On the 11th May, E3G held the latest in its series of Thinking Events – this time in Paris in association with our friends at IDDRI (Institut du développement durable et des relations internationales).
The discussions at the roundtable revealed a shared sense that:
- Europe is suffering from its lack of confidence in its ability to respond to the challenge of globalisation. Pessimism in the current situation is being accompanied by an increase in scepticism about the ability of the European project to make a difference. The EU itself is sometimes viewed as a globalising force rather than a defence against external threats.
- Europe has around 30 years to shape future global conditions from a position of strength. Europe will need to undertake serious investment to do this – requiring in turn political attention and citizen engagement. Yet the timescale also precludes long-term responses to the crisis in politics. Citizen education initiatives or the construction of pan-European parties will be unable to have enough impact within the time available. New platforms for delivering political choices to citizens are required.
- The role of the private sector is far from clear. It has the potential to be an asset in the European response to globalisation, but its role as a political actor is viewed with suspicion. The lack of business responsibility for the wider impact of its actions is often viewed as a threat to European social cohesion.
The event report and list of participants are attached.