Page 12 - CSA Speaker Bulletin January 2017 | CSA Celebrity Speakers
P. 12


     Is Europe set for
      turmoil in 2017?

Paolo Scaroni is vice chairman           to the migrant crisis. The only way        positive for Europe, for two reasons.
at NM Rothschild & Sons and a            to tackle these challenges effectively
non-executive director of Veolia,        is through ever closer cooperation         Russia is key to the European
as well as being on the Board of         and centralised policies. Without the      economy because it supplies around
Overseers of Columbia Business           UK, which was so profoundly split          40% of our natural gas. A constructive
School.                                  over ceding sovereignty, dragging its      relationship with Russia is therefore a
                                         feet at every corner, the other core       necessity if we are to have access to
The New Year may be off to a             European countries have a real chance      the energy we need, when we need
         chilly start for Europe, given  to pull themselves together and            it, and potentially even at the prices
         the three cold showers which    collectively tackle issues that affect     which allow us to compete on the
shocked the established order in 2016.   us all.                                    global playing field. And Russia is not
First came Brexit, then the election of                                             just a key economic ally for Europe.
Donald Trump in the USA, and lastly      Second, Trump. What his presidency         It is also a key political ally. Russia
the Italian “no” vote in the recent      will look like is a riddle of conflicting  is aligned with the west in the fight
referendum, which cost us our Prime      and unsettling signals. But there is at    against the religious extremism
Minister. What these three shocks        least one encouraging trend emerging       which has destabilised vast
have in common, of course, is that       from the fog, and that is that Mr          swathes of the Middle East and
they are evidence of a wide-ranging      Trump may seek a more pragmatic,           North Africa. A cooperative
rebirth of populism. And this doesn’t    and less ideologically-driven              relationship is therefore an important
bode well for a Europe which is still    relationship with Russia, supporting       pillar of any effective strategy to
sorting out the aftermath of the 2008    its return to the global round-table.      eradicate Isis and address many
financial crisis, and which faces key    And that, too, could be a major            of the issues destabilising Europe,
elections in France and Germany in
the new year.

But on all these fronts, there are
reasons for optimism which are often

First, Brexit. Yes, it was a nasty
surprise for Europe. And yes, the
UK brought an important pragmatic,
liberal voice to the European debate
which will be sorely missed. But the
exit of the UK from Europe is also
an opportunity. The EU faces once-
in-a-lifetime challenges, in terms of
its financial system, its relationship
with its neighbours and its attitude

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