Yeni Dünya Ekonomik Düzeni

Ekonomik yaptırımlar ve karşı yaptırım uygulayan ülkeler, ortaya çıkan bölgesel ticaret blokları, bozulan tedarik zincirleri ve baskı altındaki Dünya Ticaret Örgütü gibi uluslararası kuruluşlar; dünya ekonomisi eskisi gibi değil. Ekonomik düzen derin bir dönüşüm geçirdiğinden, açık bir küresel ticaret sisteminin mutlu günleri sona erdi. Bu değişimin merkezinde birkaç faktör yatıyor: Çin’in yükselişi, ekonominin “varlığa dayalı menkul kıymetleştirilmesi (securitisation)”, pandemi, iklim değişikliğini dizginleme ihtiyacı ve gecikmiş bir sosyal yeniden dengeleme.

Çin’in ekonomik başarı öyküsü, küresel güç kümelenmesini yeniden şekillendirdi. Ne de olsa ekonomi, askeri ve jeopolitik gücün yanı sıra nüfuzun da temelidir. Başarılı ekonomilere sahip ülkeler, teknolojilere ve altyapıya yatırım yapmak için daha çok araca, yeteneğe ve kaynağa sahiptirler. Amerika’ya Soğuk Savaş’ta üstünlük sağlayan şey ekonomik ve teknolojik üstünlüğüydü. Çin artık ekonomik bir dev haline geldiğine göre, doğal olarak ABD’ye hegemonik anlamda da meydan okuyor.

Onlarca yıl boyunca, dünya ekonomisi net bir iş bölümüne sahipti. Amerika Birleşik Devletleri dünyanın tartışılmaz ekonomik lideriydi; Çin ise Batı pazarları için ucuz ürünler üreten dünyanın atölyesiydi. Ancak Çin’in bu rolden memnun kalacağını düşünmek yanıltıcıydı. Halk Cumhuriyeti, yavaş yavaş, ABD’nin yerini alan ekonomik bir çekim merkezi haline geldi. 1980’lerde Çin, dünya ticaretindeki payı yüzde 1’i bile bulmazken, bu rakam yaklaşık yüzde 15’e yükseldi. Çin, yüzlerce sanayi malının en büyük üreticisi ve önemli doğal kaynakların önemli bir ihracatçısıdır. Küresel GSYİH içindeki payının yüzde 18’e yükselmesiyle, dünya çapındaki büyümenin üçte birini yönlendirmesi bekleniyor. Çin bir kez daha ekonomik ağırlık merkezi haline geliyor.

Ekonomik başarı aynı zamanda teknolojik ilerlemeye de yol açıyor. Pekin, yapay zekadan kuantum hesaplamaya kadar, gelişen teknolojilere yatırım yapıyor. Amaç, tam da ABD ve Avrupa’nın ekonomik rekabet güçlerini elde ettikleri alanlar olan geleceğin endüstrilerine hakim olmak. Made in China 2025 stratejisinden 2021-2025 Beş Yıllık Planına kadar çok sayıda Çin stratejisi, teknolojik liderliğe ulaşma ihtiyacını vurgulamakta. Çin, 2035 yılına kadar teknoloji lideri ve 2050 yılına kadar bilim ve inovasyonda dünya lideri olmayı hedefliyor. Teknolojik liderlik aynı zamanda askeri avantajlar da getirecektir.

Çin’in jeopolitik yükselişi

Pekin, vatandaşlarına refah sağlamak, Komünist Parti yönetimini güvence altına almak, aynı zamanda büyük bir güç olmak ve nüfuz kazanmak için güçlü, yüksek teknolojili bir ekonomiye ihtiyaç duyuyor. Çin Komünist Partisi, Orta Krallık’ın ABD’nin önüne geçmek ve dünyanın hegemonu olmak için ’hayatının şansıyla’ karşılaştığına inanıyor. Çin’in, uluslararası arenada daha merkezi bir rol üstlenmek için ideal bir zaman olan “stratejik fırsat dönemi”nde olduğunu düşünüyor.

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Çin’in ekonomik nüfuzu jeopolitik bir koza dönüşüyor. Çin, 130’dan fazla ülkenin yanında son zamanlarda toplam ticarette ABD’yi geride bırakan AB’nin de en büyük ticaret ortağıdır. Çok sayıda ticaret anlaşması ve Çin’in Kuşak ve Yol Girişimi, bu değişimi pekiştiriyor ve ekonomik nüfuz alanının kurulmasına katkıda bulunuyor. Strateji, jeopolitik hegemonya için daha kapsamlı mücadelede ABD’yi marjinalleştirmek; ama aynı zamanda Afganistan ve genel olarak Orta Asya gibi ABD’nin iktidar boşluğu bıraktığı bölgelere girmek. Kuzey Amerika, Çin’in Kuşak ve Yol Girişimi’ne dahil olmayan tek kıta. Çin, Sun Tzu’nun Savaş Sanatı ilkelerini takip ediyor: ana güçten kaçının, boşluk olan yerlere nüfuz edin. Stratejinin, satrançtaki gibi rakibinize kafa kafaya saldırmak yerine bölgeyi kuşatmak ve boşalanları kontrol etmek olduğu, Go olarak bilinen, masa oyunu Wei qi oynuyor.

Çin, ekonomik gücünü, davranışları nedeniyle çıkarlarına zararlı olduğunu düşündüğü ülkelere baskı yapmak ve cezalandırmak için kullanıyor. Norveç, 2010 yılında Çinli muhalif Liu Xiaobo’ya Nobel Ödülü verdiği için dışlandı. Moğolistan, 2016’da Dalai Lama’nın ziyaretinden dolayı mağdur oldu. Covid-19’un kökenlerine ilişkin bağımsız araştırma talebinde bulunan Avustralya gibi, Filipinler de, 2014’te Güney Çin Denizi’ndeki gerilimlerin sonuçlarına maruz kalmıştı. Çin, dünya ekonomisinin hakim tepelerine çıkmaya çalışıyor. Mevcut ekonomik düzende Batı ve özellikle Amerikan egemenliğine karşı bir meydan okumayı temsil ediyor. İdeolojik olarak bu, aynı zamanda iki farklı politik ekonomi sistemi, Çin’in otoriter devlet kapitalist sistemi ile Batılı liberal, demokratik serbest piyasa ekonomisi arasındaki bir çatışmadır.

Dünya ekonomisi daha çok Çin merkezli hale geldi. Ekonomik çekim merkezi, transatlantik havzasından Asya’ya doğru kaydı. ABD-Çin ticaret savaşı bu nedenle sadece bir ticaret savaşı değil. Bu bir Trump takıntısı da değildi. Ne de olsa Başkan Joe Biden, Donald Trump’ın Çin’e uygulanan gümrük vergisi oranlarına dokunmadı. Bunun yerine, hegemonya için daha muhteşem rekabette bir harekat alanı oluşturdu. ABD yaptırımları, Çin’in ekonomik genişlemesini durdurmayı amaçlıyor. Aynı şekilde, ABD’nin kilit teknolojiler üzerindeki ihracat kontrolleri, Çin’in gelişimini kısıtlamak ve onu yüksek teknoloji tedarik zincirlerinden koparmak amaçlı.

Aynı durum Biden’ın ‘Daha İyi Bir Dünyayı Yeniden İnşa Etmek’ ve AB’nin ‘Küresel Geçit’i gibi yeni girişimleri için de geçerli. ABD, AB ile Güneydoğu Asya ve Afrika gibi bölgelerdeki ülkeler arasındaki ilişkileri artırmak için tasarlanan bu bağlantı önerileri, Çin’in Kuşak ve Yol Girişimi’nin etkisini geri püskürtmeyi amaçlıyor.

Dolayısıyla Çin’in yükselişi, gelecekteki dünya ekonomik düzeni üzerine bir mücadeleye yol açıyor. Aynı zamanda, ekonominin varlığa dayalı menkul kıymetleştirilmesine yönelik daha geniş bir eğilim bulunmakta.

Karşılıklı bağımlılığı silah haline getirmek

Ekonomik ilişkiler ve karşılıklı bağımlılık silah haline getirildi. Enerji alanında Rusya, Ukrayna üzerinde baskı uygulamak ve Avrupa’yı Nord Stream 2 boru hattına izin verme konusunda sindirmek için bir araç olarak doğal gazı kullandı. Çin, nadir toprak mineralleri gibi kritik hammaddeler üzerindeki tekelini aynı şekilde kullandı. Tokyo ile diplomatik bir çatışmada Pekin, Japonya’ya nadir toprak elementleri ihracatını yasakladı.

Finans söz konusu olduğunda ABD, doları İran’a karşı bir silah olarak kullandı; Tahran’ı dünyanın en önemli finans ağından çıkardı ve Amerikalıların Çin ordusuyla bağlantılı şirketlere yatırım yapmasını yasakladı. New York Menkul Kıymetler Borsası’ndaki birçok firma listeden çıkarıldı. ABD, Çin hükümetinin, hassas kullanıcı bilgilerine potansiyel erişiminin ulusal bir güvenlik riski olduğunu savunarak, bir Çinli şirketi, eşcinsel topluluğu flörtleşme uygulaması Grindr’deki hissesini satmaya bile zorladı.

Ticaret savaşları, yaptırımlar ve teknoloji ambargosu – yeni bir dünya düzen doğuyor.

ABD ile Çin arasındaki iplerin kopması meselesi bu. İkisi de, ekonomik tıkanma noktalarını bir diğerinin kontrol etmesini istemiyor. Çin, “ikili dolaşım” stratejisinin bir parçası olarak, diğer ülkelerin Çin’e ekonomik bağımlılığını artırırken, yarı iletkenler ve Wall Street gibi dış ekonomik malzemelere ve pazarlara olan bağımlılığını azaltmak istiyor. Örneğin Pekin, kamuyu aydınlatma konusundaki yeni yükümlülüklerin korkusuyla Çinli şirketlerin ABD borsalarında işlem görmesini istemiyor. Bu nedenle, doğrudan yabancı yatırıma kapı açarken Çinli firmaları Wall Street’te listelenmekten caydırıyor.

Hem ABD hem de Çin, ekonomilerinin güvenliklerinin temel bir unsuru olduğunu kabul ettiler. Washington, “ekonomik güvenliğin ulusal güvenlik olduğunu” vurgularken, Çin, ekonomik ilişkileri güvenlik şartlarıyla çerçeveleyen “kapsamlı ulusal güvenlik” kavramını ortaya koydu.

Ticaret savaşları, yaptırımlar ve teknoloji ambargoları – yeni bir ekonomik düzen doğuyor. Clausewitz’den alıntılayarak: ekonomi, savaşın başka araçlarla uzantısı haline geldi. Bu, jeoekonominin kurucusu Edward Luttwak’ın “ticaretin gramerinde tercüme edilen çatışma mantığı” dediği şey. (5) Avrupa’da, özellikle Fransa Cumhurbaşkanı Emmanuel Macron, savunma politikası üzerine yaptığı bir konuşmada, “küreselleşmenin egemenliğimiz ve güvenliğimiz üzerindeki doğrudan ve dolaylı etkileriyle yüzleşmemiz gerektiğini”, “maddi ve maddi olmayan kaynakların ve dolaşımların kontrolünün yeni güç stratejilerinin anahtarı olduğunu” ve rekabet ile karşılıklı cepheleşme arasındaki çizginin artık “tamamen bulanıklaştığını” belirterek, bu yeni gerçeği idrak ettiğini gösterdi. (6)

Covid-19, iklim krizi ve sosyal yeniden dengeleme

Dünya ekonomisini yeniden yapılandıran üç faktör daha ortaya çıktı.

Birincisi Covid-19. Pandemi, sıfır stok üretime dayalı tamamen verimlilik odaklı bir küreselleşmenin kırılganlığını vurguladı. Çin’de montaj hatları durma noktasına geldiğinde, dünyanın her tarafında yansımaları oluyor. Avrupa Ticaret Odası Çin başkanı Jörg Wuttke, “Her şeyi üretimin en verimli olduğu yere koyma türünden küreselleşme sona erdi” şeklinde vurguladı.

Bu nedenle dayanıklılık anahtar bir kavram haline geldi. Şirketler, aksamalara ve baskılara karşı daha dirençli yeni üretim modelleri arıyor. Birçok ülkenin karantina sonrası artan talepleri nedeniyle karşılaştıkları tedarik zincirindeki kesintiler, mevcut sistemin ani şoklara ve dalgalanmalara karşı nasıl dayanıklılıktan yoksun olduğunu vurguluyor. Jeopolitik gerilimler, silah haline getirilmiş karşılıklı bağımlılık ve ayrıca tehlikeli iklim olaylarındaki artış, Ever Given konteyner gemisinin Süveyş Kanalını tıkaması gibi diğer kazalar göz önüne alındığında, daha düzenli olarak aksamaların olasılığını artıyor.

Aynı zamanda, pandemi, Avrupa ülkelerinin başta tıbbi ürünler olmak üzere birçok temel ürüne aşırı derecede bağımlı olduğunu gösterdi. Örneğin Fransa, farmasötik öncüllerin yüzde 80’i için Çin’e ve diğer Asya ülkelerine güveniyordu. (7) Bu nedenle hükümetler, vatandaşları için temel ürünlerin güvenliğini sağlamak üzere tedarik zincirlerini nasıl çeşitlendirebileceklerini kendilerine soruyorlar. Örneğin Japonya, kendi şirketlerini, üretimlerini tekrar Japonya’ya veya en azından Çin’den diğer ülkelere kaydırmaya ikna etmeyi umarak üretimin ülke içine taşınması programları başlattı.

