Europe is not about borders, Europe is an idea – Strauss-Kahn

21 September 2013

Europe lacks the caliber of leaders capable not only of taking responsibility for making tough decisions, but also of visualising and gaining consensus for what the Union should look like in the future.  The former Managing Director of the International Monetary Fund made this bold statement during the discussion about the future of Europe at the 10th Annual Meeting of Yalta European Strategy.

Europe lacks the caliber of leaders capable not only of taking responsibility for making tough decisions, but also of visualising and gaining consensus for what the Union should look like in the future.  The former Managing Director of the International Monetary Fund made this bold statement during the discussion about the future of Europe at the 10th Annual Meeting of Yalta European Strategy.

“We need Europe more than ever before. But today we also face more difficulties than ever before”, stated the ex-MD of the IMF. Adoption of political populism by leaders and the growth of nationalist moods in European countries  are obstacles on Europe’s development path. Dominique Strauss-Kahn reminded the audience of François Mitterrand’s visionary statement during the signing of the Maastricht Treaty,: “France is my motherland. Europe is my future” – and told them that he still personally believes in this vision

“The problems of Europe today are not technical.  We know how to do things technically, No, the problem is political,” he said. “Most European people are in despair, and they are in despair because they do not know what is going to happen in the future.  They need confidence.  They need leadership – this is the biggest problem in European politics, the matter of leadership.”

Mr. Strauss-Kahn said  that he did not see amongst current European leaders any person capable of convincing his/her own country, or indeed other countries that strengthening political cooperation in the EU is needed or that the  idea of European Union needs further development, a person capable of resisting partisanship or nationalism. He said, “We need to do something about this. Europe has its own role. And Europe has its own future”.

Finally, Mr Strauss-Kahn told the group assembled at the YES conference that he believes we should not be limited by our old, or even existing ideas of what Europe is – saying that the limits in the future could be, “the ice in the North, the Atlantic Ocean to the West, China to the East and the sands of the Sahara to the South.”

Europe is not borders. Europe is an idea. And many may join it. But for the idea to live, it must be promoted”, he stressed.

The 10th Yalta Annual Meeting is streamed live at korrespondent.net and
yes-ukraine.org in English and Ukrainian on September 20th and 21st.

Live Webcasts will also be available on the websites of ICTV (ictv.ua), Channel 5 (5.ua), «Kommersant» newspaper (kommersant.ua), as well as the online edition of "Ukrainska Pravda» (pravda.com.ua).

The official Twitter of the 10th Yalta Annual Meeting: @yes_ukraine, hashtag: #yalta2013

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Partners of the 10th Yalta Annual Meeting are:

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Yalta European Strategy (YES) is the largest social institution of public diplomacy in Eastern Europe, providing an open and equal dialogue on global issues affecting the European Union, Ukraine, Russia and other countries. This non-partisan organisation was established in 2004 by the Ukrainian businessman and public figure Victor Pinchuk.

The YES Annual Meetings held in Yalta’s Livadia Palace have become an open platform to discuss and look for new ideas and views on paths to European, Ukrainian and global development. Every year these meetings bring together over 200 politicians, diplomats, statesmen, journalists, analysts and business leaders from more than 20 countries.  The dialogue on global challenges broadens the vision on the situation inside Ukraine and the prospects for the country’s development in the modern world. It is also an incentive to find common ground between countries, common interests and values.

At the YES Annual Meetings the world's top opinion leaders present their visions of current and future trends which impact all spheres of life of society. In 2010, 2011 and 2012 the events were opened by Presidents Viktor Yanukovych, Bronislaw Komorowski, Shimon Peres and Prime Minister of the Republic of Turkey Recep Tayyip Erdoğan. YES Annual Meetings key speakers have included Mykola Azarov, Kofi Annan, Egemen Bagis, Carl Bildt, Tony Blair, Gordon Brown, Richard Branson, James Wolfensohn, Newt Gingrich, Herman Gref, Arkadiy Dvorkovich,  Robert Zoellick, Bill Clinton, Paul Krugman, Alexei Kudrin, Leonid Kuchma, Yuri Milner, Condoleezza Rice, Lawrence Summers, Radoslaw Sikorski, Javier Solana, Dominique Strauss-Kahn, Shashi Tharoor, Strobe Talbott, Niall Ferguson, Vladimir Filat, Joschka Fischer, Stefan Fule, Gerhard Schroeder, Muhammad Yunus and many others.

Official website: www.yes-ukraine.org

Victor Pinchuk Foundation is an international, private and non-partisan philanthropic foundation based in Ukraine. It was established in 2006 by businessman and public figure Victor Pinchuk. Its goal is to empower future generations to become the change-makers of tomorrow. To achieve this, projects are developed and partnerships are built in Ukraine and worldwide.

in people, to boost human capital;
in society, to promote social responsibility;
in the world, to foster a more integrated world.

The projects of the Victor Pinchuk Foundation include, among others: the network of neonatal centers Cradles of Hope, the largest private scholarship programme in Ukraine, Zavtra.UA, the WorldWideStudies scholarship programme for Ukrainian students studying abroad, the centre for contemporary art PinchukArtCentre with its biannual prizes Future Generation Art Prize and PinchukArtCentre Prize. The foundation also hosts the Davos Philanthropic Roundtable and Davos Ukrainian Lunch organized each year at the occasion of the Annual Meeting of the World Economic Forum and supports the international network YES (Yalta European Strategy) to foster Ukraine’s European and global integration, as well as a startup online platform for fostering philanthropy in Ukraine, the Philanthropic Marketplace. The Foundation is a member of the European Foundation Centre and the Ukrainian Grantmakers Forum. It cooperates with the Clinton Global Initiative, the Brookings Institution, the Peterson Institute for International Economics, the Peres Center for Peace, the Tony Blair Faith Foundation, and other nongovernmental organizations.

Official website: pinchukfund.org

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Quote

Shashi Tharoor
Member of the Lower House, Parliament of India, UN Deputy Secretary General (2001-2007), 9th Yalta Annual Meeting, 2012
«We are moving to a world beyond superpowers<…> India, a country that has always followed the rules now becomes a country that makes the rules»