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Datum objave: 05.10.2018

European Academy of Sciences and Arts V E N I C E D E C L A R A T I O N

Manifesto for Europe

European Academy

of Sciences and Arts


Manifesto for Europe

On September 25 th we launched the

“Manifesto for Europe” as Venice

Declaration at the Austrian Pavillon of

the Giardini della Biennale di Venezia.

We welcomed members from many

different countries and would like to

thank everybody for coming to Venice

as well as making the presentation of

the “Manifesto for Europe” a special

event. We are very grateful to our

member Hermann Alexander Beyeler

(Lucerne) who supported this meeting


You will find pictures of the event



Introduction (Felix Unger)

The Project Next Europe started in 2015 after

consultation of the Royal Society in London,

the Lincei in Rome, the Academies in Warsaw,

Ljubljana followed by meetings of governments

in Berne, Salzburg, Munich, Berlin, and


Academies are based on the concept of Plato,

who founded the Academy in the garden of

Akademos in Athens. The idea was to discuss

and develop ideas by walking and speaking to

each other in a free way without any

distractions. This Academy lasted 900 years.

Later in the Renaissance, Ficino revived the

core idea and founded an Academy in the garden of the

Medici. His concept has lasted until today. After these

cornerstones it was obvoius to release the Manifesto for Europe in a garden. We have chosen

the Giardini della Biennale di Venezia, where the Arts are concentrated. Thus, the manifesto

should be known as Venice Declaration. We considered the great ideas of academies to

develop ideas in a narrative and open minded way. The Giardini reflected the character of an

F.l.t.r.: Felix Unger, Klaus Mainzer, Werner

Weidenfeld, Wolfgang Schmale

Austrian Pavillon in the Giardini della Biennale

di Venezia

original academy: in a natural environment surrounded by trees without any technical means

such as microphones; the way how Plato focused on new ideas in a narrative.

1. Europe in need (Werner Weidenfeld)

Politics degenerates into the staging of power games without a recognizable strategy. This is far

from the great task of designing public space out of convincing ideas, rationally implementing

co-responsibility as a citizen and as its representatives. The election results acknowledge these

oddities. Regarding the traditional parties, they prove the respective leadership dilemma as well

as the loss of authority. The conventional parties are

losing their approval and at the same time voters'

frustration is linking elsewhere. The political set up just

keeps going as if nothing had happened. Legitimation

crisis describes best the crippling mildew that has

spread over Europe. The dream of embarking into a

new historical era looks different.

Politics is facing the major historical challenges - from

the current mass migration, which may lead to a new

migration period, through the terrorist threat to the

current landscape of global political risks - either with

perplexity or situational crisis management. The longing

of citizens for strategic prospects remains unanswered.

Politicians say goodbye to the cultural horizon. The

political elite remains speechless.

A society without orientation is a society in need.

In essence, the process is tangible: Every person and every society must constantly filter and

sort out the almost infinite number of incoming information. This is especially true in times of

dramatic increase in complexity. One thinks of globalization and digitization, of technological

progress and demographic change - the demand for regularity is immense. History and politics

usually provide orientation that places the individual data in understandable contexts. In times of

the East-West conflict, this global political order of worldwide antagonism was a major source of

orientation. As this era of a global political architecture collapsed, this demand for orientation

was more directly and massively addressed towards domestic producers. Since then, the

political artistry is mostly dealing with challenges of political attention solely with technical


The premodernity has established its identity through relatively simple, manageable ways of life,

through closed world views, through a stable milieu, through a public consensus about the

everyday significance of man's transcendence reference. In the modern age, these cultural

conditions no longer exist: Growing complexity of social organizations, pluralization, but also

instability through liquefaction of the worlds of life, anonymity of social regulations, mobility and

increasing speed of decay of historical experiences, devaluation of traditional loyalties. In this

context, the sociology of knowledge quite vividly speaks of the suffering of modern man in a

constantly deepening state of homelessness.

If we realize today's political failings in that dramatic way, then we must keep in mind an

existential fact: In the political meaning of our lives, we are not box-office owners who are bored

and relaxed following the salvation drama on stage. No - we are participants, co-responsible,

we are contributors. And we must take that very seriously. Otherwise, we will not succeed in

freeing ourselves from the misery of the state and society. There is no political discourse in the

public domain. A narrative is totally missing, even though the narrative allows to find new ways.

