vessels avoiding migrant boats in distress for fear of being reprimanded by European border patrols. We must recognize the desperation of those who attempt these journeys. From friends or from the media, they know what awaits them. They are aware of the risks and have heard the horror stories. Seeing their options for passage narrowing, they put themselves at the mercy of unscrupulous smugglers, often at enormous expense. They are crammed onto precarious ships that cannot bear the load. They travel at night, when neither border police nor rescue operations can see them. Equally important, governments should view migration as a profoundly binding dimension of the human experience. Through migration, human beings share an understanding of sorrow, hope, and compassion. Indeed, this understanding has inspired some of the international community’s greatest feats of solidarity, such as the 1951 Refugee Convention, which defines a person’s right to find safe havens across borders. The continuing rise in migrant deaths in transit poses a conundrum: as these migrants are pushed toward trafficking and smuggling networks, they are dragged further into the grey areas of the international community’s response. For example, the European Union’s border police do not have clear search-andrescue guidelines for migrant ships in distress. Member states are divided on how to address this, and recent discussions in Brussels have only begun to make some progress. As 2014 begins, the world needs clearer lines of responsibility for averting further tragedies. As an international community, we owe migrants and refugees greater compassion. Otherwise, we will continue to wake, every so often, to find a graveyard on our shores.  Copyright: Project Syndicate, 2013. www.project-syndicate.org PICTURES OF THE YEAR QUOTE OF THE YEAR Africa’s story has been written by others; Paul Kagame, we need to own our problems and President of Rwanda solutions and write our story. A South Sudanese girl puts her family’s laundry out to dry on a barbed fence at a makeshift IDP camp at the United Nations Mission in South Sudan (UNMISS) compound in Juba December 22, 2013.  AFP PHOTO/Tony KARUMBA
  • 100. OUR WORLD IN 2014 NEWEUROPE www.neweurope.eu CULTURE AND SOCIETY JANUARY 2014 103 Four powerful ways to happiness Even commuting on the Brussels Metro can provide unexpected happiness!  By H.H. Sri Sri Ravi Shankar Humanitarian leader, spiritual teacher and an ambassador of peace Make a commitment to make this world a better place to live Belgium - Brussels C elebration can be attributed to any reason because the nature of our spirit is to celebrate. The New Year is a time when the spirit of celebration engulfs the whole world. This is also an opportunity to reflect on the year gone by and take stock of the lessons learnt. A celebration has social, emotional and spiritual components. Often, we focus on the first two and forget the third. True celebration happens when the spiritual aspect is attended to. Very often, people ask me how I see the future. And I say that the future is for them to build however they want it. The unwise regret the past, think the future is destiny and are miserable in present. The wise see their past as destiny, the future as free will and are happy in the present. However significant the events of the past year were at the time, looking back, you cannot see them all as anything but a dream. Reflecting on these events, what stands out is the impermanent nature of all things. Events are like stones and pebbles in the great river of time which keeps flowing unabated. In life, things are to be learnt and forgotten - learnt so that you do not repeat the same mistakes and forgotten so that they do not leave you traumatized. Here are four ways to a happier 2014: Make Meditation a Part of Life Modern life’s demands lead to stress and restlessness, which can be released through a few minutes of meditation. Meditation gives you deep rest. The deeper you are able to rest, the more dynamic you will be in activity. It is the best tool to wipe your mind clean of all past impressions that weigh you down. Often, we get pulled in different directions and are unable to devote time to ourselves. We do not take out the time to think and reflect. This can leave us dull and tired. A few quiet moments everyday are the source of creativity. Silence heals and rejuvenates and gives you depth and stability. Sometime during the day, sit for a few minutes; get into the cave of your heart, eyes closed, and keep the world away. Serve Make a commitment to make this world a better place to live. Do some acts of kindness without expecting anything in return. Service alone can bring contentment in life. It creates a sense of connectedness. When you bring some relief to someone through selfless service, good vibrations come to you. When you show kindness, your true nature, which is love and peace, come to the surface. BELGA PHOTO SISKA GREMMELPREZ Feel Grateful Our love, faith, and belief should be deeprooted, and then everything else moves on its own. The feeling that “I am blessed” can help you overcome any failure. Once you realize that you are blessed, then all the complaints and grumbling disappear, all the insecurities disappear and you become grateful, contented and peaceful. Spend time with Nature If you are not amazed by the magnificence of this creation—your eyes are not yet opened. Tell me, what in this creation is not a mystery? Birth is a mystery; death is a mystery. If both birth and death are mysteries, then life is certainly a greater mystery. Being completely immersed in the mystery of life and in this creation is samadhi. Just like we live in the outer world of events and circumstances, we also live in the inner world of emotions and feelings, which we are not always aware of. The distance between the outer and the inner worlds is just the blink of an eye. Yoga is the skill of keeping attention on the inner world while acting in the outer. When you are lost in the outside world, there is disharmony in the inner world and life is like a war. When you are established in the inner world, there is clarity in the outer world and life becomes a game. I wish you all a very Happy New Year! About the Author Sri Sri Ravi Shankar is a humanitarian leader, spiritual teacher and an ambassador of peace. He is the founder of the Art of Living, founder of the International Association for Human Values and co-founder of the World Forum for Ethics in Business. His vision of a stress-free, violence-free society has united millions of people around the world through service projects and courses offered by The Art of Living. Sri Sri Ravi Shankar is the recipient of numerous awards, including honorary doctorates and state honors. PICTURES OF THE YEAR Shoppers queue in the early morning outside Selfridges in search of a bargain in the post Christmas Boxing Day sales.  AFP PHOTO / JUSTIN TALLIS
  • 101. OUR WORLD IN 2014 NEWEUROPE www.neweurope.eu 104 JANUARY 2014 By Sonja Van Tichelen Head of the Brussels office of the International Fund for Animal Welfare (IFAW) The EU and member states are slowly waking up to the fact that they have a role to play in stopping the killing and saving one of the world’s most iconic species belgium-brussels M ore than 41 tonnes of elephant ivory have been seized globally in 2013, the largest quantity in 25 years. This represents a small fraction of the ivory that is being traded internationally and if it is not stopped we risk wiping out elephants across much of their range in the next few years. It is estimated that up to 50,000 elephants a year are now being slaughtered for their ivory. Wildlife trafficking remains a low-risk/ high reward activity. It is perpetrated, in part, by organized criminal syndicates. The proceeds have been used to fund terrorist groups like Al- Shabaab. It undermines law and order in developing countries where many iconic species live. If the EU is going to make a sustained and CULTURE AND SOCIETY The EU must lead the herd and save elephants IFAW’s Celine Sissler-Bienvenu, left and Sharon Redrobe, right, elephant expert vet in Cameroon investigating elephant remains after a killing spree that began in mid-January 2012. IFAW said an armed gang of Sudanese poachers killed free roaming elephants in the Bouba Ndjida National Park in northern Cameroon, near the border with Chad. Evidence of cuts taken from the tail or ear was observed on almost all the carcasses, even those of very young elephants. Cutting a small part of the ear is a habit from Sudan, not from Cameroon. It is considered as a trophy and worn as a pendant.  IFAW/J.Landry serious effort to stop the ivory trade and wildlife trafficking it must develop an Action Plan just as it has to counter terrorism, drugs, and weapons trafficking. No individual country, or within the EU Commission, no individual DG, has the resources and experience necessary to tackle this problem. An Action Plan would bring together the funds, reach and expertise of the various member states and EU Directorate Generals in a way that can reduce demand in consumer countries such as China and Vietnam, improve Europe’s borders, stop the syndicates smuggling ivory and rhino horn for obscene profits, improve the law and order in developing coun- A slaughtered elephant in Bouba Ndjida National Park, Cameroon in 2012.  