This article is to share with you the distinguished words of the Italian Ambassador in Finland, Giorgio Visetti, directed to the plenary at the First Euro-BRICS Young Leaders’ Summit 2015 in Helsinki:
Helsinki, june 8, 2015
Ladies and Gentlemen,
I accepted the kind invitation of the President of the Laboratoire Europeen d’Anticipation Politique Marie-Hélène Caillol to assist at your very interesting conference.
I didn’t expect though to have the honour to address this very distinguished audience of young and brilliant professionals and experts at the opening of a Euro-BRICS conference on “Regional Integrations as a Model for XXIst Century Multipolar Global Governance” , given the complexity of issues involved and my mature age.
So I will be brief, and leave soon the floor to distinguished experts – including to my satisfaction a member of the Italian Parliament, whom I warmly welcome – wishing you a successful two days fruitful working sessions.
Your work is very relevant, all the more so since in October Helsinki will also host the OECD ministerial on public governance and a youth forum for inclusive growth, where young people will be at the core of the agenda. How to hear the opinion and the projects of the joungest member and leaders of our societes in a more systemic way is essential in being able to shape policies in a way that their, your ideals, visions and needs are duly taken into account in shaping forward-looking policies.
Since the focus of the conference is the model of regional integration, let me start by sharing with you my concerns for the status of the European integration process, and the attitude of member states’ leadership. The mantra of subsidiarity, in other words do it better at the national level, insisting on the shortcomings of the action taken at community level, often the consequence of the incapacity and short-termism of national governments is feeding isolationist and selfish approaches that risk hampering the European project and reduce its capacity to outreach and cooperate effectively with global and regional stakeholders.
Let’s take one problem affecting, to a bigger or lesser degree, all of our economies and societies’ fabric, and Italy’s, my country, in a particularly relevant way: youth unemployement. I understand that each of our countries, mainly individually or in some form of regional perspective, in its own specific way, priorities and perceptions, levels the policies it considers appropriate to overcome what represents one of the major challenges to the social fabric and to citizen’s understanding of governance’s capacity to provide a solution.
I firmly believe that a strong multistakeholder dialogue, between interregional and international actors (states, but also corporations, employers and workers unions, education providers, ICT experts) to improve mobility and cross-fertilization, at both ends of the line, could well be considered one of the main topics to be discussed in your bridging exercise between relevant players in the global economy. Indeed globalisation and innovation are deeply affecting the demand for working skills that can be rapidly and easily employed thus contributing and benefitting to and from the process of markets integration.
Another topic is migration, a relevant indicator of the capacity of national , regional and global governance to address the challenges and opportunities that accompany individual or massive migratory flows, and to deal with the root factors, in order to make these flows as much as possible ordonate and beneficial to migrants and to sending and receiving countries. To my knowledge the international community has consistently proven unable or unwilling to tackle these issues in a coordinated way and to act consistently, even though the conceptual framework has already been set with the OECD’s conferences on migration and development in 1991 (Rome) and 1994 (Madrid).
I am sure that new generations, as you are, are better equipped culturally and in the set of values that you carry to understand and promote the vision and responsible actions that are required in the medium-long term at a global, regional and national level, to address more successfully these challenges, amongst others.
Of the many tragedies for which Europe historically carried a specific responsability, the lack of capacity of leaderships to fully understand and evaluate the consequences of “power play” in the interdependent world is one that carries the highest risk.
Out of these tragedies, and thanks to the capacity of leaders that shaped the reconstruction of the world and of Europe in the aftermath of the Second World War, two processes based on largely identical sets of principles and ideals for global and European governance were conceived, and progressively implemented: the United Nations, and the European Community, later to become the European Union.
Their capacity to project the essential values of world governance is unrivalled; the implementation though is far from fully consistent with aims and founding charts and regulations. The democratic, tolerant and human-rights centered set of rules and provisions at their basis, respectful of territorial integrity but also capable of protecting human rights when they are grossly violated, is fundamental and essential to the capacity to aggregate the consensus at the scale needed to address successfully the future of our global societies and a sustainable world.
I believe that, whilst considering the BRICS community useful in adding a relevant perspective to issues related to global sustainabl development, regional organisations besides international established foras should be regarded as major actors in focusing and assessing the needs of their members in an ecompassing way, in which global actors, big and small, share their engagement to global governance and responsible participation to the advacement of our societies and economies. Acting unilaterally does not proves sustainable and successful in the long run, as I see it.
Thank you for your attention and success to your conference, that I am sure will put an essential brick to the shaping of a better and younger world of tomorrow.
Ambassador of Italy in Finland