Son beş yıl, devlete daha büyük bir rol verilmesi yönüne doğru istikrarlı bir dönüş gördü.

İkincisi, küresel ekonomik düzen iklim sorunuyla karşı karşıya. Gerekli yeniden yapılanma, endüstriyel üretim süreçlerinin iklim dostu hale getirilmesinden ve örneğin hava taşımacılığında yeşil hidrojenin kullanılmasıyla küresel ulaşım sisteminin karbondan arındırılmasından, daha yerelleştirilmiş üretimin sağlanmasına ve nakliye rotalarını kısaltmak için bazı endüstrilerin ülke içine taşınmasına kadar uzanmakta. Robotik, otomatik sistemler ve katmanlı imalat ve 3D baskı gibi yeni teknolojilerdeki gelişmeler, üretimi ülke içine taşımayı daha ‘yapılabilir’ hale getiriyor.

Uluslararası ticaret sisteminin iklime dayanıklı hale getirilmesi, kendi zorluklarını da beraberinde getiriyor. AB’nin bir ‘sınırda karbon ayarlaması mekanizmasını’ uygulamaya koyma planı, karbon fiyatlandırması gibi yeterli iklim politikalarına sahip olmayan ülkelerden AB’ye gelen ürünlere ayrıca bir tarife ekleyecek. Çin başta olmak üzere pek çok ülke, planları, ‘ticarette yeşil korumacılık’ olarak eleştiriyor ve sistemin Dünya Ticaret Örgütü kurallarına uygun olup olmayacağı da belirsiz. Bu bağlamda, AB’nin ticarete bir iklim boyutu ekleme planları, gerilimi artırmakta ve genel sistem üzerinde daha fazla baskı oluşturmakta.

Sonuncu ama elbette aynı derecede önemli noktalardan biri de, dünya ekonomisinin sosyal olarak yeniden dengelendiğini görüyoruz. Yıllar geçtikçe, gelir eşitsizliği birçok ülkede arttı. Amazon gibi dijital devler, rekabeti boğucu hale getirerek ve resen satın alarak yarı tekel statüsüne kavuştu. Hükümet liderleri, giderek artan bir şekilde, bunun çok ileri gittiğini, eşitsizlikle mücadele ederek ve büyük işleri dizginleyerek neoliberal ekonomiden uzaklaşmaları gerektiğini fark ettiler. Japonya’da, Ekim 2021’den bu yana görevde olan Başbakan Fumio Kishida, “erdemli bir büyüme ve servet dağılımı döngüsüne” dayanan “yeni bir Japon kapitalizmi” sözü verdi. (8) ABD’de Başkan Biden, “işçi merkezli bir ticaret politikası” için çağrıda bulunan 1,75 trilyon dolarlık bir harcama planı ortaya koydu ve Big Tech’teki rekabete aykırı uygulamalarla mücadele etmek için antitröst yasalarını yeniden şekillendiren bir kararname imzaladı. Çin’de Xi Jinping’in yeni anlatısı, iş dünyasına (ve parti içindeki iç muhalefetin) müsamaha göstermeyen ve eşitsizliği azaltmayı amaçlayan “ortak refah” üzerine odaklanıyor. Birleşik Krallık’ta Muhafazakar Başbakan Boris Johnson bile sosyal bakım için vergileri artırdı.

Cesur yeni bir ekonomik dünyada Avrupa

Dünya ekonomik düzeni büyük bir dönüşümün içinde. Bir yandan daha jeopolitik ve ABD-Çin hegemonik çatışmasının bir savaş alanı haline geliyor. Öte yandan, şoklara karşı daha dayanıklı, iklim dostu ve adil hale gelmesi gerekiyor. Bu noktaların her ikisi de hükümet ve piyasa güçleri arasındaki etkileşimi yeniden kalibre ediyor. Son beş yıl, devlete daha büyük bir rol verilmesi yönüne doğru istikrarlı bir dönüş gördü. Devletler sağlık sistemlerini, sosyal güvenliği ve ekonomiyi kurtarmak için devreye girerken, salgınla birlikte tam gaz yol aldı. Pandemi sonrası soru, ekonomide devletin gelecekteki rolünün ne olacağı. Bunun gibi, Çin’in ekonomik oyunda Batı’yı yeneceği korkusuyla, Batılı ekonomilere de kopyalamaya dair çağrılar yapıldı.

Çinin yöntemleri, ekonomide daha büyük bir role soyunuyor. Bununla birlikte, Batı’nın ekonomik başarısı, şirketlerin özgürce rekabet edebilecekleri açık bir ekonomi ile teknoloji ve yeniliği teşvik eden, sosyal güvenlik ağları sağlayan ve ekonomiyi belirli yönlere itmek için kurallar koyan bir devlet arasındaki bir denge üzerine inşa edildi.

Bu denge son on yılda kaybolmuş olsa da, Yeşiller, dünyanın ekonomik düzeninin geçirmekte olduğu dönüşümlerin farkında olan bir ekonomik stratejiyi teşvik ederek bu yaklaşımı yeniden canlandırma şansına sahipler. Her politika ideal olarak jeopolitik, ekonomik dayanıklılık, sosyal denge ve iklim açısından değerlendirilmeli. Sorunları uzun süredir enine boyuna düşünen Yeşiller için şu an ideal bir fırsat. Yeşil Düzen ve yeni teknolojilerin ve inovasyonun teşviki konusunda kapsamlı bir deneyim getiriyorlar. Aynı zamanda sosyal meseleler için mücadele ettiler ve sanayiyi geri getirmek ve Avrupa ekonomisini daha dayanıklı kılmak amacıyla politikaları yeniden canlandırmak iüzere baskı yaptılar.

Almanya Yeşilleri’nin özellikle önemli bir rolü var. Liberaller ve Sosyal Demokratlarla birlikte Avrupa’nın en büyük ekonomisinin üç partili bir koalisyonunun ortakları olarak, yeşil, serbest piyasa odaklı ve sosyal açıdan dengeli (aynı zamanda dirençli ve jeopolitik) bir ekonomik dönüşüm stratejisi geliştirmek zorunda kalacaklar.

Bunu başarmak kolay olmayacak. Özellikle yatırım söz konusu olduğunda, üç taraf arasındaki müzakereler zorlu olacak. Yeşiller, yeşil altyapıya yapılan yatırımları teşvik etmek için Almanya’nın borç freninin gevşetilmesini tercih ederken, Liberaller bunu sıkı sıkıya yürürlükte tutmak istiyor. Ancak bu sürtüşmeden, ekonomilerimizin karşı karşıya olduğu zorluklarla başa çıkmanın yeni yollarını bulan yenilikçi öneriler geliştirilebilir. Sonuçta, ihtiyaç duyulan şey bu. Ekonomi büyük bir dönüşümün pençeleri içinde; onu yönetmek yeni fikirler gerektirecek.

Affordable Public Transport for a Fairer Scotland

With energy prices spiralling, green policies like free public transport or capping ticket prices are on the table. Evidence of the transformational potential of alternative public transport models is growing from experiments around the world. A new report by the Institute for Public Policy Research gathers insight on how affordable transport in Scotland can tackle inequality and advance the country’s climate goals.

There are strong local and global imperatives driving emissions reductions in transport. When this is focused on reducing car trips, not just changing or improving the vehicles we use, then there are great rewards for people’s health and wellbeing, and those currently disadvantaged by our transport system stand to gain the most.

A new report by the Institute for Public Policy Research (IPPR) concludes that – when done alongside improvements to public transport, walking and cycling interventions, and support for people to live well locally – reducing car use in Scottish cities can tackle inequality, especially for those on low incomes, at the same time as tackling the climate crisis.

A new approach to transport

Like the rest of the UK, Scotland has a transport system that is not working for many people. People on low incomes are less likely to have access to a car, but more likely to be exposed to the negative aspects of a transport system dominated by cars.

In Scotland, only 40 per cent of households with a net annual income of up to 10,000 pounds (11,390 euros) have access to a car, compared with 97 per cent of those with an income of over 40,000 pounds (45,683 euros). Meanwhile, low-income households are more likely to suffer from polluted air and more likely to be killed or seriously injured on the roads. In fact, children in the 20 per cent of most deprived areas in Scotland who are travelling on foot or by bike are more than three times as likely to be involved in a traffic accident than in the 20 per cent least deprived areas.

People on low incomes are much more likely than high earners to rely on buses. They are also less likely to be served by buses that meet their needs, with a transport system that prioritises commuter journeys into the centre of towns and cities, and with fewer services available for the more local trips such as to the shops or for childcare.

The IPPR research found that over 60 per cent of people on low incomes in Scotland say they worry about being able to afford transport. The odds are stacked against those who are already materially worse off, with those with less money often locked out of savings they could otherwise access if they could afford higher upfront costs. This is clear in the electric vehicle market, where electric cars are expensive to buy but cheaper to run, but also in costs like monthly bus passes, and the increased costs of food shopping when paying for travel to cheaper shops is out of reach.

Affordability and reliability of transport are vital for those managing the mental and practical burdens of making ends meet.

So – what needs to be done?

Reducing the need for cars

Scotland’s climate change legislation sets a legally binding target to reach net zero in 2045, five years ahead of the rest of the UK. To get there, the Scottish government have also set interim targets – including a 75 per cent reduction in emissions by 2030.

Scotland is also unique amongst the UK nations in setting out a target for reducing the distance travelled by cars; by 2030 this must reduce by 20 per cent. Edinburgh and Glasgow have gone further with local targets of 30 per cent.

Over half of people from low-income households across Scotland surveyed agreed that reducing the need for cars would make Scotland a fairer country. However, this support was conditional on making it easier and cheaper to get around without a car in general, and improving public transport services in particular.

Affordability and reliability of transport are vital for those managing the mental and practical burdens of making ends meet.

This means more reliable services, more affordable fares, better connections to further out neighbourhoods, and better training for staff working on buses and trains on how to ensure people from all walks of life feel welcomed and included.

Better public transport is a crucial part of fairly reducing car use. It also makes it easier for those on low incomes, many of whom do not have a car, to get about and access what they need.

To see a shift away from car journeys, we also need improved provision for people to get around on foot, bike, or wheelchair. Of course, reducing car use is not just about shifting how people get about, it is also about how much and how far people travel. It should be easier for people to access goods, services, amenities, and social connections within their local area.

Russia’s invasion of Ukraine sent the cost of fuel at the pumps rocketing. The former Chancellor and UK Prime-Minister-hopeful Rishi Sunak, announced a fuel duty cut in his spring statement. However, research from the New Economics Foundation has found that only 7 per cent of the savings from cutting fuel duty will go to the poorest fifth of households; one-third will go to the richest fifth. It is a policy that is not targeted at those most in need.

Cheaper or even free public transport alone is not enough to create the needed shift away from cars.

Genuine concerns about car reduction initiatives can be weaponised by those with vested interests in the status quo. To ensure fairness is baked into the shift away from car use, policymakers must engage with the needs of those on low incomes at every step of the way.

Looking across Europe for inspiration

The UK can look to its European neighbours for inspiration in how to combine tackling the cost of living, improving energy security, and reducing emissions in one clear action: cutting public transport costs. Spain has seen a 30 per cent discount on public transport, including metros, buses and trams, and is set to make some rail travel free from September until the end of 2022. A 3-month experiment – which the government promises to continue – allowed travellers in Germany to buy a monthly public transport ticket for nine euros. These tickets allow people to travel on local and regional services.

And there are many more examples of subsidised or free public transport to look to. Free local public transport covers 100 towns and cities worldwide, including 20 in France, as well as in Poland, Sweden, Italy, Slovenia, Estonia, and beyond. Luxembourg is believed to be the first country in the world to offer free standard-class public transport for all – across trains, trams, and buses.

Cheaper or even free public transport alone is not enough to create the needed shift away from cars. It is not a panacea. It provides an immediate benefit to many–especially those who are currently worst served by the current system– but to exploit its potential in reducing carbon emissions, fare reduction needs to be implemented alongside improved services, better provision for active travel, and disincentives to drive.

Leaving none behind

The IPPR study surveyed the views of people living on household incomes of less than 15,000 pounds (17,084 euros) per year in Scotland. This demographic showed significant support for measures that would restrict car use in cities, particularly for giving more space to pedestrians. Yet almost two-thirds (65 per cent) of people on low incomes do not believe their needs are considered in decisions about transport. Maintaining public support is vital, so what can practitioners delivering car reduction schemes do to maximise fairness in the schemes they deliver?

Policymakers must be clearer on whose voices matter in consultations, and secure early involvement from those who are often disadvantaged by the transport system. They should also help build a strong evidence base of public support for action. The public support is there and demonstrating it to policymakers can encourage them to spend hard-won political capital on pushing for radical changes.

Achieving a large-scale change in transport demand cannot just fall on the transport system; it needs wider changes in land use, digital access, and service design. And the Scottish government is taking steps on these. There is also support for the principle of 20-minute neighbourhoods – the idea that you should be able to access what you need locally – and funding for walking and cycling.

