When I hear sentences like “3% of GDP in Research and Development”, “coordinated European response”, „more competitive economy”, “Flexicurity” and so on, and so on… it really rings a bell. Do you remember that great vision we had in 2000, called the Lisbon Strategy? Well, after 10 years of failures, they are basically selling us the same ideas for the next decade. I forgot to mention the small new list of miracles that are supposed to save us: a smarter, greener economy and a digital revolution. It looks nice, but I fear it is only about looking nice.
The European industry is closing plants every day, leading us to mass Employment. The construction sector is weak, breathing only with the help of public investments. The commercial estate bubble is going to explode by 2012. The finance sector is like a big jungle that no one really controls or understands. These weaknesses are structural.
Are the digital services going to provide jobs for millions people? We should of course promote a greener economy. But who gives a damn about ecology and biodiversity when you loose your job?
I do not have the one and only solution for our economy, but I can sense a tragic lack of ideas among our politicians and elite. I hoped that the crisis would be the sparkle to start building a new European Union, to use this unique instrument that so many in the world envy us: a rich and diverse culture, good education systems, health and social care systems and the best infrastructures. The Europeans managed to live and to bind their economies together. They are considered to be experts for what has to be done on international level to regulate finance, to provide more stability, etc.
I was wrong. The crisis led us to more divisions, to an endangered Eurozone, and to uncoordinated national policies. It is never too late, but our governments are clearly choosing the wrong path. This empty and disappointing 2020 Strategy is only one of the consequences of the absence of solidarity on european level. No extra money for the European cohesion, for transnational transport systems, for social emergencies. No economic european policy. No concrete plans for the Youth. No effective regulation of the finance sector. Only words that will echo throughout the difficult years to come.
Let's remain blind and continue to do nothing! Then we'll see what happens.