Cette page regroupe l'ensemble des publications de Futuribles sur cette thématique (Vigie, revue, bibliographie, études, etc.)
À quoi ressemblera le monde en 2030 ? À l’occasion de son 20e anniversaire, l’IRIS a demandé à une dizaine de spécialistes (hommes politiques, spécialistes des relations internationales, de la prospective…) d’apporter des éléments de réponse à cette vaste question. Dès le milieu des années 2010, les pays en développement représenteraient plus de la moitié de la consommation mondiale de pétrole, la Chine devenant le plus gros consommateur en 2030. La part des énergies fossiles dans le mix ...
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German economic performance in this recession period has regularly hit the headlines, comparing favourably with the relatively poor economic situation of France. However, one should not be deceived into thinking that adopting the German economic growth strategy would enable every country — and France, in particular — to restimulate its economy and move out of crisis. As Gilbert Cette shows in this article, Germany has held up well in the recession through very substantial wage restraint and temporary reductions in working hours. The heavy curb on wage and labour costs has stimulated competitiveness and external demand, but restrained the country’s internal demand. Such a strategy is not sustainable in the very long term, argues Gilbert Cette, either for Germany or its European partners, and if all the European nations adopted it, economic growth within the Euro zone would fall markedly.
Europe, which has not stirred greatly in response to the crisis or to the “seriousness of the events that have occurred since 2008”, has been a disappointment. We are a long way from political union, says Jean-François Drevet, or even from a coordinated management of economies, which was assumed to be inevitable when the euro was created. All this is evidence that the process of European construction is grinding to a halt.
Drevet concedes, however, that none of the currently functioning federal states was established without a transition period. Such periods varied in length and involved similar difficulties to those the European Union (EU) is currently encountering.
Stressing the similarities between the confederal models of three countries — the USA, Australia and Switzerland — and that of the EU, Drevet shows, for example, that the problems Europe is facing are neither new nor insoluble, even if he does conclude that, “without a pressure similar to that seen at Philadelphia or Berne”, an already very long transition period is in danger of going on forever.
The strong euro, experienced as a “salutary pressure” by Germany, not to mention Austria or Finland, represents a genuine handicap for other “Euroland” states (Greece, Spain, Ireland, Portugal etc.) that have been weakened by the economic and financial crisis and are unable to conform to the Stability and Growth Pact, agreed in 1997 for the purpose of avoiding excessive public deficits. “The Union has cocked a snook at the treaties’, notes Pierre Bonnaure in this article and this “generalized indiscipline” cannot go on.
In Bonnaure’s view, “the virtuous countries will not put up with paying for the others’ laxity for very long” and the risks of seeing the Euro zone reject its defaulting members — or even dissolve itself — are not to be underestimated. And yet, adds the author, this crisis situation may also be an opportunity for the Union to relaunch itself, as has happened in the past, but such a “remarkable step forward” would require significant sacrifices from the member states and their peoples.
Le 22 juillet 2010, la Cour internationale de justice (CIJ) a reconnu que la déclaration d’indépendance du Kosovo ne violait pas le droit international. Bien que ne signifiant pas, juridiquement, que le Kosovo ait accédé au statut d’État, cet avis risque de créer un précédent, qui pourrait justifier des déclarations d’indépendance dans d’autres pays, mais qui pourrait également contribuer à stabiliser les Balkans.
In this article Michel Drancourt demonstrates the extent to which, despite their national vanities, European states have seen their sovereignty over their own territory eroded and have lost influence over world affairs.
He argues, in substance, that we must build a federal Europe united around a grand ambition. This is the only solution if Europe wishes not to disappear, but to play a powerful role in reshaping a globalized world in need of governance.
More than forty years after Le Pari Européen, the book he co-wrote with Louis Armand, Drancourt once again launches a vibrant appeal for a Europe capable of overcoming its divisions, speaking with a single voice and playing a significant role in a world that is undergoing an unprecedented restructuring.