IFAW/J.Landry tries, support range states that are diverting valuable and scarce funds to protect the animals and equip the thousands of rangers that are putting their lives on the line with little or no equipment and training. The EU and member states are slowly waking up to the fact that they have a role to play in stopping the killing and saving one of the world’s most iconic species. France has announced that it will destroy three tonnes of ivory in February as part of a strategy to help elephants and stop poaching. A week later London will play host to delegates from 50 countries affected by the illegal wildlife trade. The hope is that range states, transit countries and consumer countries can work together to stamp out the trade in ivory, rhino horn and other species. In December the EU Commission announced €12.3m in support of MIKES - Minimising the Illegal Killing of Elephants and other Endangered Species. In order to fight illegal killing of species such as elephants, MIKES will, among other things, provide law enforcement training, technical support for setting up patrol systems, and concrete operat,mional support where required. An emergency response mechanism will also be created to allow MIKES to respond to sudden increases in the illegal killing and/or international trade in elephants and other species. At the same time delegates to the IUCN African Elephant Summit in Botswana committed to classifying wildlife trafficking as a ‘serious crime’. This unlocks international law enforcement opportunities that will make life that much harder for criminals. These developments, collectively, represent a significant mobilisation of resources and a political awakening to the seriousness of the threats faced by elephants, rhinos and other iconic species. It also nowhere near enough. In 2011 Europol estimated that revenues generated by the trafficking of endangered species are between 18 and 26 billion euros per year with the EU the foremost destination market in the world. IFAW has been ringing the alarm bell on the plight of elephants for years now. And while it is heartening to see governments finally paying attention there is a serious concern that we may already be too late. We were the first NGO to sign an MoU with INTERPOL’s Environmental Crime Programme and we’ve funded several anti-ivory poaching operations throughout dozens of African countries. Closer to home we’ve been active in lobbying all of the EU institutions to take notice and action. January will see the European Parliament vote on a resolution for an EU wildlife trafficking resolution – a process in which we are proud to be a part. Our Beijing office has spent years investigating ivory markets there and educating people that their purchases are directly linked to the death of elephants. The EU, and specifically the EU Commission, is uniquely positioned to deliver the drastic action that is necessary. An Action Plan will bring the coordination and funds necessary to the table so that a comprehensive effort can be made to save the world’s remaining elephants and rhinos.
  • 102. OUR WORLD IN 2014 NEWEUROPE www.neweurope.eu CULTURE AND SOCIETY JANUARY 2014 105 2013: a year of missed opportunities for sustainability in Europe By Theodota Nantsou Policy Coordinator, WWF (Greece) I GREECE - ATHENS n its original meaning of the Greek word κρίσις, a crisis is not just about a dramatic state of affairs, but also about judgment and choice. Gloom and decision are the two sides of the same coin. Crises signal the need for change. Yet, Europe seems to be missing an historic opportunity for a much needed shift towards ecologically and socially sustainable development. Through the CrisisWatch monthly e-bulletin (http://www.neurope.eu/knowledge- network/ crisis-watch-wwf), the conservation organisation WWF reports on major environmental shortfalls that occur in the EU, since the beginning of the crisis. A quick reflection on the environmental developments in Europe during the past year will reveal a massive environmental rollback across Europe. Tough times for green laws and policies The economic crisis serves as the shooting gallery for Europe’s environmental acquis. A long-time target by industry and large construction lobbies, rules and policies for environmental impact assessment, nature conservation and spatial planning are now under fire, in order to facilitate the rapid approval of high footprint investments, almost anywhere. In its assessment of the Portuguese structural adjustment programme, the European Commission reports that the dismantling of the country’s Reserva Ecológica Nacional legislation is a positive step “to reduce excessive licensing procedures”. Likewise, Spain revised its coastal laws, in order to allow for more construction along its already troubled coastline. In Italy, the Parliament is discussing a draft law stating that the protected areas system will no longer be funded by the state. In Romania, mass rallies swarmed for months the streets of major cities, in protest against the Government’s tailor-made legislation that would allow for high footprint investments in gold mining and hydraulic fracturing for shale gas. In Greece, pressures by the Troika have resulted in an endless process of legalisation of illegal land uses, even within national parks, aiming at the quick and dirty collection of a fee which is much lower than the financial penalties already foreseen by the forestry and urban planning codes. Budget cuts and political indifference have caused the collapse of the national system of protected areas. Emphasis now is on heavy footprint resource extraction projects, such as hydrocarbon exploration and gold mining, and on large construction projects. Along the same lines, the Tourism Ministry has developed a strategy that nourishes the same unsustainable model: in a law voted by the Hellenic Parliament in June, the tourism ministry aims to promote large holiday compounds of dubious financial viability all over the country, even within ecologically sensitive and legally protected areas. The law also provides for the legalisation of illegal developments, a destructive policy that deprives the national coffers of valuable revenues from the collection of the financial penalties stipulated under previous legislation. At the same time, the fine for free camping is doubled, a move which has understandably attracted ironic comments and much criticism. Whereas one would expect the environment to be treated as luxury primarily by those member states that are most heavily affected by the crisis, it is now obvious that other countries with long lasting traditions in nature conservation are following suit. Britain is a notorious example: David Cameron’s administration seems to be leading the country on the way back to environmental solitude, by openly Thick smog hangs over Hong Kong.  questioning the competitiveness and development potential of EU policies on environment and fisheries, whereas Environment Secretary Owen Paterson recently stated that the famed “green belts” national policy is hampering development and needs to change. The EU is also favouring a serious rollback on common environmental policies. A fundamental shortfall is the fact that the structural adjustment programmes of financially troubled member states are routinely excluded from the standard scrutiny foreseen by the EU’s own Directive on Strategic Environmental Assessment, despite their clear effect upon the environment. On a series of other policy fronts, the EU also appears to be a backslider from its own environmental acquis. The most notable example is the political agreement on the new CAP, which undermines the prospects for good farming practices and creates an environmentally perverse system of subsidies. Another development that raises serious concerns is the “REFIT-Fit for Growth” initiative of the Commission, which questions the development potential of important EU environmental legislation. Europe’s shift towards dirty energy Renewables, Europe’s flagship clean energy industry, has also fallen prey to the environmentally insatiable response to the crisis. While subsidies and tax incentives to fossil fuel remain intact and now amount to €12 billion globally, in Europe all support to clean energy investments is under fire. The drastic cuts on subsidies and retroactive taxation targeting climate-friendly energy investments is leading Europe’s economically sizeable wind and solar market to collapse. Bowing to pressures for reduced energy prices to industry, Greece, Italy, Spain, Bulgaria, Romania are slowly moving away from the prospects offered by their abundant sun and wind for unrestricted power production and energy security. Germany is also questioning its incentives policies for renewables. AFP/ ALEX OGLE No wonder that the second quarter of 2013 is seeing investments in clean energy drop to the lowest in more than six years (Crisis WatchOctober 2013 issue). Only Portugal seems to be resisting the pressures and announced its decision to impose a tax on fossil fuels, instead of renewables, in order to properly address the accumulating electricity market deficits. Biodiversity hotspots and