Strategy, Politics and Competitiveness: the Decline of Europe

As a regular blogger, I have an unusual vantage on what’s happening in the World, especially in Europe. In the last two years, I have traveled extensively in Asia and seen how Asia’s millennials are better prepared than most of Europe’s millennials, ignoring the children of the privileged and wealthy, of course.

On a daily basis, I compare the media output from China, Russia, Europe and North America.

Let me share some of my observations.

These days, China, Russia and Japan, have strong leaders, with vision and clearly focused on strategic priorities. They are delivering enormous strategic change, improving the competitiveness of their economies.

Meanwhile, the UK, Germany, France and the US are being led by political-fixers. These political fixers focus on short-term political advantage and subordinate strategy. Politics at national, European and local level is about compromise and fire-fighting. Muddled economic thinking in Europe has led to excessive use of austerity, rather than addressing the strategic and structural challenges.

Because of the short-sightedness of political leaders in Germany, France and the UK, Europe is in decline, with enormous numbers of young people, millennials, out of work and probably facing the social exclusion of a life without work.

As an expert in strategy and delivering radical change, I see enormous waste and absence of focus. Politicians and bureaucrats at European, national and local level, are content on

English: Mao of Europe. The continental bounda...

English: Mao of Europe. The continental boundary to Asia as indicated is the standard convention following the Caucasus crest, the Urals River and the Urals Mountains to the Sea of Kara العربية: الخريطة الهجائية لأوروبا (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

feathering their own nests.

Recently, I have been blogging about the absence of an effective European policy on energy that addresses strategic challenges. I have also cited that the way that the EC paternalistically doles out funds to the likes of Cyprus is dysfunctional, politically driven, without a strategic reference point.

Any thoughts on reversing Europe’s decline?

EUROPA – PRESS RELEASES – Press release – European Commission adopts ‘Partnership Agreement’ with Cyprus on using EU Structural and Investment Funds for growth and jobs in 2014-2020

The legislative triangle of the European Union

The legislative triangle of the European Union (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

This is a MUST READ press release from the European Commission who  are planning to give Cyprus EUR700 million.   via

EUROPA – PRESS RELEASES – Press release – European Commission adopts ‘Partnership Agreement’ with Cyprus on using EU Structural and Investment Funds for growth and jobs in 2014-2020.

The press release will be of interest to those interested in both Cyprus and EU reform.

Whilst the EUR700 is good news, it will no doubt come with qualifications from the various EU funds. Careful reading of the document shows that the approach is “The EU has lots of money, guys how can we give some to poor old Cyprus?”.

There is no evidence of a strategic review of Cyprus. Indeed the press release fails to mention Cyprus huge offshore gas reserves.

If the EU were giving out aide in response to strategic requirements of the EU and Cyprus, it would focus on both offshore oil and gas.

Given the overall context of Europe’s crisis, the size of the EU’s available funding and the strategic importance of investing in Cyprus’ energy sector, the promised EUR 700 million is far too small.

Clearly, the EU process is paternalistic and political, so the strategic needs of both Europe and Cyprus have not really been considered. This, of course, brings into serious question the effectiveness of the European Commission.

Any thoughts?

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