domenica 25 marzo 2007

European Values Network


Finalmente, dopo ispirazioni sfumate e vani tentativi, eccomi qua ad inaugurare il blog! E a presentarvi ciò che ho scritto nel fine settimana per candidarmi ad un interessantissimo progetto dedicato ai giovani europei, www.europeanvalues.net. La domanda alla quale dare delle risposte è: "Come possiamo assumerci la responsabilità verso le generazioni future su temi come economia ed ambiente?". Semplice, semplice. Insomma, speriamo di non aver buttato giù troppe castronate ed incrociamo le dita. Mi scuso con chi non ha familiarità con l'inglese, tranquilli che prima o poi scriverò qualcosa anche in italiano! Ovviamente commenti e suggerimenti sono più che graditi.

According to the basic ethical maxim of the German philosopher Hans Jonas (1979), “The consequences of our actions must be compatible with the permanence of human life on earth”. In my opinion, we can allow future generations the flexibility to operate within their own values system and do not require one generation to predict the values of another, only as long as we safeguard the three fundamental principles of diversity, quality and access. In other terms, there are rights of each generation to receive the planet in no worse condition than did the previous one, to inherit comparable diversity in the natural and cultural heritage, and to have equitable access to the use and benefits of the legacy.
If our goal is to build up a political community, rooted both on the will of its citizens and the power of its member states, what we need to do at a first step is to rethink the actual EU policy-making system, based on the citizens’ periodically right of vote. I frankly believe we must improve it by introducing more direct citizens participation elements and praxis; for instance, by taking advantage of the effective communication internet-based tools. What I would suggest is to set up an online platform, managed by the EVN, where all EU citizens can present and discuss their opinions concerning the chosen policy-issues (e.g. topics of EVN’s Policy Papers, or general issues as Energy, Ecology, Institutions, Foreign Affairs, Media, Health, Human Rights, Borders, Sustainability, Immigration, etc.). The outcomes of the ongoing-debate should be periodically, every six months or one year, resumed in structured Policy Papers to be given to EU institutions, member states’ institutions and medias.

In addition, we would be able to comply with responsibility to the future generations as long as we immediately think and act in a long-term approach, at two different fundamental levels: people system of ethics and policy making. Future generations’ rights must be set as a priority in the EU political agenda, in order to carry on a long-term strategy aimed at pursue our life attitude’s change, which would enable to leave our children a not worse world. Campaigns and actions need to be taken in all places where people gather (schools, universities, companies, malls, stadiums, airports, market-squares, etc.) for creating awareness of needed changes and making them responsible to the rights of upcoming generations. This new future-oriented system of ethics (less consume and more savings, less pollution, more public transport, critic shopping, etc.), to become effective in safeguarding the prospects of generations to come, need to be translated into changes in positive law in both member states’ constitutions and the drafted EU constitution.

At the policy making level, I would suggest to carry on the following drastic long-term policies and actions:
  1. stop national debt: make member states decrease their outstanding national debts, band advertisements which encourage the debt-oriented life attitude;
  2. stop oil and nuclear energy as non-sustainable sources: enhance and support both research and use of the clean energy sources, create the conditions to promote effectively the hydrogen car (as in Island with an hydrogen-driven public transport), enhance public transport systems, fix new air-traffic thresholds and band old highly polluted aircrafts, encourage the waste-recycling culture;
  3. tackle poverty as one of the main causes of ecological degradation and violence: encourage successful micro credit experiences;
  4. improve job opportunities: promote self-employment and entrepreneurship, school to work programs and worked-based training, oblige member states to provide all citizens with fast internet access.

In conclusion, EVN should support an “Intergenerational Justice Network” made by all the associations, think tank, companies and institutions, which share the will to leave future generations at least a not worse world.



8 commenti:

paceeamore ha detto...

Visto che nessuno ha commentato finora :-), mi permetto di commentare il mio scritto comunicandovi che sono stato selezionato per questo progetto! Una gioia incontenibile!

Alex ha detto...

One day I'll say: "I'm a friend of Loris Novello!" :)

Andrea ha detto...

I'm agree with you about the importance of increasing citizen partecipation in politics and in my opinion we need to change the global (or at least european!) education system to let grow next generations with competencies on long-term vision, social perspective and action planning attitude.

Our biggest challange today is to save the world and stop the global clima changes. Priority is to set a new economy based on sustainability. There are many little solution available, we need to apply them all, and quickly.

See you Loris! Break your leg!

Ronald ha detto...

I also agree with an increased citizen participation - both, for getting a better picture on public opinion and for getting new ideas on how to handle current issues and problems.
I also think it is important to make sustainability a key aspect of political decisions and thus a part of any constitution, because sort-sighted action is what brought us to our current situation with environmental and social problems.

Stefano G ha detto...

Of course i agree with what i red and remark the need to make network at least among the european member countries in order to be able to operate quickly to solve the urgent problem of clima changings.
The problem is that this is a real chance for Europe to demonstrate that the union is not only an economical one! I think expecially that a big job must be done to create an environmental sustainability awareness in those countries/areas that are less sensible to this topic like southern europe (Italy included!) and eastern europe were also other problems must be solved, like job opportiunities, medicares, services to citizens and legalness.
These are the fields where more developed country members can give a great help.
There s a lot to do, let s start!

Eugene ha detto...

