Berlin, 5.4.2017, Fundamental conditions of the European Union cannot be sacrificed for the satisfaction of a few member states,“ commented Dr. Alfred Gusenbauer (Former Chancellor of Austria, 2007-2008) during his lecture at the Dialogue of Civilizations Research Institute. He referred to BREXIT as the biggest European threat the EU has faced so far, and said the crisis is far from being resolved.

“What we need instead is a Multispeed Europe to reenergise the EU.” A multispeed Europe would mean that many planned projects would not involve the majority of member states, but would involve joint budgets being put together to develop the common goals of those member states both interested, and able to afford it. In comparison to the CORE Europe model, this would mean that no member states are excluded, and all could have more impact, in relation to budget and general infrastructure. “No member state should turn its speed down because other members are slower. At the same time, the slower members would no longer face pressure and could develop their own projects according to their needs,” explained Gusenbauer. At the same time, 2017 elections are decisive for the future of Europe. For Gusenbauer, the most important elections will take place in France and the future of Europe will be decided in Paris. A victory for Marine Le Pen would mean the end of the European Union in its present form. A victory for Emmanuel Macron would mean France taking the first step in revitalising the European idea.

Alongside these developments, another important global actor is currently building its biggest global infrastructure project: China’s One Belt One Road initiative. This massive expansion in regards to infrastructure and trade will bring Asia much closer to Central Asia, Russia, and Europe. If the US wants to play a role here, in regards to trade and cooperation, then the US will go no further with its currently planned protective trade policies.  “In the near future, we will face a world with less security and more challenges, but a world where no single superpower will the destinies of others. We all need to adapt to new realities and, in parallel, take into consideration without adequate social conditions there is no future for a big part of world population. A lot of global problems can be solved by reducing levels of inequality that exist because of unequally distributed growth,” concluded Gusenbauer.

The Dialogue of Civilizations Research Institute hosts a monthly lecture series relating to the DOC research agenda. These lectures cut straight to the heart of key conflicts and debates around the world today. With topics ranging from economics, global governance, philosophy, and religion, to infrastructure, development, and social inclusion, it offers a platform for diverse voices.  Speakers address the theme of dialogue from a variety of perspectives, shedding new light on issues at the centre of global consciousness.