Cette page regroupe l'ensemble des publications de Futuribles sur cette thématique (Vigie, revue, bibliographie, études, etc.)
Following the series on "water-related violence", begun in March 2008 by Pierre Blanc and continued in May, Barah Mikaïl takes a look here at the specific case of the Nile and related issues in East Africa.
The Nile is just over 4,000 miles long and has two tributaries, the White Nile and the Blue Nile. It either passes through or alongside some 10 African countries or is connected with them by its drainage basin (approx. 380 million inhabitants). Among these are three regional giants that are far from politically stable: Sudan, Egypt and Ethiopia (with almost 190 million inhabitants between them). How does the Nile influence the political situation in these countries and the regional geopolitical balances? What are the prospects for the peoples of the Nile region in such a context?
Barah Mikaïl provides a number of analytical keys here and shows what factors will shape these issues of the future. After presenting the particularities of the Nile basin as a hydraulic entity and recalling the historical phases the management of the river's waters has passed through, he enumerates the attendant geopolitical dangers, which include demographic and climatic constraints, social tensions, internal threats and regional rivalries. In this context, the particular case of Sudan seems to be among the most crucial in determining the future for the inhabitants of the Nile Basin.
September's European column analysed the nature and evolution of European popular opposition to the construction of Europe, recalling, in passing, the constant opposition of the Swiss to their country joining the European Union. This month, Jean-François Drevet returns at greater length to an examination of that country, which is indisputably European in culture, lies entirely within the Union geographically, and has a significant community of EU nationals living and working in it, yet which does not seem in any way inclined to join the Union as a fully-fledged member.
Why is this? What is Switzerland's status in respect of the Union? What is the nature of the co-operation between Switzerland and the EU and how might it develop? These are the main questions investigated here by Jean-François Drevet.
Les instances de l'Union européenne savent être inventives. Alors que l'on déplore souvent le manque de concret de la construction et des instances européennes, une initiative récente de la Commission peut contribuer à redorer son blason. Il ne s'agit pas d'une construction juridique sophistiquée, mais d'un programme pragmatique.
Pour bien apprécier les évolutions possibles de la Chine à moyen ou long terme, il convient de rappeler rapidement quelle a été l'évolution de la Chine au cours des 30 dernières années et sur quelle trajectoire elle est actuellement. La question de la durabilité de la croissance chinoise est une question difficile à traiter : les économistes ont apporté des réponses les plus diverses à cette question depuis des années et actuellement les pronostics sont tout autant diversifiés. La question ...
(50 more words)
France took over the presidency of the European Union on 1 July 2008 and will hold it until the end of the year. It is a presidency that began amid a degree of upheaval, following the Irish refusal of 12 June 2008 to ratify the Treaty of Lisbon, which aimed to adapt community institutions to the developments of the Union over recent years. Apart from this key institutional aspect, what are the major issues to be tackled and from what angle?
Elvire Fabry and Gaëtane Ricard-Nihoul coordinated a recent study carried out by 13 European think-tanks - Think Global, Act European - which is intended to guide the next three presidencies of the EU toward these salient issues from a constructive, long-term perspective. In this article, they take up some of their conclusions, calling on the trio of France, the Czech Republic and Sweden to come together to push forward such essential matters as reform of the Common Agricultural Policy, the strengthening of European solidarity, the enhancement of Europe's democratic grassroots and the question of its international stature.
In order to complete its instruments for the comparative evaluation of teaching systems, the OECD has, since 2000, had in place an international programme for the assessment of students, known as PISA. Futuribles devoted an article to the programme in 2002 (no. 279), outlining its methodology and first findings. Since then, other assessments have been carried out as part of the scheme, in 2003 and 2006, and more are already planned for 2009, 2012 and 2015, covering between 40 and 60 countries, depending on the year.