2. Innovation space Europe (Klaus Mainzer)

In the worldwide competition of global markets, Europe

depends on the innovation dynamics of its people.

Innovation requires creativity, which is increasingly

concentrated in interdisciplinary research clusters. Energy

networks,  material  science,  information  technology,

environment, climate change, robotics, life science, data

science, medicine and health, cultural studies, identity

research, migration, just to name a few, are problem-

oriented research areas which connect interdisciplinary

disciplines,  transcend  beyond  traditional  subject

boundaries and grow together in new research clusters.

Problem-oriented research aims to get to designing new

products and new skills from basic and applied research.

Europe must therefore set the framework conditions and

incentives for innovation centres in which research and

development of universities and colleges cooperate with

companies  and  public  institutions.  Innovation  thus

becomes a crucial factor in securing future markets and

the quality of life of a society. However, innovation is not only determined by technical and

economic factors, but must also take social, cultural and ecological aspects into account from

the outset. They become factors of sustainable innovation. Only sustainable innovation secures

the future viability of a society.

The increasing complexity of infrastructure tasks today is so vast that we cannot cope without

the support of digitization and intelligent algorithms. Examples are mobility (autonomous

driving), smart cities, energy systems, industry and employment (industry 4.0). At the same

time, algorithms and big data are changing not only science and technology but also economics

and society in an alarming way. The influence of globally operating companies and major

powers shows in their influence over data and algorithms! Europe must prove to be a strong

innovation space for digitization and artificial intelligence to compete globally with the USA and

China for example.

In Europe, however, not only did science and technology emerge, which in the age of

globalization led to global innovation dynamics. Europe has also created a unique cultural

space based on democracy and human rights. This spirit of the European cultural area must be

combined with the dynamism of Europe as an innovation space to remain an attractive living

environment in the future. Specifically, the working and living space will change dramatically

under the influence of artificial intelligence and big data. Europe must therefore create the

framework conditions for education and training systems so that in the age of digitization job

opportunities and zest for life for young people are opened and promoted in Europe. But in the

end, Europe must also ensure the ethical and legal framework conditions (e.g. privacy,

cybersecurity) to shape these future technologies in such a way that freedom, human rights and

democracy are safeguarded as Europe's trademarks.

3. The Europe of young people (Wolfgang Schmale)

Many  factors  prevent  young  people  from

committing themselves to the European Union.

These include the enormous levels of youth

unemployment in many southern EU countries.

Young people hardly see a professional - and as a

result, no private - perspective. This stops them

from being interested in transnational problems and

issues at the European level. The younger

generation often feels "not understood" and

"ignored by politics". This applies to a Europe,

which seems very far removed from the reality of

life of young people. In addition, in many places in

the EU there is a lack of possibilities for economic

participation in clear offers for political and social

involvement for young people. Only two members

of the EU Parliament are currently under 30 years

of age. Particularly in view of the demographic

change and the resulting colossal challenges facing

the young generation of Europe, the inclusion of

young people in European decision-making bodies and processes in the sense of

democratization and a fair coexistence of ages is indispensable. Important for a young Europe

of the future is a clear commitment to freedom as well as a practice of solidarity and

sustainability. Ultimately, it is both Europe's responsibility and interest to effectively integrate the

existing human capital of the younger generation in order to remain competitive in a global

context through innovation and young ideas.

Every innovative development happens in freedom, which you must trust. There are enough

restrictive criteria, the entire regulatory rage, laws still and bad, details of behaviour down to the

smallest vitality, so that every freedom of the individual is stifled. Today's cancer is called

regulatory administration.

Digitization, with its increasing form, also contains elements that restrict freedom and allow a

total control of people. While this brings efficiency everywhere, there is a danger of political

destabilization due to people's displeasure.

One can say that subsidiarity is essential at all levels, because in everyday life, one can better

assess and appreciate things. Here again a facet of freedom emerges, that the regions and

municipalities develop themselves further, but subsidiary in harmonization with the entire line of

own responsibility and in the context of the competition of the powers of the markets.

