August 2nd, 2016

The divorce between the European Union and the United Kingdom represents the most recent proof of a profound crisis of identity and leadership affecting the old continent. The European Union failed in addressing the citizens of the block, becoming an anemic bureaucratic build up. At the same time, politicians across the EU transformed the block into an escape goat, blaming it for their own limited amount of vision and strategy. Brexit gave a considerable blow to the European aspirations of progress, unity, collective action and, perhaps, made some of us think about a late 19th century. Brexit is not the only problem facing Brussels – the EU’s decision-making process remains difficult – given the whole procedural puzzle marked by various interests – becoming an automaton unable to produce political vision and reducing the EU`s ability to “seduce” citizens.

Time is running up.

Europe needs to react; perhaps it’s time for a reset. Clearly, the old ways of dealing with challenges are absolute; Brussels needs a new model capable of properly addressing the citizens and the member states. Some would point out the fact that the European Union should become a federation. Is it feasible? Are the national capitals ready to embark on? There is a risk that such centripetal attitudes could foster the development of even bigger centrifugal forces that might affect even more the status of the European Union. A future reform of the European Union will require a new Treaty, but given the current situation such an endeavor will be quite difficult (to say the least). At the same time, there is another enemy within Europe, silent and extremely effective – ignorance.

For the past few years, ignorance has played a significant role, whether we talk about the political class or the society itself. The lack of interest and action cleared the path for forces that lay dormant in Europe for decades. Extremist views – nurtured by fear and to a certain extent by powers outside Europe – created a cloud of confusion. Many citizens felt into the trap of this political trend affecting the old continent. Perhaps it’s time for a real debate in Europe, it’s time for a “war” against ignorance and delusions. Otherwise, the seeds of ignorance will affect our way of life and will transform Europe into a depository of memories and regrets, while the world moves on.

The 2017 edition of the Strategikon Annual Book – The Year of Challenging Choices

The 2017 edition of the Strategikon Annual Book – The Year of Challenging Choices

It’s not easy to be a leader, but the solution is closer than people may think and it has to do with returning to some good old fashioned traits that shaped leaders in past decades: will power, values and vision. Launched at the Good Governance Summit, The Year of Challenging Choices strives to understand the fault lines in international relations and the relevant actors, as they are and not how they appear to be.

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