iconic landscapes in the Mediterranean are also put at serious risk, due to the frenzy for oil and gas. Spain’s Canary Islands and the Doñana National Park, Italy’ Pantelleria and Sicily Straits, Greece’s marine area of the Hellenic Trench, are just a few of Europe’s natural treasures that are put at risk by new exploration and drilling projects. Romania is also rushing to welcome giant investments in shale gas exploration, despite the enormous environmental impact of hydraulic fracturing and the massive reaction by the communities that will be affected. The crisis signals the need for change This crisis is not simply fiscal; it is the reflection of an unsustainable development paradigm which is based on resource overexploitation and overconsumption and results in an ever increasing ecological deficit. The measures implemented in a state of panic, declaredly as a solution to the economic downturn, are not fit for purpose. Instead, they nourish the roots of a longer term and much deeper crisis, with profound ecological, humanitarian and economic dimensions. As recorded by Eurostat in 2013, an overwhelming majority of EU citizens do not favour measures that undermine Europe’s natural treasury and believe that more funding should be allocated to its conservation. One can therefore rightly infer that sidelining the environment does not enjoy public acceptance, not even as a policy response to thecrisis. In June 2013, the European Parliament launched a review of the Troika and bailout programmes in euro-area states. Better late than never... Important parameters of the structural adjustment recipes dictated by the Troika, primarily relating to social wellbeing and democratic governance, will be assessed by the Committee on Economic and Monetary Affairs. Yet still, the environment is absent from this important initiative. Can we hope for some light in the horizon, or is the deepening recession shifting attention away from the real causes of the crisis and sending governments on-board the tumbling boat of short-sighted development at any cost? Although there is no easy answer, the overall trend is clear: the environment and clean energy policies are being side-lined by the majority of debt-ridden member states. In the same time, the EU is also relinquishing its role as a global leader in environmental policies and begins to question the development potential of its own green laws. This path may offer short-term financial gains, but will certainly lead to ecological and social deficits and crises, with a dramatic economic outlook, that will be much harder to deal with. A few EU states, such as Denmark, swim against the current, by strengthening their environmental and green investments policies. Conservation organisations, such as WWF, and civil society in general show, beyond doubt, that the only sustainable solution to the crisis is the development of living economies through the much needed horizontal reforms in policy and governance and the shift of the real economy towards living and truly sustainable pathways. Sustainability is not rocket science-the EU has already carved ways and has developed specific proposals and indicators that can form the basis for a pan-European and national blueprints for living economies. This challenge is now in the hands of Europe’s political leaders, who need to think out of the box and develop the necessary visionary policies.
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  • 104. OUR WORLD IN 2014 NEWEUROPE www.neweurope.eu 108 JANUARY 2014 CULTURE AND SOCIETY Restorative justice can save people and society By Andy Winters Teacher, trainer, lecturer and writer UK - MANCHESTER A few years ago I was commissioned to write a Programme on Knife Crime for The Youth Justice Board. ‘It’s Your Life’ included a short film and interviews with victims of knife crime. We made a conscientious decision to avoid shock tactics and gore. After all, this was aimed at children between 10 and 17 years of age. I had visions of the ultraviolent Alex from A Clockwork Orange. The State had taken ownership of his crimes. First through retributive justice via imprisonment, then distributive justice using therapeutic treatment where he was forced to watch violent images as part of his aversion therapy. Here was a teenage boy being treated like a lab rat, himself now a victim of violence at the hands of the authorities. Our aim was to educate, to show the negative effects not only for the direct and indirect victims but also on the wrongdoer. Following a workshop at a Criminal Justice event I was approached by the Head Teacher of a High School. She shook me warmly by the hand and thanked me for taking a restorative approach towards knife crime. Restorative approach? I thought that I had taken a common sense approach. After all, if you can show a wrongdoer how their actions impact on the wider community and if you can give the victim of wrongdoing a chance to get an explanation then surely its plain old common sense. What is a family discussion around the dinner table but a restorative conference with food? If education and mediation can be used effectively then this makes sense not only in a humanitarian way but also it makes financial sense. It is estimated that in the UK diverting young offenders from community orders to a pre-court restorative justice scheme would produce a lifetime saving of £7,050 per offender. Over the years I have worked with young people who have committed a variety of offences. Many of whom put the ultra violent Alex in the shade. The offences I have dealt with range from low level criminal damage through to sex offences and murder. What is it that drives young people into a life of crime? There is the age old debate between nature and nurture. Is it learned behaviour or is this young person just plain bad? Of course it is much more complex than that. Poverty, peer pressure, boredom, substance misuse, experimentation, the list goes on. However it is very rare that a young person, when confronted with their wrongdoing, is in- A restorative approach can deal a new hand to youth.  It is very rare that a young person, when confronted with their wrongdoing, is incapable of showing empathy capable of showing empathy. Most young people who have committed a wrong doing whether it is breaking school rules, family rules or society’s rules, if given a chance to analyse their behaviour , will show empathy. It is at this point, this crucial point that the right form of action is taken to prevent the young person from making the same mistakes. Restorative justice focuses on repairing the harm caused rather than taking the punitive route. For instance, a young person sprays graffiti on school premises. The punitive approach would be prosecution followed by a court case, a fine, a criminal record and a bad reputation. The effect on the wrongdoer would be a negative experience with feelings of resentment, and reduced opportunities. The restorative approach would be to explain to the young person that their behaviour is unacceptable. The young person would be allowed to analyse their actions and come to an informed choice as to how to put things right. This could mean engaging in positive activities where the young person could express themselves artistically by doing community arts projects. The outcome would be one less person in the criminal justice system, the community would see that the wrongdoer has taken responsibility for their actions and the school makes good community relations. This sounds all too good to be true. It certainly isn’t as straight forward as the dinner table scenario. Whilst working with young people I have come across a variety of programmes, DVD’s worksheets and group work. All are useless if the practitioner can not engage the young people. Whether it is by using good communication skills or good materials or ideally both. Engagement is key. Therefore I wrote and developed a programme or toolkit which would enable practitioners to enable young people to confront their wrongdoing with the outcome being an informed letter of explanation or more importantly a conference meeting between the wrongdoer and victim. I knew that the young people and practitioners would both need to engage well. I called the Programme, ‘Writing Wrongs’. Writing Wrongs uses a team sport analogy. Team sport is a restorative process. Both teams approach a game with conflict and resolution in mind. In a football match there are 90 minutes of conflict all arbitrated by the referee. Afterwards there is a conclusion. Win, lose or draw, both teams shake hands and move on. Writing Wrongs is being used by a large num- Writing Wrongs ber of organisations and schools. It is used as a preventative measure and as a tool to bring wrongdoers at all levels and their victims together. It is also used to engage young people in the arts. This year a young person won the U18 Koestler Trust Award using an exercise from the Programme. It has also had success in the Summer Arts Colleges. I wonder if Alex and his Droogs would have responded positively to Writing Wrongs. I like to think so. QUOTE OF THE YEAR Bill Clinton Being President is a little like being the grounds-keeper at a cemetery: there’s plenty of people below you but no one’s listening.
