Global Agenda Council on Europe 2012-2013
The World Economic Forum’s Global Agenda Council on Europe comprises experts from a number of fields, united by a shared commitment to European ideals and values. Set up with the purpose of helping governments and other decision-makers address the underlying problems of the Eurozone, the Council is pursuing the following long-term goals:
1. Improving European competitiveness and driving innovation and entrepreneurship
The near-term euro crisis reflects a deeper rooted problem – a gradual loss of economic competitiveness in a large number of sectors and regions of the European Union. Those sectors and regions that have retained global economic competitiveness risk seeing their advantages eroded by a lack of effective investment in higher education, infrastructure, welfare reform and labour market deregulation. At the same time, data suggests that the new businesses needed to generate and sustain growth are not being created; our culture is not conducive to entrepreneurs.
The crisis offers the opportunity to reinvent entrepreneurship and foster innovation. Europe needs to build a strong coalition for growth. We have learned that growth requires suitable partners. A growth coalition can work only if it is based on a strong middle class, represented by well-educated women and young individuals, as well as the business and research communities. We need to create the right conditions for them to contribute to European growth.
2. Restoring political legitimacy and confidence
The determination of EU governments to strengthen economic and monetary union is exposing the lack of national political legitimacy that such steps currently carry. Even as the European Parliament accrues additional powers since the signing of the Lisbon Treaty, its reputation and relevance to EU citizens appears to be further weakening. Therefore, we need to strengthen EU-wide mechanisms by engaging more actively and explicitly existing national legislators in the process of creating new EU regulations and legislation. Indeed, the old principles of community and solidarity may need to be replaced with stronger, more disciplined mechanisms.
3. Balancing increased Eurozone integration with protecting the cohesion of the entire EU structure
In their efforts to salvage the euro, European governments are placing a growing strain on the structure of the European Union. On the one hand, deeper fiscal and economic integration among existing euro members has raised concerns among countries committed to joining the euro that they will be relegated to the slow lane in a multi-speed Europe. On the other hand, the United Kingdom’s refusal to join the euro – and its supporting structures such as the Fiscal Compact – means that it may move into an entirely separate tier of EU membership. We need to increase the understanding and awareness of the implications of a multi-speed and multi-tier Europe for the long-term European project and Europe’s place in the world.
4. Spearheading an open and internationally engaged Europe
Europe’s self-obsession at a time of economic, institutional and political uncertainty masks the fact that much of the pressure on the European project emanates from beyond its borders. The rise of competitive working populations across the world, the dynamism and attractiveness of emerging markets, continuing instability in the continent’s surrounding regions, and the drift in the transatlantic relationship are all exacerbating the internal challenges to EU governments and citizens.
However, answers to Europe’s internal problems cannot be found only internally. They will require creative thinking and engagement by leaders, such as new deals on trade and investment with partners or new economic players. Internal reform must, therefore, be accompanied consistently by international engagement. In short, Europe must learn to treat other countries and regions more actively as equal partners while still realizing its objectives.
The Council on Europe has a number of focus areas. Primarily, the Council will act as a sounding board and contributor to the World Economic Forum’s Rebuilding Europe’s Competitiveness (REC) initiative, which will highlight successful strategies to foster competitiveness, with the aim of strengthening cohesion within the European economy. It is anticipated that the expertise of Council members, particularly in terms of economic policy and social reform, will ensure that recommendations are both realistic and scrutinised from various angles. The regional diversity is intended to produce a consensus that will not appear biased to some European states.
The project will also examine concepts concerning European identity and community, by asking youth leaders to propose new ideas for fostering stronger European solidarity. Furthermore, the Council seeks to add to the intellectual debate on European issues by regularly publishing challenging and thought-provoking pieces across a variety of media.
The first key milestone for the Council was on 30 October 2012, when members from the Global Agenda Council Network and other experts selected by the Forum gathered at Villa Madama in Rome to work with the Italian government on the REC project.
The Re-emergence of Europe - by Professor Klaus Schwab
Austerity in Small Places
A Europe for the World
Europe at the crossroads: unity or fragmentation?
Remodelling Europe: Greater integration, not less
Europe’s wake up call
Research Analyst: Stefan Hall, Research Analyst, Global Agenda Council on Europe, email@example.com
Council Manager: Serena Pozza, Senior Community Associate, Europe and Manager of Global Agenda Council on Europe, firstname.lastname@example.org
Forum Lead: Nicholas Davis, Director, Head of Europe, email@example.com
- Britain is safer because of the EU
- The risks of a visionless Europe
- Re-inventing Europe’s entrepreneurial spirit
- Why the world needs a stronger Europe
- Europe’s debt overhang: it is costly being in denial for too long
- The EU should not be blamed for self-inflicted wounds
- Redefining the relevance of Europe in an Asian
- Does the Eurozone need a budget?
- Europe’s moment of truth
Document archive for all the issues you are interested in