Putting Europe's Union to the Test

>>Dialectic and dynamic, if I can use that vocabulary No, but I think that we’ve got to be aware of the fact that there is a change taking place It’s taking place in Europe What was a different political situation from one country to another is becoming a European-wide situation We citizens are much more interested than in the past to what is happening in other European countries and we know that what is happening politically in one country can have an effect on other countries Particularly four months before the European elections, yes But the European elections are a bit of a catalyst of this attention, but changes are taking place amongst citizens in our public opinion So politics follow, we all – rather, politics take into account the fact that citizens aren’t only interested in domestic policies, but they also want to take place in other countries Luigi de Mayo and Mr Sardini, they are in power You who are a moderate, you are closer to Mario Monti How do you get your voice heard? >>Well, you know that the two that the two ministers are also the two leaders of the political parties that have a majority in Italy and democratically, they exercise their political power that has been given to them by the citizens That said, I am not the only independent member in the government The government is an interesting balance between members of the two parties, and there are a few ministers who are independent There is also a certain amount of dialectics going on and what we’re trying to do is to try and find the best result >>Is it you who tries to reach a consensus? >>It’s not always me, but there is another element which is connected to what I was saying earlier on, namely, that it is very difficult today at the European level to speak of a traditional foreign policy I think it is quite normal that each minister has a European vision of things, and that the – at the European level, we are obviously discussing certain things which at a domestic level are en trusted to ministers other than the minister of Foreign Affairs >>Well, why is there a conflict being created between Italy and France by your minister? >>Well, in a democratic policy debate, I don’t think criticism is negative The fact that there is an open discussion >>It’s not a discussion, quite obviously They called in the Italian ambassador to Paris to complain >>Yes, that is part of the traditional way in the diplomatic circle but they have to adapt to the new at, but the new reality in my view is that there is a political arena in Europe, there is a political space, which is reflected in the perspective for the elections >>For better or worse >>Well we have to see Political dialectics have become very difficult at the domestic, national and local level, at the regional level So political dialctics can be very hard irrespective of the fora But when we are at the European level we are less well prepared because we always look at things from a perspective between two different countries, but within the European Union, the fact that we are united, we speak much more openly, and perhaps without masking our real feelings >>There are divisions in all political competitions Do you feel responsible? You were part of marry yo Monti’s government, do you spiel responsible for the rise of populism in Italy? Do you feel there is a mistrust vis-a-vis the political class, even though you are an independent, but the populism that we see in Italy, is that the result of that? >>Well, I think that Italy particularly the results of the elections that took took place in March 2018 but in all the other countries what we’ve seen, new political forces emerging where political forces which were more marginal have emerged, and that is, perhaps, the fruit – you can call them populists, although personally, I don’t think that that is a very precise definition But the fact that they are different political forces with different political forces compared to the political parties of the past is the result of a certain number of things which haven’t been properly handled, either at the national – the European level Two examples of that

On the one hand, you’ve got the financial economic crisis which has really had a terrible devastating effect in Europe We’ve dealt with it to a certain extent We could’ve gone faster but I think that citizens really thought that we were going to go faster, and that we didn’t really have the right solutions for, financial solution, and then there is the crisis on the migration front, and there was a lot of problems with this, not only at the European level, but within countries, and that has led a lot of citizens to look at other political parties with a different message Do you deplore? >>Well, it depends It depends on how those political forces are going to contribute to the political discussion in the country >>But you could be in a minority in four months’ time >>Well, we have to see what’s going to happen at the European elections Well, that’s going to be interesting For the very first time, we’re going to see real political elections I think citizens in the European Union will realise for the first time, it’s not just a repeat of the political balances in Europe; it will be real political elections which could change the face of things and I think you’ve got different visions of Europe which will be in competition >>You represent the European Commission >>No, it is the European States It is the Parliament We propose, we’re not the legislator >>Well, we say the legislator >>Well, you adopt laws Now, Brussels is the enemy of the populists Even in France, during the yellow vest upheavals, I think that everybody thinks that there is no progress in Europe Do you feel responsible when people trample underfoot the European flag? >>No I think you’ve got to see things clearly Yes, there is this movement of the yellow vests, the high visibility vests You’ve got the populists, the nationalists, you’ve got the anti-immigration forces in Europe, and