Paul Scheffer: The hidden vitality of Europe

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Paul Scheffer claims that new stories about Europe must take as its starting point not Berlin but Beijing; not Paris but Sao Paulo. The internal borders are no longer the main source of concern when we look at the time that is approaching.

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Deel 7 in de serie Felix Meritis Essays (Engelstalig)

Paul Scheffer claims that new stories about ‘Europe’ must take as its starting point not Berlin but Beijing; not Paris but Sao Paulo. The internal borders are no longer the main source of concern when we look at the time that is approaching. The external border is at the core of a future-oriented approach to European politics.

Having lived for almost two centuries with European and later American dominance, we are now moving towards a world that is at least polycentric, a world in which Europe will increasingly be confronted with economic and cultural innovations that originate in the East and the South.

In Scheffer’s essay we discover step by step the hidden vitality of most European societies. The loss of power by the Western world is relative. The differences between the two worlds have decreased but they are still considerable. In terms of quality of life, the gap between the Western world and the emerging economies of the BRIC-countries is still substantial.

This essay was presented during The Amsterdam Conversation on Europe 2013 in Felix Meritis.

Auteur: Paul Scheffer
Tekening omslag: Joseph Semah
Een uitgave van Felix Meritis, financieel mede mogelijk gemaakt door het Europe for Citizens programme van de EU, DIA, Bosch Foundation en het vfonds, 2013.