It makes no sense, states André Lebeau in this article, to compare Europe with the United States, since they are so different and Europe is made up of states “with strong identities and a heavy burden of history”.
The process of European unification is indeed advancing, despite national resistance, and the responsibility for the gradual nature of its forward march cannot be attributed to the European authorities, given the extent to which they — particularly, the Commission — still lack the real prerogatives required for the exercise of power. The member states are to blame for this. But the European dimension will increasingly assert itself — in the first instance through the adoption of a common economic policy and a common foreign policy — provided that, when confronted with current challenges, the Union consolidates itself rather than fragments. Though conscious of the obstacles European construction has run up against, André Lebeau nonetheless concludes that, “with a little optimism, the need for European unity will tend to prevail over the temptation to regress towards nationalist fantasies and a break-up of the European space”.
Governments seem to be increasingly powerless, notes Jean-François Drevet in this article. In Europe, in particular, they “seem to be very much overtaken by events and to lack capacities for intervention in response to the economic crisis”. We are thus seeing a crisis of the nation state today, undermined as it is by substantial budgetary disequilibria, remarks Drevet and, in his view, the future seems scarcely more encouraging.
In this context, how do things stand with the European institutions? “They too have lost ground”, argues Jean-François Drevet, being constrained both by the governments themselves, which do not wish to provide them with the necessary resources and by their lack of democratic legitimacy.
Thus, caught “between globalization and the temptation of re-nationalization”, some are beginning to question the “relevance of the European decision-making level” — a reality that leads Drevet to stress Europe’s need to stir itself in order to defend its role.
Last June an incident on the ceasefire line between Armenia and Azerbaijan left five people dead. That event, which was followed by numerous other ceasefire violations and passionate public declarations on both sides, attests to the increased tension in the region, a tension the international community has not so far managed to defuse. At the heart of the hostilities is the self-proclaimed Republic of Nagorno-Karabakh (or Upper Karabakh) attached to Armenia, which Azerbaijan and Armenia already fought over between 1992 and 1994, and a fraction of Azeri territory controlled by Yerevan since the end of the armed conflict.
“Renewed conflict in the Caucasus is, unfortunately, one of the possibilities to be envisaged”, notes Jean-François Drevet in this article. He goes on to stress that the attitude of Turkey can be described as an essential factor in the evolution of the situation. That attitude is still determined, argues Drevet, by the non-recognition of the Armenian genocide. In this context, Jean-François Drevet calls on the European Union to involve itself more in this region and put in place a clearer, more vigorous policy, “before it is too late”.
Le 8 juillet 2010, le Parlement européen réuni en séance plénière à Strasbourg a approuvé les principes généraux du Service européen d’action extérieure (SEAE) à une très large majorité. L’adoption de l’accord sur le SEAE est révélatrice d’un certain nombre d’évolutions actuelles ou à venir, conséquences directes de l’adoption du traité de Lisbonne. Elle manifeste, au premier chef, le renforcement du rôle du Parlement européen.
In his two previous columns, Jean-François Drevet has examined the concept of territorial cohesion and its instruments of intervention. He turns here to the question of transnational cooperation. By bringing together large groups of European regions, this eases the integration of member states into the EU and enables concerted action to be undertaken for the balanced development of the European territory. In particular, this line of action pioneered by the Nordic countries enables “important problems that can be dealt with only by joint action (maritime pollution, nuclear risks etc.) to be identified”. Drevet describes various transnational cooperation programmes implemented by the European Commission, before going on to stress the importance of “extending the initiative and developing community instruments to that end”.
How will the planet manage to feed the nine billion inhabitants it could well have in 2050? This question on the future of food and agriculture is currently central to many debates. To meet the growing demand for food, a 70% increase in agricultural production is needed by 2050, according to the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO). This troubling prospect is presented as the most probable scenario today, a fact lamented here by Sandrine Paillard and Sébastien Treyer.
