Are we addressing the real problems? The traditional European leadership in the fight against climate change appears milder than before. The call to make “the planet great again” echoes at best as wishful thinking. Europe is weakened by the conflicts occurring at its borders… On the top of that, the refugee crisis epitomizes larger concerns: the escalation of conflicts, inequalities and uncertainties, the emergence of new threats and unpredictability. Populism or attempted restriction of freedoms in several European countries is weakening Trust and confidence in our institutions… The traditional “wait and see” attitude and usual caution towards changes and emergency situations may prove wrong.
We cannot simply underestimate the impacts of external conflicts, refugees, and climate related hazards as if they could not impact us. In a context of crisis this system is stumbling and the current policies are ill-suited…Leaders are not reacting with enough strength and credibility. European advanced policies will not counterbalance the climate impact of a world demography booming over nine billion without a better world governance for climate, trade and development. In addition; we still could expect stronger and more transparent types of action towards polluting sectors including construction, transportation, industry.
The world where allies and enemies were clearly identified is over. The new context shows an emergence of new threats including climate hazards but also, terrorism, cybersecurity, unpredictability. Institutions and procedures are not prepared for this complexity, and the traditional diplomacy channels will need to surf on multiple influx of data and information which is not easily cross checked.
The soaring of populism can similarly be considered as a threat and we are already paying excessive Faced with growing anger, the main European answers echo as “jargon”, wishful thinking, or even denial of problems. With the speed of information conveyed by social media, the lack of clear-cut answers has the reverse effect of supporting populist messages. Demagogic messages are in clear contrast with European abstract, complex if not disconnected answers.
We clearly need new leaderships and strategies to face uncertainties. To sum up we need a system able to solve upcoming problems; such as stability and climate change without compromising on European values. We need to restore Trust.
Leaders including from civil society associations should deliver strong and bold messages.
While we have already reached a point of no return on climate change and while air pollution is worsening, alerts are very often restricted to the call of NGOs leaders on social media. Where are the bold political messages to face up current challenges? Populist growing movements may be the cost for the current lack of trust towards current leaders and their denial of problems. We need a new security-Leadership nexus, with leaders able to anticipate solutions in a context of growing uncertainties, leaders who act collectively with civil society, leaders accountable beyond political mandates. What we need is bold leadership!