The Scottish government’s Covid-19 pandemic response included emergency funding for infrastructure interventions that created pedestrian, bike and wheelchair paths on the streets. Programmes like these demonstrate what can be achieved quickly. They are also an opportunity for cities like Glasgow to test and then make permanent successful schemes. However, polling for Disability Equality Scotland showed that 71 per cent of its members felt that the initial design of some of these projects made it more difficult to get around, pointing to details like missing drop kerbs. It could not be clearer that for schemes to be effective, they need to be fair.

Pour une démocratisation du monde du travail au 21ème siècle

Face à la numérisation, ainsi qu’aux chocs tels que la pandémie Covid-19 et les évènements météorologiques extrêmes, le monde du travail évolue rapidement. Cependant, cette transformation ne doit pas devenir une fatalité que les travailleurs sont contraints à endurer passivement. Il devrait plutôt s’agir d’un processus démocratique dirigé par les travailleurs eux-mêmes. En marge de la conférence « Blueprint for equality » de l’Institut syndical européen (ETUI), nous avons rencontré Isabelle Ferreras, co-autrice d’un nouveau livre appelant à une réorganisation de notre système économique actuel pour une véritable démocratisation du monde du travail.

Green European Journal: Première des grandes tendances dans la transformation du monde du travail, le numérique et la dématérisalisation d’un nombre croissant d’activités. Quel nouveau visage voyez-vous se dessiner pour le travail ?

Isabelle Ferreras: Le grande réalité de la numérisation, c’est la perte de physicalité du travail. Dès le moment où le travail est équipé d’outils technologiques qui permettent un travail à distance ou assisté par ordinateur, ce qui n’est pas nouveau, les travailleurs ne se réunissent plus dans un même lieu. Dans l’analyse par Marx du premier âge du capitalisme industriel, la concentration – urbaine – de travailleurs dans l’usine joue un rôle de support pour la conscientisation. Elle permet de passer de ce qu’il appelait la « classe en soi » à la « classe pour soi » : non seulement être une classe sociale, mais en avoir la « conscience de classe », afin que la classe ouvrière puisse se prendre en main politiquement, c’est-à-dire se mobiliser. Cette opportunité de se retrouver dans un même lieu, avec le rythme imposé par capitalisme industriel, permettait que les ouvriers se connaissent entre eux, prenaient leur pause ensemble, se parlaient, bref ils se rendaient compte qu’ils partageaient des conditions de vie très similaires et donc potentiellement les mêmes problèmes… qui appelaient des solutions communes.

Aujourd’hui, de mon point de vue de sociologue du travail, ce qui est frappant dans la numérisation de l’économie, c’est l’individualisation la plus grande possible des situations de travail qui fait que peuvent travailler ensemble sur un même projet un ingénieur qui se trouve à Dehli, un autre à Boston, un troisième qui sous-traite quelques lignes de code depuis l’Afrique du Sud ou l’Ukraine. Tous ces gens interagissent via une plateforme électronique, sans se connaître, sans qu’il y ait d’interconnaissance personnelle, sans qu’il y ait les possibilités de se rendre compte qu’on fait partie d’un même « investissement en travail » nécessaire à l’entreprise. C’est ce concept d’investissement au travail que j’ai proposé pour identifier l’ensemble des travailleurs et de travailleuses nécessaires à la réussite d’une production ou d’un service.

En somme, on est passé du « travail en miettes » à la « classe ouvrière en miettes ». La perte de matérialité, c’est la perte de socialité. C’est aussi une perte de puissance physique pour les travailleurs, dans la perte de masse.

Je pense que dans la radicalisation de cet émiettement, se forge aussi une prise de conscience. Les travailleurs aspirent à autre chose. On peut le voir à travers deux exemples. Premièrement, l’augmentation massive des gens en réorientation professionnelle depuis la crise du covid qui répond à l’aspiration à ce que le travail reprenne du sens. Il y a eu une vraie souffrance pour les travailleurs « non essentiels » à travailler devant leur ordinateur, enfermés chez eux avec cette interface. Répondant à cet enjeu en espérant éviter de perdre leurs travailleurs, des entreprises britanniques se sont lancées dans une expérimentation à taille réelle. Vient en effet de démarrer en Angleterre la plus grande expérimentation de la semaine des quatre jours. Une cinquantaine d’entreprises sont en train de la mettre en place, à salaire constant pour un meilleur équilibre entre vie professionnelle et vie privée. On escompte que les travailleurs seront aussi productifs en quatre jours qu’en cinq avec un gain de qualité de vie. Les travailleurs comme les entreprises en sortiraient donc gagnants.

Les choses bougent et il y a une aspiration à ce que le travail ne soit plus cette expérience d’émiettement. L’autre révélateur de cela, ce sont évidemment tous les efforts que les entreprises font pour essayer de créer du lien par la culture d’entreprise. Il y a en effet urgence pour répondre à l’enjeu de ce que les économistes appellent la « rétention », c’est-à-dire réussir à retenir la force de travail dans un « marché du travail » super tendu, en augmentant la satisfaction au travail pour que les travailleurs restent fidèles à leurs entreprises. Les employeurs font advenir toute une série de transformations plus ou moins profondes, en permettant aux travaileurs de peser sur les décisions qui les concernent, par exemple sur l’enjeu de la combinaison entre le présentiel et le distanciel.

En France, une enquête produite par l’Association Pour l’Emploi des Cadres (APEC) en janvier 2021 montrait que neuf managers sur dix se rendaient compte, alors qu’on pensait être sorti de la crise du covid à ce moment-là, que cette crise impliquait qu’ils allaient devoir changer fondamentalement leurs méthodes de management : être beaucoup plus à l’écoute, construire du lien dans les équipes, donner plus de pouvoir, etc. Ça, en termes d’organisation du travail, c’est l’opportunité à saisir face à un système qui montre ses limites. Il esr donc urgent de mettre à l’agenda le démocratisation du pouvoir au sein de l’entreprise. Le Parlement européen a d’ailleurs voté une résolution historique le 16 décembre dernier qui demande d’avancer sur les différentes dimensions de la démocratie au travail, en particulier à l’occasion de la révision de la directive sur les Comités d’entreprise européens. Ainsi, nous affirmons dans « Democratize Work » le principe du droit de veto collectif des travailleurs à peser sur les décisions de l’entreprise via leurs représentants au sein des Conseils d’administration, dans un approfondissement du modèle allemand, ou via les Comités d’entreprise, car ils sont les seuls gouvernés par elles.

2. Prenons alors cette autre tendance radicalement inverse : l’intensification de la matérialité du travail est forte dans un autre secteur, celui du care, les soins à la personne, et même à la planète. Comment se marie votre premier constat avec cette autre grande tendance à l’émiettement ?

Effectivement, en parallèle à cette première tendance, il y a la prise de conscience qu’on va avoir besoin de plus de travail humain, et, espérons-le, pas de plus d’exploitation non reconnue et non payée. Il y a donc une opportunité ici : prendre conscience que, pour diminuer notre empreinte sur la planète, arrêter les dommages et prendre soin de la planète, nous allons devoir créer quantités de postes de travail nouveaux et que personne n’a encore songé à payer pour ces tâches-là. Prendre soin de la planète comme des autres humains, par exemple au travers des services publics, cela exige de plus en plus de travail. C’est un impensé, vu le préjugé qui perdure depuis les années 1990 sur la fin du travail, et qui revient depuis 10 ans à l’occasion des spéculations sur le « future of work » qui nourrissent l’idée d’une disparition de la moitié des postes de travail tels que nous les connaissons aujourd’hui, en particulier grâce à la montée en puissance de l’intelligence artificielle.

Le contenu intrinsèque de tout job a pu changé avec chaque révolution technologique. Mais l’enjeu-clé ici est que nous devons prendre conscience qu’il y a beaucoup plus de travail à assurer nous-mêmes pour ne plus dépendre de nos esclaves énergétiques. Et que nous devons aussi sortir de l’informel toute la partie du secteur du care qui n’était en fait qu’une exploitation du travail des femmes. Egaliser les conditions de vie et donner autant d’opportunités aux hommes qu’aux femmes exige d’investir massivement dans la petite enfance, par exemple.

Pourrait-on imaginer que finalement si la caisse automatique remplace les caissières, ce n’est pas si mal si on ne les envoie pas au chômage mais justement dans un secteur où il y a quelque chose de l’ordre du soin à la personne ou à la société ?

Bien sûr. J’ai justement mené ma thèse de doctorat en sociologie sur l’expérience de travail des caissières de supermarché, à la charnière des années 2000, au moment de l’introduction des premiers self-scannings dans les magasins. Comme les tisserands face à la mécanisation des machines à tisser, la controverse et réaction identitaire a très forte. Mais on a entendu ce raisonnement, aussi : « si on nous remplace, ce n’est pas plus mal parce que ce n’est quand même pas génial comme boulot ; si on avait pu faire autre chose, on aurait essayé de faire un travail plus intéressant ; moi je n’ai pas tellement envie que ma fille devienne caissière… ». On ne peut pas se réduire à penser le travail comme juste un emploi. Ce n’est pas « juste » une source de revenus ou une position sociale qui permet de garantir l’accès aux prestations de la sécurité sociale : c’est une expérience de vie qui doit être conforme à nos aspirations dans le cadre d’une société démocratique décente.

La troisième grande tendance est la question de l’urgence climatique et de la biodiversité, donc du vivant. On l’a synthétisé dans l’UE sous la forme de la « transition juste ». Quel regard portez-vous sur la façon dont l’Europe répond à cette exigence ?

Le syndicat IndustriALL a sorti un manifeste récemment que j’ai trouvé très intéressant car il y est affirmé un principe à propos de la transition juste : rien qui ne concerne les travailleurs sans les travailleurs. C’est le principe de la « participation démocratique » aux décisions qui concernent la vie des personnes concernées en vue de répartir les efforts et de sécuriser les travailleurs affectés. Dans le Manifeste Travail, nous mettons en avant ces deux principes de démocratisation et de démarchandisation, en vue de dépolluer. La transition juste que l’Union européenne dessine pour le moment n’est pas du tout suffisante pour garantir à la fois le rythme et la manière nécessaires.

Il manque un vrai engagement sur le principe démocratique du gouvernement de la transition. Il s’agit de mobiliser toutes les personnes concernées pour qu’elles-mêmes prennent les décisions qui vont les concerner. C’est aussi une question d’efficacité dans la décision. Ainsi, certains secteurs ne vont pas se décarboner suffisamment vite. Donc on doit envisager la fermeture de certaines entreprises. Peut-on imaginer que les employés concernés n’aient rien à dire sur une telle décision et sur la méthode d’extinction de leur entreprise qui sera choisie ? Confier leur futur individuel au seul marché du travail ? C’est de la folie ! Qui peut croire que c’est une bonne approche ?

Il est primordial d’injecter le principe de démocratisation dans les entreprises pour que les travailleurs puissent y avoir un vrai poids. C’est le principe du « droit de veto collectif des travailleurs », comparable à ce que les apporteurs de capitaux exercent aujourd’hui au niveau des entreprises via le conseil d’administration.

Dans de nombreux pays existe déjà l’institution nécessaire : le comité ou le conseil d’entreprise. Les travailleurs y sont représentés au travers de leurs organisations syndicales. Sur toutes les décisions relatives à la transition, il faut que les travailleurs soient complètement co-décideurs, particulièrement des conditions dans lesquelles leur entreprise va fermer.

On peut trouver complètement irréaliste d’imaginer que les gens acceptent de saborder leur propre entreprise. C’est bien pour cela qu’il faut aussi un principe de « démarchandisation » du travail. Il s’agit de sécuriser les parcours au niveau individuel. D’où l’idée d’instaurer une garantie d’emploi au niveau européen, financée à l’échelle de l’UE mais administrée et gérée localement. C’est la proposition que nous faisons dans la tribune qui a donné lieu au Manifeste Travail, inspirée par les travaux de Pavlina Tcherneva.

Ce qui se passe en France avec les « Territoires zéro chômeur de longue durée » (TZCLD) est fort pertinent de ce point de vue. Ainsi le gouvernement wallon a décidé ce printemps de consacrer 100 millions à expérimenter un dispositif similaire. 19 projets ont été déposés. Ces TZCLD pourraient préfigurer la Garantie d’emploi : l’État finance, donc il est l’employeur en dernier ressort, mais pas pour produire des fonctionnaires « à la chaîne » dans des espaces de travail déshumanisés ; plutôt pour construire et pourvoir les postes d’emploi qui ont du sens au niveau des territoires et pour ceux et celles qui les occupent. Les TZCLD sont en pleine extension. Elles créent des postes nouveaux, que ni le marché par manque de rentabilité, ni l’associatif, ni les communautés locales n’avaient déjà créés. C’est un processus local, avec un Comité local pour l’emploi, intégrant autour de la table toutes les parties-prenantes qui se mettent d’accord sur les besoins de ce micro territoire (8500 hab. environ), où, du fait du faible nombre d’habitants, il y a une forte interconnaissance des besoins et des personnes. On augmente ainsi la résilience des territoires. En France, 40 % des postes créés pour le moment sont dans le domaine des soins à la personne et 40 % des soins à la planète.

