International Organisation for Knowledge Economy and Enterprise Development
IKED - International Organisation for Knowledge Economy and Enterprise Development

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In the recent "White Paper: on the future of Europe", Mr. Juncker sets out alternative scenarios for the EU by 2025. Some of the content is questionable, such as the ranking of countries’ peacefulness. While that part was borrowed from another source, the EU should rely on less opaque valuations and distorted illustrations.

While an official report, this document sets out to respond to the rapidly shifting sentiments in the continent, reflecting the wider developments of the world in these turbulent days. The European integration effort has been around for more than sixty years and has been of critical importance for linking the European countries together in a peaceful, borderless and collaborative project. With the rapid diffusion of information and communications technology, the transformation of developing and emerging economies into formidable competitors as well as the unfortunate rise of new conflicts, however, Europe has become confused how to build on its historical and cultural legacy while managing diversity and unity. The White Paper with its five scenarios represents an attempt to structure, for the European institutions and citizens, what options are available for the future. The future is always unknown, yet to be created, and the scenarios are surely not an exhaustive characterization of what is at stake. Still, they usefully try to focus the mind of diverse groups of people and interests what is the way forward.

At this point in time, Europe must find constructive ways of keeping together. On this basis, it needs to identify areas and agendas in which collaboration must and can succeed, such as collaboration on environmental issues, as well as in research and education, and security. Pushing for collaborating more in every area is not meaningful. Opening for diverse degrees of collaboration is necessary, but must nevertheless be resisted as a general solution, since the inevitable outcome will be polarization, disintegration, and opening up for selective discrimination. The alternative chartered out by Brexit and the U.S. administration, of shifting to bilateral relations, would destine the world to an era dominated by selfishness and the destruction of the common values and resources that are the very basis for our existence.

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