we’ll see what this is going to lead to and I’m frightened about this >>Yes, you’re frightened >>Yes, let me finish though There is another movement which isn’t that If you look at the opinion polls in all European countries, support for the European Union and European cooperation is at its highest level in 10 years, with the exception of Italy >>Now, it seems that pop lifts have the wind in their sails >>Yes, they have the wind in their sails but they’re still a minority If you look at the opinion polls which are carried out over the last 20 years in the same way, the same number of respondents, and we see that support for the EU is very strong, and particularly amongst young people >>Yes, amongst young people >>And that means that everything is fine and dandy – no There are lots of problems The notion that all Europe is against you is wrong >>Well, why is there so much hatred? Do you ask yourself that question? >>Yes, of course I ask myself that question I cannot explain that easily in two minutes I think the minister spoke about the economic crisis Of course that has created an enormous amount of ill-feeling There are social problems, political problems in all the countries, particularly in those countries that have been most affected, and a lot of politicians have used that fear, that situation which people are confronted with, in order to say, well, I’ve got an easy solution for you And there are no easy solutions The pop lifts have used that They’ve leveraged that The minister also mentioned another aspect, namely, that there is a problem in the countries to take joint responsibility for the migratory flows >>Is it a failure? >>Of course it is a failure But it’s a failure by the member States >>Why? >>We are 27 countries Amongst the richest in the world We could take responsibility to welcome refugees that really need protection We could do that together, and we could also fight to ensure that we protect our borders in a trusting manner But we’ve got to take that responsibility together The fact that certain countries refuse {Flush} the Visigrad countries, Hungary is a case in point – yes, these countries sent refugees to my country, to your country They sent refugees 40 years ago This is a situation where hasn’t led to a lot of trust But let me repeat: there is this situation, then there is Brexit, but there is the European Union, and in this particular period, what we have seen is that countries have had a possibility to strengthen and deepen European cooperation by

taking measures in the field of defence, in the social sphere, also on digital developments >>We won’t be able to do this – we want to be able to do this, also in the field of defence >>We can’t just talk about the yellow vests now >>You know there are also marches of young people, thousands of young people, who are demonstrating for a more responsible climate policy The fact that power has slipped away from national Parliaments Isn’t that the fact that there are too many standards and regulations? >>But if you look at the thousand people in the streets in Cologne and Hungary who demonstrate with the European flag against their government, is that a resistance? There are thousands of them They are against their government They are in favour of Europe >>Mr Buberl, you are at the head after big French group, AXA Insurance Let me ask you: cooperation treaty in Arhun signed between France and Germany, signed a few days ago, and it led to fake news How is it possible, at a time of Europe, that this should take place? >>I think that there is this treaty is a very positive development Why? Because it strengthens the importance of the Franco/German axis Of course there are people who try to produce fake news about the compact but I think it’s very good that the two key nations in Europe come together on behalf of Europe >>But some say it’s an act of betrayal >>Betrayal vis-a-vis whom? No There is no act of betrayal >>Is there a lack of extra nations when there is a treaty set up betweens France and Germany? Perhaps there’s a lack of educational process? Why do people think that this is something negative, this treaty? >>I think that Europe is taken as something we take for granted If you talk to young people, they say, well, I’ve always lived in Europe That is my day-to-day life They don’t understand the security issues They don’t understand the issue of peace, and I think that we’ve got to make people aware of what we have achieved, and then people have also lost a connection between the people Now, the yellow vests are not against Europe >>Some of them are trampling the European flag underfoot >>I’ve been on these roundabouts They’re not radical people They’re people like you and me, people who are often in single-parent households, and what they’re telling you is I don’t like France any more They say very often “I am all alone Nobody speaks to me I can no longer express my views.” And I think that you’ve got to re-establish a connection with people and you’ve got to go towards people, and that is why I think it is important to understand, that it’s depressing what’s happening in Europe but at the same time it’s good, because people are expressing their views It is also an opportunity to take their input >>But how do we reconnect with people? >>I think we need to discuss, what is lacking today is a dialogue If I look in my own industry, yes, we are doing pretty well in Europe, but there are sometimes we are outside reality, even in my own industry, in my own sector We’ve got to go to people We’ve got to talk to them, bring them on board I think we do the same thing in a company I’m not the best strategist, but I am the person who facilitates the dialogue between people, and you’ve got to do the same thing at the political level >>Timothy Snyder, as an American intellectual, what do you think about what is happening in Europe? You say that history doesn’t repeat itself It is something that is taught >>Now, you can, of course, draw negative conclusions You can see that it is – the effect of globalization You can also take the lessons of the 1920s and 30s I think, of course, the populists are also populists in the United States, in my country, but also in Europe, and that they have drawn some lessons from the period I’ve referred to I think that globalisation is a fact And you’ve got to make certain choices so that globalisation can continue, and those are choices which concern technology, equality, etc These are lessons that we can draw from the past Is it not too late? >>I think that what history teaches us is that it’s never too late It is never too late Tomorrow will come In the past, or at least in the future, there are certain things which we won’t