  • 105. OUR WORLD IN 2014 NEWEUROPE www.neweurope.eu CULTURE AND SOCIETY By Dr. Carol Cosgrove-Sacks Director, the Ethics in Finance Robin Cosgrove Prize, Professor, College of Europe, Bruges; formerly a director in the UN, Geneva JANUARY 2014 109 Health, wealth & ethical? Youthful prescriptions for financial ills There are many younger financial professionals who give high priority to traditional values of trust, integrity and ethics Switzerland -Geneva T he financial sector globally is confronted by many challenges in 2014. Major centres, such as New York, London and Tokyo, are impacted by the changing regulatory frameworks at all levels. In the Eurozone, efforts to improve economic and monetary stability focus on the banks, and recently the IMF exhorted its Members to strengthen surveillance of their financial sectors and to advance ambitious reforms, including the behaviour of banks as essential elements for the health of the global economy, demonstrating the need for fundamental change. In many emerging markets, the banks represent an urgent and complex focus for further reform to sustain an effective economic recovery. In Brazil, China, and Mexico, to name only a few, governments and the private sector recognize that banking reform is a top priority to enable these countries to achieve economic growth and prosperity and to deal with debt and corruption. For reform to be effective and deliver sustainable growth, the behaviour of those working within the financial sector as well as the banks themselves needs to be put under the microscope. The twenty-first century has witnessed a breakdown of trust between many financial services firms and those they claim to serve. It seems as if the ineluctable pressure for profit caused damage to many of their stakeholders, compromising traditional values of trust and integrity which are the basis of the modern financial system. The vital role of trust and ethics in the financial sector and the conviction that young finance professionals can make a difference is the rationale for the Ethics in Finance Robin Cosgrove Prize (www.robincosgroveprize.org). This prestigious global Prize was inspired by Robin, a London-based international banker who died aged 31, whilst hiking on Mont Blanc. As the financial crisis continues, the relevance of Robin’s prescient intuition that lack of integrity, trust and ethical standards in finance and banking were a growing threat to the global economy shows that the Ethics in Finance Robin Cosgrove Prize is more important than ever; based in Geneva, at the International Financial Observatory/l’Observatoire de la finance. Snow dusts a statue of George Washington along Wall Street during a morning snow storm on December 17, 2013 in New York City. Spencer Platt/Getty Images/AFP Prabhay Joshi & Rafael Gomes Following the success of the 2006/7, 2008/9, and 2010/2011 Prize competitions, the fourth global edition was launched at Citi Bank, London, in September 2012, inviting young finance professionals and advanced students to submit their “Innovative Ideas for Ethics in Finance” in English, French, Spanish or Portuguese (the latter targeted to Latin America and Spain/Portugal with sponsorship from MAPFRE, a major Spanish insurer). With promotions by major banks (especially Barclays, BNP Paribas Fortis and Citi) and by several financial professional associations (including among others the European Banks Training Network, the Association of Chartered and Certified Accountants (ACCA), the Chartered Institute of Bankers, and the Chartered Institute of Insurers) and many business schools across the world, the competition attracted interest from more than eighty countries. A national version of the Prize was also launched by the Polish Bankers Association. The distinguished international Jury eventually nominated eleven papers for final assessment, coming from authors of diverse nationality: Argentinian, British, British/Indian, French, Mexican, Polish, Portuguese, and Spanish. Their papers are published in the Review: Finance and the Common Good/ Bien Commun [No’s 40/41, November 2013]. These papers demonstrated deep familiarity with financial structures and markets, a recog- nition that the financial crisis requires an ethical response- not just more robust technical and compliance systems, and a conviction that individuals throughout the finance sector need an ethical compass. The Jury selected two joint laureates for the global 2013 Prize, dividing the $20,000 between two young finance professionals working in London: Rafael Gomes of Accenture and Prabhay Joshi of PA Consulting. Rafael Gomes developed the concept of “corporate market responsibility”, focusing on the need for systemic change. He analysed the failure of financial markets in the recent past to defend themselves from unscrupulous and unethical behaviours and the chronic need for responsible compliance practices and the development of ethical competence throughout the financial system, based on robust ethical norms for business conduct, above and beyond legal regulation. [INSERT photo of RG here] Prabhay Joshi emphasized personal accountability, focusing on the still-continuing saga of manipulation of the benchmark interbank lending rate, Libor. He examined why cultural practices overshadowed ethical decision making, leading to one of the biggest financial scandals of recent times, suggesting that structural regulatory reforms represent only one part of the remedy, and should be accompanied by measures to nurture ethical standards at all levels of a financial organization by encouraging individuals to form their personal vision of ethical integrity. [INSERT photo of PJ here] The vibrancy and relevance of the ideas elicited by the global Prize shows that there are many younger financial professionals who give high priority to traditional values of trust, integrity and ethics. Hopefully those developing training schemes for professional standards of conduct throughout the world will use the Ethics in Finance Robin Cosgrove Prize to encourage greater awareness of personal responsibility throughout the finance sector. The Chartered Financial Analyst (CFA) Institute and ACCA are both looking at how the Prize may be relevant to their training schemes. The Australian financial community has launched its Banking and Finance Oath, intended to instil a code of ethics as advocated by many submissions for the Prize. The Prize cannot directly affect the financial crisis, but it contributes to a global debate, led by the laureates who have won the Prize over the years from 2006 to the present, coming from all over the world, with their unique insights and proposals for promoting ethics in finance. While these may seem like small drops in the ocean, drops gradually coalesce to form currents and they, in turn, cause oceans to move. As the Most Reverend Justin Welby, the Archbishop of Canterbury and a member of the Prize Jury since its inception, said in his 2014 message, real change in banking behaviour may take a generation. The Prize has a global influence, accelerating this process. QUOTE OF THE YEAR It’s the alternative Ascot, let’s face it. Mick Jagger – Mick Jagger speaking about playing the Glastonbury festival
