May 27, 2012
Recently I had a meeting with a project promoter who was supposed to convince me to embark on her project proposal consortium. A classical European partnership initiative, the introductory initiating ice-breaking rendez-vous… I realized after 90 min of parallel talking and no ball on the ground that a certain involution is insinuating its way in what we used to call European programmes/ funding attractiveness, especially among New Comers in EU. I remember 5-6 years ago there was vivid enthusiasm, even frenzy in participation to such initiatives, enlarged Europe being a construction with high score supporting. Nowadays one can easily feel undissimulated saturation, surfeit and a trendy yet generalized lack of trust.
It puzzles me a bizarre situation. How comes that the most performing countries in attracting European Funds i.e. Spain, Portugal, Italy, Ireland and even Greece, are now confronted with dramatic financial problems? I believe serious analysis might reveal unexpected outcomes. How is it possible to inject significant grant money over the years from EU budget with a confusing result – public debt crisis… Perhaps it’s a mix of public spending inefficiency, corruption, scarce prioritization of initiatives, sometimes idiotic or fanciful scope of European Programmes allocations along with stodgy assessment menus and implementation/ reporting procedures a.s.o.
People and political actors, stakeholders on the democratic scene become more and more familiar with the fragility of the system, nobody really cares anymore about the visible distance between public positions and intimate beliefs. Is this distance a simple lie, dissimulation habit, surviving mechanism or intrinsic asset for driving a perspective to success?
A top politician enduring a true charisma intempestively affirmed (in a TV talk show not over a coffee at Mickey Mouse in European Parliament) – When you didn’t lie to them, they don’t vote you – referring to electors/ big mass of democracy perpetuators. This apparently pervert relationship induce at least 2 questions:
1 is the reality so fierceful, in need for permanent plastic surgery?
2 perhaps people that vote (or not) aren’t that innocent, preferring constantly the easy way out.
I’d tackle somehow the latter frivolity. Naturally (and usually) politicians are not really inclined to express some sensitive insights by delivering truths in a nasty way that would upset almighty voters. It seems quite obligatory to play ball recognizing loud and clear that people is by all means the boss, god and big chief, whatever… endowed with infallible judgments and premonitions – a sort of client is always right platitude that nobody really believes or reckons anymore. In other words the scene is populated with double-crossing pretenders acting in an evergreen cliché drama. This kind of public behavior is recognizable in so many other areas, take for example formal and informal meetings, conferences, roundtables etc. where participants play given roles, burning insufficient calories but excessive time, money, energy. When in fact everybody has entirely different interests or intimate drives. Surely it is not that inspirational as in motivational speeches of heartbreaking tycoons but it might be the naked truth. Could it be also a simple cause, a fundamental one for explaining accruing dysfunctionalities pictured in horrors such as financial crisis, climate change, ageing or Chinese merry-go-round.
It seems nowadays Europe is losing speed, I should argue, mainly in credibility, lacking capacity to motivate a needed change. Efficient action is undermined by ubiquitous hypocrisy and unfocused pragmatic interest that rules over the entire European institutional framework.
However Europe is style! Just have a look at recent French presidential campaign. For my money it’s the perfect illustration of style, I’m not interested here in appropriating a success but in noticing once again l’éternelle désuétude of candidates’ speeches. I constantly had an impression of déjà-vu and Changement doesn’t feel that present or wished. On the contrary it was just the good old traditional circus with media, volunteers and promises of a better illusion.
At the same time the European project looked more like the descendent curve in an ordinary project life-cycle graphic. Forcement and unbedingt the Merkhollande clubbing is sentenced to cohabitate in order to safeguard DJ leadership and keep the Euro ball on the ground. No relation to EURO 2012 which is about to start, as I’m more in the snooker thing contemplating once again the performance of stability with a certain Ronnie O’Sullivan. It is also about a business success story i.e. exporting snooker to China, a marvelous example of putting European traditional assets at work – if we managed to conceive why Brits are closer to Europe than Indians, of course…
Landing from the high spheres of geopolitics I would target 3 plausible cure vectors:
1. Restoration of trust
2. Update on managerial rigor – especially in relation with European public business planning
3. Appeal to educated awareness, as in completing the evolution from IQ, EQ (emotional intelligence) to a needed AQ (awareness intelligence).
A viable paradigm shift illustration should be accompanied by stringent demythisation, reducing formalism and institutionalized pretending. Concrete sampling? Just imagine overrated Yuppies approaching 50, pretty dying to convert into Awaries. The process may be coherently outsourced by comprehensive individual coaching sessions targeting 4 areas: family, career, social adequation and personal development. After all, the emerging Brussels PA market is densely populated with fellows that consistently feel more like worshipping a shrink when participating in official reunions. And a resourceful guru is always welcomed to bailout Greek gods.