reproduce I think that history is greater than our imagination What is going to happen is not what we are predicting is going to happen But it’s not too late and I think that now it is very good that the Americans and the Europeans have a challenge to face It is not true that democracy and globalisation don’t need to have something to help them Historically speaking, what they need is to have boldness >>Boldness at the political level We’ll come back to that idea later on So this is the end of the first part of this special Davos dialogue >>Welcome to the second part of our special discussion on the European elections and the rise of populism What can we expect of the elections on the 26th of May next? At the time of Brexit, can we give a taste of Europe back to people? Mr Snyder, we finished off with you in the first part You were talking about the fact that we lack boldness or courage >>Yes I think that that’s a problem with the populists We see or we think that the populists are brave or courageous and coming up with new ideas but if we’re thinking about the future, we’ve got to think about how we want to shape the future and that is precisely where we see a problem with populism, and it’s something that affects us all We’re all on the defensive We resist But we don’t have people thinking about the future, and that is paradoxic, because it is in the future that Europe will have to become or could become a power, because the environmental problems, the problem with taxes, monopolies, human rights at the time of digitization, it is only Europe that has the power to become a power >>What do you mean by that? >>I think that China is looking to the future, and it’s manipulating things The United States aren’t looking at the future >>But they’re very short-termist in Italy They look at the present Is that what you mean? >>I think that that is the right term, short-termist But I think it’s only Europe that has started to address the issues of our century That is a problem young people, human rights and the environment, these are issues that interest young people It’s only Europe that can do something So you’ve got to give prospects to people >>But you’ve got to have a vision Not an American perspective, not an anti-Chinese perspective, but you’ve got to have a vision for Europe which is the only power which can really meet the challenges >>The only power that can stand up to the United States and China? Is that how you see Europe today? >>Not in the meaning that you’ve got to criticise the Americans or the Chinese all the time, no But I think that in a globalised world, we all have to face the same problems The Chinese have already made certain choices The Americans aren’t capable of making any choices at the moment But in Europe, you have perhaps the only institution that has really understood, at least passively, what are the real challenges, and which have the instruments to deal with them And that is precisely why Europe lass so many enemies (APPLAUSE) >>But Europe is very divided today It should come together round the ideas you’re talking about, around these challenges >>What do you mean by that? >>I said that Europe today is very divided >>But that is normal That is a bit of a syndrome You always talk about the divisions Brexit

Brexit is a case in point It’s stupid It’s a disaster But, at the same time, it is an example of European processes Now, we’ve had two years of negotiations, two years of discussion, and now nothing is being done, and that’s perhaps good, compared with the Americans It’s very good >>Why is it good? >>I don’t think that there will be a Brexit, quite honestly, but I think it is that the divisions in Europe are real They exist But, at the same time, it’s normal, it’s natural that there should be divisions and you can live with those divisions if you understand that it is only in a large institution that we are able to talk to the Americans and the Chinese, and in a globalised world, that is important >> (Speaks French – no translation available) >>Shows that are great differences in Europe, there are great changes going on at the moment So what we’re trying to do is seek certain alliances, even where there are no natural alliances, and we’re not – you have different parties in different European countries, which might be seen as socialist or which might be seen as populist Now, we don’t often realise that they are linked between themselves If we look at the political forces today, we can see what kind of links there might be >>So you’re saying there are links between these different groups? >>Yes, well there are and there aren’t They are linked when you look at those who are most critical of Europe and if you look in specific terms, though, if you look at these nationalist roots, there are certain differences of course But we’ll see what comes of this We still have a number of months to consider it so that we can look at this and see what happens in day-to-day politics and we’ll see what comes of the elections >>So you’re saying that you’re in favour of these populist movements? >>Well, I think it’s part of this – it’s part of political Europe, really Europe, which doesn’t really have any traditional borders any more, and I think, though, that what we have to try and do here, the real question is this: there may