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NEW EUROPE

Our World
in 2014
Hassan Rouhani

Enrico Letta

Edi Rama

SPECIAL EDITION ISSUE#1064 JANUARY 2014 €5

Alexis T...
OUR WORLD IN 2014

NEWEUROPE

www.neweurope.eu

02 JANUARY 2014

NEW EUROPE

The five stages of grief
By Konstantin Tsapog...
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Last wish (fries)
Marta Zarina-Gelze (Latvia)
OUR WORLD IN 2014

NEWEUROPE

www.neweurope.eu

04 JANUARY 2014

INDEX

The five stages of grief
Konstantin Tsapogas-von T...
OUR WORLD IN 2014

NEWEUROPE

www.neweurope.eu

INDEX

JANUARY 2014

05

Don’t limit solidarity, innovate it!
Lambert van ...
OUR WORLD IN 2014

NEWEUROPE

www.neweurope.eu

06 JANUARY 2014

INDEX

Energy

HUMAN RIGHTS

The hydrocarbons of Cyprus

...
OUR WORLD IN 2014

NEWEUROPE

www.neweurope.eu

INDEX

QUOTES OF THE YEAR

JANUARY 2014

65

Pictures of the year

Tim Ber...
OUR WORLD IN 2014

NEWEUROPE

www.neweurope.eu

08 JANUARY 2014

NEW EUROPE

Beyond 2014
By Basil A. Coronakis

CEO, New E...
OUR WORLD IN 2014

NEWEUROPE

www.neweurope.eu

NEW EUROPE

but it did not. The key was to shift the industrial output of ...
EUROPEAN PERSPECTIVE

CONTENTs
OUR WORLD IN 2014

By Jean-Marc Ayrault
Reforming France

By Enrico Letta
A future made in
...
By Rodi Kratsa-Tsagaropoulou
2014:
EU at crossroads

33

By Christian Engstrom
Mass surveillance
is a danger for
democracy...
OUR WORLD IN 2014

NEWEUROPE

www.neweurope.eu

12 JANUARY 2014

By Jean-Marc Ayrault

Prime Minister of France

For the f...
OUR WORLD IN 2014

NEWEUROPE

www.neweurope.eu

EUROPEAN PERSPECTIVE

JANUARY 2014

13

A future made in Europe
By Enrico ...
OUR WORLD IN 2014

NEWEUROPE

www.neweurope.eu

14 JANUARY 2014

EUROPEAN PERSPECTIVE

Acting and enacting beyond borders
...
OUR WORLD IN 2014

NEWEUROPE

www.neweurope.eu

EUROPEAN PERSPECTIVE

JANUARY 2014

The exit of the bailout programme is ‘...
OUR WORLD IN 2014

NEWEUROPE

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16 JANUARY 2014

EUROPEAN PERSPECTIVE

Euirope is coming out of the digita...
OUR WORLD IN 2014

NEWEUROPE

www.neweurope.eu

EUROPEAN PERSPECTIVE

JANUARY 2014

17

Carving a legacy in education poli...
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The United Nations in Brussels
looks forward to working
with you in 2014

Season’s
Greetings

Cover art by ...
OUR WORLD IN 2014

NEWEUROPE

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EUROPEAN PERSPECTIVE
By Alexis Tsipras
Candidate for the
European Commissi...
OUR WORLD IN 2014

NEWEUROPE

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20 JANUARY 2014

By George Osborne
George Osborne,
Chancellor of the
Exche...
OUR WORLD IN 2014

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EUROPEAN PERSPECTIVE

JANUARY 2014

Is european politics bewcoming more re...
OUR WORLD IN 2014

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22 JANUARY 2014

By David Usupashvili
Chairman of the
Parliament of Georgi...
OUR WORLD IN 2014

NEWEUROPE

www.neweurope.eu

EUROPEAN PERSPECTIVE
By Giovanni Kessler
Director-General,
European Anti-F...
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Our World in 2014

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Our World in 2014

  1. 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. 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.
  3. 3. ADVERTISEMENT Last wish (fries) Marta Zarina-Gelze (Latvia)
  4. 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, ATT 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. 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. 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. 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. 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. 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. 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. 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. 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. 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. 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. 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. 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. 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. 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. 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. 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. 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. 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. 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.

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