Marek Siwiec MEP on Poland & Europe

Despite the discussion being divided into separate panels, every debate in Yalta would go down to the financial crisis and functioning of the European Union. If the panel on the Future of Europe includes such speakers as the former Prime Minister of Great Britain Gordon Brown, Turkey’s Minister for EU Affairs and Chief Negotiator Egemen Bağış, Member of the Indian Parliament Mani Shankar Aiyar and Professor of History at Harvard University Niall Ferguson, it is quite expected that something will happen.

Poor mother Europe caught it indeed! They called it selfish, that said Europe was fading away against the rest of the world and did not know what it wanted, and they said Europe acted as an umbrella federation even though it was not and supposedly had common policies but these were not being implemented. All in all Europe seemed to behave just like the United States according to Churchill, thus doing the right thing only after running out of all the other options.

The Indian MP made his contribution by noting that without a global Eurasian strategy no goal could possibly be reached. He was echoed by Minister Bağış, who was wondering why Europe would not want a 100 million people country with a 10% economic growth. Gordon Brown ended up being the one to defend the EU by justly noting that we are currently experiencing hard times and even thought an institutional crisis provoked by the global changes in the world has come, we are currently breaking through. The only question that remains open is how much it is going to cost and how long it could take.

Following the initial tumult, the audience went to action. Sweden’s Minister for Foreign Affairs Carl Bildt’s answer to the critics was that there was no better mechanism of economic convergence than the European Union. There are no other examples of a poor country like Bulgaria (13.5 thousand GDP per capita) observing same laws as the rich Luxembourg (80 thousand GDP per capita). All in all those from Asia should fight their own issues in the China-Japan line, reunify Korea and reconcile India with Pakistan before they start drawing us into joint undertakings. This would be the right time to have this conversation.

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