well be different alliances, different than there were in the past when we come to the elections, but citizens will vote and will get the results of that Now depending on those results the European Parliament you will then get majorities being formed Now, we know that the European Parliament, the majorities might be different to what you get at national Parliaments It might not be as strong but it might this time be a little bit more clear cut As I read it, up to now, there’s always been a majority, and then there was a kind of majority, even if it wasn’t explicit, and if it didn’t ride to the majority and then you had certain minorities but this time you could have a majority in the clear and then a minority which for the first time it would be a kind of opposition of the European Parliament So the first question is: what’s once the vote has been taken in May, whether the European Parliament is prepared to work with a majority in opposition Now the proof of that would be who the appointment of the next President of the commission and the appointment of Commissioners Now, this is unknown territory, really, and that is going to be the real test here That will be the real proof positive of what we’re just thinking about at the moment >>So Europe, then Has it protected those who’ve lost from globalisation? >>No, it hasn’t, and I think that explains a lot of these movements that we now see, because coming back to the economic crisis, where a lot of people lost their houses, their jobs, and even their hopes, particularly younger people, because we have a high youth unemployment in many countries still, member States didn’t or didn’t have the strength, the will or the ability to protect people sufficiently >>So what about the social side of Europe, though? Is that where the

challenge is? >>Well, the responsibility is with member States It is up to them to protect their citizens and they haven’t made the necessary reforms to slice up the cake of globalisation, because if it works well, it’s good They haven’t reformed their system, their social systems, the tax redistribution They haven’t invested in skill acquisition and education that the people need, so that people could move to different places And what Europe has done recently – and this wasn’t possible a few years ago – we’ve tried to develop a social agenda, because Europe’s not just economics; it’s also the social side >>So what is that agenda, though? We don’t actually see it >>You say there are things happening in different countries >>There are certain limits to what can be done,s because socially is how you distribute wealth to some extent There’s no legal power of the collision to do that That’s a national xet tension What we can do is set certain standards, do some benchmarking to actually set certain targets that everyone should try to move towards and that could be a minimum but this is controversial, though, because who is going to fund the social? It’s funded from taxation and we don’t have European taxation So, therefore, the real responsibility here lies with member States and they’re not doing enough >>Would you be in favour of a European tax for social purposes? >>Well, I’m a wee bit sceptical about it I think this would be in a – this would mean a very different Europe But it can be discussed in coming years This is something that we could look at We could talk about a social tax and defence and so on, that might be one way to do things and it’s up to citizens to decide, because for the first time, and I think you are right, we can mobilise young people, because there are a lot of things which are at stake at the moment We’re talking about European values >>But it’s not just the economics It is values, yes >>And this might be this final commission, the last commission, that is made up of people who believe in Europe We might be the last commission that really is made up of people who really believe in Europe >>Are you worried about that? >>Yes, I’m very worried because there are very strong movements There are European movements who are against foreigners and they’re going to use foreigners to fight against foreigners and we see this with the mobilisation of populists, and the anti-immigration parties, and that bothers me, worries me, because they’re against Europe, and if they have someone who’s appointed to the commission, then you might have people within the European Commission who don’t see Europe as has been traditionally seen, and that does worry me >>Thomas Buberl, now, there is a growing euro skepticism, and Oxfam says this is getting worse, and you’ve – what should be done, what should be set up in France? I mean, you were asked by Mr Macron this What did you say to him? >>We have different responsibilities today You look at governments, and they have to do more on the social side, but if you take the French system, which is one of the most developed in terms of redistribution of wealth, then you do wonder why is this going on in France? And you can’t just look to the government these days You also have to bring in companies as well They have to be part of that social commitment >>Are they doing enough? >>Well, this is what I said to Mrs Macron We agreed with 13 companies and it was a six days we did this digitally We said that we would give specific commitments on training, on apprenticeships, and also, each company is going to provide a service for the people who need it, and that would be free of charge, and then we would do some tracking as to who’s done, what and what we’re trying to do is broaden that, but at the moment, companies have to sign up to it We can’t just look to government to expect them to do that, and leave them the responsibility >>So now I think one of the yellow vests thing, they wanted to say there should be more commitment from bigger companies, and are they still expecting that? >>I think we can say that that will come and it’s a process, because at the moment the system’s moving, it’s changing At the moment we’re in a society which is so divided, which is so fragmented, and what we’re doing is we’re grasping what’s happening If you’re in Paris, you’re a

