Les plans de relance adoptés par les plus grandes économies mondiales pour lutter contre la crise économique se caractérisaient tous par la place inédite accordée à « l’économie verte » (1). Comment les investissements publics et privés dans ce secteur se traduiront-ils en termes d’emplois ? Plusieurs études réalisées au niveau français et européen s’accordent autour de perspectives relativement optimistes.
When possibilities of a future enlargement of the European Union are mentioned, it is mainly the Balkan or former Soviet countries that come to mind. Among these, Moldavia occupies a special place, being torn both geographically and politically between Romania (now a member of the Union) and Russia. Jean-François Drevet outlines the atypical profile of this extremely poor East European country, a great many of whose inhabitants could shortly acquire Romanian nationality (and hence European rights and duties), even though their own state is not a member of the Union. He also shows the geopolitical issue it poses in relations with Russia by virtue of the existence of the self-proclaimed Moldavian republic of Transnistria, which enjoys protection from Moscow.
Hervé Sérieyx is one of those rare Frenchmen who were able, a quarter of a century ago, to persuade people in Europe that Japanese businesses had gained formidable competitive advantages by building up a much more efficient style of management of people and machinery through putting faith in quality and the hands-on knowledge of employees. In the gloomy economic context currently prevailing in Europe, he brings a different, encouraging message this time – one that comes from China. His article presents a series of ideas, inspired by Chinese managerial and political practices, on how we can take a different perspective on current problems and derive operational lessons from it.
In his view, four lines of thinking should be given priority: the establishment of a strong overall plan; proceeding by tests and experiments, which enable strategies to be refined; the development of constant learning; and, above all, the promotion and permanent maintenance of trust within and around the company. This is the only way, in Hervé Sérieyx’s view, to put an end to what he calls European – if not, indeed, national – egocentrism, which is doomed to fail in a globalized economy. Otherwise, neither society nor economy can expect to see sustained development.
Which are the most attractive European cities, where are they located and what are the causes or factors of their attractiveness? Christian Vandermotten, who has worked for many years on these questions at the IGEAT (Institut de gestion de l'environnement et d'aménagement du territoire), offers various elements of a response based on the international comparison studies carried out by that institution.
Apart from comparisons of GDP per inhabitant, he bases himself on two indices: the functional index and the internationalization index, which make it possible to appreciate the concrete assets possessed by a city or urban area (connectivity, the presence of company headquarters, knowledge economy, tourism, heritage etc.). This makes it possible to draw up a classification of the most internationalized and most functional cities, in which some large metropolitan districts (London, Paris, Rome, Madrid, Amsterdam, Brussels, Munich etc.) come out top, together with a number of Central or Eastern European capitals (Prague, Budapest, Warsaw etc.), though two of the capitals that "missed out" on the benefits of the opening-up to Eastern Europe (Berlin and Vienna) are not among their number and a certain number of other losers are also absent from the list, these being mainly cities and conurbations with longstanding industrial traditions (Manchester, Liverpool, Lille, the Ruhr etc.). The author does, however, stress that the newfound prosperity of the great European metropolises should not lead us to forget the social challenges that still have to be faced (integration of immigrant populations, governance, mobility etc.). And he concludes with remarks on the various elements that make for potential urban success in the economic, social, heritage, environmental and other fields.
The world-famous architect Bernard Reichen here outlines his future vision for European cities within the present context of "sustainable development". After reviewing the wrong turn taken by urbanism with the Athens Charter of 1942, he shows that we are ready today in Europe to reinvent the city, particularly where its practices are concerned. This reinvention, argues Bernard Reichen, will have three themes to it: strengthening the element of connectivity, promoting an "urban nature" and making use of recycling (the "sustainable city"). The twofold - ecological and economic - crisis we are currently living through thus presents us with an opportunity to rethink urban development. It is up to Europe's cities to grasp this opportunity to reinvent a new art of city living.
With the economy at a low ebb, competition between towns and cities to attract companies, talent and tourists or to win the allegiance of their residents might well become tougher. Competition between cities isn't a new phenomenon. It has existed as long as trade has existed, but in the current context of accelerated globalization it has acquired a new face and cities are using all their ingenuity to showcase their particular strengths.
Among the means at their disposal, all kinds of ranking and benchmarking - to use the fashionable term - are increasingly being called on. Whether based on objective criteria or more subjective survey material, they enable cities to compare themselves with others and adapt their strategies to suit their particular strengths and weaknesses.
Émile Hooge has studied most of the benchmarking indices on the big metropolises currently in existence. After reminding us of the basis of cities' strategies in the international competition between them, he presents these indices here (European Cities of the Future, European Competitiveness Index, Quality of Living Index, European Cities Monitor, City Brands Index etc.), indicating their chief characteristics, together with the positive grounds for using them and, also, their limitations. He also shows that new areas of competition are emerging, with the two main fields currently covered by cities in their public relations (material values and image values) being potentially joined by the two complementary fields of functional values and identity values.
