Second Plu Europe Conference

José Manuel Morán

Mr. José Manuel Morán, Vice-president of the Spanish Chapter of the Club of Rome, and a speaker of  Session 3: EU Social Policies. The Standards of a Social Model in Europe, due to personal matters finally could not be present in the Conference. However, we would like to share an abstract of his proposed contribution. The following is an abstract of his proposed intervention.

The essential mission of the Club of Rome is to act as a global catalyst for change through the identification and analysis of the crucial problems facing humanity and the communication of such problems to the most important public and private decision makers as well as to the general public. As such, this mission will be filled especially if these debates contribute to collective awareness and urge everyone to take responsibility for the common destiny.

Aware of the difficult situation faced by countries at European level, but also in a global scale, the Club of Rome proposes to give priority to debates and discussions on new productive models that allow new forms of economies, where social commitment, sustainability and cooperation are key. Moreover, he adds that the Club considers it essential to solve how people can have a decent job to facilitate social inclusion and personal development. However, he believes it is also necessary to discuss new values consistent with the changing human circumstances and the scientific developments achieved.

The economic crisis that started five years ago is testing the stability of many models and organisational structures, which would also be as complex and interesting as is the proper process to forge a Union at the level of the new century. Such a process is being shaken by an unprecedented impact in their economic structures, with serious repercussions in the social and institutional spheres. Hence the challenge of establishing patterns of European governance is also a test to experiment with new capabilities that strengthen governance amid a growing and unstoppable globalisation. And with that, it can be observed a shift of world power from the Atlantic shores, cradles of the industrial civilization, to the Pacific ones.

With its White Paper on European Governance in 2001, Europe agreed on a new governance, it provided a set of neatly developed regulations, but very far from the citizen’s feeling. Technocracy triumphed over Politics, and everything stayed in the mere immediate government action.

Today, as before, pretending to spread its social model without understanding the external circumstances and future threats is to continue prioritizing governance over governability. Even knowing that only through the search of government’s capabilities that strengthen the governability it will be possible to regain public trust, rebuild illusions for a common future and find new policies to preserve and extend the European social model. Otherwise, Europe will live increasingly distant elections from the citizen; while there will be an increase in xenophobia, exclusion and particularisms that undermine the richness of multiculturalism and cooperation.

To do this we must encourage citizen participation through its agents and associations, inviting them to propose initiatives and solutions and to which we avoid excessive formalism. These are times for open dynamics, inventing and contrasting new representativeness, since we need models consistent with the current times.

Nevertheless, Europe before obsessing to preserve its social model without asking how to collect the resources needed, it will have to make sure that progress in economic and financial governance introduce as well social and solidarity commitments.

For it is not having a financial and productive system more profitable and solvent only, but to ensure that these systems devote part of their surplus to strengthen social cohesion and to achieve a less unequal society.

Competitiveness and cohesion need to go hand in hand, and both need to contribute so that European citizens are hopeful again with a human development project which also takes into account nature preservation and the legacy to pass on to new generations.

In short, it will be needed to look no further than a new governance for the social model, new policies that risk setting the governability needed for Europe, so that its construction is not at risk of being mere historical anecdotes of the second half of the twentieth century.

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