Today’s Worldview, what will our Union do ?

Essays - April 21, 2023

In today’s world, we find ourselves facing a multitude of complex and pressing issues, from climate change, geopolitical tensions, and economic inequality. As we navigate these challenges, it is important to take stock of the current state of affairs and consider the factors driving change in our global landscape. From the rise of new technologies to shifting political alliances and cultural trends, the forces shaping our world are both diverse and interconnected. By gaining a deeper understanding of these issues, we can better prepare ourselves to meet the challenges of the future and work towards a more sustainable and equitable world

The World is on a path to becoming an ever more complex system of interactions between people, companies, countries, communities and perhaps most important of all, technologies.

A little over three years ago, almost the entire planet was in lockdown, an experience neither of us had gone through before and one we will certainly not ever forget. Most of us had heard of the Spanish flu pandemic a century earlier but few had ever imagined what it had looked like or what its effects had been on everyday life. Restrictions became part of everyday life and at one point some of us felt like these was to become the new normal. As countries had started to gradually lift them, a new crisis broke out. This time a military one, that slowly spread to become a humanitarian and economic one. The Russian Federation sent troops into Ukraine starting what was to soon become the largest armed conflict in Europe since World War Two. Even though the conflict din not spread beyond its initial area of development the impact soon became global. As the west rushed to bolster Ukraine other countries sided with the Russians. It looked like the world was dividing again into two political blocks with separate models of understanding and action, in permanent ideological and economic conflict with each other. China and India, the two most populous countries in the world remained somewhat neutral in the conflict not siding with either of the belligerents but at the same time refusing to enforce sanctions or take active measures towards the restoration of peace. The situation in Asia is by no means less complex or even less dynamic. China uses every opportunity to put pressure on Taiwan and threatens all who declare their support for the small island nation.

The relationship between China and Taiwan has long been a complex and contentious issue, with both sides claiming sovereignty over the territory. China views Taiwan as a renegade province that must be reunified with the mainland, while Taiwan considers itself a sovereign state. Tensions between the two have escalated in recent years, with China increasing its military presence in the region and asserting its claims over disputed waters. Meanwhile, Taiwan has sought to strengthen its diplomatic ties with other countries and modernise its military in response to perceived threats from China. The situation remains a major point of concern for the international community, with the potential for conflict and instability in the region posing significant risks for global security.

Africa, the world’s second-largest continent, has long been a focal point of global attention due to its vast resources, diverse cultures, and complex history. However, the continent has also struggled with political and economic instability, which has hampered its progress and development. Africa is a vast and diverse continent with a complex political and economic landscape. Despite the many challenges it faces, the continent has made significant progress in recent years, with many countries experiencing sustained economic growth and political stability. However, significant hurdles remain, including high levels of poverty, inequality, and corruption, as well as ongoing conflicts and environmental challenges.

On the political front, Africa is home to a diverse array of governance structures, ranging from authoritarian regimes to democratic governments. While progress has been made towards democratization in many countries, there are still significant challenges in terms of ensuring free and fair elections, protecting human rights, and combating corruption. Many African countries continue to struggle with issues such as political instability, ethnic tensions, and armed conflict, which have a significant impact on the lives of millions of people.

One example of a country facing significant political challenges is Sudan, which has been in a state of transition since the ousting of long-time dictator Omar al-Bashir in 2019. While the country had made some progress towards democratic reform, the concerns around the military’s influence over the government and its commitment to human rights became a reality recently when the leaders of the two military factions governing it degenerated into open conflict. The situation in Ethiopia is also a cause for concern, with ongoing conflicts between the central government and regional authorities, as well as mounting ethnic tensions that threaten to destabilize the country.

Despite these challenges, there have been some positive developments on the political front in recent years. For example, Ghana has become a regional leader in terms of democratic governance, with peaceful transitions of power and a commitment to transparency and accountability. Additionally, the recent formation of the African Continental Free Trade Area (AfCFTA) promises to enhance economic integration and spur growth across the continent.

Speaking of economics, Africa’s economic situation is complex and varied, with significant disparities between countries and regions. While some countries have experienced sustained economic growth in recent years, others continue to struggle with high levels of poverty and underdevelopment. Many African economies are heavily reliant on commodities, such as oil, minerals, and agricultural products, which makes them vulnerable to fluctuations in global markets.

One example of a country that has made significant progress on the economic front is Rwanda, which has experienced sustained growth in recent years and has implemented a number of policies aimed at reducing poverty and promoting development. The country has made significant investments in infrastructure, including a new airport and a state-of-the-art convention center, and has also focused on developing its technology and innovation sectors.

At the same time, however, many African countries continue to face significant economic challenges. High levels of debt, corruption, and poor infrastructure are all factors that can hamper growth and development. The COVID-19 pandemic has also had a significant impact on African economies, with many countries experiencing sharp declines in growth and significant increases in poverty and unemployment.

Despite these challenges, there are also many examples of African countries that are making progress towards sustainable economic development. For example, the African Development Bank has launched a number of initiatives aimed at supporting small and medium-sized enterprises, promoting regional integration, and enhancing energy and infrastructure development. Africa’s political and economic situation is complex and varied, with many challenges and opportunities. While significant progress has been made in recent years, there is still much work to be done to address issues such as political instability, corruption, and poverty.

The European Union has for a long time regarded itself as a primarily diplomatic world power. It has used soft power instruments with diligence and great skill in order to advance its foreign policy agenda. During a time when the world’s economies were growing and apart from small quarrels between small neighbours far away from its borders all was quiet, this strategy may have been a good one. The World has deeply changed, however, in the past few years and appears to be changing more rapidly than ever. There is a question which looms over all European governments: What is our strategy, as a Union, of dealing with this new environment? On the quality of the answer, I believe, relies our future decline or prosperity.