European fragmentation and decline? The name Europe is a definition for a geographical space consisting of multiple semi-closed border nation-states. These states consist of a homogeneous population. These people eat their own traditional food which grows in their own country and backyard. All foreign goods are taxed and thus too expensive for the the masses. Countries have to rely on their self-sufficiency for their needs of resources and nutrition.
Travels and immigration is only an option for the elite which can afford to buy visas. Nationalist parties are in power and the climate is xenophobic. There is a brain drain to other continents and basically no immigration to Europe or internal European mobility. Foreign technology is unavailable or too expensive, so people become more innovative with the means they have. Conflicts between European nations are developing and further tensions might rise in the near future.
Current demographics show that the population is ageing. The birth rate is low.
Regional divisions rose due to polarisation between the North and the South over the sovereign debt and austerity and between the East and West over labour mobility.
What could we have done in 2012?
Not giving up solidarity between nation states and letting regional divisions escalate. Accepting bailouts and strong reforms. More transparency and education.
What can we do in 2037 to improve the situation?
Reintroducing dialog and cross-border cooperation and understanding as well as having free movement of people, goods and culture.
Written by Noora Löfström and Stephan Kool following EUPOPE@DEBATE ‘Imagining Europe in 2037–scenarios for the future’ in Paris, 13 November 2012.