A rose-tinted European Internet Future?

This afternoon sees the presentation of “The Digital World in 2025” to MEPs. Do read the report. It raises many issues. What it does not do is give indicators for European Action – beyond a list of the topics that need to be addressed. During one of the main consultation meetings for the report I was lucky enough to sit next to a Chinese diplomatic: excellent english and business and economic understanding. We exchanged perspectives.

My contribution as a “political blogger” to the discussions this afternoon is to ask whether the members of the European Union have the political will to do what is necessary to still be effective intellectual (let alone economic) partners to China and India, when they replace Russia and the United States as dominant global super-powers before 2025.

I have commented in the past that Hong Kong and shaghai rose to prosperity as the entrepots for the west to a corrupt and decaying empire, strangled by its own introverted bureaucracy. Now the futures of London and Antwerp appear to be as the entrepots of the east to …

The European Union still appears bent on economic suicide, creating protectionist centralised regulatory bureaucracies while the rest of the world is demolishing them.

Its fate, will be as a latter day Cannery Row, surfing the overflow of cybercrud  from dominant players on the far side of the world.

However, unlike UKIP, I would still like to believe in the possibility of reform from within.

The words were there in the Lisbon Agenda.

It is the actions that are missing.

EURIM is currently focussed on programmes to educate the forthcoming new intake of UK MPs on what they need to do to ensure we address the challenges of the future.

Some of our members wish to see an equal emphasis on educating the new intake of MEPs with similar messages.

The first challenge is to persuade their colleagues that it is worth the effort.

It is so much easier to tiptoe away rather than engage in political controversy. I well remember a “last chance” some years ago with the HR Directors of a dozen of the UK’s leading ICT employers. They had given up and were awaiting evidence that the politicians were serious about listening to their needs – as opposed to wanting platforms for gesture politics. They are still waiting. 

I believe the turning point will come when the Trades Unions move from trying to protect the jobs of the past to seeking to retrain their members for the jobs of the future.

I look forward to seeing the Unions across Europe demand a rebuilding of life-long learning structures: the 21st century equivalent of the mechanics insititutes, polytechnics and civic universities of the 19th Century – networked with their peers in China and India to produce global career paths. I look forward to seeing them demand a bonfire of the regulations that destroyed their members’ jobs. I look forward … and so on.

The party season is getting to me – I should leave the rhetoric to the politicians