  • 106. OUR WORLD IN 2014 NEWEUROPE www.neweurope.eu 110 JANUARY 2014 CULTURE AND SOCIETY Unemployment, the post-crisis bubble for the European Central Bank price stability prevails over labour stability. However, as Bernadette Segol, General Secretary of the European Trade Union Confederation, marks: “Stability of nominal wages also function as an anchor for the entire economy. If the nominal wages building cannot come crushing down, neither can prices, and the economy cannot get caught in a spiral of falling wages and falling prices. This should be a prime concern of any central bank.” By Christina Vasilaki Journalist, New Europe I Belgium- Brussels n the dawn of 2014 some 15 millions of Europeans under the age of 30 are neither in employment, nor in education or training. Since 2007 the general unemployment rate in the Euro area has increased by more than 50%. Whilst there is a growing consensus on the fact that unemployment -especially persistent structural youth unemployment- is a time bomb waiting to explode, the fight against it risks becoming the Eurozone’s next “systemic bubble” with severe consequences in its macroeconomic future. In other words, the unprecedented rise of unemployment rate in the EU has been unanimously and massively condemned by policymakers on the national and international scene, the world’s most influential economic thinkers and institutes as well as the European intelligentsia and labour movements across the continent. Yet this consensus has failed to bring the EU closer to the crisis’ substantial resolution. The reason lies on the opposing approaches, which serve different interests -not always those of the unemployed. Economic recovery away from austerity “Flexibilisation” Governments and businesses appear lately “determined” not to permit young, jobless Europeans to become Europe’s “lost generation.” They agree that this would end up in social unrest and eventually in the collapse of the single currency, the maintenance of which has proved to be their fist and foremost priority. Moreover, the risk of entering a period of deflation—or falling prices—as a result of decreasing consumer demand and low levels of bank lending has already shadowed the first, weak signs of recovery. The so far approach of addressing chronic levels of unemployment could be summarised in the following phrase: making dismissals easier makes hirings less difficult. On the same line, the Outlook on the Global Agenda 2014 prepared by the influential World Economic Forum (WEF) stresses the need to tackle the employment crisis while “resisting tendencies toward protectionism.” The so-called German model of successfully reducing unemployment by means of structural reform can be easily translated to a well-planned scheme of deregulation of the labour market by means of deterioration of the European welfare state. In terms of numbers this seems to work. Austria, the country with the lowest unemployment rate in the Eurozone (currently at 4,8% according to Eurostat) is also the country which maintains the level of an OECD indicator called “Protection of permanent workers against individual and collective dismissal” at 1,94 in 2013, the lowest in the Eurozone and From the school gates to the unemployment office doors. AFP PHOTO / PHILIPPE HUGUEN EU’s youth is struggling between hopelessness and chronic unproductivity significantly lower than the average (2,29 in the OECD countries). In this context and in order to tackle record high unemployment, crisis-hit Spain introduced in 2012 a labour market reform, which provoked a significant decrease in the employment protection indicator (2,28 in 2013 compared to 2,69 in 2008). As an OECD report assesses, “the labour market reform has improved the de jure flexibility of the collective bargaining system” and it “has significantly reduced the rigidity of the Spanish legislation on dismissals.” According to the European Trade Union Confederation, more types of non-standard employment relationship are being created or have seen a sharp increase in their use, such as zero-hour contracts and employee shareholder status (UK), youth contract (Greece), service contracts (Germany, Poland), agreements on work performed outside the employment relationship (Slovakia) and the three year training contract (Spain). The role of central bankers There is no doubt that central bankers and their conviction that labour market regulation leads to inflationary hikes, hide behind this obsession with “flexibilisation”. In other words, Unemployment, deflation and recession are all mainly driven by the harsh austerity measures imposed to crisis-stricken countries. An alternative remedy proposed by progressive economic thinkers aims to beat the Japanese-style stagnation of European economies by increasing public investments in the EU with 2%, a year in the years 2015 to 2019. The directions for investment should be taken from past EU and EIB (European Investment Bank) priorities, putting back on the agenda the EU 2020 objectives. According to data provided by the European Council of the Labour Movement (ECLM), the above investment plan would increase employment by more than 1,7 million people in 2015 rising to nearly 6 million people in 2019. Also, in 2019 the GDP level can be increased by almost 5% compared to a scenario without the investment plan. In the long-term the effect of the investment plan, as representatives of the labour movement claim, will also have an impact on the value of elasticity as the economy will converge towards a less energy intensive economy. Using the methodology of the European Commission, the investment plan will create between 7,2 and 11 million full-time jobs all depending on the value of multiplier. Furthermore the increase in GDP due to the investment plan is estimated to lie between 312 to 390 billion Euros. Likewise the tax revenue and social security contributions will increase substantially. All in all, as EU’s political leaders agree that “the worse of the Eurozone crisis is behind us”, yet “there is still a lot of work to be done” -meaning more austerity and brutal fiscal consolidation-, EU’s youth is struggling between hopelessness and chronic unproductivity. At the same time, insisting on this approach means that the Eurozone risks falling in decades of economic stagnation, whereas past experience has shown that a policy stance more favourable to employment does not come de facto at the expense of price stability. QUOTE OF THE YEAR Democracies can’t handle austerity measures very well. Nassim Nicholas Taleb We’re going to have a severe problem.