Vous parlez souvent des différents modèles sociaux des Etats-membres en Europe. Il y a en effet des préférences culturelles partagées, mais y a-t-il pour autant un modèle social européen ?

Il me semble que vu la magnitude et l’échelle des problèmes, c’est une question de responsabilité de nourrir le niveau européen. En outre, avec la guerre déclenchée par le régime de Vladimir Poutine en Ukraine, la dimension de l’échelle européenne fait à nouveau de plus en plus sens pour les citoyens en Europe. On doit aller vers un approfondissement de la démocratie au niveau européen. C’est dans ce sens que vont les propositions de Thomas Piketty par exemple sur un nouveau traité démocratique européen, comme les avancées très intéressantes dans le cadre de la Conférence sur le futur de l’Europe.

Ils doivent s’envisager comme des laboratoires de démocratie eux-mêmes, devenir les champions de l’inclusivité.

Il me semble qu’une « Garantie d’emploi » annoncée au niveau européen serait un signal très puissant face au problème lancinant du déficit démocratique en général, et au reproche de faible légitimité de l’échelon européen. Vous imaginez si l’Europe pouvait garantir un emploi quoi qu’il se passe : si vous êtes touchés par la crise et/ou par la nécessité que votre entreprise ou votre secteur d’activité doive fermer ou faire une transition rapide qui vous impactera personnellement ? C’est vous qui allez décider avec votre communauté locale ce à quoi ça ressemblera. Ce ne serait pas l’Europe qui prend le pouvoir, dans la transition, mais l’Europe qui soutient et permet une véritable reconversion écologique –comme dit Dominique Méda- juste.

Il y a eu à une époque des éléments en ce sens avec la Garantie Jeunesse par exemple. C’est le bon modèle ?

Non, la Garantie Jeunesse n’est pas suffisante. Mais c’est clairement une étape, une marche sur laquelle on peut s’appuyer pour monter en efficacité. À Bruxelles, le service public d’emploi de la Région bruxelloise a mis en œuvre une version très extensive de la Garantie Jeunesse, qui a permis au chômage des jeunes de passer de 32 à 25 % entre 2014 et 2018 par exemple. Ce fut un succès qui démontre qu’il est bien possible d’agir par le niveau européen sur les enjeux de l’emploi et du travail. Il me semble vraiment que c’est une question de volonté et de priorités politiques.

Au fond, c’est bien un enjeu de démocratie. D’où la question des contre-pouvoirs. Quel regard posez-vous sur l’état contrasté du syndicalisme européen ? Y a-t-il des raisons d’espérer pour le syndicalisme européen ?

On est sans aucun doute dans un moment de recul. Les taux de couverture syndicale dans les pays où ça n’est pas automatique, comme la Belgique, diminuent.

Quand je suis partie étudier aux États-Unis, j’ai découvert qu’en fait le syndicalisme y avait été très puissant, contrairement à l’idée qu’on s’en fait en Europe. Mais les organisations syndicales se sont fait en fait éradiquer par un effort concerté des puissances capitalistes. C’est tout le projet politique néolibéral intellectuellement armé par Milton Friedman : que seul le soi-disant « libre marché » organise le réel.

Aujourd’hui, la situation est dramatique en termes de présence syndicale dans le secteur privé : seuls 6% des travailleurs Américains sont syndiqués. Mais les signaux de revitalisation sont nombreux : Amazon, Starbucks, Apple, etc., ces entreprises sont en train de paniquer devant le regain de vitalité syndicale. Ce sont des luttes très difficiles dans le contexte américain car il faut gagner un vote pour gagner le droit d’être représenté par un syndicat au cas par cas : implantation, magasin, un à la fois… Les droits des travailleurs, pourtant consacrés par la Déclaration universelle des droits humains, ne sont pas du tout pris en sérieux aux USA. Des initiatives courageuses comme le rapport « Clean Slate for Worker Power » invitant à une refonte complète du droit du travail ; couplées aux mobilisations actuelles sur le terrain offrent des raisons d’espérer.

De plus, je pense que les syndicats doivent absolument se renouveler de l’intérieur. S’ils ont une légitimité historique et dans le futur, c’est parce qu’ils sont ce véhicule collectif de la représentation des travailleurs. Ils ont la capacité de construire la solidarité au-delà des lieux de travail, “trans-entreprise » comme disait Georges Friedmann, père de la sociologie du travail française. Mais pour le moment, ils s’arc-boutent sur les secteurs où ils sont encore un peu forts, pour défendre parfois les intérêts corporatistes de leurs catégories de travailleurs traditionnels : c’est-à-dire les hommes blancs. C’est un danger. Ils doivent s’envisager comme des laboratoires de démocratie eux-mêmes, devenir les champions de l’inclusivité. Ce sont eux qui doivent réussir à avoir les travailleurs avec un background de migrant, les femmes, toutes les minorités qui sont en fait présentes dans le travail mais qui ne sont pas celles qu’on voit dans les organisations syndicales.

Donc le syndicalisme européen subi exactement le même processus de délégitimation que les partis politiques et tous les corps intermédiaires : d’un côté l’atomisation, et de l’autre une grande difficulté à sortir de son cadre de confort.

Je veux croire au renouveau du syndicalisme européen cependant. C’est une question centrale dans les discussions aujourd’hui, dans les panels de la conférence organisée par la Confédération européenne des syndicats et l’Institut syndical européen. Si je devais donner un conseil aux syndicats, c’est de toujours veiller à devenir en interne ce qu’ils soutiennent comme horizon de transformation social. Leur force en sera démultipliée.

L’autre acteur essentiel, c’est l’État. Mais comment mettre en place une régulation globale quand les moyens et la juridiction de la puissance publique qui doit l’appliquer restent nationaux ?

Au cœur de mon travail se trouve cette hypothèse que les entreprises sont des entités politiques. Nous devons comprendre qu’on ne peut plus se permettre collectivement de les tolérer comme des exceptions despotiques dans le cadre d’une société qui se veut démocratique. Il faut trouver la manière d’insérer ces entreprises dans l’architecture démocratique. Tant que nos États étaient forts et que les frontières étaient fermées pour le capital (soit jusque dans les années 1970), l’autorité publique pouvait compenser ce despotisme des entreprises : on les « encadrait » et on les taxe. La question de l’aliénation des travailleurs était tout aussi vive à l’époque, mais le compromis fordiste était articulé sur la croissance et la redistribution.

Aujourd’hui ce compromis s’est effondré. Ce n’est pas seulement pour une question morale qu’il faut se préoccuper de la situation des travailleurs, c’est une question politique et démocratique. On ne peut plus tolérer une telle puissance politique aux mains d’acteurs privés, qui monopolisent le droit de gouverner ces entités, sont transnationaux et échappent à la puissance publique, et ont fini par occuper une place beaucoup trop importante dans nos vies politiques nationales. Nos Etats sont des nains politiques qui ne parviennent plus à réunir l’autorité nécessaire pour faire respecter les priorités politiques de nos sociétés –le respect des limites planétaires étant la priorité vitale absolue.

Nous devons comprendre qu’on ne peut plus se permettre collectivement de les tolérer comme des exceptions despotiques dans le cadre d’une société qui se veut démocratique.

Il y a en gros deux options. Soit la pente technologico-despotique à la Elon Musk, qui pense que la technologie va nous sauver, que le despotisme éclairé de quelques entreprises capitalistes va nous permettre sérieusement de prendre en main nos problèmes, y compris la question du climat. C’est évidemment un leurre complet. Mais il y a une alternative : c’est la démocratisation de ces entités et leur ré-insertion dans l’architecture politique.

Pensez-vous que l’État contemporain soit équipé pour ce genre de mission ?

En Europe, il l’est. Si on regarde l’Union européenne, elle est déjà très avancée dans sa construction, et pourrait à un moment donné décider d’imposer des conditions aux entreprises présentes sur son territoire, en disant : « nous, société européenne, sommes une société démocratique. Vous, entreprises, n’êtes pas juste des petites organisations économiques, mais des entités politiques qui, si elles le veulent, peuvent bénéficier de toute l’infrastructure que la démocratie vous offre (l’éducation de notre population, nos infrastructures sociétales et matérielles, etc) mais pour lesquelles nous devons donc obtenir des garanties : cesser de miner la démocratie, précisément ». Il faut mettre des conditions de démocratie interne aux entreprises, c’est-à-dire les démocratiser.

On dispose déjà en Europe d’un instrument, ce sont les conseils d’entreprise européens. Il y a plus d’un millier d’entreprises qui ont la taille pour être considérées comme actives au niveau européen et ont mis en place un comité d’entreprise européen. C’est une directive qui date de 1982 et qui est en pleine rediscussion. Evidemment les entreprises veulent le moins possible de révision de la directive pour que ces comités aient le moins de poids possibles. Mais la Confédération européenne des syndicats veut au contraire étendre leurs droits. La bonne nouvelle c’est qu’une résolution votée le 16 décembre dernier par le Parlement européen appuie en ce sens.

Jje défends l’idée qu’il faut les mettre à niveau de parité de pouvoir dans la hiérarchie des normes internes à l’entreprise, pour que ces comités d’entreprise européens valident les décisions comme le fait un conseil d’administration. Là, la relation entre États et entreprises va changer.

Aujourd’hui, on voit bien que les entreprises font tout pour miner toute possibilité pour la puissance publique de les réguler, de les taxer, etc. Les citoyens eux-mêmes sont à la fois citoyens dans la cité et citoyens au travail, ils ne sont pas schizophrènes. Il est clair que la jeune génération qui rentre dans les entreprises aujourd’hui porte toutes ces préoccupations pour le climat. Toutes les régulations environnementales qui seraient mises en œuvre au niveau européen seraient autrement reçues du côté des entreprises si leurs décisions de gouvernement (la stratégie de l’entreprise) devaient être validées à la majorité des représentants des travailleurs, comme nous l’affirmons dans le Manifeste Travail.

On atterrit ainsi sur le changement culturel profond à l’œuvre. Face à la pression néolibérale de dépolitisation du marché qui mène à la dystopie de la toute-puissance des grandes entreprises, émergent aussi les ferments d’une remise en question drastique de notre façon de vivre et travailler. D’où la question de la dimension éducative. Quels sont les levier de nos systèmes éducatifs pour accompagner la transformation du sens du travail, du dépassement de la notion de ressource humaine, d’une autre approche des tâches collectives ?

Je cultive l’optimisme de la volonté que Gramsci appelait de ses voeux. En suivant ce qui se passe au niveau du secteur de l’éducation, je suis par exemple très frappée de voir combien les pédagogies actives sont devenues mainstream et Montessori une référence. À l’université, maintenant la plupart d’entre nous faisons de la pédagogie inversée, impensable il y a 20 ans. Notre système éducatif pousse fortement à l’autonomie. Mais la trahison se joue quand les jeunes entrent dans le système économique : dans le capitalisme, ou l’administration, ils sont dépossédés de leur capacité à peser sur les règles et les décisions qui concernent leur travail. De ce point de vue-là, on pourrait même s’étonner qu’il n’y ait pas plus de révoltes. Mais l’explosion des maladies de longue durée et les burn-outs en particulier signalent en fait ce point de rupture, une expérience qui devient littéralement insupportable pour les travailleurs dépossédés de leurs capacités à agir sur le travail.

Pour essayer de retenir les talents et faire face à la démotivation dans les organisations du travail mis considérablement sous pression par la crise du covid, le monde du business tou à coup dit se préoccuper du sens, le « sens du travail », le « sens de notre mission »… Le sens en soi, ça veut tout et rien dire, mais dans l’absence de droits politiques dans l’économie, il y a bien une épidémie : l’épidémie d’aliénation au sens marxien du terme. Quand les entreprises se demandent comment attirer les jeunes et se plaignent que les gens ne sont pas assez dynamiques au travail, je leur réponds qu’il faut qu’elles se rendent compte de la violence qu’elles exercent : les jeunes s’apprêtent à entrer dans un monde difficile avec le dérèglement climatique, ils doivent se mobiliser, on leur dit d’agir en êtres reponsables, mais dans l’entreprise ils doivent taire ce qu’ils pensent ou demander à leur chef. C’est une expérience d’aliénation assez insoutenable… Mais ça ne tiendra plus très longtemps, je pense.

Ukraine’s Fightback Starts With the Truth

The Russian invasion sparked a mobilisation across all of Ukrainian society, with citizens pitching in to contribute to the effort in whatever way they could. Sofia Oliynyk explains how her first impulse was to contribute to getting information to people both within and outside the country about events on the ground. This “information resistance” has been a crucial front in the war, aiming to counter the false and damaging narratives spread by the Russian authorities and reclaim space for Ukrainians themselves to shape the representations of the conflict and their own identity.

Green European Journal: How did the Russian invasion change the media landscape in Ukraine? Which were the most immediate challenges that were presented?

Sofia Oliynyk: The crucial thing is that in Ukraine, we have independent media which developed quite significantly over the last eight years. The mere fact that it exists and operates is very important – even if it is not perfect.