Any development in all its facets thrives only in freedom, at a freedom guaranteed in

confidence, which is not restricted.

Due to a good material foundation and a spiritual condition, the development of the whole of

Europe can be carried on in freedom, where art, sciences and religions play a big part and are

also the subject of narrative, talking and developing ideas. The narrative falters. The tensions

between East and South, North and West can only be overcome by an intense narrative, that is,

to overcome the unnecessary differences if they are ideologically substantiated. The narrative

makes you free, laws constrict you.

What to do?

Round table at Università Ca’ Foscari di Venezia

Round table convened by: Angjeli Anastas, Bajd Tadej, Beqiraj Gudar, Blechinger Gerhard, Carsetti Arturo, Danca

Wilhelm, Efremov Dimitar, Fioreschy Monika, Horvath Miklos, Jankowitsch Paul, Kakabadse Nada, Kathy-Horvath

Lajos, Kleiber Michał, Leto Alesandro, Madarassy Istvan, Mainzer Klaus, Narkiewicz Urszula, Praet Michel,

Schmale Wolfgang, Branko Stanovnik, Stefenelli Julian, Stih Peter, Toplak Ludvik, Unger Felix, Wallace William,

Weidenfeld Werner

1. Development of a strategy to overcome political stagnation.

Politics must always relate to the citizens of Europe; hence the narrative of what citizens think.

It is about a clear governance of Europe and a strategy with the neighbours, such as Russia,

China and the USA, a positioning as a global player. A reform of the European Council is

needed to make clear, essential decisions. It's about mastering a language for security,

migration, finance and development.

Europe must develop future perspectives, clarify its legitimacy, provide transparency and

identify a clear management structure.

2. Innovation

Innovation and research can and should be done by everyone, not only at the university level

but also by non-university companies. All this contributes to an innovative power to develop a

market for 2050 that is necessary for all. A big topic of the future lies in the digitization with all its

facets, up to the artificial intelligence and robotics, also the human being.

3. Young Europe

The young Europe is the basis of the wider Europe. Here it is necessary to take the concern

and their roots of all seriously. Further, the youth must be included in the political discussion. In

the young generation lies the power of innovation.

Youth strategy means greater involvement of the younger ones. Legislative periods of

representatives should also be shortened to foster a better flow of opinions.

4. Europe of the elderly

The increasing shift of demography shows a significant aging of our European population. This

creates recent problems in the care of the elderly. It is important to emphasize here that people

are in good health to age mentally or physically. The treasure of their experience must not be

lost, and this must be increasingly considered. Here, the dialogue between the elderly and the

younger should be deepened.

5. Confidence in freedom

This is about to further build Europe in freedom and seeing all its cultural achievements in a

tense continent. Europe now has a diversity that is to be welcomed and that is the very charm of

the European profile. Working towards a goal, like 2050.

We live mentally in a tight space, but this one must be designed in such a way that each

regional space contributes to the overall cultural performance. But this is only possible if the

freedom of development is given and the people who develop can assure themselves of the

confidence in freedom.

Europe must not play the role of Greece in the Roman Empire. We cannot become a museum.

6. Considering minorities in different countries to give them space to develop in their own


A special focus should be drawn to the 6 million gipsies across Europe as well as other minority


Commentary by Michał Kleiber

Different questions concerning the pace and nature of the

European integration have been asked over and over again

since the first emergence, more than sixty years ago, of the

idea of a European nations’ formalized, economic and

political rapprochement. After many ups and some downs in

the history of the integration process, and in view of its

complexity we experience today, a relevant and urgent

question appears to be the following – has problems and

occasional malfunctioning of the European Union managed

over years to dominate its still widely acknowledged

achievements and optimistic prospects so that critical

attitudes of Europeans have become a permanent feature of

the Union? Is the current problem real and deeply rooted in

the very construction of the Union or, perhaps, it is only a

result of a misguided perception? Or putting the question yet

another way – is the present situation a right time to continue the implementation of a dream of

a harmonious development of the Union, or should we rather only try to come to terms with the

complicated situation as it is now and give up, hopefully not for ever, the ambitious intention to

build our European future truly together?

