Chairman of the Robert Schuman Foundation
Created in 1991, the Robert Schuman Foundation is a benchmark research centre that works in support of European integration.
A member of the Supervisory Board of Arte France and former Special Advisor to the European Commission, Jean-Dominique Giuliani has a long-standing commitment in all areas of European construction. He was previously Maître des Requêtes at the State Council, head of staff of the cabinet of the President of the French Senate Mr René Monory (1992-1998) and Manager at the Taylor Nelson Sofres group (1998-2001). In 2001, he founded his own international consulting business, of which he is the Chairman.
His publications include:
He also co-directed the Permanent Atlas of the European Union, Lignes de Repères, 2012.
In all the enlargement countries, take for instance the Baltic countries, people have now taken on a more anxious perception of the situation
The French are very hypocritical! They know that they are very well treated, in other words very well protected. They also know that the system will need to be reformed in order to save it. But they are saying: not right away! Please wait a little longer, Mr Executioner.
Our error in Europe is that we explore our differences without putting them into a global perspective. We would have to be able to rely on the same type of study on other continents. For instance, I'm not sure that regarding risk, the Americans are all that different from us.
In our developed countries, risk aversion flourishes because real risk is disappearing. Take the example of air travel – last year, there were only 17 accidents for 800 million passengers and 6 million flights. The same goes for rail and road travel. And also for social welfare: 50% of global social spending is made in Europe. We live in an environment in which risk has largely disappeared!
If I were a spin doctor, I'd tell our leaders they should be the first ones to take risks! When European leaders do so, and this is reflected in this Observatory, you can see that the population is reassured; it reduces anxiety levels.
In Germany, there is a collective dimension, very different from French individualism. The Germans have a sense of collective effort over the long term, and you can see this right down to their consumption patterns. People consume less in Germany, they spend less on housing!
Risk-taking is connected with doubt. And doubt is part of our way of thinking on a metaphysical plane– this is the country of Descartes. I even believe this could be said of Europe, which is known the world over for this specific feature. You think, therefore you doubt. You understand the issues, but you remain cautious. This can sometimes lead to paradoxes. For instance, people are very unhappy with the European Union but they don't want to leave the euro.
Cocteau used to say that an Italian is a good-tempered Frenchman.
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