Undoubtedly, system offered by you, aimed at improvement of the life quality, which basic task is to give future generations right to use the Earth, not following reference points of the previous generations’ systems of values, is the correct approach.
But we don’t need to forget that the social and economic system of the European Union, now is global, that means that it is dependent on other same systems and which means, designates difficulty of modification. Therefore it is necessary to trace this dependence. But it is undoubtedly possible to influence certain elements of the system, changing or supplementing them. It is important for state to generate precisely the strategic purposes, proceeding from them, to make the plan of tactical actions.
The thesis allowing future generations to use benefits received from activity of previous generations it is true, the right to freedom including freedom of a choice - is one of the fundamental rights of the constitution of any country. But there is a question how to avoid creation of a “consumer society” in which new generations will use the received benefits only, and don’t create anything to the following generations. It is also the state task. People consciousness is the most difficult to change, therefore already today it is necessary to start realization of such problems.
Creation of an on-line platform, under direction of ЕVN, is a good idea, but as far as I know, the given type of actions is already widely used in the European Union, particularly TV channel EURONEWS constantly calls spectators to participate in online discussions and debates.
I completely agree with the tasks of the state offered by you, among which you have allocated ecological, social and economic and cultural spheres. It is undoubtedly the correct approach, and the precondition to the further successful development of a society.

marco ha detto...

thank you for a very well structured presentation of things which might get better in order to have a better world.
i have to admit that in most of the arguments treated i agree with you but i have to express my scepticism about the increasing of the citizens' participation. the lazyness and poor interest of the average citizen is, at least i see it this way, one of the main causes we found ourselves in the situation we are today. unfortunately most of the citizens are conformists which do not like to bother themselves with things they do not have a direct and concrete or obvious influence on it. the governments on the other side do not provide us with enough information and incentives to participate in public life and policy making, politicians speak directly to their people only when they are forced to do so in order to improve or preserve their power and as children and youngsters we are not really encouraged to think as a society which is able to make positive changes together but are induced in preserving our personal existance without really being thought to make sacrifice for general well being. with violent and immoral publicity bombardation, and multinational companies which influence either individual or mass behaviour, governments and policy makers, unethic media and a false impression of the freedom of speech it is hard we are likely going to spring out of the vicious circle of the modern (western) consumer society. on the other hand multinational super companies are keen on hiding and restricting the diffusion of innovative technologies and inventions which might endanger their existance and profit, spending huge wealths on these, almost criminal, activities. althought recycling is necessary it is not a solution to the enormous litter production we are induced into. i see it as a last option before really discarding material which is not anymore usable. reausable confections, although maybe more expensive than disposable ones, are in my opinion completely forgotten, and some of us still, but most of the previous generation were drinking milk from the same bottles, which once emptied were rinced and exchanged at the moment of buying another bottle of milk. even better examples might be medicaments. somebody who needs a therapy of 10 pills is obliged to buy a pack of 20, or somebody who uses the same therapy for years gets a paper with instructions with every package, which might be welcome, but become obsolete and unnecessary waste of resources. just to mention two examples in an ocean of present unlogic and acquired/induced behaviour.

the only way i think there might be some improvements is to form as soon as possible a critical mass which will not be afraid to demand and force changes even at the expense of suffering personal incomodities of the modern and comfortable present-day life which is obviously unsustainable and willing to rethink from the roots our existance and functioning of our societies. and of course, raise our children with a better and more positive attitude, teaching them that everything we really want is practically possible but always in respect of the others and of the nature.

i wish you the best of luck in brussels!

Bernhard Schwarz ha detto...

Interesting comments Loris, also HQ English with only a few errors.

Personally. I am a euro-sceptic. I'm grateful for peace, free trade and freedom of travel in the EU.

But, the Eu has huge failings that nobody cares about. 1000's of computors disappear from the inventory, nobody cares. Give the Euro Bürgers a greater say, the inherent gravy train and blatant non-accountability within EU echelons will worsen. To quote Jesus, if you have been unfaithful in small things why should you get bigger things?????
Whilst I agree that we should treat our planet/ environment responsibly, we are actually doing that better in Europe than we have been for centuries. We cannot guarantee flora or fauna, such things are not static. After all, anyone seen a pterodactyl recently?? Anyone notice that due to a change in diet, we Europeans are not just fatter than we were, oops, but taller. House have changed accordingly over the centuries.
In an ideal world, what you described as critical shopping, should take place. It seems crazy that especially the Chinese obliterate resources and we drown in their over-production. On the other hand it creates surplus so that another 1 million metropolis can shoot up monthly(?), and that millions won't starve to death there. I don't like this overburden, but millions starving is hardly a humanitarian notion.
As concerns leaving the planet in a not worse state, how minimalistic!!!!!
I want to leave my environment in a better state than when I found it. Since 1996, I've been living here in Dresden, and that's exactly what we've been doing. In Dohna, we bought a Burg, are now renovating it, but we're using it to improve the region. How Youth work, social programms, family support. If you want, and I certainly do, to improve the environment, get in to sustainibility (as long as it's not an Ersatz-Religion) great, but let's not turn our brains off. Europe is cold, we need heating. We need freedom of travel, it is the backbone of our prosperity.
Poverty can only be dealt with in Africa if you deal with rogue and corrupt government. Concerts are nice, but nonsensical. Asia's made it since decolonisation, why not Afirca, which has recieved so many billions more. I hate to see them starve, but if such as Lord Geldof state that 90 % of the famine is politcal, African politics, how can we bring about the necessary pressure to bear that these politics change?
Zimbabwe, a net food exporter is now starving, impoverished, thanks to African politics a al Mugabe. If we could find common values in Europe, re an approach that could change this, rock and roll, lets go do it. If not, I fear that the current tree-hugging leanings of political failures such as Al Gore et al, apart from self-aggrandisement, will achieve nada.