«Un uomo è ricco in proporzione del numero di cose delle quali può fare a meno»
Henry David Thoreau, Walden, ovvero vita nei boschi

mercoledì 6 febbraio 2013

Regional economics: a vision for the future of Europe

What we need is a vision for the future. A new vision that promotes economic, environmental and social sustainability, ensuring well being and happiness for all.
Until now we thought that establishing a parliament and council, making commercial treaties, eliminating customs and creating a unified currency was enough to make a united Europe. But the idea that we have today of Europe – especially for Italians - is completely limited and superficial. The European continent is comprised of people from different languages, cultures, religions, minorities, communities: in short, it is rich in diversity. Today we know nothing about Europe. In Italy many people still confuse Budapest with Bucharest; they think that the euro and European Union are the same thing; no one knows which are the member states or anything about history, traditions, language, politics or culture. The system itself hampers integration and mutual understanding of the various parts of Europe, since knowing and understanding each other means freeing oneself from the idea of a unique culture.
My vision for the future of Europe is based on regional and macro-regional level, where the nations/states lose their centrality. The European region becomes the fulcrum, the keystone of economy, culture and social relations, while exchanges between regions benefit the whole union. The global economy, deregulated and ruthless, gives way to a regional economy driven by a regional currency supported by a community currency for inter-regional and international transactions. This development strengthens local resources; promotes respect for the environment and for the land; enhances human relationships and our relation with nature, increases local employment; strengthens small businesses and artisans; a network of local public transport; organic farming; and a responsible tourism. Cultural exchange and mutual understanding between all European regions contributes to an ease of tensions between different cultures and minorities which are still present in many parts of our continent. Transylvania would no longer be Romanian or Hungarian and would regain its unique identity emphasizing the exclusive features of the site, whilst Macedonia would no longer be neither Greek nor Slav, alongside all other disputed areas of cultural diversity.
In our schools we would study European languages - each person would know three languages, of which at least one would be a minority language. There would be a single European television channel that would show various parts of Europe on rotation, in all languages, subtitled for region; projects would exist to make foreign study and work placements mandatory for all young people; new subjects would exist in public schools such as sustainability (analyzed from every point of view), European history and culture, languages and Eastern philosophies. Experiences and ideas should move across regions rather than goods, collaboration and culture exchange will take the place of competition and aggression. Many of the big companies and big corporations will crumble in their futility and degradation that they will cease to cause in the world. Policy and administrative decisions will be taken by people who are directly connected to the region. The central power, invisible and dominant - the influence of a dark and cruel economic and financial system - will bow to the debate and deepening amongst people who naturally come to determine their future.
A richness of diversity and interdependence, cooperation and mutual support between regions that are united under a single dream will feed an epochal overwhelming change.

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