Many of us are wondering whether the EU turns out capable of overcoming problems that have

impacted us in recent years. Has the present model of the Union based on achieving a new

state of equilibrium every time after overcoming a crisis become exhausted, bringing the Union

to a state of the permanent crisis? The fact is that the situation today is turning into a

complicated period which in the opinion of many will probably require in the future some

thoughtful modifications in the way the Union operates in both its day-to-day functioning as well

as in setting long-term development priorities.

The critical perception of the situation by many people and growing nationalistic attitudes in

many countries form certainly an important part of the image of Europe today. Here, a

comforting fact may be that individual and often overly emotional opinions turn out as rule to be

more pessimistic than the description of problems in more objective, evidence-based terms. An

interesting observation in this context appears to be that the most severe critique of Europe

comes not from the outside but from within of it. It is truly paradoxical that the rest of the world

looks up to us as an example of a huge historical success story whereas many of us seem to be

so unhappy with ourselves. Again, we may try to console ourselves as it is in a sense easier to

put to order our own house than to change the outside perception of it. However, this

observation would only matter if we had a clear and solid idea how we should now proceed to

change the situation, given the pressing circumstances. No doubts, the way out of the situation

will not to be easy. For decades Europe was the champion of the soft power. With its attractive

economic and social model, it had set standards, attracted migrants and inspired reforms in

post-communist states. Today, European identity becomes more and more difficult to define,

lost in the social unrest and growing national particularism. Many Europeans appear to

increasingly fail to comprehend why they should form a close community. Fortunately, many

more of us still believe that there is no other way but to stand firmly together if only we want to

successfully face the biggest challenges – mass migrations, climate changes, potential

pandemics, religious extremism. Even if Europe consists of communities that are culturally not

identical, we all share common goals and aspirations despite whatever the differences among

ourselves may exist.

A further successful development of the fundamental idea of Common Europe requires

discussions in both political and non-political circles, analysing possible options for a renewed

settlements between citizens, nation-states and EU institutions. A key precondition is a common

desire to kindly explore the European evident strengths and, on the other hand, turn identified

Union’s weaknesses into an instructive lesson and then victorious revival, while never giving in

to an ultimate discouragement.

Given the situation, what could be steps needed to get closer to a solution of the problem with

the consequence, perhaps, of some modification in the way the Union operates?

First, we all need to overcome a serious spiritual crisis. We observe a fast advancing, wider and

wider opening split between the traditional set of values and new social attitudes. How then

should we shape people’s awareness of their European affiliation? Some people would say –

well, it is not that difficult. We simply have to wisely teach history of Europe, let everyone get in

touch with our enormously reach cultural heritage, emphasize the significance of our widely

recognized strengths like human creativity and industrial innovativeness to assure our

development edge. All that is very important but it forms just the beginning of the European

mission today.

The future is extremely demanding. We need not only to understand the past and put to proper

order the present but also – on this basis – to figure out possible scenarios for the future, select

the one which would enjoy the widest support and define the role for each of us in its fulfilment.

To do so we have to identify the critical mega-trends of the world development and address

emerging challenges using the very significant hard and soft power we have at our disposal. We

should not be afraid to come up with far-reaching ideas, using to this aim our political maturity,

economic efficiency, scientific competence and artistic expression, all to address bravely such

pressing issues as immigration, energy security, political and economic relations to global

superpowers, global solidarity hampered today by overwhelming consumerism, preservation of

the environment and effective promotion of the sustainable development, assurance of security

of clean water and energy supplies for everyone, thoughtful reactions to human rights violations,

and many others.

A justified way of looking at things seems to be to say that Europeans are today divided not

according to traditional and sort of natural line separating the left- and right-wing visions of the

future but according to, symbolically speaking, the people’s open and closed mind-sets.

Although I hope it would be probably more correct to see this not as a strictly binary division but

rather as a spectrum of varying views on our common future. In this context, we can mention

some competing scenarios for Europe threatening today to tear the Union apart. Two of the

scenarios are based on the open vison: a neoliberal vison (market discipline, austerity

measures imposed on debtor countries) and Europe that protects (greater solidarity between

citizens and member states). The third scenario is based on a closed vision of a Christian

Union of largely sovereign states.