Like many people, I get my information from the online media and Telegram, which has many different news channels providing instant updates from a number of recognised media outlets. Before the invasion, I would rarely use Telegram to check my news. But now many media outlets, like the New York Times and the Washington Post, have Telegram channels specifically for communication around the war in Ukraine. It’s great that you can have this continuous reporting on what’s happening, but disinformation is still a big problem. Especially on social media, Telegram or Viber groups. To counter this, there is a Centre for Strategic Communications, an official structure that provides explanations about the government’s work. Every public institution now runs a Facebook page, and all the ministries now publish more information in both English and Ukrainian, to go beyond Ukraine and provide direct access to information.

In Ukraine, the media narrative also needs to keep morale high among the people. You cannot remain untouched by the tragedies that are happening so how you communicate this news to the people is important. Another problem is how the war is communicated to those outside of Ukraine. The Russian narrative is very professionally managed and well-funded. It’s been integrated into different countries across different channels for years. With more people getting their news online, it’s more important than ever for the sources of information to be questioned and scrutinised.

After the invasion, you launched an online journalism platform called Share the Truths which publishes regular news on the war in various languages. Can you tell us about this initiative?

We are not journalists. We are not media. We are just people who are passionate about what we do. We provide a bulletin on the main developments in political security, foreign policy, healthcare, culture and so on, from the perspective of human security; always giving a reference to the source so the person can go and read more. Our research pools information from different institutions, ministries, and media we consider reliable. From this pool, we make a selection, highlighting the human cost of the war as our North Star. For us, it’s important to highlight that the war is not just shooting; it impacts everyone. It’s also an opportunity to promote Ukrainian media resources or official institutions.

On the third day of the invasion, we felt compelled to do something. We have family and friends all across the world and work with international partners regularly. They all kept asking us what was happening. So, we came up with the idea of sharing information about the situation in Ukraine with this close circle. We understood very early on that information was critical in this war; Russia was already distorting the facts of its invasion and presenting Ukraine as a hostile neighbour. We started with writing just a page about the situation in Kyiv and then in the regions. But then we realised that it could be something more, something properly shaped and distributed among those who might be interested.

We also realised that there was a lot of expertise in our network, which we wanted to engage with. The experts from our network provide briefs on topics like European energy dependence, cyber security, culture, and so on, which we would use to create factsheets that people could easily distribute. There were many protests at the start of the war, for example, where these factsheets would be distributed.

What has been the response to the initiative in Ukraine and elsewhere?

We have a high number of visitors from the US, Canada, Germany, and Poland. People are keen to get involved in the project, which has been possible through translations. Within the first months, the briefs were translated into 17 languages, including Russian. We hesitated with Russian at first, but we decided to translate it as a way of disseminating alternative content to Russians who decide to look for it.

With more people getting their news online, it’s more important than ever for the sources of information to be questioned and scrutinised.

The project has also been welcomed by civil society and international organisations, especially those tasked with developing programmes about Ukraine and the region. The briefs save research time and provide them with the main facts.

An important part of your work is countering colonialist narratives about Ukraine from Russia. Why are these so damaging and have Western narratives been complicit in spreading these ideas?

You often hear in the West, “well, you were always brotherly nations, very well integrated…”. The roots of this narrative are deep. Our goal is to show that this is the brother that kills, rapes, and bombs Ukraine every single day. This brotherly love has been suffocating Ukraine for years. We understand that what Russia has been doing to Ukraine is a matter of many years of their integrated influence in various sectors. This assessment inspired our decolonisation series of articles. Our focus on colonialism is not only for Ukrainians, but also Westerners who might be familiar with discussions about colonialism from their own histories, but accept the narrative of “brotherly nations”.

One example we’ve written about is Russian colonialism in art. It is still common to come across international exhibitions, whether in Paris or Amsterdam, that claim to show Russian art. These are amazing, fantastic collections. Then you notice the label reads “Russian painter Malevich”. But Malevich is not a Russian painter. He lived there, but he was born in Ukraine. A lot of what is labelled as Russian art is actually, Georgian, Armenian, Ukrainian, and so on.

This erasure is a function of Russian colonialism and serves its propaganda; it forces everyone onto the same page and makes everyone a Soviet – that is – a Russian person.

What is the role of civil society, NGOs, and activists in the overall war effort?

Civil society actors are using their channels to inform people about what’s happening here, to make sure that the war does not just become another uncomfortable event in the East. There are others who have been key to the humanitarian response to the war. In a day, one organisation changed from their usual operations to supplying bulletproof vests – that’s flexibility and readiness to respond.

We’ve observed over the last months, how our partners (such as the Heinrich Boell Foundation office in Kyiv) combined, switched, or put on hold their main projects, to move to collecting and delivering humanitarian aid and urgent supplies to the most affected regions. Some were fundraising for bulletproof vests and first aid kits to support their colleagues who went to the frontline. Now, along with volunteering, most of them focus on their organisations’ activities that can respond to the conditions imposed by the war.

Before the war, I would never have said that democracy should be armed, but now I do.

One of the buzzwords that have emerged from how Ukrainians have responded to the war is “resilience”. When you have the desire to save your life and country, you’ll put in any amount of effort and do anything to make it.

What does this resilience mean for Ukraine’s democracy and its future?

When I think of resilience, I imagine everyone carrying a heavy backpack. Although burdensome, it contains new skills and knowledge to endure any situation. I wish we would have a different experience of resilience than we are having at the moment, but it’s forcing everyone to develop a crisis response and also think long-term. When we plan projects at Share the Truths, for instance, we think about how it responds to the war but also how it can help with better decision-making in the future. The lessons learnt will only strengthen Ukrainian society and democracy in the long term.

Some environmental organisations are already looking ahead to the reconstruction of Ukraine in a way that includes elements of a just transition. Do you see already the process of imagining that future for Ukraine being mapped out?

Recently, we have had discussions about reconstruction. Other actors like Ukrainian architects are discussing how to make cities better. This is the time to think about a green recovery if we want to help Ukraine build back better. Not many countries have this opportunity to start from scratch. We, now, unfortunately, have to start from scratch. But this is also the opportunity to come up with something better.

It’s challenging to say that something has been mapped out and set in stone, as we see that the situation is changing on a daily basis. Nevertheless, the Lugano Conference and a number of working groups currently operating in areas related to the reconstruction set the orientation. What is essential is for civil society to be engaged in the process in order to ensure expertise and oversight.

How can the media and policymakers in Europe support Ukraine?

When we talk about the support from the West, we are not asking you to fight instead of us, but to support us so that our people can fight, live, and work. One important way to do so is to provide us with arms. Before the war, I would never have said that democracy should be armed, but now I do. We cannot make reconstruction plans if we can’t defend ourselves – because there will be no one left to reconstruct for.

Granting Ukraine EU candidate status boosted morale to some extent and recognised the efforts the country has made. It’s important to support and proceed further with European integration. It represents our shared values and what we have been fighting for in the last eight years. It is also motivation to push for a better reconstruction.

Telling the story of both resilience and suffering is important. We’re seeing Ukrainians show solidarity and fight for human rights. We’re also seeing some momentum for gender equality, with women being admitted into the army and the adoption of the Istanbul Convention. The international press must tell these success stories to show that, in times of war, Ukrainian society didn’t give up. It’s also important that they document the war crimes and atrocities Russia is committing, to prosecute them and counter the narrative Russia pushes on the international stage.

Jeopolitikasını Düzeltmek İçin Batı’nın Yeni Bir Devlet Modeline İhtiyacı Var

Amerika’nın geri çekildiği ve Çin ile Rusya’nın giderek daha iddialı hale geldiği, istikrarsız uluslararası manzaraya dair korkulacak çok şey var. Ancak istikrarlı, kurallara dayalı, demokratik bir dünyayı kaybetmek bunların arasında değil. Savaş sonrası dönemin ölçülü bir incelemesi, çarpıcı bir gerçeği ortaya çıkarıyor: Böyle bir dünya için hiçbir zaman ciddi bir çaba gösterilmedi. On yıllar boyunca, demokrasi filizleri defalarca yok edildi. Devletlerce değil, ama sivil toplum tarafından yapıcı bir şekilde yaratılmakta olan şey, AB üyeleri ve Birleşik Krallık’ın önemli örnekleri olabileceği ve olmaları gereken, delege devletler tarafından sahip çıkılmasına ihtiyaç olan uluslararası bir çerçeve. Bu konuda İskandinav ülkeleri başı çekiyor.

Birçokları, jeopolitik geleceği yekpare şekilde umutsuz görüyor. Ekonomik ve askeri açıdan yeniden dirilen Çin, Uygur nüfusunu soykırım gücüyle bastırarak ve eski vaadlerini bozup Hong Kong’un “tek ülke, iki sistem” modelini yıkarak rahatsız edici bir şekilde Han milliyetçisi bir yol izledi. Vladimir Putin’in Rusya’sı hâlâ büyük bir nükleer cephaneye sahipken, büyük ölçüde fosil yakıtlara bağlı içi boş bir ekonomiye başkanlık ediyor. Bu arada, ekonomik, askeri ve irade açısından Amerikan hegemonyası çöküyor. Washington, bir zamanlar kendisini demokrasi ve barış gücü ilan ederek dünyayı adım adım dolaştı. Özellikle Taliban’ın Afganistan’a dönüşünden sonra bunun artık böyle olmayacağı aşikar.

Ancak bu değişim, uluslararası anarşiye kaçınılmaz bir düşüş olarak görülmemeli. Yerleşimci sömürgecilik ve kölelik üzerine kurulmuş, nükleer silah kullanmış tek güç olan Amerika Birleşik Devletleri’nin hala kendisine ve dünyaya anlattığı bir hikaye var. İkinci Dünya Savaşı’nın sona ermesinden bu yana ABD, Soğuk Savaş sırasında bile demokrasiyi ve hakları savunarak dünyada iyilik yapmaya gayret etti.

Bir dereceye kadar bu, devletlerin Sovyet egemenliğine karşı mücadelede hemen “bizim safımızda” hizalandığı Avrupa’da doğru olabilir. Bununla birlikte, başka yerlerde, gerçekle taban tabana zıt. Batı’nın tarihsel olarak Küresel Güney’de bir demokrasi şampiyonu olarak hareket ettiği fikri, karşı konulmadan çok sık tekrarlanan tembel bir varsayım.

Soğuk Savaş’ın sıcak cepheleri

Bugünün dünyası, Amerika Birleşik Devletleri, Birleşik Krallık, Fransa ve diğer Avrupa devletleri tarafından baskıcı ve yozlaşmış rejimlerin uzun süreli desteklenmesinin yaralarını taşıyor. Çok uluslu, dev şirketlerin çıkarları doğrultusunda yürütülen, mazur görülemez savaşlara ve insan hakları ihlallerine manevi ve pratik destek sağlandı. Monarşinin, Vietnam Savaşı ile bağlantılı onlarca yıllık Batı desteği üzerine inşa edildiği Tayland’dan, Albay Kaddafi ve Saddam Hüseyin’in bizim “adamlarımız” olmaktan çıktıkları Libya ve Irak’ın umutsuz kaosuna kadar, Batı müdahalesinin zarar verici sonuçları çok.

Demokratik Kongo Cumhuriyeti’nde, 1961’de bağımsızlığın şafağındaki demokratik rejim yıkıldı. Belçika parlamentosu soruşturması 2001’de, Başkan Patrice Lumumba’nın öldürülmesinin arkasında ABD destekli Belçika güçlerinin olduğu sonucuna vardı. Potansiyel olarak zengin olan bu ulus üzerinde işlenen birçok korkunç şeyin hatırlatıcısı olarak, Lumumba’nın vücudu asitte eritildi. Flaman bir polis müfettişi, Lumumba’nın dişini tüyler ürpertici bir hatıra olarak sakladı; 2021’de ancak ailesine ve ulusuna iade edildi. Suikast, genellikle çok uluslu madencilik çıkarlarıyla bağlantılı olarak devam eden şiddete maruz kalan bir ulusun, müteakip travmalarının arkasında karanlık bir gölge gibi duruyor.

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ABD ve İngiltere’ye karşı içgüdüsel bir güvensizlik, bugün, sadece ülkeyi yöneten yaşlı erkek teokrasi arasında değil, İran siyasetinde de belirgin. CIA’in, 1951’de İran Başbakanı Muhammed Musaddık’ı deviren darbede kilit bir rol oynadığını nihayet 2013’te kabul etmesine şaşmamalı. O, Anglo-İran Petrol Şirketi’nden ziyade ülkenin insanlarının iyiliğine hizmet etmesi gerektiğini öne sürerek petrol endüstrisini millileştirmişti. İngiltere, ABD’den yardım istedi. İlk ABD destekli darbe başarısız oldu, ancak ikincisi Şah’ı mutlak hükümdar olarak geri getirerek 1979’da İran Devrimi’ne yol açan popüler ve dini direnişin yolunu açtı.

Tarih yazımı, Şili’de demokratik olarak seçilmiş Salvador Allende’yi bir kenara iterek diktatör Augusto Pinochet’yi iktidara getiren 1973 darbesi etrafında hararetleniyor. Ancak, 1970’de Başkan Richard Nixon’ın CIA’i yasal başkanı devirmeye yönlendirdiğine hiç şüphe yok. ABD’nin darbe hakkında önceden bilgisi olduğu ve mali destek sağladığı, Washington’un en cesur savunucuları tarafından bile inkar edilemez.

