The palpitations of the world, the search for new balances

  • International life has become a matter of concern to everyone.
  • So it thus seems necessary to try to understand and discuss what is happening today, the important events and major trends which are taking place and could prove to be long-lasting.
  • The Nations of Europe, organized together or re-united by geography, culture and history, will not be inward-looking. They will have to find their place in a world dominated by powerful groups, where emerging powers are already making outstanding progress and where no one should be left by the wayside.

Perspectives Europe-Monde

The website’s philosophy : global palpitations

Matteo Giovanetti, Le Charmeur d’Oiseaux, 14Th Century, Palais des Papes d’Avignon

 Over the past few years, even in the world’s remotest areas, international life has become a matter of concern to everyone, both those active in it and those affected by it.

So it thus seems necessary to try to understand and discuss what is happening today, the important events and major trends which are taking shape and could prove to be long-lasting.

For those without the necessary tools, we need to provide instruments, basic data, benchmarks and ways of developing understanding and acting. The aim is to educate not teach.

Those who are, or think they are, familiar with the subtleties of the way the “international system” functions must be pushed to the limits of their thinking, given the complexity of the issues at stake and changing nature of the subject.

In any case, no one can consider him/herself to be the sole possessor of the truth, and we will be able to get to the bottom of the realities of the world only if we pool our individual truths, which are by definition piecemeal.

Such an approach requires humanism and solidarity when we communicate with others and openness and receptiveness especially when we are on the receiving end and listening to others.

The major issues of the moment, which will be addressed here, are identified a priori. But for societies as a whole, history is also shaped by upheavals and unexpected events, as demonstrated by the great pandemics; in a positive way it has also told us from time immemorial about the capacity of human beings to overcome the greatest challenges thanks to their adaptability and ability to discover and genius of discovery and invention.

The main themes selected for this site will flow from this. The Nations of Europe, organized together or re-united by geography, culture and history, will not be inward-looking – such an attitude would be futile. They will have to find their place in a world dominated by powerful groups, where emerging powers are already making outstanding progress and where no one should be left by the wayside, both for reasons of humanity and the need to avoid destructive imbalances. The United States, China, Europe and Russia, the Near and Middle East, Africa, the international system, economy, energy resources as well as the environment, education, culture, the arts and sport will be included. The list cannot be exhaustive.

The breadth of the field of knowledge and reflection requires the participation of everyone at all levels of our societies. If this site were destined only to express global palpitations, it would have already achieved a formidable goal.

The common house

Coquelicots d’Asie centrale, peinture sur bois, collection particulière © PP

The initial motivation driving the creation of this website «  Perspectives Europe-Monde » was the will to convey the experience I garnered in international life, serving both the French State and the world of major corporations, which are also strategic players. I am delighted with the initial welcome the site has received, especially among avid students also wishing to take on the big wide world.

It is not a matter of indulging exclusively in recalling and analysing past experiences, but rather it is necessary to adopt a humanist approach, comprised of openness and tolerance, and to foster exchange and communication. 

In this perspective, it is necessary to respect language, or even languages, which are an essential vehicle. The website will therefore be multilingual, to varying degrees. In an apparent paradox, written culture can perfectly accommodate modern-day technologies, such as Internet and image, which today often supersedes this traditional means of expressing thought. This move away from compartmentalisation of the world implies, in turn, a multidisciplinary approach.

Respect of the dignity of individuals, of peoples and of nations whatever their size, concern for independence but also solidarity and liberalism, starting with that of thought (in the sense of 19th century liberal values), the social dimension and reform, dedication to the construction of a vast Europe and unfettered openness to the outside world. These are values and goals that I cannot deny to endorse. 

In this context, the website “Perspectives Europe-Monde” could progressively open its columns to a diversity of expressions, and my ambition is such: that its readers will claim ownership of it and make it their own.

Editorial
A Time for Lifting Lockdown
Parc national des Pyrénées © PP

     

This website begins in a time of lockdown that seems to drag on for-ever, but it would be safe to believe that it preexisted, almost unbeknownst to us, in a variety of symptoms even before the Coronavirus crisis. In any event, there is every reason to be optimistic. Immense and yet unexplored fields exist in both space and the long time of History, without having to exclusively consider the formidable adventure of the rover Perseverance on planet Mars.

The Vendée Globe is a reminder of this: the southern seas are not just a mystery, a source of dread as in the “Roaring Forties” and onwards to the Antarctic, but they are also the cantor of an Ode to Joy. For all, the practice of sport is always accessible in a broad number of disciplines; it has a value in its own right, and it is not dissociated from the highest intellectual activities, as shown in a complex report analysed by the champion Guillaume Martin in Socrate à Vélo (Socrates on a bike). Our perception of things must not be reduced to a few chaotic months or even years, a process repeated time and again in History. This can be ten thousand years for a nation or perhaps even a million years in the case of Syria, the setting for the book Syrie : Mémoire et Civilisation (Syria: Recollection and Civilisation).

These are the main themes broached in the first series of publications on this website, which will endeavour to position us on our continent and in a fascinating relationship with the world, beyond the tribulations and upheavals of our societies, for challenges have always been a source of progress. Humanist inspiration, light, perspectives and optimism are the guiding principles.

Patrick Pascal

  • Former Ambassador
  • Former President of Alstom Group in Moscow
  • Founder and President of Perspectives Europe-Monde
  • Member of the French Institute of International Relations
  • Member of the Professional Development Council of Sciences Po Aix
  • Member of the French Association for the United Nations
  • Knight of the National Order of Merit

Publications

Journal of Ukraine and Russia

Journal of Ukraine and Russia – Crises and the evolution of the international system, prefaced by Professor Charles Zorgbibe, is the work of a practitioner of international relations.

If we are to look at recent international crisis, particularly starting with Afghanistan, we need to take some distance, put into perspective, and try to identify what affects the international system as a whole.

The personalities mentioned are not distant abstractions, the events and interests at stake concern each person living today in a globalized world (…)

To read »

What if Emmanuel Macron named Marine Le Pen to Matignon?

The electoral tsunami of the second round of the recent French parliamentary elections must be put into perspective. The situation certainly seems blocked in the absence of an absolute majority in the National Assembly and a serious prospect of forming a «German» grand coalition. Nevertheless, the centre of gravity of the political debate has shifted to the House, and that can be viewed in a rather positive light (…)

To read »

Romanian lands: at the crossroads of forgotten Europe

The visits, at the end of its European Presidency, of the President of the French Republic to Romania and Moldova as well as to Ukraine in the company of the German Chancellor, the Italian Prime Minister and the Romanian President for the latter destination, cannot be dissociated, but the different stages also have their specificity. If the Romanian lands have indeed become the western flank of a major conflict, it was also time that they were considered for themselves (…)

To read »

Photography

The Empire of Lies

  The late President Ronald Reagan called the USSR the “evil empire”. Today we should be talking about the “Empire of Lies”. In his endless diatribe justifying his decision to recognize the independence of two entities of the Ukrainian Donbass, Vladimir Putin questioned the very creation of Ukraine by Lenin. The Russian President is in fact in the filiation of the latter that Alexander Solzhenitsyn had called an “evil character” (…)

To be seen »

Дом Игумнов, the Common House

Since 1938, the Igoumnov House (Дом Игумнов) is the Residence of France in Moscow. Former mansion of a rich merchant in the nineteenth century, located on Bolshaya Iakimanka street in the historic district of Zamoskvoretche, it is of a «Russian style» – which succeeded the neoclassical constructions after the fire of 1812 – and now rare in the capital and at the same time the symbol of the French presence in Russia (…)

To be seen »

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