On the positive side of the current situation we should note such general facts as:

- the significant majority of the European population is still pro-European,

- Europeans (not all of them, but the number is on the rise) still enjoy the highest standard of

living in the whole world,

- Union has recently had over 20 subsequent quarters of economic growth,

- young Europeans take huge advantage of what the European commonwealth has to offer to

them and mostly highly appreciate it, whereas among recent and more specific aspects we can

mention such facts as:

- Greece has left its bail-out programme,

- a new ‘zero-tariffs’ agreement was negotiated with Donald Trump,

- member states are largely united on how to negotiate Brexit conditions,

- EU-Japan partnership agreement is nearly completed, and the list could be long continued.

However, we should rather look beyond the successes and problems trying instead to specify

actual values and interests truly common today to still a great majority of us but which have yet

to become visible in the political agenda of European politicians. Let us face it – the current

crisis has created a sense of dislocation between the EU and its citizens. No doubts, Europe

needs a new settlements between the citizens, nation-states and EU institutions. We need a

more efficient European administration focused on fundamental issues common to all the

member states and not a one which is hyperactive in proposing too many detailed EU laws. In

short, the EU institutions should counter the perception that Brussels is a regulatory machine

that has run out of rational control of the citizens of Europe. However, it is not only politicians

who should be blamed for it – we, the citizens of the member states have so far largely failed to

create a common public opinion absolutely crucial in any attempt to build a strong joint feeling of

commonwealth. Our goal should not be to replace the traditional idea of national patriotism but

to complement it with the idea of the European one – there is nothing wrong in being positively

emotional about the both faces of patriotism so much needed for our common successful future!

Active moves towards this goal could be the encouragement to create pan-European parties to

participate in the European elections, or setting up pan-European programs in public televisions

across the continent so that we can mutually share our joys and sorrows and in this way better

understand each other. Perhaps we should also – I know it is controversial – gradually introduce

Euro-English as a second official language in all the member states – this simply would be an

acceptance of linguistic reality today! Diversity of languages in Europe is an extremely important

cultural treasure – but the ability to easily communicate in everyday activities seems simply to

be `a pragmatic necessity.

Using with pride the attribute of liberal democracy we should not exclude from our vocabulary

another term somehow forgotten these days – a subsidiary democracy, which means a system

ready to delegate problems down to a level at which they can be solved in the most efficient

way, best satisfying those directly affected by it. In other words, we have to anew substantiate

the idea of subsidiarity and apply it to our real-life political decision-making to find a lasting

compromise between all-European universalism and specific interests of particular member


The subsidiarity principle must be so formulated that it is clear what is left to the authorities

in member states and what is delegated on the level of the Union – given the emotions around it

we should not be afraid of giving some decision power to the member states while insisting on

keeping some clearly defined decision power at the Union level. The slogan “More Europe” is

still valid provided we carefully select the areas in which we all want to jointly take decisions and

leave aside those areas which – as for now at least – should be left to the national

governments. Given the complexity of the present world politicians will appreciate, I believe, that

a thoughtful transfer of some decisions on the Union level would simply strengthen also their

national states. We should solve this problem soon – it appears to me that not the matters to

be governed at the Union level are overly controversial – rather, the way of taking decisions

(unanimously or by qualified majority) would be more difficult to decide upon. No one will

seriously object, I believe, to the EU decision making on matters such as major international

policy challenges, defence spending, digital single market, energy union, worker migration

freedom within the Union, quite a few others.

We urgently need to make the public feel its concerns are heard. To this aim we urgently need

to change the election process and then the role of the European Parliament – by moving it

closer to the member states’ parliaments, and also change the role of the European Council,

directly elect the Union president as a symbol of how to involve the public in political processes,

and certainly introduce some other measures aiming at the same.

In spite of, in a sense natural, decreasing of the EU contribution to the global DGP, the Union

needs better capabilities to do world politics in order to continue its role as a strong global actor.