Bu istismarcı dış politika hikayesinde, demokrasinin yok edilmesinin ötesine geçip Amerika’nın yönlendirmesiyle sivillerin toplu katliamına kadar giden Vincent Bevins’in Cakarta Metodu korku ölçeğinin de dışına çıkıyor.. 1965’ten 1966’ya kadar, Sovyetler Birliği ile yalnızca zayıf bağlarıylabir güç olan silahsız, şiddete başvurmayan Endonezya Komünist Partisi, kitlesel yargısız infazların ve yaygınişkence ve tacizlerinkurbanıydı. Tahminen 1 milyon Endonezyalı öldürüldü. Başkan Suharto’nun ABD destekli rejimi sadece gaddar değildi aynı zamanda son derece yozlaşmıştı; ailesi 1998 yılına kadar tahmini 30 milyar dolarlık bir servet biriktirmişti.

Bevins, 1945’ten 1990’a kadar “dünya çapında ABD destekli anti-komünist imha programlarından oluşan gevşek bir ağın nasıl ortaya çıktığını” anlatıyor. Bu programa dahil olan devletler, Arjantin, Bolivya, Brezilya, Şili, Kolombiya, Doğu Timor, El Salvador, Guatemala, Honduras, Endonezya, Meksika, Nikaragua, Paraguay, Filipinler, Güney Kore, Sudan, Tayvan, Tayland, Uruguay, Venezuela ve Vietnam.

Soğuk Savaş boyunca yaşanan korkunç vahşetlerden Sovyetler Birliği de sorumluydu. Çin’in 1950’de Tibet’i ilhakı tamamen emperyalizmdi. 1950’lerin sonlarında direniş büyüdükçe, başlangıçta nispeten yumuşak davranan işgal zalimleşti ve bugün Han dışı Çin’in tümünde ve Hong Kong’da olup bitenler için bir model oluşturdu.

Aradaki fark, Amerika Birleşik Devletleri’nin demokrasi ve hukukun üstünlüğünü temsil ettiğini iddia etmesidir. Aslında, yeni bağımsız ulusların son derece makul istekleri, ABD bağlantılı şirketlerin çıkarları için bastırılmak üzere “komünizm” olarak tanımlandı.

ABD ile İngiltere’nin politikası son yıllarda değişmedi. “Dost ve müttefik” Suudi Arabistan’ın korkunç insan hakları sicili, demokratik baskının akışın bir kısmının kesildiğini görmesine rağmen, kitlesel silah satışlarını engellemedi. ABD, bağımsız medya ve sivil toplumun baskısına rağmen Mısır’daki Abdülfettah es-Sisi rejiminin yanında binlerce yargısız infaza bulaşmış Filipin Devlet Başkanı Rodrigo Duterte’nin “uyuşturucu savaşını” destekliyor. Bunun yanında ABD’li silah üreticileri Kuzey Amerika’da Meksika uyuşturucu savaşlarına büyük miktarlarda çok güçlü silahlar akıtıyor.

Dünyanın büyük bir kısmının istikrarlı demokratik yönetim ve hukukun üstünlüğünü kurmayı başaramamış olması pek şaşırtıcı değil. Hegemonik dünya gücü, ikinci askeri güç olan Sovyetler Birliği gibi, böyle bir sonuca karşı hareket etti. Bugün Çin giderek daha çok aynı rolü oynuyor.

Değişim içeriden gelir

Ancak dünyadan geri çekilmek artık ABD siyasetinin her iki tarafında arasında bir konsensus meselesi. Başkan Biden, Afganistan’da gösterildiği gibi, Donald Trump’ın “Önce Amerika” politikasını uyguluyor. Afganistan’daki durum son derece tehlikeli olmaya devam ediyor: ülke hem iç çatışma hem de bir vekalet savaşı alanı olma riski taşıyor. Rus devleti, 1980’den 1989’a kadar süren Sovyet işgalinin başarısızlığa uğramasından bu yana görülmemiş boyutta bir oyuncu olarak Kabil’e geri döndü. Çin’in çıkarları burayla yakından ilgili; Afganistan ile hassas bir sınırı paylaşıyor ve ülkeyi (ve değerli maden kaynaklarını) Kuşak ve Yol Girişiminin bir parçası olarak görüyor.

Dünyadan geri çekilmek artık ABD siyasetinin her iki tarafı arasında bir konsensus meselesi.

Batı haklı olarak Afganistan’ın terörizm üssü olarak hizmet etmesinden endişe ederken; Çin ve Rusya için, sınırlarına çok yakın bir başka vekalet savaşı ciddi tehlikeler taşıyor . Hukukun üstünlüğüne ve temel insan haklarına yönelik uluslararası desteğin, Taliban’ın ideolojisi ve siciline ne kadar zıt olursa olsun, herkesin çıkarına olduğu ortaya konmalıdır. İstikrar ve güvenlik herkes için fayda sağlayabilir ve sonunda ulusun işlevsel kurumlar ve yönetim geliştirmesine imkan verebilir.

Kurumların gerçekten gelişmesi, işlevsel bir yönetim ve ümitle demokrasinin vücuda gelmesi için iç siyasi güçlerin denge kurmasına ve birbirleriyle başa çıkmak üzere mekanizmalar geliştirmesine ve aşırı bir dış güç olmadan bir tür uyum yakalamasına izin verilmelidir. Dünya, başlangıçta mütevazi hedeflerle Afganistan’da böyle bir yönde çalışmalı, bunu kızların eğitimi üzerine inşa etmeli ve tarımın korunmasına yardımcı olacak çevresel hedefleri desteklemelidir.

Bu yavaş, ülke içinde etraflıca ele alınan gelişme, dünyada şu anda başarılı olan devletlerin çoğunun başından geçen şeydir. Finlandiya, şu anda dünyanın en istikrarlı ve en iyi yönetilen devletlerinden biri olarak görülüyor, ancak ülkenin 20. yüzyılın başlarındaki tarihi trajikti. İkinci şehri Tampere’deki Finlandiya İşçi Müzesi’ne yapılan bir ziyaret Beyazlar ve Kızıllar arasında siyasi, ekonomik ve sosyal liderlerin, silahsız sivillerin ve teslim olan savaşçıların katledildiği iç savaşı anlatıyor. Yine de bu nispeten küçük ülke çok beğenilen bir ulusal model haline geldi.

Fin halkı bunu ülke içinde, büyük ölçüde kendi başlarına, işgale rağmen yaparken, uluslararası hukukun gelişimi, saygı duyulmak ve beğenilmek isteyen devletler için davranış normları,geçtiğimiz yüzyılda onların yolunu izleyen diğer devletlerin bunu yapmasını kolaylaştırdı. Uluslararası sisteme saygının, onu uygulayan tüm uluslar için kanıtlanabilir faydaları var ve herkes için daha istikrarlı bir dünyanın daha geniş, elzem avantajını sunar.

Aşağıdan yukarıya inşa edilmiş bir dünya

En adanmış uluslararası ilişkiler meraklıları dışında hiç kimsenin aşina olmadığı bir anlaşma olan 1928’deki Kellogg-Briand Paktı savaşı yasadışı ilan etti. Anlaşma, açıkça istenen etkiyi yaratmadı ve çoğunlukla barış yapma çabalarıyla alay etmek isteyenler tarafından atıfta bulunuluyor. Bununla birlikte, hukuk profesörleri Oona A. Hathaway ve Scott J. Shapiro anlaşmanın, devletlerin en azından açıkça bir komşularının adasını veya kaynaklarının bir kısmını istedikleri için savaşa gitmelerini engelleyen uluslararası bir hukuk düzeninin temellerini oluşturduğunu iddia ederek farklı bir yorum öne sürdüler.

Dünyaca tanınan devletler arasındaki sınır ötesi çatışmalar o zamandan beri hızla azaldı. 2014 yılında Rusya’nın Kırım’ı ilhakı nadir bir istisnaydı. O zaman bile, Başkan Putin sadece içeri girmek yerine, Rusya yanlısı gösteriler ve Rus yanlısı bir kukla rejim ile dikkatleri başka yöne çekme ihtiyacını hissetti. Anlaşma, çatışmalar yerine, ekonomik yaptırımlarla sonuçlanan anlaşmazlıkların önünü açtı. Failler genellikle seçimle işbaşına gelmemiş rejimlerken ekonomik yaptırımlar elbette tüm halka yönelik olağanüstü derecede kör araçlardır. Çocukların aç kalmasına ve ekonomilerin çökmesine neden olan dış politika güçlü bir karşı savdır.

Yine de sivil toplum alternatif bir yaklaşım geliştirdi, bunun için kampanya yürüttü ve giderek artan bir şekilde uygulanmasını sağladı. Magnitsky tarzı yaptırımlar olarak bilinen bu önlemler, tüm toplumlardan ziyade kararlardan sorumlu bireyleri hedef alır. Gerçekten de, her zaman umulduğu kadar eksiksiz olmasa da, giderek daha eksiksiz bir uluslararası hukuk çerçevesinin büyük bir kısmı sivil toplumca geliştirilip uygulamaya konulmuştur.

Magnitsky tarzı yaptırımlar, uluslararası hak ve sorumluluk bildirgelerindeki uzun bir ilerleme dizisinin sonuncusu. Bu onurlu çizgi, İnsan Hakları Evrensel Beyannamesi ile başlar. Irk ayrımcılığına ve işkenceye karşı haklar, medeni ve siyasi haklar, ekonomik, sosyal ve kültürel haklar, kadın ve çocuk hakları, mülteci hakları ve göçmen işçi hakları yedi ana anlaşmadan bulunuyor. Kimyasal silahlara, misket bombalarına ve kara mayınlarına karşı konvansiyonlar bunların kullanımını sınırlamış ve uluslararası çevre katliamı suçuna ilişkin sivil toplum öncülüğünde yürütülen çalışmalar oldukça ilerlemiştir. Dünya devletlerinin çoğu, nükleer silahlara yönelik küresel bir yasağı desteklemiştir.

O halde bu çerçeveyi 21. yüzyılda nasıl uygulayabiliriz? Çünkü sivil toplum harekete geçecek araçlardan yoksun. Bu arada, ulus devletler ve uluslararası kuruluşlar ya kenara çekilirler ya da engel olurlar. Ciddi anlamda iyi niyetli herhangi bir uluslararası jeopolitik çaba, İskandinav ülkeleri örneğiyle başlayacaktır.

Gücü ve nüfuzu iyilik için kullanmak

Bir ülkenin, dünyada gerçekten saygı görmesini sağlayan şey askeri güç veya ekonomik güç değildir. Bir ulustan askeri bir güç olarak korkulabilir veya ekonomik bir ağır sıklet sayılabilir, ancak yine de “iyi bir küresel vatandaş” olarak sınıflandırılamaz. İyi Ülke Endeksi, herkesin bağlı olduğumuz gezegenin yanı sıra tüm Dünya insanlarına karşı daha geniş bir sorumluluğu olduğu varsayımından yola çıkarak her ülkenin, dünyanın geri kalanı üzerindeki dış etkisini incelemek için veriye dayalı bir yaklaşım benimsiyor.

Hesaplamaların detayları tartışmalı olsa da genel olarak İskandinav ülkeleri öne çıkıyor. Hollanda ve Almanya da üst sıralarda yer alıyor. Bu ülkelerin tümünün statüleri sayesinde ekonomik ve diğer avantajlardan yararlandıkları gösterilebilir. Son zamanlarda “Avrupa’nın en korkusuz ülkesi” olarak tanımlanan Litvanya yakında Kuzeyli komşularına katılabilir. Hem Rusya’ya meydan okuyan hem de Belarus’taki demokratik güçleri destekleyen Litvanya, Çin’e karşı demokratik Tayvan’a güçlü destek vermek için de adım attı.

İskandinav ülkeleri aslında, Emilie Hafner-Burton tarafından geliştirilen bir kavrama göre“delege devletler”dir. Hukuk profesörü, Making Human Rights to a Reality’de (İnsan Haklarını Gerçeğe Dönüştürme), son birkaç on yıllık uluslararası sivil toplum ve hükümet çabalarının nasıl kapsamlı bir normatif insan hakları kuralı geliştirdiğini, ancak bunları yerine getirmede başarısız olduğunu ortaya koyuyor.

Hafner-Burton’ın, neyin işe yaradığının dikkatli bir şekilde incelenmesine dayanan ilerlemenin nasıl sağlanabileceğine ilişkin vizyonu, büyük kapsamlı eylemler yerine sessiz sabırlı çalışma, diplomatik çabalar, sivil toplum aktörlerinin finansmanı ve uluslararası itiraz anlamına geliyor. Yani, insan haklarını ciddiye almak, “dostlar ve müttefikler” yanında rakipler söz konusu olduğunda korkmadan veya kayırmadan korunmak anlamında.

Bir delege devlet olmak, insan haklarını, hukukun üstünlüğünü ve demokrasiyi teşvik etmede neyin işe yaradığını göz önüne almak demektir. Aynı zamanda, “önce, zarar verme” ilkesinin tıbbın çok ötesine ve uluslararası meselelere kadar uzanması gereken bir ilke olduğunu kabul etmeyi ima eder. Bu, Küresel Kuzey’deki yozlaşmış aktörlere karşı sert davranmak – bu alanda Amerikan, İngiliz ve Avrupa yasalarında yetersiz olsa da ilerleme kaydedilmiştir – ve yeni sömürgeci çok uluslu şirketleri dizginlemek anlamına gelir: küresel bir asgari vergi oranına yönelik çalışma burada yolu gösterir.

