The global systemic crisis we have been experiencing for at least eight years is challenging a world order which we have often compared to the one going back not only to the end of the Second World War, but more broadly to the Renaissance and the great discoveries of late fifteenth century. 500 years ago, Europe put itself at the heart of the planet, launching an extensive programme of exploration, followed by exploitation, then colonization, and finally cooperation with the rest of the world. 500 years ago, Europe became the heart of the world.
Europe, lacking an anchor, in the middle of the raging sea
For more than eight years now, we have also been describing a wide transition from a Western-centered world to a multi-polar world, showing its countless opportunities, but, above all, the dangers presented by such a reconfiguration whenever it is poorly controlled. Thus, we constantly call for the democratic anchoring of the integrated Europe … which is essentially just an anchoring; we also call for the involvement of Europe at all new tables for debates aimed at rethinking governance at all levels, mainly at the Euro-BRICS table, which has such a potential for positive change.
All crises which have crossed Europe since 2008-2009 have had two characteristics:
– they come from the outside;
– they all reveal Europe’s structural weakness.
On this very last point, Franck Biancheri had, however, spent over 25 years working closely with the European and national institutions, alerting them based on a simple observation: the European integration had been set up as a laboratory project well-protected between the Berlin Wall and the American umbrella. Nevertheless, in the early 90s, this Europe made its entrance into history, and the winds of this history which started to blow on it, required it to implement a consolidation process which could not be anything but political, and therefore democratic. The work hasn’t been done after all, because there were too many players not having an interest in that on a short term. Europe has not been firmly anchored, and today, it floats, lacking any anchor, in the heart of a storm of Homeric proportions, being torn apart.
Failure of the nation- state model’s adaptation
Within the wide on-going geopolitical reconfiguration, there is this construction, eminently European and structural to our continent, which broke up completely: the nation state. Regional integration, globalization, the Internet and the emergence of new actors of different political cultures have made the national level, as it has existed, completely obsolete. The paradox is that Europe itself understood that, in the aftermath of its two world wars, initiating a process of overcoming this 19th century model. Yet, the visionary men who conceived this project were replaced, starting with the 90s, by a generation which basically never understood anything to Europe or the integration process, the famous baby boomers, whose leadership, particularly in the past 20 years, led to the complete failure of the European integration experience.
Europe developed its integration based on the nation states – which was a good thing, but these nation states have failed to play the game until the end and to reinvent their added-value to this new configuration. We have