  • 107. OUR WORLD IN 2014 NEWEUROPE www.neweurope.eu CULTURE AND SOCIETY By Richard Eason Social activist and entrepreneur. Founder, Abundant Assets Alliance UK. CEO LifeThrives CIC UK - LONDON JANUARY 2014 111 2014 – it’s time to balance our social accounts All you need is love? Regardless, whether you agree that love is all we need or not depends on how optimistic or cynical you are about social transformation – or even care! However, as we enter 2014, the lack of love is the ‘hidden’ social deficit that presents the biggest threat to the ‘green shoots’ of economic recovery. We are in peril of being like the heart attack victim who, shortly after their initial attack, returns to the bad habits that caused the attack in the first place. The economic crash woke us up to the vulnerability of our financial assets, leading to drastic, and ongoing, public spending cuts - UK equivalent State spending is projected to fall below pre-1948 levels by 2018-19. However, whilst these cuts might rebalance the State financial accounts, their impact has exacerbated the social and human assets deficit. So, we may not leave our children a financial debt, but unless we act to balance the ‘social accounts’, we will be leaving them a huge social debt - with its associated potential health and crime costs. How do we measure a social deficit? Search Institute’s Developmental Assets framework identifies a set of external supports and internal strengths children and young people need to grow up successfully. This framework identifies 40 assets needed to thrive – more assets leads to success but less predicts problems. A recent survey of 5,188 Scottish 11-16s using the Developmental Assets Attitudes and Behaviours survey tool found that only 3% had enough assets to guarantee life success and 73% had less than half of their needed assets. The survey also revealed that 86% of young people did not feel valued by their community and 79% felt adults do not model positive and responsible behaviour (role models). As the old African proverb states “It takes a village to raise a child”. We are all responsible for building these assets – as supportive families, neighbours, peers, friends, schools, clubs and workplaces – as the embodiment of a village. I assert love is the answer. Consider where love fits into the restorative justice approach – or at least key elements of it – respect, empathy and relationship. This model changes perspectives between people, the criminal and their victim, to one where each begin to see one another in a different, more positive light. Restorative justice is one, all too rare, examples of statutory agencies seeing how changing the paradigm can have profound benefits – not least on saving costs and reducing reoffending. However, despite these benefits, the ongoing cuts in public spending mean that, state agencies cannot afford the increased set-up costs when they are being forced to cut back services to their statutorily required minimum. The problem is that statutory services tend to be professionally run, focused on deficit A Roma child walks in a Roma camp in the Serb-majority town of Leposavic in northern Kosovo on December 16, 2013 Consider this – if you are reading this, the chances are that you had someone who believed in you, who saw and invested in your potential mitigation, problems, needs and deficiencies such as deprivation, illness and health-damaging behaviours. This approach disempowers communities to become passive recipients of services rather than active agents of change. Therefore, the big challenge for 2014 is to begin to re-balance our social accounts by investing in people’s strengths and potential. This isn’t just about money, it’s about attitudes. Consider this – if you are reading this, the chances are that you had someone who believed in you, who saw and invested in your potential. They didn’t do it for the money, although they may have been paid to do a job, they did it because they cared and were motivated by a vision of success – your success! A strengths-building assets approach doesn’t need new programmes. It’s about how we see others – not as a threat to be feared but for their positive potential and strengths, as potential friends who can enrich our lives. It could start with just a smile. Success requires a two pronged approach – firstly where each of us as ordinary citizens as we positively relate to those around us – and secondly, for public services to rebalance their activities towards affirming and building up people’s strengths. Through our Abundant Assets Alliance UK (AAA UK) connections we have seen signs of hope. Apart from our work with the Developmental Assets framework, others are using models such as the Assets Based Community Development (ABCD) approach, the Sustain- able Livelihoods Approach (SLA) and some health service areas adopting a Salutogenic approach – focusing on people’s ability rather than dis-ability (e.g. NW England and Scotland). The real solution lies in all of us being proactive in changing attitudes – both individually and by lobbying our government representatives and in any other place where we can drive a change public opinion towards a positive outlook towards others. Balancing the social account is down to each of us – it’s the most important investment we can make in 2014 in the most undervalued assets we have – one another. It just takes a little bit of love. PICTURES OF THE YEAR People watching the first bull run of the San Fermin Festival, on July 7, 2013, in Pamplona, northern Spain.  AFP PHOTO / PEDRO ARMESTRE
  • 108. OUR WORLD IN 2014 NEWEUROPE www.neweurope.eu 112 JANUARY 2014 By Cav. Stéphane Marti President, The Fellini Foundation – Switzerland International foundation for cinema and culture Switzerland - Geneva s the blow of the wind crossing all his movies now and again during the story, imagination has transformed Fellini’s memory into a dream, a circus program, and gigantic pictures. In the very unique and characteristic light of the studio Teatro 5 (Cinecittà), this wizard sculpts luxury liners, seas, cities in which the smallest stone has a meaning as the one that Gelsomina holds in the hand and which holds all the sense of La Strada. Fellini the enchanter and the great puppeteer not only revealed himself through his characters, the old Casanova, Tita or this young chap discovering Rome, but movie after movie he created a total and almost organic work, a life full masterpiece where sounds and images answer to each others, like an echo. As a great artist Fellini transcends the space and time - frescoes of The Villa of Mysteries in Pompéi come to life in Satyricon - he transforms familiar places - Fregene becomes an inspired forest (Giulietta dei Spiriti) and the countryside is changed into a fantastical space (Amarcord) - finally he always braves authority and the prestige of important figures (Casanova). This famous scene in Roma where the workers of the subway are discovering under the ground of Urbs Roma an old roman villa underlines the morose relationship between Fellini and Time, History and his culture: after the fall of the partition between the villa and the subway, the blow of our time seems to delete one by one the characters of antique pictures which disappear into dust. Fellini celebrates in fundamentally new form an ancient world: his cinema connects fairy to nostalgia. The Maestro seems to have no predecessors through history of art – except, perhaps, the fantasia of Hieronymus Bosch or Francesco Goya – no successor neither spiritual son in the contemporary cinema. Fellini seems to have assimilated in a demiurge’s way all the European culture in its wealth and diversity, literature, painting, music, cinema (neo- CULTURE AND SOCIETY Fellini and The Fondation Fellini pour le cinema: A European adventure A realism) to restore it thanks a totally subjective and challenging point of view. For example the adaptation of Edgar Allan Poe novel Never Bet the Devil Your Head in Toby Dammit/ Tre passi nel delirio is situated quite far from his literary model but already anticipates the argument of Ginger et Fred in his critics about television and star system. If Picasso’s work contains a key to understand the first part of the XXth Century, the movies of Fellini offer the key to understand the second part: the most important movies reveal the unconscious of the author as well as the collective unconscious of that time : the deadly anxiety of Steiner incarnated by Alain Cuny removes the mask of la Dolce Vita PICTURES OF THE YEAR Former British energy minister Chris Huhne (R) comes into contact with a photographers lens as he arrives at Southwark Crown Court in London, on March 11, 2013.  EPA and places this chronicle of the roman jet set in the heart of the Cold War. Effectively, the magic charm of his films deploys its effect from Italy to all over the world and made the author born on the seashore of the Adriatic world well known. The world of cinema during Fellini’s life and after his death, (31st October 1993) remembers him and only him under the name of the Maestro, as the antic triumph of his dearest Roma. This cinema rooted in Italy and Europe became significant to the eyes of the whole world. Owning the most important collection dedicated to Fellini, established in 2001, the Fondation Fellini pour le cinéma has developed its activities in many directions: conservation of the cinema patrimony, organization of events and international exhibitions, support for an educational program, archiving for academic research, development of the digital technology for culture. The specific activity of the exhibitions took a new importance since the creation in 2011 in Sion (Switzerland) of the cultural Center of the foundation: La Maison du Diable Cinema & Culture visuelle. 1 Exhibitions present in world premiere the Collection of the foundation but also some other important collections of partners. For three years, the exhibition Otto e mezzo, Irréel – interrogeons le fantastique, Tournage Paris Berlin Hollywood 1910-1939 or the currently exhibition Fellini un artiste du XXème siècle made of La Maison du Diable Cinéma & Culture visuelle an international location for cinema If Picasso’s works are the key to understanding the first half of the Twentieth Century, Fellini’s movies are the key to understanding the second half situated in the heart of the Swiss Alps. Further to its numerous exhibitions on three continents in prestigious museums, Jeu de Paume (Paris), The Eye Museum (Amsterdam), the Benzon Palace (Venice) and the Ludwig Museum (Koblenz), important projects are being prepared in Europe and in international locations, in order to highlight this exceptional treasure of the cinema. History will remember that this Swiss foundation situated in the heart of Europe, but in a non-member state of the European Union, radiated worldwide this famous Italian patrimony. Impossible is definitely not a ‘Fellinian’ word. 1. The cultural Center of the Fellini Foundation holds its name of a medieval legend related to this patrimonial residence, Domus Supersaxo, built at the 16th century. The director of the center is Nicolas Rouiller.