little bit in the Paris bubble, but what’s really going on is going on outside Paris Now we have to see how we can help the people who are in France and we have to look at the companies who are throughout France and they need to give a commitment and they have to provide services >>Now, on training – are you going to perhaps pay people a bit more? Are you going to reflect training in the salary? >>Well, every company has been discussing this, and we have taken this opportunity to look at the situation, and looking at bonuses and also looking at pay levels >>Is it that enough? >>It’s never enough, but I think it’s a good start >>I think they were expecting a strong gesture from the big companies in France, but we didn’t really get that There wasn’t anything very strong from companies >>Well, a financial gesture is a short-term thing, and it doesn’t really deal with the medium term We’d need a commitment from companies and the people who work for them, and this event here has certainly changed people’s thinking and I’ve seen a lot of companies who’ve now said, OK, I now want to give a commitment and I want to help >>Are you doing that to that? >>Yes, indeed Yes We’ve done this, and this is nothing new about this A lot of companies have already done a great deal, but perhaps it wasn’t appreciated because it wasn’t realised but I think we have to do more >>Timothy Snyder, now we can see Brexit, where there’s a real risk here, there could be some implosion within the United Kingdom and pop lifts and you see them in Poland and Hungary and the Visigrad group which have the same perceptions and values as Europe and we call them illiberal democracies The Europe of 1945, might that just explode or might it simply disappear? >>I think you have to start by these four countries are very different Hungary defines itself as an illiberal democracy, but Slovakia, that would not be the case Slovakia, I don’t know if you know this, but recently, it’s been an example of a very active society They’ve been very anti-corruption, and also the murder of a journalist in Bratislava, you can see that there are some very interesting things happening and very positive things happening Now , turning to Poland – there are certain negative developments there, but there every been elections, and it was quite clear that there is a clear alternative There is a feisty media, and there’s still a population which is very pro-European But to answer your question, I think that the mistake made by some Hungarian and Polish politicians is to believe that they can use the European Union and also at the same time undermine its legitimacy, and they’re not going to do that That’s not going to be successful in the long term >>Well, they seem to be doing well at the moment >>Well, as I see it, the risk is this: it’s not the union is going to break down I think the real danger is, and seen from Budapest or Warsaw, that there will be a different Europe, where Germany is perhaps more powerful We might be even talking about a two-speed Europe here Now, for Hungary and Poland, that would mean exclusion There could be a different Europe, but it might be worse if the Hungarians and the Poles and that’s the risk for them So they have to realise, then, that that might be the worst possible solution for them >>That’s what you’re saying Mr Enzo, Italy, I have to say this, is seen as the weak link in Europe.? Going to leave the Eurozone, do you think >>No, I don’t think so This has been discussed a great deal, when we had the last Italian budget But it was a bit of a tussle with Brussels, wasn’t it? >>But it was – that’s allowed for in the rules, though The rules set down certain parameters, but they do allow governments to propose their budget, and national Parliaments can decide whether they approve it or not So between the two, there is some discussion, of course, with the European Commission, and with the council of ministers which deals with finance and the economy so as to make sure these national laws are exempt >>So you’re saying that this is a guarantee, then, that it doesn’t leave the Eurozone? >>Yes, I think it’s two-way traffic here For all countries who are part of this, it establishes certain rules, it established a basic framework, and you have to deal within that Now, there are a number of responsibilities which remain at national level and at the

national level what’s important is that this be done and exercised democratically >>It doesn’t always do what you want to do >>This worries the markets, there is general concern in the European economy because of what’s going on on >>Well, yes and no We are worried about the slowdown in the big economies in Europe, certainly economies bigger than ours >>But it’s particularly Europe, though I think Europe is having a sort of a downward pressure on the European economy >>Well, look at Europe though If we’re looking nationally, I think we certainly want to improve our economic performance, but if I look at this wearing a European hat, I would say that, after the financial crisis, there are other parts of the world that are looking at the United States of America, for example, which recovered much more quickly from the crisis, and there are certain problems that they still have, but >>And they cope with these better than Europe We didn’t get out of it as well as the USA And why is that? This depends on the – that there is not sufficient consistency between various governments One of the problems that we have in Europe – and this isn’t just new, but I think we have certainly seen this in Europe because of what’s gone on politically – this mix of both competition and cooperation between economic players and member States, and these constitutions which are both at national and the supernational level, sometimes it works but sometimes it doesn’t work and I think that’s what we’ve seen now >>So you’re saying you’ve