Bernard Hugonnier takes another look at PISA, as it presents itself today, showing the importance of the programme and the advantages it offers for public decision-making. After reminding us of the originality of PISA so far as international comparisons are concerned, he provides a detailed account of the assessment methods used and a presentation of the planned future assessment cycles. He also analyses the latest findings of the (2006) PISA surveys and shows the lessons these provide on the level of students and the weaknesses they may reveal in the educational systems of the participating countries. He particularly stresses that good performances do not necessarily reflect economic investment in education, but rather the effectiveness of systems and their capacity to assist and integrate students from humbler backgrounds.
Like all instruments of evaluation, this one has its faults. For example, it covers only students aged 15 who are not re-assessed later. It is, nevertheless, an essential tool for education policy and, moreover, one that is proposing to develop and to expand its field of investigation.
Following the Irish refusal of 12 June 2008 to ratify the Treaty of Lisbon modifying Community institutions, in this column Jean-François Drevet analyses the nature and evolution of popular opposition to the construction of Europe. He makes a distinction between two types of opposition: a structural opposition involving extreme-Right nationalists and extreme-Left anti-capitalists, and a more conjunctural opposition in the centre of the political spectrum, whose rejection of Europe has to do largely with the poor quality of information they receive or the hypocrisy of national political leaders, who are a little too ready to use Europe as a scapegoat. Unfortunately, Europe's unpopularity may well persist or even grow, says Jean-François Drevet. In fact, without a more reliable, educative output of information, closer Union can be achieved only by disregarding public opinion.
This European column forms part of the extensive special dossier on migration issues in this summer issue. Jean-François Drevet begins by recalling the importance of immigration to the European Union in a context of ageing populations. He goes on to stress the extent to which international migration in Europe is both poorly understood, badly measured and ineffectively controlled, before detailing more precisely the Union's immigration policy, its evolution and the prospects for its future development, the ambition being to make it a fully-fledged community policy by 2014. Lastly, he shows that an immigration policy can neither leave out of account cooperation with the migrants' countries of origin, nor choose to overlook human rights questions. Here, Jean-François Drevet concludes that there is a danger today, that European policy will develop as national policies have done in Europe, bringing heightened repression without genuine effectiveness.
In July 2007, the European Union adopted a regulation aimed at harmonizing the European statistics relating to international migration. As Xavier Thierry shows here, the statistical challenge is sizeable, and it has to be confronted as soon as possible: in 7 of the 27 member states (including France), the numbers of entries and departures from the national territory is not known and, where figures exist in the other countries, they are not all equally reliable or necessarily comparable.
After recalling the sources of information on international migration that exist in Europe (population registers, various surveys, residence permit files), Thierry reviews the definition of "international migrants", before concentrating more closely on the measurement of international migration flows for France and how to improve it. He then proposes some comparisons between countries of the Union, taking account of the difficulties attaching to the existing tools of measurement. Lastly, he turns to the specific case of residence permit statistics, which represent an interesting tool for the evaluation of migration policies, but which are calculated in France in a way that seems rather startling in relation to the new immigration policy announced by the government and not necessarily coherent with the principles adopted at the European level.
In July 2007, the European Union adopted a number of principles aimed at harmonizing European statistics on migration flows. Unfortunately, it is likely to take quite some time to put theory into practice in this area, given the enormous differences between the statistical systems of the member states.
By way of comparisons between various European countries (France, Netherlands, Sweden, Denmark and Norway), Michèle Tribalat shows here how much the methods and definitions used to measure migration phenomena differ, and hence how difficult it is to make such comparisons or, indeed, to evaluate the demographic effects of foreign immigration.
To begin with, she shows, for example, that "net migration change", as calculated in France, is not a reliable indicator and does not reflect actual developments. Hence the desirability of going further and examining the demographic effects of alien immigration, covering not only the direct contribution to the population of a country, but also the indirect (descendants). It is, without a doubt, the assessment of this contribution that is likely to make European statistical harmonization very complicated. The definitions employed in the various countries mean that some mix the generations, some take no account of the mobility of nationals (as a result of which their children born abroad become persons of foreign origin!), and some leave the colonial past out the reckoning etc. In short, if we are to measure migration phenomena in Europe effectively and on a comparable footing, it is imperative, above all, that we develop a precise definition of what we are aiming to measure (and this article sheds important light on this question), in order that the various countries may equip themselves with the proper means of measurement (France has a long way to go to do this).