“By 2050 radical changes are possible and levers exist to act on both production and consumption, giving reason to reflect on a set of contrasting scenarios”, note the authors, before describing two scenarios developed within the framework of the Agrimonde exercise carried out by the National Institute for Agricultural Research (INRA) and the Centre for International Cooperation in Agricultural Research for Development (CIRAD). These are studies concerned to “bring out contrasting developmental trajectories of the global agricultural and food systems as transparently as possible”.
After the presentation of the methodology and main conclusions of the Agrimonde study — global food production sufficient to cover forecast consumption levels, an increase in the minimum necessary volume of trade between world regions — Paillard and Treyer mention the positive impact of Agrimonde on the current debate and stress the importance of pursuing such foresight exploration.
In a recent article entitled “The Revenge of Geography”, published in the journal Foreign Policy, Robert D. Kaplan draws on three great U.S. and British classic authorities on geopolitics –Alfred Mahan, Sir Halford Mackinder and Nicholas J. Spykman — to reassert forcefully the precept that “man proposes, but nature disposes”. Following these authors’ view that physical and human geography is the main determinant of the development of the global geopolitical situation, he attempts to show what will be the main zones of future tension or even conflict. Bernard Cazes has examined the argument and reports, in this brief analysis, on its tenor and limitations.
In March 2009, there was an outbreak of the Influenza A (H1N1) virus in Mexico. By the end of May it had killed 45 Mexicans, contaminated almost 3,800 and there were more than 10,000 confirmed cases throughout the world, 5,500 of them in the United States. On 11 June, with the virus affecting more than 27,000 persons in 74 countries, the World Health Organization (WHO) declared a level 6 maximum alert or, in other words, a state of global pandemic.
This pandemic turned out to be a “very active epidemic of moderate seriousness, but temporally atypical,’ as William Dab and Nina Testut put it here, stressing the unpredictable character of the development of all influenza viruses. “The management of influenza epidemics is basically a management of uncertainty”, say the authors, going on to observe that “it is impossible to manage a health security risk that includes a significant degree of uncertainty without the trust of stakeholders”.
Given this observation, William Dab et Nina Testut make an initial assessment of the way the pandemic was managed in France, define the reasons for — and role of — the “wave of polemics” that has accompanied this health crisis since last Summer, and examine the way the French perceived these various elements. “This H1N1 virus will, in the end, have taught us much we didn’t know about French society”, stress the two authors.
Having remained silent about, and absent from, the struggle against malaria for a long period, the international community finally roused itself in the late 1990s and began to combat the disease on a “massive” scale. It is an illness entirely eradicated in the advanced countries, but one that still rages in poor ones, with almost a million dying each year, mainly in sub-Saharan Africa. It attacks those who are most vulnerable: namely, women, the under-fives, those with HIV/AIDS and displaced people.
Malaria is a “disease of poverty”, as Michèle Barzach and Sylvie Chantereau stress here. “As an individual and collective factor of social destabilization”, it hits the countries it affects hard in both economic and social terms. “Malaria can account for more than 50% of the expenditure of households coping with it directly”, note the authors. It is estimated to cost “sub-Saharan Africa more than 12 billion dollars in lost GDP”.
Yet it is an avoidable disease, thanks to some effective treatments and means of prevention, observe Michèle Barzach and Sylvie Chantereau. This is something the international community has realized, having for some ten years now carried on an unprecedented struggle against malaria, with funding that has risen from less than 100 million dollars in 2003 to 2 billion in 2009. In this context, the authors assert without hesitation that “all the conditions are in place today for malaria to be effectively controlled in all the affected areas of the globe, and even eliminated in some countries”. They stress, however, that the current research and funding effort has to be maintained if this is to happen.
By way of introduction to our special dossier on infectious diseases, Nicolas Simon reminds us here of some of the dramatic episodes they have occasioned in the past. He also points up the successes achieved in the struggle against smallpox, for example, while underscoring the extent of the HIV/AIDS and malaria epidemics, which mainly affect populations in the less developed countries.