  • 109. OUR WORLD IN 2014 NEWEUROPE www.neweurope.eu CULTURE AND SOCIETY JANUARY 2014 113 EU austerity hurts more than the poor By Maria Kagkelidou Journalist, New Europe Germany’s tight wages and monetary policies have been making German economy more competitive but are also blamed for many Europe’s woes Belgium- Brussels E ven though the EU and its institutions have for years strived for economies and living standards to converge – using a wild array of instruments like Cohesion funds, as well as rules and regulations that were meant to pull Europe’s economies closer- since the eurozone’s infamous crisis broke out, in many instances progress made towards this goal seems to have gone into reverse. Take three widely different EU economies, those of Germany and Italy, founding members of the community, and Greece that joined decades later, around the Union’s half-life point, in 1981. Greece’s statistics agency has found that more and more people in the country are experiencing deprivation. Elstat, as it is also known, found that lack of basic goods and services in Greece is not just an issue affecting those that declare themselves to be poor but also part of the population that is not considered poor, that is Greece’s middle class. In 2012, around one in five Greeks was facing material deprivation in four of the nine categories assessed by the statisticians – up from 11.2% in 2008 and 15.2% in 2011. The researchers of Europe’s statistic agencies examine whether citizens face difficulty in fulfilling their basic needs, difficulties to take a week of holidays annually, to have a meal including protein, such as meat, fish, chicken or the vegetarian equivalent, every second day, to have adequate heating at home, to buy goods such as a qashing machine, a colour TV, telephone, mobile telephone, or car, to pay their loan and credit card installements and their monthly bills among other things. In Greece, since 2008, deprivation rates have increased in at least four of the nine basic goods and services indices. Deprivation affects disproportionately those in the workforce with basic education – more than 1/3, 34.7 percent, of those aged 18-59 are facing four different As Greece begins another year under the Troika, how much more suffering can the nation take?  sorts of deprivation. Maybe not surprisingly, over 65s, despite the reductions to their generous pension settlements, are better off than any other age groups. Considering unemployment in Greece continued to rise throughout 2013, it is likely next year’s figures will make even grimmer reading. But Greece has traditionally been seen as a poor country with no industrial base. During the 20th century it was ravaged by successive wars and military juntas. Its woes, from its inefficient and bloated public sector to its corrupt political system, did not go away when it joined the Union and begun a steep climb that saw it becoming on the world’s 30 richest nations. Instead they multiplied and have been making headlines since the country had to go into effective administration by the troika – the EU, ECB and IMF- in 2010, after it became apparent its public debt was for all intents and purposes unserviceable. Next door Italy, an industrial powerhouse with some of the strongest brand names in the world is also faring badly when it comes to poverty indices. According to the Italian national statistics agency, INSA, almost one out of three Italians are facing the risk of falling into poverty and social exclusion. INSA says that in 2012, 29.9% of Italians were at risk - an increase of 1.7% over 2011 figures and fully 5.1% higher than the European average of 24.8%. Italy’s economy is also mired in the eurozone’s economic crisis and faces numerous peripheral country afflictions such as a heavily regulated economy and an overtly generous pensions regime, to name just two. Not surprisingly, its poorer south is experiencing the threat of deprivation much more heavily than its northern industrial heartland. Further north though, this will apparently be looking up for Germans – just under 5 percent of whom are facing serious material deprivation compared to, for example Bulgarians, who have a staggering 44 percent serious deprivation rate a fact that is wreaking havoc in the UK where many are worried about an influx of poorer Europeans - are expected to see their disposable income rise in 2014. According to market research institute GfKGerman people would have an average of €586 more to spend in next year. But the rest of Europe will not be envious, but rather relieved. For years Germany’s tight wages and monetary policies have been making German economy more competitive but are also blamed for many Europe’s woes. It is now hoped that this modest change in Germany’s attitude -rubber-stamped in the coalition agreements Chancellor Merkel’s Christian Democrats have reached with their new Social Democratic partners- along with the structural AFP PHOTO / ARIS MESSINIS changes that have been forced on peripheral countries and the eurozone’s feeble signs of recovery, will signal better times for Europeans. Obstacles remain –it looks like Greece’s debt is still running at unsustainable levels, Portugal’s bailout exit next summer is by no means assured, everyone is worried about France’s prospects, Europe’s banking system is still under scrutiny and demand from emerging economies is running below expectations. On top of that economists are saying that Europe, along with much of western world is suffering from a disease they call “secular stagnation” – this very de rigueur theory blames inadequate capital investment for hindering full deployment of labour and other economic resources. Whether European living standards are going to continue to their diverging trajectory remains to be seen but 2014 will most likely give us a good indication of where the issue is heading. PICTURES OF THE YEAR Tunisian cigarette vendor Adel Khadri sits on the ground after immolating himself in an act of desperation on a street in Tunis on March 12, 2013. This act ignited the Arab Spring. AFP PHOTO/ZINE TAP
  • 110. OUR WORLD IN 2014 NEWEUROPE www.neweurope.eu 114 JANUARY 2014 CULTURE AND SOCIETY Womenswear Trends: Spring/Summer 2014 By Louise Kissa Cyber Cute Fashion Editor, New Europe BALENCIAGA © Balenciaga UK- LONDON one with your list of New Year’s resolutions yet? Well, whilst you reflect on all those busy days left until you can hit the beach (again), do not despair. Besides, as summer 2014 collections reach stores next month, your spring wardrobe is practically begging for attention. To both full-time and part-time fashionistas alike: although trends seem to have somehow ‘resigned’ and personal style is cherished above all else, here’s what’s D GIAMBATTISTA VALLI © Giambattista Valli KENZO © Kenzo been creeping its way into top catwalks and glossy editorials and is sure to catch your eye next spring. Fresh daisy meets minimal-gogetter as pastel tones and delicate prints contrast geometric crop tops and super mini skirts. Silky and diaphanous fabrics soften bold collar statement necklaces and sharp garçonne cuts or sleekly combed back hairstyles. To begin with, the pastel and prune opening ensembles of Alexander Wang’s collection for Balenciaga had CARVEN © Carven a distinctive sportswear edge. Short, square T-shirts and shorts conveyed a youthfully cute spirit, while broadshouldered leather jackets and dresses took a slightly stricter tone. Likewise, tight striped sporty tops paired with foliage printed minis and pants also gave off that tough-sweet impression. The combination of tennis, baseball, discreet Sci-Fi influences and the Maison’s stark architectural codes had an explosive effect as futurism gave Wang’s smart collection an interesting