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European Futures

Five Possible Scenarios for 2010

Gilles Bertrand, Anna Michalski and Lucio R. Pench

This book is an innovative and highly original exercise in scenario building, the aim of which is to investigate the future of Europe. The scenarios investigated by the authors include ‘triumphant markets’, ‘turbulent neighbourhoods’, ‘the hundred flowers’, ‘shared responsibilities’ and ‘creative societies’. These are five coherent and thought-provoking images of Europe in 2010. Rather than present a definitive picture of the future of Europe, the authors highlight the range of possible futures, and the factors and actors that are likely to shape them. Written in a narrative style, the scenarios are grounded in a rigorous analysis of the main trends affecting Europe’s future, including demography, technology, globalisation and post-modernity.
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Chapter 3: Scenario 3: Shared Responsibilities

Gilles Bertrand, Anna Michalski and Lucio R. Pench


CHAPTER 3 2/10/00 3:42 pm Page 1 3. Scenario no. 3: Shared Responsibilities Those who predicted an apocalyptic third millennium for the old world will not be remembered for their clairvoyance. Europe has undergone profound changes over the past 15 years. In a favourable world economic climate it has found a way of reconciling its ideals of solidarity and respect for the individual with technological innovation and the pursuit of economic efficiency. The explanation for this change undoubtedly lies in the transformation of the public sector: after ten years of ambitious reforms the political authorities and administrations have become facilitators or partners, helping individuals, firms and civic associations to assume their share of responsibility for the life of the community. As European Union Heads of State or Government talk of starting accession negotiations with Turkey, the Union can congratulate itself on the success of the enlargement to include Cyprus and Central and Eastern Europe - and on its ability to carry out this operation at the same time as taking political integration a step further. Thanks to the extensive public debate and the reforms of recent years, the European public has embraced integration. This has conferred greater legitimacy on the Union, and as a result substantial progress has been made in such areas as social affairs and environmental protection. Having shaken off its twentieth-century attitudes, the Union has also become more self-assured in its relations with the rest of the world: it has forged solid political partnerships with its...

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