The Treaty of Lisbon, "modifying the Treaty on European Union and the Treaty Establishing the European Community", is currently being ratified in the various member states of the Union and will come into force only when ratified by all of them (theoretically in January 2009). Like France and the Netherlands, which put an end to the Draft European Constitution in 2005, the United Kingdom may, by refusing to ratify the treaty, block its implementation or - another possible interpretation - put itself in a position to leave the Union.
In this column, Jean-François Drevet reminds us of the distinctive position the British have always occupied in Europe, by dint, among other things, of their historical attachment to the United States and their Commonwealth partners. He also stresses the pragmatism of the United Kingdom, which is mindful of the advantage of belonging to the European economic market, though very hostile to any form of extensive integration. Lastly, he shows that it will doubtless be difficult for the United Kingdom to leave the Union while retaining the economic advantages of membership. The British will therefore very probably remain "in Europe", though the Union may not progress politically as much as it otherwise would have done.
Depuis 1991 et l'implosion de l'URSS, on assiste à un phénomène sans précédent en temps de paix : une baisse notable de la population russe (de l'ordre de cinq millions depuis 1989) due à un accroissement naturel négatif qu'une immigration pourtant importante ne vient qu'en partie compenser. Estimée à 143 millions d'habitants en 2006, la population russe pourrait n'être que de 123 millions en 2030 d'après l'OCDE1. Le taux de fécondité russe ...
(38 more words)
In spring 2008, a White Paper is due to be published in France on defence and national security. One of the objectives set by the President of the Republic for this document is the thoroughgoing reform of the Ministry of Defence. In this article, Marie Badey-André and Anne-François de Saint Salvy, who have a thorough knowledge of French security issues and of the operation of the defence ministry, express their concern at the way the French defence establishment is currently organized and financed, and call for the urgent development of a strategic vision for the defence budget.
In the first instance, they stress the imperative need for a political vision for defence that takes account both of the new status of France (as a middle-ranking power in a globalized system) and the necessary recourse to multilateral structures (particularly those of the European Union) to maintain a strategic position internationally. They go on to call for a strategic management of the defence budget that has the courage to make choices on the future shape of the French defence establishment. Lastly, they propose various courses of action to achieve this, which consist essentially in removing the structural administrative encumbrances the Defence Ministry has to contend with (for example, by promoting joint thinking between the finance and defence ministries).
At the time of going to press in early April, the White Paper had not been published, though, even if it had, no decisions concerning budgets would have been taken. There is every chance, then, that this call for strategic thinking ahead of decisions on French defence spending will succeed in making itself heard.
In this second article in a series on water-related violence, begun in the Futuribles issue of March 2008 , Pierre Blanc examines the Israel/Palestine case. He shows the extent to which, despite a substantial concentration of water in the West Bank, the Palestinian population finds itself in a precarious situation with regard to water. This relates mainly to Israel's stranglehold on a large part of the region's water resources and their management, together with its extensive use of irrigation in agriculture. The building of the West Bank Barrier between Palestinians and Israelis has simply accentuated this inequality in the use of regional water resources.
Despite this, Pierre Blanc informs us, it is not entirely implausible that this very unbalanced situation could be overcome. It is conceivable that some of the water controlled by the Israelis could be handed back to the Palestinians as part of the peace agreements, particularly if a reduction in the number of Israeli settlements could be assumed, but also if Israel were to take the (economically rational) decision to plant fewer "thirsty" crops or to sub-contract part of its agricultural production to the Palestinians (with a simultaneous increase in water supply). The jobs thereby created would contribute to raising the standard of living, which would in turn increase the consumption of higher-value-added Israeli products. But none of this can be achieved without the political will to do so.