However, he stresses the scale of the effort put in by the international community since the mid-1990s and the beneficial effects that have ensued. He thus shows how disastrous it would be if that effort slackened and stresses, in very timely fashion, the need to continue with and, indeed, intensify it. He also emphasizes the lead role certain countries and the NGOs and foundations can play to this effect, including through an institution as remarkable as the “Global Fund to Fight AIDS, Tuberculosis and Malaria”. But let us make no mistake, says Nicolas Simon, it is, once again, a question of priorities.
The European Union “promotes territorial cohesion and solidarity between the member states”, says the final draft of the Lisbon Treaty. The mention of this new objective leads Jean-François Drevet to investigate the concept of territorial cohesion, “which is still little used at the European level”. After outlining the policies implemented in this field nationally in countries like Germany, Switzerland and France, and taking account of both their positive aspects and their unintended consequences, Drevet examines the mechanisms of solidarity at work across the European Union.
In his view, the community budget currently has too little redistributive capacity — net transfers between member states are said to represent only a quarter of the European budget — and has proved “incapable of playing a major role in economic stimulus policies”. This is a situation that ‘brings increasing risks (particularly in a period of economic and financial crisis) for the stability of the Euro zone”. It is essential, then, concludes Drevet, that this new objective of territorial cohesion should become one of Europe’s priorities.
Despite the problem being flagged up in the late 1980s by the World Health Organization’s Commission on Health Research for Development, even today research and development activities in the field of health focus mainly on diseases affecting the peoples of the rich countries. This in part explains why, as Jean-Paul Moatti and Jean-François Delfraissy point out here, “more than a billion human beings, almost all of whom live in tropical and subtropical regions, are currently suffering from one or more neglected diseases”.
The authors do, however, see some minor development. Because of globalization, which increases the risk of pandemics, the rich countries are realizing that “their” health also depends on better protection for the whole of the world’s population. This new awareness underlay the drafting of the Millennium Objectives for Development in 2000, in which the international community committed itself, among other things, to redoubling its efforts to fight AIDS, tuberculosis and malaria.
However, Moatti and Delfraissy stress that these efforts are still insufficient. It is, in their view, necessary to go further today, for example, by strengthening multilateral instruments like the WHO or by increasing the number of North-South partnerships. As they see it, it is urgent for research at last to be regarded as a “global public good”.
From 26 to 28 November 2009, the Ateliers de la Terre organized a conference at Deauville on the theme of “Building a New Equilibrium”, at which the grounds for fear and hope with regard to the Copenhagen Summit were passionately debated.
Bettina Laville, who has been involved for many years in international negotiations on climate and the environment, goes back over that summit, interpreting it in the light of the debates held at Deauville. Echoing the arguments of Brice Lalonde, the French ambassador with responsibility for climate negotiations, she shows the tangible results obtained at Copenhagen. But, apart from the difficulties always encountered by these summits, she also stresses how much the world has changed since the Rio conference of 1992 and how different are the groups of countries that now structure international negotiations.
She stresses, for example, the extent to which we saw at the Copenhagen Summit “a demonstration of power and strength on the part of the new powers,” driven, moreover, by antagonistic concerns, particularly between “the resolve to regard climate change as the number one priority and the desire to promote economic growth.” Far from dissolving into globalization, these groups of countries, rooted in different civilizations, find themselves caught up in new oppositions — particularly with the West.
Consequently, concludes Bettina Laville, the terms and forms of the negotiations have changed radically and new avenues need to be explored between “catastrophism and activism”, in order to implement a concerted strategy for a desirable future. She outlines some of these key avenues here.
At a moment when the exposure of public services to competition is gradually extending in France to such sectors as energy production and distribution, rail transport and postal services,
Jean-François Drevet examines the effects of liberalization, a process that has been spreading within the European Union since the late 1980s.