Bir delege devlet olmak, insan haklarını, hukukun üstünlüğünü ve demokrasiyi teşvik etmede neyin işe yaradığını göz önüne almak demektir.

İstikrarsız bir statükoda, bugününkinden kökten farklı görünen bir dünya için çalışmak, yalnızca halihazırda iyi küresel vatandaşlar olarak öne çıkan küçük oyuncuların değil, aynı zamanda büyük güçlerin de çıkarınadır. AB, İngiltere ve ABD’nin daha fazla silahlanma yarışından ve vekalet savaşlarından kazanacağı hiçbir şey yok. Olduğu gibi güçlü askeri-sanayi kompleksini beslemek yalnızca günümüzün gerçek zorluklarını karşılamak için yetersiz kaynaklar anlamına geliyor. Suudi Arabistan gibi devletlere silah dağıtmak, Afganistan’da görüldüğü gibi, onları bu tür rejimler düştüğünde devralacak olan düşman güçlere teslim etmek anlamına gelir.

Birleşmiş Milletler eski Genel Sekreteri Kofi Annan’dan alıntı yapmak gerekirse: “Gelişme olmadan güvenlikten, güvenlik olmadan gelişmeden ve insan haklarına saygı duymadan ikisinden de yararlanamayacağız.” Güvenlik, herkesin olduğu kadar Çin, Rus ve Amerikan halklarının da arzusudur. Yeşil bir diplomatik gelecek halihazırda yürürlükte olan uluslararası yasal çerçeveyi alıp bunun üzerine inşa etmeye ve herkes için vaat ettiği hakları sağlamaya çalışıyor. İhtiyaç duyulan kaynakları, enerjiyi ve dikkati hem iklime ve ekolojik krizlere verir hem de ekonomik ve sosyal çöküş tehditlerini ortadan kaldırırsa dünya militarizm ve sömürüye gücü yetmez. Önceki başarısızlıklar kötü seçimlerin sonuçlarıydı. Daha iyilerini yapabiliriz ve yapmalıyız.

The Untold Story of the Food Crisis

Reports on the world’s unfolding food crisis have revolved around the war in Ukraine and the blockade of Ukrainian grain exports. But the conflict is only the latest tipping point for a global food system already on the edge. Jennifer Kwao explains why the roots of the food crisis lie in the structures of the world economy. Only by addressing food insecurity as a systemic issue can the EU credibly respond.

On August 1, a ship carrying 26,527 tonnes of corn left Odesa for Lebanon. That’s five months since Putin’s invasion of Ukraine laid siege to all exports of vital foodstuff leaving Ukrainian ports. Putin’s war directly put a stop to the export of grains, sunflower, and fertiliser that millions in the Global South depended on each month. In the past months, the UN and Turkey have been working to create safe corridors for the passage of agricultural exports amid a worsening food crisis, culminating in a deal in Istanbul. However, before the ink on this deal could dry, Russia rained missiles on the port of Odesa.

After sabotaging this deal that had released some 20 million tons of grain stuck at Ukrainian ports, Russia then embarked on a PR tour of Africa that spun the story, and some African leaders bought the narrative. Not only is the Global South facing a humanitarian crisis, but their food security is being thrown into a cynical geopolitical game.

The dramatic situation and lack of concerted response have led the UN and Red Cross to sound the alarm about a silent humanitarian disaster. The message from the UN and the Red Cross has been clear and consistent since the start of the war: this is just one shock to the food security of the Global South. With an estimated 11 people dying every minute from hunger and malnutrition a constant prospect for millions, it is high time to look more seriously at the food crisis; not as an unfortunate outcome of the war in Ukraine or another ailment of distant lands, but as the result of a deeply flawed food system that the Global North has been complicit in cultivating. For countries in Europe, this lens is the only way to present credible solutions and stand out as reliable partners in a time of crisis.

The impacts of the war in Ukraine

As the top global exporters of wheat, barley, sunflower and maize and fertiliser, Russia’s invasion of Ukraine has tipped the world into a food crisis.

Russia’s strategy has seen the shelling of industries key to the Ukrainian economy and the planting of mines in the Black Sea, Ukraine’s main export route. Besides destroying infrastructure like ports and roads, which are critical to a functioning export industry, this campaign has led to suspended oilseed processing and issuing of export licenses. Since February, trade through the Black Sea has grounded to a halt, causing a sharp decline in the export of Ukrainian grain and taking tons of products out of circulation in the global agricultural trade. Despite efforts from Ukraine to reroute these goods (through neighbouring countries, or via road and rail), it only manages a third of the 4.5 million monthly grain export it used to trade, leaving 20 million tons of grain stuck in its ports.

The fighting has also presented massive challenges to the agricultural industry in Ukraine. Not only is it shrinking areas where food production and storage can take place, but it is also tightening staff shortages for harvesting and planting. In the coming winter period, Ukraine is already expected to not have the capacity to harvest a significant amount of its winter yields.

The supply gap created by the war, in addition to responses by companies and governments, has contributed to soaring food, agriculture, and energy prices. The UN Food and Agriculture Organization’s risk assessment reports that the supply gap created by the war will likely keep prices well above the average.

The energy fallout of the war has also unsettled food supply chains across the world. While African countries are less dependent on Russian fossil fuels than those in Europe, soaring prices on energy markets determine domestic prices which usually act as a benchmark for food prices too. Price speculation aside, food industries everywhere depend heavily on fossil fuels. Besides playing a key role in the planting, harvesting, and processing of food, petroleum is the key ingredient in fertilisers that industrial farming relies on to produce food. This dependence ensures that spiralling energy cost bites along food supply chains everywhere.

Source: COMTRADE

The high cost of fertilisers doesn’t just drive food production costs higher, it also shrinks harvests and yields on a wide range of crops. For Global South farmers, who are the lifeblood of food systems, the disequilibrium between input costs and yield, is a disincentive for planting in the new season. While EU farmers can rely on an additional support package to cope with high input costs, farmers in the Global South can expect no such support from their governments who are in worse shape to provide a safety net due to the current economic downturn.

For countries in the throes of the crisis, therefore, the long term looks grim; not only is the food currently being produced and harvested expensive, but harvest in the next period will likely shrink and remain expensive. Meanwhile, European farmers are expected to produce more grains in 2022 and Russia continues its ban on fertiliser exports despite being the world’s leading exporter of the good.

The high production cost also dissuades partners who might have the capacity to fill the supply gap created by the war. Looking at the harsh weather conditions in much of the world this year and food export restrictions top wheat producers as India have subsequently introduced, it is clear they have ruled out the option of exporting their food stock even if they ramp up domestic production.

Exporting in time of war is a costly business. Not only are Ukrainian producers incurring more costs by re-routing grain or from harvests lying in waste, but those importing their produce incur insurance costs. And in a mined Black Sea, everyone along the food chain is incurring additional and unanticipated costs – often for a lesser quantity of goods. For developing countries, this is a premium they cannot afford.

The war in Ukraine represents a tipping point in a worsening food crisis underpinned by an unequal food system.

These price hikes in the food supply chain have a ripple effect on the markets, putting essentials out of reach of consumers. Presently, food is 42 per cent more expensive than in 2014 to 2016. Food essentials like meat, sugar, cereals, and dairy are at the highest they have been since 1961. Wheat prices globally have jumped to more than 50 per cent and, in comparison to a year ago, wheat is 80 per cent more expensive. A similar trend, although less steep rise, is observed in maize prices on the global market following the war – it is 25 to 30 per cent higher than prices in February.

Besides the price hikes and disruptions to food production and supply, national governments have actively cut supplies. Since March, Russia has banned sugar, rapeseed, and sunflower seeds exports. In the first four months of its unprovoked war, it banned the export of wheat, meslin, rye, barley, maize and sugar. In contrast, Ukraine banned the export of maize, rye, eggs, poultry, sunflower oil, and bovine meat export for two months (from March to May) and has since lifted restrictions.

Amid fears of more shortages, countries such as India, Algeria, and Turkey have self-imposed bans on food exports. Although accounting for a small share of global grain trade, this move means that countries looking elsewhere for large grain imports could not turn to partners in the Global South. In the EU, Hungary has so far been the only country to dapple in these trade restrictions; from March to May, it banned the export of grains and sunflower seeds. Overall, reports of a difficult farming season due to extreme weather in Europe and India deflate hope of these partners stepping in to fill this gap with their surplus.

Who is most impacted

The war in Ukraine has cast a long shadow over food security across the globe but not everyone has been impacted the same way. Not only are countries in the Global South the most impacted, but their most vulnerable populations are at the highest risk of starvation. This unequal impact points to a fundamental problem of inequity in global food markets and food security.

In the Global North, households usually spend 17 per cent of their income on food, whereas their counterparts in the Global South spend a whopping 40 per cent. So while consumers in the Global North may experience the current price hikes as a slight change in their food expenditures – or not feel it at all due to inflated incomes – those in the Global South face an impossible choice between subsistence and other living expenditures. In Nigeria, for example, pasta and bread have become as much as 50 per cent more expensive.

The hardest hit are the countries that were heavily dependent on Ukrainian and Russian food imports. Egypt, Indonesia, Pakistan, Bangladesh, and Lebanon were all top destinations for Ukrainian grains. Notably, the largest wheat importers in the world are on the African continent: Egypt, followed by Algeria and Nigeria. Most countries in Africa are net importers of wheat. In eastern Africa, a third of cereal consumption comes from wheat which is largely imported from Ukraine and Russia – 84 per cent to be exact. In Benin, nearly 100 per cent of wheat imports come from Russia.

And while the market logic of capitalism will have us celebrate this as progress and fair access, the reality is that the availability of food to millions is at the mercy of external shocks whose devastating consequence is playing out before our eyes.

Source: COMTRADE

The situation is worst where countries are food import and aid-dependent, and battling climate change, conflicts, and economic recession. The Democratic Republic of Congo, Afghanistan, Somalia, Ethiopia, and Yemen have been named “hunger hotspots” and some of the worst hit by the food crisis.

Alarmingly, the World Food Programme, which feeds 125 million people, buys 50 per cent of its grain from Ukraine. The war, therefore, renders a key crisis mechanism ineffective in meeting the needs of the most vulnerable populations.

How did we get here?

While for some in Europe, the food crisis may seem a sudden, unexpected event, food insecurity was already showing an upward trend as of 2019. In 2020, over 800 million people suffered from hunger. Two-thirds of this food insecure are in Sub-Saharan Africa, India, and China. The Global Report on Food Crises estimates that 193 million people were in an acute food crisis in 2021, with thousands experiencing starvation and death and millions more facing an emergency-level crisis. Why were millions going hungry in a period of relative peace?

Well, it turns out that “a period of relative peace” is a narrow view of the world before the war in Ukraine. For many countries, the period before the war was a sequence of internal conflicts, health crises, extreme weather events, economic downturn, and trade barriers all undermining their food security. The war represents a tipping point in a worsening food crisis underpinned by an unequal food system. The better question is therefore what are the drivers of the unfolding food crisis?

The most recognisable shock to food systems in recent years is the Covid-19 pandemic and the ensuing economic downturn. As the world shut down and millions sought shelter at home, food access become precarious but not for the reasons we previously thought. The latest analysis shows that while pandemic restrictions impacted the availability of food by slowing processing, transport, and trade, the more damaging blow to food security came from the loss of income and rising food prices during the pandemic.

Pandemic restrictions that shut down industries and enforced curfews meant no work for the world’s workers, the majority of whom work in informal sectors. No work meant no income. And no income means no food. Those relying on income from market trading and remittances were especially affected as these activities were reduced or stopped.

While the economic downturn began in epicentres (China, Europe and the US), almost all low to middle-income countries suffered losses in the form of depreciating currencies, rising production costs, high unemployment, and lower demands for their exports.

Consumers in the Global South face an impossible choice between subsistence and other living expenditures.

At the same time, food price volatility on international markets puts staples out of reach of consumers in low-income countries. From 2020 to 2021, food price hikes on the international markets contributed to 40 per cent of consumer price increases in lower-income countries. While the pandemic delayed deliveries and caused the cost of international freight to rise, the latest data assessment shows the impact of this disruption on food prices was marginal compared to the recovery of demand from large markets like China. In fact, the price of wheat, maize, and soybeans fell in the first half of 2020 but started trending upward again as demand from China recovered and production levels in the US, Canada and EU dipped.

Hyper-speculation on food commodities disconnected prices from the production and supply context. This financialisation of food markets benefits the minority of grain traders and investors who are reaping record profits in a time of crisis and will continue to do so in the next two years. Farmers in the Global South will never see these profits as they produce basic goods for export and have little power to set prices.

Fertiliser shortages further contributed to the rise in food prices in 2021. This shortage was mainly brought on by restrictions on fertiliser export. Fertiliser export bans by countries like China drove prices up by 50 per cent before the war.  Even as the food crisis deepened, 15 national governments imposed a ban on food exports – restrictions that affected the distribution of grain and vegetable oil staples. Today, 20 countries have active bans on food exports.