got the five star and you’ve got the leagua and they got the election in the elections, and there were – you’ve got also European legitimacy as well, so you’ve got competing legitimacies So I think this is going to be changed by the European Parliaments, though I think they’ll help us bring these together rchtd and we’ll see what those results bring We’ll see what happens in the various countries >>Well, yes, that might sort of help to emerge things We mightn’t be able to come up with a general conclusion to this, though This is a maelstrom do we have to look again at the powers of the European Union? Might that be something that the incoming President has to deal with? >>Well, perhaps, but I don’t think that’s the most important thing that we need to mobilise citizens in Europe for the elections Of course we can always look at these things again but I think for the moment what we’re trying to do, what we have to continue to do is to get results because we want to see results and as Mr Snyder said, we have climate change, we’ve got terrorism >>I’m sorry, but in climate, we were further ahead five years ago than we are today So it’s something that no longer works I think we were more progressive then than now >>There are certainly challenges in Europe >>But >>So could you stop interrupting me? I think we could be more ambitious regarding climate change but if you look as a Europe of 28, now perhaps we haven’t done enough, but perhaps – however, I think we can say that it wouldn’t have been as successful as it was without Europe So the Europe of the 28 then has to try and make progress, with the diths yarl world, we’ve got trade, we’re looking at the single market so that we can reform it We have to look at social Europe We have to look at investment into innovation With we have to look at small companies Education, training and so on, and we certainly have projects on this We’re working on member States on this and I think we have focus on getting genuine results that we can show citizens that we’re listening to their concerns >>So how are you going to tell them that these are these results, how are you going to do that in just four months? >>Well, we’re going to do what we can All members of the commission are travelling at the moment, which is what we’re already doing, in fact I think we’re doing a lot of Town Hall meetings and we’re doing that We could do more But I think we have to show leadership so that we can really mobilise here, and so that we can try and show it’s wrong to blame all bad things in the world on Brussels, because that’s not the way in which we’re going to get good decisions taken and we’re going to get a proper vote >>So how could you give

people a sort of a – does it not seem a bit bureaucratic, how can people see it as a positive thing? >>No, it’s not bureaucratic For example, we’re working on anti-terrorism That’s not bureaucratic OK Perhaps you could say that institutional reform is technocrat tick here You asked whether this would be a job of the incoming President but we’re doing some very specific stuff though We listened to citizens, we dialogue and brings them into our decisions >>How do you do that? I guess you do that at the European Parliament, with the members of the European Parliament And those who are standing for the elections, certainly, but we in the commission within our limits, with do what we can We do this every week, practically every day But we have to mobilise the national ministers and Prime Ministers for these European elections >>Thomas Buberl, finally, you said that we need a third pathway What would that be in Europe? >>It’s what the professor said I think we have to look at what our differentiation is Well, it’s our values that differentiate us and it’s also our ability to set standards and one of the things I think which was quite observable is the GPR That is to say, the data regulations We were the first in Europe to do this And I think for the next commission, that’s going to be very important, to say what are our priorities? Well, clearly climate change is one of them, and as I see it, the digital revolution, but not just we copy Google or Facebook I think we have to come up with our own pathway and we do that based on our own strong points and transport, aviation, and thirdly, we have to see how we can reinvent the social contract, because our values is – and it’s always been a very social one – I think that system has now come to the end of what it can do and we had to reinvents it and I want that to happen, because today we talk about China And about the United States all the time But we never talk about Europe and for me, Brexit isn’t the fact that it’s there I think that this is really damaging Europe’s reputation and I think we have to look into the future so that we can reinvent Europe We have to decide our own pathway and we have to have a specific project to do it Training Erasmus, that’s all dis a disappeared and we have to wake that up again >>Thank you to all at speakers Thank you to all of you as well, for having been with us in French, and thank you very much Please stay (APPLAUSE) >>We now have 15 minutes for questions Please, feel free Yes, please >>Can you hear me? I’m from Italy, from the (inaudible) So I have a question to the Italian minister not because I’m Italian, but because there are two things We saw the Arhun summit Amongst those agreements is an agreement between France and Germany that we would consult on all these matters before looking to other countries What do you think about that, and perhaps I could say something else You said that it’s normal that there might be disagreements within the political space, but member States are doing quite a lot Does this concern you? Does it worry you that it is – there are certain problems created by the it government and that Italy is isolated, as was said by Commissioner Milanesi >>Well, you have a microphone You can answer >>Thank you >>Now, following this question about how isolated Italy might be, and whether it’s isolated or not – now, what really strikes me in all of this is that Europe and the European Union is now – is like an archipelago of different islands, really, rather than being all together So we see there’s a certain group We’ve got the Visigrad group, we’ve also got the Nordic or the Baltic group or whatever it’s called, and where there’s the Mediterraneans as well, where we should also have a group as well So we don’t want to let the others have one and we don’t, and so we have – now, basically, we don’t have any particular axis here Now, you could talk about the France/Germany axis and I think we have to put it into its proper context, though, rather than saying that a country is isolated However, there is certainly a risk in Europe, and that is that we might lose that