As part of the dossier in this issue devoted to the potential geopolitical consequences of climate change on the occasion of the airing of the special co-production on this theme by Futuribles, Mano-a-Mano and Arte (scheduled for 20 May 1008 on the Arte TV channel), Geoffrey Delcroix has examined the foresight studies that have been carried out in this area. As he shows in this article, the question of the geostrategic impacts of climate change emerged only recently, initially in the United States, but it is rapidly gaining importance in the strategic thinking of an increasing number of developed countries, though unfortunately France seems to be an exception.
The author offers a detailed analysis of the most recent major reports on this theme, including the (pioneering) study carried out in 2003 for the Pentagon by the Global Business Network and the further study that followed in 2007, work done for the US navy, a number of other American documents and also studies produced by European think-tanks. As he stresses, the question of the geopolitical impact of climate change (climatic migrants, conflicts linked to the reduction of food or energy resources, changed conditions in theatres of operation...) now has a prominent place in the strategic analyses of the US, British and Swedish defence departments, among others. France, however, is lagging sadly behind in its thinking in this area and urgently needs to make up ground.
As part of the special dossier in this issue on the geopolitical consequences of climate change, we publish here an article on migration linked to climatic phenomena. Drawing on the leading international studies in the field, Étienne Piguet shows the extent to which climate change could give rise to population movements.
Reminding us that this is a theme that has received relatively little attention, he begins by defining the concept closely and underlining the importance of terminology in this field. For example, these migrations will be spoken of as "environmentally induced population movements" rather than as movements of "environmental refugees" - to avoid, among other things, falling foul of the legal regime on refugees as currently defined by the United Nations. He goes on to show what the migratory consequences of global warming might be, as exemplified in three major types of climatic event: storms and floods, droughts and water shortages and, lastly, rises in sea level. As he stresses, this latter phenomenon is probably the only one that would give rise to irreversible migrations (in the other cases, the migrants would generally end up returning to their regions of origin), but it is likely to affect at least 146 million people, if not indeed four times that figure, depending on the time horizon considered.
As Piguet reminds us in his concluding remarks, since it is for the moment mainly the industrialized countries that are responsible for the carbon dioxide emissions which are bringing about climate change, it will be difficult for them to wash their hands of responsibility for these potential climate refugees. It is important, then, to gauge the extent of the problem and develop the resources - particularly the preventive resources - to meet it (e.g. combatting global warming, investing in suitable infrastructure, such as protective sea-walls etc.).
Though it ended almost nine years ago in December 1999, the war which, for more than three years, pitted the Serbian and Albanian communities against each other in the Kosovo region has left its mark. Despite a peace process conducted under international supervision, palpable tensions have remained in this Balkan region, which was until recently part of the Republic of Serbia. As a result of these, Kosovo officially declared its independence on 17 February 2008.
Recognition of Kosovan independence, though made easier by the still vivid memory of the numerous violations of human rights suffered by the (majority) Muslim community in the Milosevic era, still poses a problem for the European Union. This is due in part to the provisions of international law in this domain and, in part, to the relatively incoherent borders of Kosovo and the scattered presence within the area of many Albanian-speaking minorities, which may revive regional tensions. Jean-François Drevet examines the ins and outs of this Kosovan question, particularly from the standpoint of the European Union.
Though there is still no absolute scientific and political consensus on the reality of climate change, concerns about the climate long ago passed beyond the realm of specialist debate, as can be seen from the notoriety acquired by the two Nobel Peace Prize laureates of 2007, the former US vice-president Al Gore and the United Nations Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC). For the futurist, it is time to take a step further and think not only about ways and means of limiting the consequences of human action on the climate, but also about the knock-on effects of climate change on human activities.