We do not properly exploit promotionally such facts – widely envied elsewhere – that the Union

is by far the world biggest common market, we participate in ¼ of the world trade and contribute

2/3 of the world humanitarian assistance. And that, last but not least, we have proved our ability

by learning from own terrible historical tragedies to be a reliable regional, but also to a

significant degree global guarantor of peace. To be successful in fulfilling our global mission we

need to harmonize among member states our foreign policy, including consistent response to

security challenges and challenges of the future Union expansion. The outer perception of the

Union must be one of a stable and harmonious entity with global ambitions and influence. To

reach this goal the Union needs to

- harmonize its defence activities within NATO to maximize our potential as a guarantor of


- engage in a new partnership with Africa, following the China example, as the

interdependence of Europe and Africa is clearly growing,

- strengthen the euro and expand its use as an international alternative to dollar,

- come fast to an effective agreement on policies regarding immigrants accompanied by


assuring the citizen of the Union of their safety against terrorist danger,

- increase staffing and powers of the EU’s border and coast control,

- greatly improve the crisis prevention and mitigation measures in view of an increasingly

turbulent Europe neighbourhood,

- to seriously consider unconventional measures such as a demonstration in front of the

world of our European unity by, for instance, replacing 28 (+ 1 European) diplomatic

representations in politically less important countries by just one European embassy.

Furthermore, we need to restore the lustre of the European economic model. In it, innovative

activities should play a much bigger role than it is today – the global population has become

very savvy to creative solutions in everyday life and does not accept things which are not up to

the dynamics of contemporary society. This is a vital prerequisite for us to stay competitive in

the globalised world. I strongly believe a great majority of us are ready to pursue such very

ambitious development goals. Many of us also know, on the basis of a broad world-wide

experience and sophisticated scientific expertise, what is needed to define ambitious objectives

and would be fully committed to work hard towards their realization. Unfortunately, in the last

decades our competence and readiness to act has not been translated into practical steps at a

sufficient rate, the reasons being the policy-makers’ indecisiveness and populists’ exploitation of

citizen’ unease creating the pessimistic mood of a coming doomsday.

To improve the economic performance, the Union has to stick to the promise and policies of

digital single market, energy union, workers’ migration freedom within the Union. It has to

actively promote innovative activities by stimulating collaboration between employers, civil

society, tech entrepreneurs, the wider public and governments at all levels as this is essential

for addressing and then solving many of the integration challenges.

There is clear need to revise and unify social policies – the big questions are whether we can

continue working much shorter hours than Americans or Asians, which benefits should be

offered to not working residents and, more difficult, to immigrants, or how to harmonize social

policies across the whole Union.

Education at all levels must be made more European – let Erasmus be an example of what we

can do in this respect! The joint European budget for research is a mere 5 proc. of the research

budget in all the member states combined – the fact which results in lack of collaboration and

difficulties in carrying out large-scale ambitious projects, limited competitiveness and wasteful

duplication of work, completely different systems of national research funding and difficulties in

doing research for the so-called dual use, i.e. research serving both civilian and defence

purposes. All that is entirely different in the US or China with enormous consequences for the

quality of the whole our and their research systems’ outcome.

Let with all my might express in conclusion that I do not believe the EU is merely a fading phase

in history of Europe as some overly critical people tend to see it. We are too strongly united in

universal values which are and will always stay pivotal for a great majority of us, the Europeans.

The vision of Europe’s elites years ago was probably too ambitious to be fulfilled in a few

decades but that does not mean at all that the age of the European Union is gone. On the

contrary, we have a bright future ahead of us, only that we have to believe in it and hardly work

to achieve it. We have to remember that even a limited and imperfect version of being together

is much better than the break-up of what we believe is so precious. A version of the European

commonwealth is an absolutely natural and irreplaceable idea – should we wait until it is

implemented only by the next generation of European or should we do it ourselves?

Prof.Dr. Michał Kleiber, Propraeses Acad., Warsaw

Prof.em.Dr. Klaus Mainzer, Soc.Acad., Munich

Prof.Dr. Wolfgang Schmale, Soc.Acad., Vienna

Prof.Dr.Dr.h.c. Felix Unger, Praeses Acad., Salzburg

Prof.Dr.Dr.h.c. Werner Weidenfeld, Soc.Acad., Munich

Supported by

We are grateful for the support of

Dr. Verena Konrad, Commissioner and Curator

Austrian Pavilion, Architecture Biennale of Venice 2018

European Academy of Sciences and Arts

St. Peter Bezirk 10, A-5020 Salzburg

Tel: +43 / 662 / 84 13 45

Fax: +43 / 662 / 84 13 43


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