turn. Furthermore, Carol Lim and Humberto Leon’s Kenzo digital prints had a certain virtual appeal with ‘noisy’ screensaver colours and motifs. The Los Angeles duo’s joyful cool sportswear style is definitely du moment. For his Christian Dior collection, Raf Simmons paired his signature minimal style with the house’s classical ladylike aesthetic. The Belgian designer’s taste for sober but contemporary elegance was mainly expressed through slim black impeccably cut pantsuits, vibrant sporty colours, and male wardrobe-inspired outfits in light fabrics. Simmons reworked the Dior codes by combining pop neon colours with romantic tones and crispy modern fabrics with lean, long silhouettes. For instance, he matched baby pink with masculine-influenced silk vests and sun-pleated dresses and skirts, while pale blue was used for tops and short jackets with college type insignia. As for the evening, wear Dior’s New Look style took the form of silvery short ball gowns and sharp minimal tube dresses J.W. ANDERSON © J.W. Anderson – while toying with the boundaries of classicism and modernity. Giambattista Valli’s collection was also an ode to young delicate beauty with a raw edge – or fashion for trendy 2014 Ophelias. Black and white super short ensembles and luxurious undergarments worn over long dresses prevailed, as modern romantic floral prints and embroidery contrasted strict geometric cuts. As for serial ‘cute-ster’ Carven, designer Guillaume Henry showed a collection of short dresses both with and without capes, and jackets with floral, Vichy and colourful camouflage prints, along with platform heels and choker necklaces, thus expressing the true spirit of next spring. For his innovative, ultra contemporary collection, J.W. Anderson presented ethereal, seemingly seamless crop tops, ‘twisted’ skirts, pleated, pressed and folded fabrics: our personal favourite? The mini ensembles with a maxi pocket-like sleeve! ­ Miuccia Prada’s 60s inspired Miu Miu collection owned a Cardinlike futuristic edge, with typical minis, preppy collars, knee-length boots, large front buttons and oversized geometrical pockets. The pastel palette and vintage cartoon kitten prints gave the whole a distinctive Miu Miu girly tone. Last but not least, Fendi designers Silvia Fendi and Karl Lagerfeld showed a very modernistic collection inspired by the digital world. Models with a cyber bob haircut, futuristic shades and the brand’s signature fur MIU MIU © Miu Miu CHRISTIAN DIOR © Christian Dior accessories paraded down the catwalk wearing sharp layered and carved laser cut dresses that resembled computer circuit boards and other digital motifs, while the lightness of the fabrics mimicked the transparency of screens and sequined evening bustier dresses gave off a dazzling pixelated effect. Watch Kingdom M by Louise Kissa, a new animated fashion film featuring MAWI’s Spring 2014 collection on New Europe Studios’ YouTube Channel. FENDI © Fendi
  • 111. OUR WORLD IN 2014 NEWEUROPE www.neweurope.eu CULTURE AND SOCIETY JANUARY 2014 Why make wishes when you can plan a better 2014?  115 AFP PHOTO / DPA / PATRICK PLEUL The optimised new year’s resolution By Alexander Anghelou Psychologist specialized in cognitive behavior therapy Many, for example, are afraid of failure which often leads to postponing the project Belgium - Brussels N ew Year’s is often the time of year when one thinks of resolutions, what they want to change and improve in their lives. People make lists of things they would like to improve or achieve in the coming year. This is a good idea, but why do so few people actually achieve their resolutions? Usually these lists have no plan and if they do, then they are usually not time bound. Change is a scary process for all of us. It requires us to go against our habits in a consistent way. It’s a conscious process that requires effort. People often expect things to happen just because they decided they should. But one shouldn’t expect change if they keep on doing the same thing. This is why unless you plan things and do them in a consistent way, the likelihood that things change is low. So this year, I’ve decided to approach my new year’s resolution differently. My starting point is to identify things I want to achieve. All this while bearing in mind that achieving a goal is appealing but that it also comes at a ‘cost.’ Before going any further we need to evaluate the ‘price’ of our goals and to see if we can ‘afford’ them. This means that we have to see if we have the resources and the willingness to make the effort required to reach those goals. Once the list is adapted and that we can be confident that we can ‘afford’ each clear and measurable goal on the list. Then we need to make a plan for each goal. Let’s imagine our first goal is to run a 20km race. First, what are the prerequisites? 1. A check-up with our general practitioner 2.  Equipment necessary (shoes and clothing) 3. A heart rate monitor watch 4  . A personal trainer to get a tailored plan of how to build muscle and endurance. Once the prerequisites are identified and integrated in our calendar, we can start addressing them. Let’s say the race is on the 21th of June, which is on the 25th week of the year. Then we should define the week-by-week training schedule with the personal trainer till the day of the event. It is often good to include a margin of error, let’s take a two week buffer in this case. A regular re-evaluation and fine tuning of the plan should be included at each checkpoint in the schedule. This plan should be part of our daily routine until the goal is completed and not something we look at again at the end of the year. Another important step that is often forgotten is to identify mental obstacles, so as to defuse the resistance caused by fear and anxiety. Many, for example, are afraid of failure which often leads to postponing the project and never really getting round to it. It is less threatening to not try and not achieve than to try and not achieve, but if you don’t try then you can be sure that your goal will not be reached which isn’t necessarily true about the scenario in which you make the effort. To defuse this fear, you need to come to terms with the undesirable alternative scenarios where things don’t go the way you had wanted them to. The key to success (and survival) is resilience, adapting the plan to the reality as it unfolds and to persevere until the goal is reached or until you reach an ‘investment’ limit you have set. Most times, we aren’t willing to reach a goal at any ‘cost.’ Coming to terms with reality is actually not always that easy, many people lose years of their lives being in denial and refuse to come to terms with their reality. This may be more comfortable in the short-term, but it is counterproductive in the long-term. Accepting the current reality is not always pleasant, but the sooner we come to terms with it, the sooner we can work towards improving it. Aside from giving clarity and structure, a plan, takes away decision making, all you need to do is to execute and follow the plan; just do it, no thinking required. Decisions are for when you plan and for the evaluation and finetuning at the checkpoints not while executing the plan. Whenever you have difficulty finding the motivation for the required tasks, remind yourself what your goal means to you and why you want to achieve it, seeing the big pictures will boost motivation. If you implement the strategy and recommendations above, the chance that you enjoy the benefits of the goals you have set for yourself this year is high. Have a great and successful year! PICTURES OF THE YEAR Women sunbathe as Ferrari’s Brazilian driver Felipe Massa drives past ahead of the Monaco Formula One Grand Prix.  AFP PHOTO / ALEXANDER KLEIN