Luca Jahier, President of the European Economic and Social Committee, believes Europe is ready for a new Renaissance. His vision for a rEUnaissance is based on three priorities: sustainable development, peace and reconciliation, and culture. He would like to hear from you. He is ready to answer your questions! Once we have recorded the responses from the President, they will be published online. In the run-up to the European elections, he will also host a number of special Ask the President chats and will reply to your questions live. Now’s your chance to have your question and discuss timely European issues affecting you, your community, your region, your country and OUR EUROPE with President Jahier. Click and Ask!
It was Jean Monnet who said: People accept change when they are faced with necessity and only recognise necessity when a crisis is upon them. Europe today is facing a multidimensional crisis linked to the many transformations of the 21st century: economic, ecological and energy, social, democratic and participatory, and geopolitical.
The paradox is that in the last 70 years, despite economic ups and downs (the oil crisis of the 1970s and the extremely serious and long-lasting crisis of 2007), it has generated economic growth and prosperity. Yet people have lost sight of this and are lured by populistic movements into a different direction. There can be no doubt that the main cause is the patchiness of the increasingly tentative economic growth. Some regions are getting richer, whilst others are getting poorer; some parts of society are getting richer, whilst others lag further behind. It is this growing imbalance and in particular the perception of it that are undermining social cohesion, and this needs to be corrected immediately.
There is in fact already a solution to this problem. The European Union has a strategy which, if embraced decisively by the EU itself and its Member States, would enable it to embark on a virtuous economic, social, environmental and institutional course.
The 2030 Agenda and its 17 objectives, first adopted at the UN in 2015 and then by the EU, is in sober truth a strategy that would enable Europe to continue to focus on economic growth, maintaining and consolidating its competitive edge and focusing on the virtuous education-research-innovation triangle, but doing so with a view to protecting the environment.
The relevance and effectiveness of the 2030 Agenda and its 17 goals have been highlighted by the tables showing which countries are closest to achieving these objectives. The countries that are best on track to meet the Agenda 2030 objectives are those that have achieved remarkable economic performances. In other words, GDP is not the only indicator of well-being and the Agenda 2030 country ranking demonstrates this.
The current problem is that the populists do not even need to propose alternative solutions: they just have to say that the current situation is a disaster to gain followers. In order to defeat this malaise, we need to initiate and forge a new positive narrative about Europe and revive civic engagement for a sustainable European future. I am more and more convinced that Europe today needs a new Renaissance – a rEUnaissance.
The Renaissance was a powerful and far-reaching humanistic revolution, which re-established the real dimension of culture in its relationship with science, the art of government and the organisation of economic and social life and founded the modern transformation of Europe. To know more read here