Beyond the economic consequences of climatic deterioration, another major question arises: namely, that of the direct and indirect impacts of climate change on the international context and on the future landscape of violence, conflicts, risks and threats. This is the theme that has been chosen - after "2030: the Demographic Big Bang" - for the second foresight co-production between Futuribles, Mano-a-Mano and the Arte TV channel, a programme which is due to air on Arte on 20 May 2008. For the programme we have interviewed Peter Schwartz on this topic. Schwartz, the founder of the Global Business Network, is a renowned futurist, who may be regarded as a pioneer in terms of the study of the threats posed by climate change to international peace and security.
Jean-Joseph Boillot a tout d’abord justifié le choix d’une étude de l’Inde à l’horizon 2025, qui lui paraît être une base de travail raisonnable compte tenu du cycle d’un investissement commercial (compris entre 5 et 15 ans) et, plus subjectivement, parce que cette date ne semble pas trop éloignée.
As an inevitable result of the accession of new member states and institutional reforms, today's European Commission is less and less like the one that was created in 1957. Having expanded from 9 commissioners at its first meeting in 1958 to 27 in 2007, its role has evolved, as this Column shows, and is set to evolve further since, from 2014 onwards, it will have a membership of only two-thirds of the number of member states, with a rotation system and a redistribution of portfolios among commissioners during their mandates. If we add to this the creation of the function of High Representative of the Union for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy, who will also be a member of the Commission, there is a risk, says Jean-François Drevet, that we may find ourselves in an unstable system with a college of commissioners that is less independent of member-state governments, and hence potentially less active and undoubtedly less likely to drive European construction than the Commission in its original form.
China Security est une revue trimestrielle, interdisciplinaire, consacrée aux questions de sécurité qui concernent la Chine et ses relations avec les États-Unis et le reste du monde. Elle est publiée depuis 2005 par le World Security Institute [www.worldsecurityinstitute.org], un centre de recherche indépendant et à but non lucratif basé à Washington, spécialisé dans les « questions » « de sécurité internationale. La revue présente dans sa dernière livraison un dossier thématique intitulé « Debating China’s Future », qui regroupe les contributions de ...
(412 more words)
After two and half years of institutional uncertainties following the rejection of the Draft European Constitution by the French and Dutch electorates in 2005, the 27 member states of the European Union agreed in October 2007 on a so-called "simplified" text: the Treaty of Lisbon or "The Treaty modifying the Treaty on European Union and the Treaty Establishing the European Community". Signed on 13 December last, this treaty is currently in process of ratification in the various member states (the French ratified it in parliament in February 2008).
What is the nature of this document? What are the main differences from the previous Draft Constitution? In what ways will it modify the operation of European institutions and with what consequences, particularly at the political level? Robert Toulemon, an astute observer of European construction, here offers us a detailed analysis of the Treaty of Lisbon, regretting, as he does so, that the prospects for genuine political union have receded somewhat.
" Le gouvernement chinois a déclaré sa victoire partielle dans sa lutte contre les pires neiges et glaces en 50 ans, mettant en valeur les puissantes forces générales nationales, tout en reconnaissant que le pays en était toujours à la phase primaire du socialisme avec un développement déséquilibré entre villes et campagnes, et des infrastructures de transports et d'énergie relativement faibles". À travers la paralysie des transports et les pénuries d'électricité, l'hiver exceptionnel qui a frappé la Chine ...
(25 more words)
In this month's European column, Jean-François Drevet examines the issues that arise for Europe from the Black Sea region. The Black Sea is increasingly becoming a crucial place of transit for hydrocarbon imports from the Caspian and Russia into the European Union. The considerable increase in this traffic raises both environmental problems (the risk of oil slicks) and issues of security of supply, on account of the economic and political fragility of some of the bordering or neighbouring states (Ukraine, Georgia, Armenia, Azerbaijan, Russia/Chechnya etc.). This is why, as Jean-François Drevet stresses, the European Union has been trying since the mid-1990s to claim a role in the management of the affairs of the region. With two bordering states (Rumania and Bulgaria) joining the EU in 2007, cooperation in the Black Sea has become a priority within the framework of the European Neighbourhood Policy, and this column delineates a number of the obstacles that still have to be surmounted.
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.