Article published on Feb. 23, 2009
community published
Article published on Feb. 23, 2009
To begin this new article, I would like to come back on a few points from the article on capitalism. The crisis that some already qualify as being a "recession" will require us – if we want to come out on top - to reconsider and integrate the role of new actors as forces of suggestion , complementary to the functions of the State.
Democracy in its governance is indeed changing, as a result of the enormous advances that have been taking place in the domain of communications, especially with the Internet, which itself is one of the main causes of the globalization of information.

Citizens and civil society, particularly those represented by associations but also by NGOs and foundations, can and should contribute to resolving this crisis that is looming on the horizon, mainly by taking its social aspects into consideration. There are not only inconveniences to this, as it can be a tremendous democratic restitution for our companies, which will lead to discussions that can conduct to changes in the governance of States themselves. With all these new actors and the state, we are confronted by a large debate, in which the role of morality and ethics, in the domain of politics and economics, would have to be discussed thoughtfully and responsibly.

The purpose of governance is to get closer to achieving political equilibrium and thereby guaranteeing an efficient and effective government. This means accepting a global approach of government power, that embodies more dialogue, consensus and taking into account multiple interests. In times of crisis, this integrated approach appears therefore to be a contemporary topic of great importance.

The concept is not only for domestic implementation but also for use on an international level. The inclusion of multiple interests, and the search for consensus could actually be the new guidelines for a modern form of diplomacy as part of a multi-polar world. Following this logic, it seems necessary, for instance, to restructure international organizations such as the United Nations, the IMF or the World Bank. All these organizations were introduced shortly after the Second World War, and the world has changed a lot since then, especially with the end of colonial empires, the end of the USSR and the emergence of new powers.

Taking into account the new face, or should we say multiple new faces, of the world, as an incentive to consider a major democratic reform of international institutions. A Security Council integrating an African country but also India and Brazil, as well as the creation of a seat for the European Union or even the chairmanship of major financial institutions such as the World Bank and the IMF, held by representatives of non-European countries, or from representatives not coming from the United States of America, are important elements to take into consideration if we want to mobilize the entire world in solving this global crisis.

The mobilization of a large number of countries and their citizens, to revive the global economy today, is an imperative that is binding everyone if we want to solve this crisis, that has become social and that we have been experiencing for several months, in the quickest and most evenhanded way possible. It is all the more urgent, as this crisis is not the only one we will have to face in upcoming years because the climate and energy crises also already constitute major challenges to face. The threat posed by the climate crisis can evidently only be faced on an international level as pollution and natural catastrophes know no state boundaries.

As far as energy is concerned, primarily oil, even if oil prices per barrel are currently low, a decrease of demand from industrialized and emerging countries seems unlikely nowadays, especially if we want to revive the economy through policies of large scale change. This is why we should prepare ourselves at present for a sudden rise in oil prices! The geopolitical consequences will be important in this race for energy. They will only be correctable through cooperation as the reserves of oil cannot be extended to meet the exceptional growth rate of our economical needs.

Governance is not only applicable at the international level but also locally. Indeed, consensus-building by taking into account the greater number of partners in policy making makes sense at the local level, in municipalities and at regional level, in the departments. This is a chance to see a direct and sustained involvement of citizens in the life of the city and / or region. This will make the populations feel like a part of the political decision making process, which can, in times of crisis, defuse many social conflicts.

We can also associate the business world with the practice of local governance. Indeed, decisions that are concerted and explained to an entire workshop, a division, or a plant would reduce the potential for conflict. This reduction of the distance between hierarchical floors makes it possible to mobilize all employees in a movement where everyone feels, by consensus, useful and essential for the proper functioning of the group as a whole.

This local governance is an important part of European civil society which is connected first in national governance at state level and, secondly, at a European level in Brussels. The involvement of a greater number of citizens in public decisions is ensured through the proximity to the fact, when the decision is taken closer to the citizen and also when it is explained on a national and European level. It is most probably through this form of participatory involvement, that we can establish a European citizenship that integrates both the local and national feeling of belonging.

The establishment of modern governance techniques appears easy to realize today using modern means of communication, especially the resources offered by the internet, which amply demonstrated its capacity to mobilize nations in the latest American Presidential elections. A great number of European citizens know and use social networks on the Internet, the transition to a form of governance incorporating this logic would be simple to implement for many citizens. Our politicians are already using websites like “facebook” or “viadeo” and their constituents have begun to incorporate the possibilities, for consultation and proposals, of these new platforms that bring politics within reach of the voters. For the European Union, this could be an extraordinary building site for a modernization of democracy which could become, once the work is completed, the real contribution of Europe to global democratic debate, one of the components of this "European way of life !" we have yet to find. We are in the European election year and we possess, through governance, a subject conducive to beautiful and noble political debates, which most probably interest voters, through the prospects they offer and the new dynamic process that they could engage in the European Union.