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GEAB Special file

The monthly bulletin of LEAP (European Laboratory of Political Anticipation) - 14 Aug 2020

The EU: Sailing in a raging storm with no navigation equipment (Nov. 2016)

The editorial GEAB team decided to share, exceptionally, with its readers an excerpt of the as yet unpublished document entitled “Community or Empire”; a book written by Franck Biancheri in 1992. This excerpt evokes the importance for the EU’s endowing with a forecasting capacity to adapt its governance to the challenges of its reopening to the world; a most needed move after thirty years of laboratory development, sheltered between the “Soviet Iron Curtain and the American Umbrella”.

[…] It is with much bitterness that we, heirs of Franck Biancheri, are presenting to you a report whose recommendations, if they had been applied, would have avoided many a dark hour. Find below an excerpt from the book:

“The inefficiency of the community action derives from two main causes: the absence of a capability to predict the future and the inadequacy of existing operational tools. The ability to predict is an essential component of any successful action, both at the individual and at the collective levels. The old saying “To govern is to foresee and not foreseeing is running toward ruin”[1], illustrates this very well. And above all, to govern is to foresee problems. Some problems have no practical solutions, except one: to prevent them from happening. Hence, the importance of anticipating them well in advance.

However, the European Community has no prediction capability. Neither the Commission nor the Member States are in a position to anticipate any major event. With the capacity to predict, or anticipate[2], one must understand and foresee problems relating to the implementation of a policy or action and design measures to avoid them. Indeed, all forecasts disconnected from any means of action are as useful as those of Nostradamus; which is to say, solely for selling tabloids.

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