ability to talk, and I think that’s the most important thing We have to be able to have dialogue We have to be able to talk about things , even to disagree, and sometimes we have to perhaps be a little bit forthright in how we do that as we’ve recently seen But I think we have to be able to do that We have to be able to agree to disagree and it’s not by putting together agreements where you’ve got the Franco German ones, let’s have another one with Italy in it or another one with Sweden or whatever and those countries represented here I think the most important thing is that we have to be able to talk to each other and we have to keep that and safeguard that, and therefore, I think this discussion at the moment, even if it’s quite harsh, even if it doesn’t seem to be respecting national, but I think there should be no-go areas, though, and I think we need to be able to do that in the European public space We spoke it (b) it in theoretical terms in the past but it was Habermass who said that and I think he was a very illustrious thinker but I think this European space is something that’s going to come about because of that Now, if you live in a block of flats you have to discuss with the other residents, and I think you have to – you have to decide whether you’re going to fix the roof or fix the heater, and therefore, it’s important to do it in that way >>Thank you Yes, you have the floor >>I’m a global shaper from France and Morocco About 10 years ago, there was a poll done and it says that 65% of people were in favour of Europe, and now people are now defensive because of nationalists, but sometimes the arguments against that are rather technical So why are politicians being so careful? Why are they being so lacking in zeal for the European project? And what about the idea of a federal Europe, a political Europe, even a fiscal Europe? >>What would you like to say on those? >>Just now, we said that there was no great European thought at the moment And I think we could say that there’s no real European vision at the moment Such as the vision that really moved the founders in the post-war period And it’s true I think what we have to do is find again things that can mobilise people, things that could make the heart beat faster, not just the brain or the wallet But I think this is a challenge, though And it’s a challenge at a national level I’m not saying it’s easier for every country to do this domestically It’s no easier to do it nationally than it would be at a European level, but at a European level, though, it is a wee bit more complex Now, I think it would be a good idea for everyone to read Robert Schuman’s declaration of the 9th of May 1950 Now, I’m not just being nice to you because it’s a French television, but he was talking about the Commons deal committee, he was talking to reaching out to Germany We’re talking about 1950 and that tells you something We also spoke of Africa He spoke about Europe’s responsibility to Africa Now, is that not also tippal? He spoke about a European federation and that was the purpose behind that So that was the political idea John Boulle said first we’ll put together the markets etc and then we’ll come to the political union Now, maybe that’s still under way but I think we can say we’re halfway across the river at the moment, and I think we have to be mindful of that Now, this idea of a European discussion, a very forthright discussion, might show that we do share these challenges, because we do need to relaunch things and we also need to appeal to people’s hearts as well So I think that’s really the situation as we face it today >>It’s true, we need a very great deb aon the future of Europe What are we going to do? What are we heading for? What has the future in store for us? What are we going to do to get that? Are we going to proceed at different speeds? We need a debate on that, on the side of the commission, we tried to organise a debate of that sort with about 1,000 people debating – participating, a number of

countries In France there is the great debate and the Netherlands We talked to thousands of people but we still have to talk to quite a lot of them, to try and take stock on where we stand, but this debate cannot be done after finding solutions It has to be done in order to find solutions We are at the middle of the river, as you just said We’ve got to be pragmatic or we’ve got to unite, try and find out about the future, try to reunite everybody around the same concepts of Europe We have to proceed without the Brits and we need concrete results and as far as this debate is concerned, I’m more federallistic of course, a fiscal union, it’s fine, but it’s not going to be done in the short run We have to start the debate indeed and when I travel throughout Europe, I see all youth and young people wanting this debate So organise this debate Exercise pressure on your governments, municipalities, etc The debate has to be organised not only before the elections, but now, as of now, it is needed >>I’m a journalist at CNBC and I’m going to ask the question in English >>No problem >>Mr Milanesi, the definition of populism, perhaps this is not the best word So I was wondering what is populism and what