Angela Merkel between EU presidency and technological sovereignty

Angela Merkel between EU presidency and technological sovereignty

Gianni Bessi's post – author of “ House of Tsar. Geopolitics and energy in the time of Putin, Erdogan and Trump "- on Merkel's thoughts, words and works between Berlin and Brussels

This is the first stage of a journey in the Zeitgest of Europe, during the European semester under the German Presidency. We will start from Berlin, with its excellences, its contradictions, its drives, and from there we will look at the European and international chessboard. And we will do it just as his Chancellery is heading for the most difficult test: to hand over his political legacy to the judgment of history.

On this trip I am accompanied by a young professional, Ph.D Filippo Onoranti, who concentrates his research work on the theme of environmental sustainability, that is one of the three pillars of the speech that Angela Merkel gave on June 19 at the Bundestag , insisting on a perspective that intertwines the technical and scientific bases with the economic, social and cultural implications.

Having clear ideas and flying high has always been a habit for Angela Merkel, 'das Mädchen' (the girl) as her mentor Helmut affectionately called her 'Birne' Kohl.

His fourth term as Chancellor is about to match the Father of the Wiederveinigung, Chancellor for three years who crowned his leadership with the reunification of Germany on October 3, 1990.

Frau Angela cannot be denied today the nickname "mother of the Germans". Just as his chancellor is coming to an end, with the shadow of the most devastating recession in recent history due to the first pandemic in the globalized world, a challenge for which eurozone cohesion is at stake is being pushed to the highest level.

In the aforementioned speech to the Bundestag he outlined what the goal is: «Europe is not something we simply have, but something we can and must form and manage. Europe is an open and dynamic order of peace and freedom, which we must and can constantly improve ». And the appointment with fate occurs precisely in the last year of his fourth term – and in his opinion last – in which the EU presidency of Germany falls.

As List owner Mario Sechi tweeted, "a speech with clear ideas that flies high on three points: transformation of the economy and climate, technological sovereignty, defense of democracy".

The chancellor's concern stems precisely from the weakness that "the pandemic has highlighted with great clarity […] in the digital field, both as regards technology and as regards services".

Frau Merkel has no qualms about putting the term "sovereignty" before the concept of digital, because it is precisely a European development in the field of technological innovation that is the nerve center of a necessary autonomy. The road to achieving this digital independence does not mean that in Europe we must be able to do anything, but that we must be able to decide for ourselves where and how the creation of a secure and reliable European data infrastructure should be set. As well as where and how to build "capacity in critical technologies such as artificial intelligence or quantum computing".

This transformation will be all the more rapid – and sustainable in turn – the more we know how to use the information available to us, coordinating strategies and practices aimed at reducing waste and using low-impact resources. Technologies that to power the flywheel of the system programmatically improve monitoring on methods, for example, of the production and distribution of energy and other environmental resources. The challenge of progress can only pass from the capacity of Europe, understood as the EU, to place itself at the top of the value chain: it can therefore only be digital.

Those who do not accept this evidence, those who choose to stay on other segments of the challenge for economic, environmental, social and cultural sustainability, preferring the sterile prudence of slogans and easy vetoes, in addition to not producing that added value linked to technological innovation, it condemns itself to low margins, to an unsustainable political perspective at all levels and to the only option of reaping resources through the instrument of taxation. Furthermore, a redistribution through incentives favors only those who can already access high-tech products, but do not allow the development of skills suitable for the challenge. And so the existing inequalities are consolidated, remaining far from preventing those that emerge.

It is fashionable to call them big data but 25 centuries ago – Onoranti reminds me – it would have been called "formal causes"; the matter does not change. The data are the top of the value chain, the recipe that allows you to combine the ingredients. Efficiency may be one of the drivers of the current industrial revolution, of economic and therefore ecological transformation, but it also affects the democratic form, security and independence of our society.

"The world needs the strong voice of Europe right now". A voice to which perhaps das Mädchen, in the German semester and in the last year of his fourth term, wants to hand over his political legacy to present himself in the presence of the judgment of history. Sustainability is one of its seals.

The journey continues.

This is a machine translation from Italian language of a post published on Start Magazine at the URL on Sun, 05 Jul 2020 05:27:49 +0000.