In the view of Jean Haëntjens, who has coordinated this issue's special dossier on European cities for Futuribles, it is accepted today that the current economic crisis calls for another, more eco-responsible model of development and that the organization of cities could have an important part to play in the definition of that model. In these circumstances, might the particular situation of the European cities constitute an asset for the Old Continent?
This article by Jean Haëntjens, the opening contribution to this special dossier, takes a general look at the current strategies and possible developments of European cities in the context of sustainable development. After reminding us of the influences and broad lines of development that have characterized European cities historically, Jean Haëntjens outlines the main strategies of the European cities, from the "fragmented city" of the 1960s and 70s, via the 1980s/90s period in which certain urban functions were improved (new transport networks, design changes, cultural influence), to contemporary urban policies characterized by eco-development. He then analyses the differences and convergences between these strategies, before arriving at a - relatively positive - assessment of the international positioning of Europe's cities. This being said, though the first transformations we have seen (for example in some Nordic cities) are rather encouraging, there is still much to do, particularly in terms of improving the congeniality of these cities, and attracting new workers to them and persuading them to stay. European cities have many advantages that help them make the 21st century transition to "sustainable cities", yet they still have further to go with the transformations they have set in train. They still have "to reinvent themselves".
Le nombre d’immigrés (1) d’origine subsaharienne en France a été multiplié par 27 en 40 ans, pourtant cette immigration reste très faible : voilà le constat que dressent deux chercheurs de l’Institut national d’études démographiques (INED). Cette immigration pourrait cependant connaître des transformations fortes et peut-être durables.
The social dimension is often seen as the poor relation of European construction. On the one hand, EU advances in social policy often go unnoticed by the citizens; on the other, the great diversity of systems of social welfare, vocational training, social rights and wage policies etc. makes it very difficult to establish common rules in a 27-member Union. Nevertheless, the French Presidency of the European Union set itself the goal in 2008 of imparting a fresh impetus to social Europe. Was this wholly utopian? Are Europeans ready to let the "social" dimension into the sphere of their common policies?
Jean-Claude Barbier shows here how difficult it is to reconcile the diversity of European peoples with the integration of social policies. Quite apart from the linguistic obstacles, difficulties remain that are associated with the sense of national belonging, the geographical focus of administrations and social bodies, the essential place occupied by social welfare protection in democratic life in Europe and the legitimacy that states retain, in the eyes of their nationals, in the organization both of that protection and of solidarity in respect of social risks etc. Overall, Barbier stresses, national political communities remain very inward-looking when it comes to taking important social decisions.
Nonetheless, in the current context of economic crisis, the situation may change. Of the three future scenarios proposed by Jean-Claude Barbier - continuation of the status quo, a strengthening of social Europe in response to the crisis and the elimination of social Europe - it may well be that the development of a fresh impetus for European social policy prevails.
Entre droits propres et droits dérivés (familiaux ou de réversion), les modèles de retraite de cinq pays européens doivent, selon l'Institut national d'études démographiques, trouver une voie médiane pour prendre en compte la situation nouvelle des femmes dans les sociétés.
L'Europe sociale a longtemps été qualifiée de "parent pauvre" de la construction européenne. "Les citoyens européens ont l'image d'une Europe qui s'attaque aux droits des travailleurs et qui est subordonnée à l'Europe des marchés", a ainsi affirmé la Confédération européenne des syndicats, à l'issue de la réunion de son comité exécutif, les 24 et 25 juin 2008, en invitant l'Union européenne (UE) à "changer de cap". Il est vrai que les progrès déjà ...
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Le projet PESETA (en français : Projection des impacts économiques du changement climatique dans des secteurs de l?Union européenne fondée sur une analyse bottom-up) est une initiative du JRC visant à appréhender les impacts « physiques » et économiques du changement climatique en Europe. Cinq secteurs (dont la sensibilité au réchauffement climatique a été considérée comme très élevée) ont été analysées : l?agriculture, les crues des rivières, les infrastructures côtières, le tourisme et la santé. Pour chacun d?entre eux, les auteurs ...
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À l'occasion du 10e anniversaire de Nordregio, le centre nordique pour le développement territorial, le professeur Klaus Kunzmann a présenté cinq scénarios sur l'espace européen à l'horizon 2020 qui, sans envisager de rupture ni proposer un regard totalement neuf sur la question, permettent d'identifier les directions possibles de l'Union européenne (UE). Business as usual Le développement territorial de l'Europe continue à se faire en fonction du développement économique dans un contexte de politiques libérales ...
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