is the concept that you’re trying to fight because if we don’t understand that, then the fight is really – there’s no sense for it Thank you >>OK Now, just to avoid misunderstanding, of course I understand the meaning which is normally given to the word “populism”, I think at least that I understand it I wonder if this is really the best definition for a variety of different political parties, political messages, political movement, and so on If it’s a cash-all definition that we conventionally agree to adopt, why not? I wonder if it’s really the right one I think that there are, not only in certain European countries, the amazing thing is that we have that everywhere in Europe, everywhere around in Europe There are movements, there are political parties, there is a political debate, there are political messages which broadly answer to what, to the lack of hope, the lack of trust which is, unfortunately, widespread among the population But in spite of the word “unfortunately”, I think that we need to pay an answer to that, and inevitably, the fact that in democracy, these kind of questions go into a vault for a political movement or a political parties is not at all, in my view, negative in itself The question is: would that allow the answer to be given? But the fact that we need to answer to what people don’t trust any more, to what people ask to get, to what people wish to get, is compulsory for everyone Traditional parties, new parties, populist parties, non-populist parties, whatever kind of definition we adopt So I do not want to contest The word in itself I think it’s a bit sort of approximation, but we can adopt it convention ally as the one we can use >>Another question We have just a few minutes Go ahead, sir Four minutes Gentleman over there and then a lady over here >>Good afternoon I’m going to ask my question in English as well I’m a global shaper from Amsterdam In the past we used to have like a vision for Europe We had really great projects, we had open borders, we had a common currencies, so these were really positive things and it reminds me of yesterday when I was sitting in a session with the founder of Alibaba Jack Meagher He mentioned in China and Africa there is a lot of energy and people look to a bright future and they have future visions So what do you think would be the big project for Europe, where we can all look together to something positive rather than looking at the negative elements that Europe brings? >>As the only American on the panel, I will answer that (LAUGHTER) >>So returning to this gentleman’s question – I think there’s a way that you’re faded to Europe which isn’t always clear There is a ohhal misunderstanding where there were nation States and there, there is a problem They were nation States It’s an illusion The choice in Europe is between integration and

empire, and if European integration is weakened now, that means that other empires, whether they’re Chinese or American or Russian, grow stronger That’s the calculation The big illusion is that one can go back to the nation State And I mention this because I think the real division in European politics is not between populism and Europe; it’s between past and future The way that the people we call the populists are winning is that they have, as you’ve said, they’ve removed the future from the conversation We’re all either talking about the past or trying to defend the present So I think the people who win are the people who actually restore the future tense to the conversation, and I think that might include some projects that are dramatic, right, that are the kinds of things that the Americans and the Chinese do bur the Europeans have been shy about, like bragging about your space program, for example But I also think there’s a lot to be said for – and I’m now just echoing what the European colleagues have said – there’s a lot to be said for saying “Hey, we are the only unit in the world that is actually handling the actual problems of the future”, which are digital human rights, oligarchy, climate change We are the only unit in the world that’s actually handling those things I think there’s a lot to be said for that I think that could be a vision (APPLAUSE) >>A final question over there, madam >>We have one minute left >>Now, we like competition in the business world, we see that as something that stimulates us In Europe, couldn’t we have some kind of emulation or best practices for the systems of social protection for educational systems in the Nordic or German-speaking countries, and perhaps even a dynamic labour market in the UK which we’re losing somewhat So rather than talk all the time about regulating and becoming more and more red-tape oriented, can’t we have an open, liberal system for best practices? >>Mr Buberl >>Yes, Mr Buberl >>I think we have to do it There are some very good practices, and particularly in the northern European countries We have much to learn from them in education, on the subject of diversity and also in terms of sustainable investment I don’t think this has been done enough Why? Because countries are frightened of being in competition, because they think that that’s going to weaken them I think it’s a question of mind set We have to change people’s mind set I think that Europe is a community where we want to help one another and where we can learn from one another, but we need also to be very careful We don’t need to cut and paste I think that what is happening in France – oh, say, fantastic, they’ve got a German system for apprenticeship We’ve just got to cop bee it No I don’t think that that is the right thing to do Why ? Because there is a revolution in the labour market going on, and you’ve got to copy certain things, but you have to adapt it and make it future proof, so it’s Ben marking, but at the same time, you’ve got to evolve >>Thank you very much So that’s the end of the session Thank you very much for having participated Thank you very much to the panelists You were fantastic (APPLAUSE)