Building up resilience as Europeans

Building up resilience as Europeans

Under the FMA Campus program I have been invited to the University Deusto in Bilbao to the conference where I was presenting how EU is building resilience with the participation of the citizens. Bilbao is on of the most creative city on the world, and also University Deusto has a high rang among the European Universities.

Building post corona resilience. The epidemic and the Ukrainien war made a huge impact on our lives and created health, social and economic crises. Post Covid EU needs to be more resilient, more digital, sustainable and green.

As Jean Monet said, every challenge is a new opportunity for the development and so the post pandemic period is a new opportunity.

During the second Slovenian Presidency of the EU Council in 2021, the main topic was Resilience and Recovery of the EU with the goal to effectively manage future crisis. The conclusions stress the need to work together to strengthen the resilience of the Single Market to disruption, including key supply chains, such a food, medical devices, pharmaceuticals and semiconductors. 

The changes of European way of lives will be hugely affected by: epidemic and post COVID recovery, Ukrainian war, the higher price and lack of energy, disturbing food chains and climate changes.

Ukrainian war

After the Covid pandemic and again new lockdowns in China and Ukrainian war is causing 
the inflation up to 6% on the global level, and growth 3%. Even before the Ukrainian war the prices went up. In EU the most difficult situation is in the high energy prices which will only go on after the Rusian blocks oil suply to Poland and Bolgaria. The question is what kind of decision would  is Germany going to make regarding Rusian gas. The question is how long this inflation and stagnation schock will last. But the haushold made the savings during the pandemic. Growth is down and inflation is up. It can be dificult for the bussinises, entrepreneurs, for the middle class household. From the positive point of view this situation can encouragesome structural changes. The outlook is uncertain.

A few years ago our association FMA visited Georgia. At that time we could see the consequences of Russian occupation in Ossetia and Abkhazia. From this experience we know, that today Ukraine is fighting for their democracy and for their land, but also protecting the door of EU. After the Russian attack of Ukraine, EU today is stronger, together with the unitedapproach on the almost all areas related to Ukrainian war; by EU sanctions, by solidarity and support to the refugees, by united calls to Russia for an immediate end to war crimes ( Theexample Georgia, Krim.., ) urged Russia to facilitate the creation of humanitarian corridors .

EU bolstering defense capability together with NATO and taking the first steps toward

Ukrainian EU membership application, by creating of Ukrainian solidarity funds and by creating new strategy regarding energy sources and higher energy prices, by joint purchasing scheme for gas similar to that put in place for coronavirus vaccines.

Pandemic and resilience on health 

Before the pandemic EU has very limited role on the Public health issue. At the very beginning of the pandemic in March 2020, response of EU institutions was criticized. The pandemic has exposed weaknesses in the coordination and with preparedness. The most difficult consequences of the pandemic were the restrictions of the free movement, on gatherings and on the physical presence in schools and universities. After the first period ECDC took lessons learned approach from the pandemic Covid-19 and EU began to play a more active role; advising authorities in the MS giving scientific based guidance, to create global partnership to develop vaccines, joint procurement for the medical equipment and later on the vaccines, better communication and coordination. EU has been building the resilience with giving new mandate to ECDC an EMA, to build European Health Union. to strengthening health security network. EU set up the new capabilities – HERA incubator, a new European bio defense preparedness, which will bring science and industry together. With the digital Covid certificate EU limited the spread of virusand made easiest flow the people inside of the EU. The budget for health is expending, the Member States were getting financial support for testing and sequencing. 

Building resilience on food security  

Because of the measures to contain the spread of virus, such as lockdown and closure the borders affecting the schock for the food’s supply chain and panic buying and food shortage fearsSustainability – the food system is a mayor consumer of energy and emitter of greenhouse gasses. 26% of the EU annual energy consumption. The farm to fork strategy-for a fair, healthy and environmentally friendly food system, that is the part of European Green deal.

Ensuring food security in the future raises the question how to tackle the environmental impact of the EU food system and the role of agriculture. The debate of the food system reform, of the resillient EU food system capable of securing all citizens access to safe food including in times of crisis began throughout the pandemic. Cheaper food is often less healthy with consequences like obesity and diabetes.

Energy dependency and green future with the high use of the digitalization 

Green Future depends on education and awareness, on farming and food issue, from digital transformation, from energy consumption and from the type the source of the energy, from healthy live style and different way of life, from different diet, from the future aviation and the future more intensive public transport and less individual cars, from numbers of bicycles on the way. We are not green and the consequences are the climate changes and extremes. The EU is a net energy importer and its depends are growing in terms of fossil fuels. This constitutes a security of supply risk, especially in oil and gas sector. How to reduce the energy dependence?

– enhancing energy efficiency 

– to increased the use of the renewable energy sources 

– energy saving

– changing energy mix

– building the new infrastructure, especially energy grids.

On this way we can also lowering green house gas emissions. Europe needs to make the revision of EU climate and energy legislation to reduce greenhouse emissions by at least 55% by 2030.

Data are expected to improve health and well-being and facilitate convenient public servis. Experts predict that EU data economy will grow to around 6% of EU Gross Domestic Product.

Digital transformation will be possible if there will be the stronger investments in infrastructure and cyber security.

–  digital infrastructure is vital for the economy in for our way of life,

– it’s vital for the innovation, for the patents. EU is behind the USA and behind the Asia regarding the robotisation, big data, AI, 5G,

– citizens are more and more vulnerable to cyberattack which costing billions every year. As more than 40% Europeans workers have swift to teleworking in the time of the pandemic and cyber security attacks has become even more evident.

Europe has set a golden global standard for data protection by adopting GENERAL DATA PROTECTION REGULATIONS and continues to set high level protection of personal data and the use of Artificial Intelligence.

European identity and citizens participation 

A very large majority of Europeans agree that more should be done to take EU citizens voices into account when it comes to decision on the future of Europe. Health crisis is the most important issue for the citizens and the bigger effort to protect the democracy in EU.

• the youth said that more education about the EU is important for the future elections in order for young people to believe that every vote counts.• 

the conference The Future of Europe – how to meet citizens expectations; to enhancing public participation

 • Multilingual digital platform of the conference of the Future of Europe

• We must increasing citizens awareness about the EU with taking advantage by new digital technologies .

A point Mahatma Gandhi once made is that it’s not possible to educate the young with words but by the way we live and with our own examples.

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