After delivering a mixed verdict on the earliest privatizations, most notably in telecommunications and air transport, Drevet highlights the worrying prospects for recent and current liberalizations. “How is the public interest to be reconciled with that of a private operator?” he asks, before raising the question of the current relevance of this policy, given the EU’s new objectives — namely territorial cohesion, energy security and combating climate change. He goes on to stress the importance, in this context, of the concept of “smart regulation”
Increasing attention is naturally being given to Asia at the moment, particularly to the emerging nations like China and India, and, for other reasons, the Western offensive against the Taliban is intensifying in the hope of pacifying the situation in Afghanistan. In these conditions, Pakistan, situated as it is at the crossroads between Iran, Afghanistan and China, remains nonetheless a subject of permanent perplexity, not least on account of its complex nature and the complexity of its relations with its neighbours.
With a surface area of some 850,000 sq kms (one and a half times the size of France), a very particular geographical configuration and a population of 180 million inhabitants (perhaps 300 million by 2050), it is the world’s second largest Muslim country after Indonesia. Faced internally with sizeable disparities and, particularly, with acute ethnic and religious tensions, its relations with its neighbours — particularly India, Iran and Afghanistan — are complex and potentially explosive.
Alain Lamballe, who knows this region particularly well, explains its singular situation to us, setting out the threats, both internal and external, facing Pakistan, the perception the country itself has of those threats and the strategy it has adopted. He outlines, too, the fears the world may reasonably have so far as the future of the country and the region is concerned.
The forested surface of the Earth, which was estimated at 5 billion hectares at the beginning of the twentieth century now stands at less than 4 billion. Since the 1990s, 13 million hectares of tropical rainforest have disappeared every year throughout the world, which represents a reduction of 3 % per decade.
As Alain Karsenty reminds us here, deforestation, which has many and varied (economic, agricultural, demographic and cultural) causes, has serious consequences at both the local and the global levels. It endangers biodiversity, destroys soils and renders them infertile, affects the water-cycle and remains one of the main factors of global warming. Since forest soils and vegetation store significant quantities of carbon, their destruction represents a major source of CO2 emissions.
Successive policies have been implemented for conserving the forests and combatting deforestation since the 1980s, in an attempt to limit the loss of this ecosystem and damage to it. The outcomes, notes Alain Karsenty, have not been particularly successful. In this context, after describing these various global-level policies and the reasons for their lack of effectiveness, he raises the prospect of a new international regime “organized around the principle of the remunerated conservation of the tropical rainforests”, in which the credibility of states will be the crucial component. This is, he stresses, a fundamentally different regime, “insofar as its centre of gravity no longer lies in forest-management policies, but in the policies affecting the forests”.
The European Commission was due to present proposals in 2009 for determining the budget of the Union from 2013 onwards. This budget comes today from a contribution based on the Gross Domestic Product (GDP) of the member states and from part of the receipts from Value-Added Tax (VAT).
Discussions have, however, given rise to some bitter polemics and encountered numerous obstacles. This column by Jean-François Drevet explores the various means that might be adopted to provide the Commission with resources of its own — in particular, VAT, corporation tax, the taxation of the financial system and the carbon tax.
La Bibliographie prospective du mois de mars 2010 consacre son Focus au rapport "OECD Economic Surveys: China" publié par l'OCDE, consacré aux évolutions récentes de l'économie chinoise et aux défis qui attendent la société et les responsables politiques à l'avenir. Vous trouverez par ailleurs, et comme chaque mois, une sélection de comptes rendus de livres, études et rapports à dimension prospective, et plus particulièrement pour ce numéro, dans les domaines de l'environnement, de l'Union européenne ...
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Ce chapitre est extrait du Rapport Vigie 2016 de Futuribles International, qui propose un panorama structuré des connaissances et des incertitudes des experts que l'association a mobilisés pour explorer les évolutions des 15 à 35 prochaines années sur 11 thématiques.