Loss of purchasing power, economic downturn, and high food prices combined to put 811 million people into food insecurity by 2020. According to the UN, that is 100 million more people than in previous years and one in 10 people globally went to bed without sufficient food in the first year of the pandemic.

Besides these drivers aggravated by the pandemic, the Global Report on Food Crises names conflict/insecurity and extreme weather events as the main conditions for the state of generalised food insecurity.

In 2020, more than 20 countries in almost all regions of the world were experiencing instability or violent conflicts, putting 139 million people into crisis levels of hunger. In recent years, extreme weather events have become common. In vulnerable climate change regions, cyclones and flooding from torrential rains threaten to lay crops to waste, and stubborn droughts starve off livestock and crops. In Somalia, Kenya, Madagascar, and Afghanistan for example, record-breaking droughts have cut grain yields, killed livestock, and sent prices reeling. Below-average rainfall in the 2022 rainy season promise to prolong these conditions. In Pakistan where the disruption to Ukrainian grain imports has been acutely felt, flash floods from monsoon rains this summer have destroyed 2 million acres of crops, disrupted supplies, and sent prices reeling.

Loss of purchasing power, economic downturn, and high food prices combined to put 811 million people into food insecurity by 2020.

These shocks vary in intensity in different countries but the global picture shows that conflict/insecurity is the predominant driver of crisis levels of food insecurity. In some “hunger spots”, these shocks intersect to constrain access to food. In South Sudan for example, extreme weather events, conflict, and economic recession put 2 million people in an emergency food crisis and will push over 7 million into catastrophic levels (starvation and death) of food crisis. Similar forecasts have been made for Somalia whose food crisis is also driven by these factors intersecting.

Taking a short to a longer-term lens on the current food crisis, it is clear that the food security of millions in the Global South is concentrated in the hands of few key international players and at the whims of human-made shocks, including pandemics, climate change, war, geopolitics, and economic recession. Casting our minds to the period before the war also helps us understand that even if the war ended today, the food crisis would continue.

The enemy is the design

Without a view of how food systems are designed and integrated into world markets, we fail to understand that the food crisis is more structural than the war in Ukraine or the aforementioned drivers; it stems from a long-standing process of globalisation, commodification, and financialisation.

Despite the shocks to food systems, food production globally has been on a rise. Europe produced over five times more grain than Africa in 2021. China and India are the highest producers of wheat and have high levels of grain in storage as a long-standing food security strategy. But these stocks do not reach those who need them most for several reasons, including waste, significant amounts being diverted for feeding animal stock or producing fuel, market decisions based on profit, and policy decisions. Most notably, 62 per cent of grains Europe produced from 2018 to 2019 went to feeding its livestock.

In a highly industrialised, specialised, and export-driven food system, countries in the Global South may have high production outputs but in food categories that are non-essential to the diet of their population. Vietnam, Peru, Côte d’Ivoire, and  Kenya produce high levels of farm products such as coffee, asparagus, cacao, and flowers. Egypt, which is one of the most impacted by supply cuts from Ukraine, produces high-value fruits on its limited fertile land along the Nile predominantly for sale on the global market.

The food security of millions in the Global South is concentrated in the hands of few key international players and at the whims of human-made shocks.

Many countries were forced into these categories of production and import dependence by Western colonialism. Colonial administrations forcibly seized lands from people, forced populations into a wage labour economy, and introduced the industrial production of cash crops including invasive species. This model guaranteed that it paid to farm cash crops at scale for international markets.

In Kenya, the Nobel Prize laureate and environmental icon Wangari Maathai explains in her memoir Unbowed how the British colonial administration forced many into a deathly wage economy or to convert the farms that fed them into coffee, tea, or timber plantations. She also connects commercial farming and British colonialism’s disregard for indigenous practices to the environmental disasters and malnutrition experienced in modern Kenya.

With the help of unequal trade deals, fiscal reforms and development policies, as well as ruthless expansion of transnational corporations, these legacies have been engrained into food systems, often protecting interests and profitmaking in the Global North at the expense of food security of millions in the Global South. It is in this context that food corporations and grain firms can make record-breaking profits amid a food crisis.

From this perspective, the story of the food crisis is clearly that of flawed design, human-made shocks, and a chronic distribution problem. Undoing the environmental damage and human cost of this globalised food system is the way to go.

Unmaking the food crisis

Announcing an EU funding package for food crisis relief, EU Commissioner for Crisis Management Janez Lenarčič stated that “Millions of people are already affected by the drought and in need of life-saving assistance. In addition, the dependency on Ukrainian and Russian imports already adversely impacts food availability and affordability. The time to act is now. The international community, humanitarian and development partners, national authorities and communities must save as many lives as possible and work together in a sustained effort to address the emergency and build future resilience.”

Despite the meagre funding attending this announcement, there are a few positives within it. First, the EU is showing itself to be committed to strengthening the crisis response and resilience of partner countries. This is important in the face of Russian propaganda assigning everyone but itself blame for the food crisis. Second, it also shows the EU looking at the crisis beyond the lens of the war in Ukraine.

However, the complexity of the food crisis calls for responses that do not begin and end with humanitarian funding. The flaws of a food system that breeds hunger and malnutrition cannot be fixed with reactionary policies; it needs transformational internal and external policies organised around the idea of food sovereignty and that also address the EU’s role in the cycle. This includes weaning food production in the Global South off fertiliser, incentivising regenerative food production practices and production of essentials as close to the consumer as possible, re-routing food surplus to the World Food Programme, investing in climate adaptation in agriculture, and cancelling debt for the countries likely to default on loans amid the economic recession.

These policies are within the EU’s powerful toolbox of trade agreements, development aid, and internal agricultural policy. It is up to it to use them. Statements made by EU Commissioner for International Partnerships Jutta Urpilainen in the wake of the food crisis show its leaders understand this challenge and the instruments at their disposal. But whether action to meet the scale of the crisis will be taken remains to be seen. With Russia deploying its propaganda and “wheat diplomacy” on the Global South to secure its influence, the EU cannot afford to look on indifferent.

Democratising Work in the 21st Century

With digitalisation and shocks like the Covid-19 pandemic and extreme weather, the world of work is changing rapidly. But this transformation should not become an inevitability that workers must passively endure. Rather, it should be a democratic process shaped and decided by workers themselves. On the sidelines of the European Trade Union Institute’s Blueprint for equality conference, we sat down with Isabelle Ferreras, who has co-authored a new book calling for a re-organisation of the economy, to discuss democratising work in the 21st century.

Green European Journal: Digitalisation and automation are transforming how we work. How do you see the new face of work?

Isabella Ferreras: What is most notable about digitalisation is the loss of work’s physicality. As soon as jobs adopt technological tools that allow remote or computer-assisted working, workers cease to come together in the same place. In Marx’s analysis of the first age of industrial capitalism, the concentration of workers in factories was an important factor in the development of class consciousness. It enabled the working class to shift from what he called a “class in itself” to a “class for itself”. The opportunity to come together in one place, at a frequency imposed by industrial capitalism, meant that workers could get to know one another, take their breaks together, talk to one another. They realised that they shared very similar lives and problems that needed shared solutions.

The digitalisation of the economy individualises the experience of work. You might find an engineer based in Delhi, another in Boston, and a third who is subcontracted to write some lines of code from South Africa or Ukraine all working on the same project. All these people interact via an online platform, without getting to know one another and without the opportunity to realise that they are all part of the same “work investment” necessary for a business. By work investment, I mean all the workers required to successfully produce something or provide a service.

So the fragmentation of work, brought about by digitalisation, leads to a less social experience of work and, in the end, a loss of power for workers?

As this fragmentation has taken root, workers have grown more aware. Workers aspire to something else. We can see this in two ways. First, since the pandemic, there is a massive rise in people changing careers because they aspire to more meaningful work. There was a real misery for “non-essential” workers slaving away in front of their computers, stuck at home with this interface. In the hope of keeping their workers, some British companies have embarked on a full-scale experiment: the biggest ever trial of a four-day working week has just begun in the UK. About 50 businesses are implementing it, offering a better work-life balance for the same salary. Workers are expected to be just as productive over four days and gain a better quality of life.

Second, businesses are going to great lengths to improve job satisfaction. This is essentially a retention strategy whereby companies work to increase job satisfaction so that employees remain loyal. Employers are giving workers more say in decisions that affect them, such as combining working from home and the office.

In France, a survey conducted by the Association Pour l’Emploi des Cadres (APEC) in January 2021 revealed that 9 out of 10 managers are listening much more, building bonds within teams, and empowering employees as a result of the pandemic. This is an opportunity to be seized. On 16 December 2021, the European Parliament passed a historic resolution demanding, among other things, a revision of the European Works Council Directive. In Democratize Work, we call for a collective veto right for workers so that they can influence decisions taken by company boards or works councils.

The opposite trend is the growing physicality of work in the care sector. What does the rising need for care, both for people and the planet, mean for the world of work?

Alongside the trend towards automation is a realisation that we’re going to need more human labour and, let’s hope, not more unrecognised and unpaid exploitation. Taking care of both the planet and other human beings, like through public services, requires more and more work but nobody is talking about paying for this work. Neglecting the remuneration side of care comes from misconceptions about the future of work.

The intrinsic content of all jobs has changed with each technological revolution. But the key issue we must grasp here is that there’s much more work for us to do so that we’re no longer dependent on our energy slaves [the quantity of energy required to replace human labour]. We must also formalise that part of the care sector which just exploits women’s labour. Equalising living standards and giving men and women the same number of opportunities means investing massively in childcare, for example.

The climate and biodiversity emergency will also reshape economic and working life. The EU is trying to manage this shift through the European Green Deal and the promise of a “just transition”. How do you view this approach?

The EU’s “just transition” fails to ensure the necessary pace and approach. It lacks real commitment to the democratic principle for governing the transition. Everybody concerned should be mobilised so that they themselves take the decisions which will affect them. It’s also a question of effectiveness. Some industries will not decarbonise quickly enough, so we have to envisage shutting down certain companies. Imagine the employees concerned not having a say on whether or how to put their company out of business? Leaving their futures to the market? It’s crazy! Who would think that is the right approach?

It’s vital to inject the principle of democratisation into companies so that workers have real clout. This can be done via a collective veto right for workers. In many countries, the institution required already exists: the works council. Workers are represented on it through their union organisations. For every decision about the transition, workers must be full co-deciders, especially on the conditions in which their company will close.

We might think it unrealistic to imagine that people will agree to shut down their own companies, which is precisely why we also need a “decommodification” of work. It’s about providing individual career security. Hence the idea of implementing a job guarantee at the European level, financed by the EU but administered and managed locally. That’s what we proposed in the opinion piece which led to Democratize Work and was inspired by the work of Pavlina Tcherneva. Such a scheme could create and fill positions that make sense for the area and the people that occupy them, rather than dehumanised workplaces. It would require a local employment committee that brings all stakeholders to the table to agree on the needs of the micro area (approximately 8500 inhabitants).

What’s happening in France with “Zero Long-Term Unemployed Areas” (Territoires zéro chômeur de longue durée — TZCLD) is highly relevant from this standpoint. In France, 40 per cent of jobs created so far are in care for people and 40 per cent are in care for the planet. This spring, the Walloon government in Belgium also decided to allocate 100 million euros to trial a similar scheme. Nineteen projects have been submitted. These areas could lay the groundwork for a job guarantee funded by the state, which acts as the employer of last resort.

You often talk about the different social welfare models of EU member states. Can we really imagine a common European social model?

Given the magnitude of the problems, the European level is the most appropriate. We must move towards a deepening of democracy at the European level. This is the thrust of Thomas Piketty’s proposals for a new European democratic treaty, as well as the promising progress made by the Conference on the Future of Europe.

Unions should think of themselves as laboratories of democracy and become champions of inclusivity.

The announcement of a European “job guarantee” would be a very powerful signal when it comes to the nagging problem of a democratic deficit at the European level. Imagine if Europe could guarantee a job no matter what? If you were hit by the crisis and the need for your company to shut down or to make a rapid transition – you would decide with your local community what that would look like. It wouldn’t be Europe taking control in the transition, but Europe supporting and enabling a genuine green transition – as Dominique Méda says.

At one point, there was a move in this direction with the Youth Guarantee, for example. Is it the right model?

No, the Youth Guarantee isn’t enough. But it’s clearly a first step that we can build on for greater impact. In Brussels, for example, the region’s public employment agency has put in place a very extensive version of the Youth Guarantee, which cut youth unemployment from 32 per cent to 25 per cent between 2014 and 2018. This was a success that shows it’s possible to act at a European level on issues such as work and unemployment. It seems to me that it’s a matter of political will and political priorities.

How do you assess the state of the European trade union movement?

We are undoubtedly going backwards at the moment. Union membership in countries where it isn’t automatic, like Belgium, is falling.

During my studies in the United States, I discovered that unions were once very powerful there, contrary to the idea we have in Europe. But their organisations were wiped out through concerted capitalist efforts. Today, only 6 per cent of American workers are unionised. But there are many signs of a revival. Amazon, Starbucks, Apple, and others, are panicking in the face of revitalised unions. These fights are very tough in the American context because to gain the right to be represented by a union, you have to win a vote, on a case-by-case basis; one site or store at a time. Workers’ rights, despite being enshrined in the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, are not taken seriously at all in the US. Bold initiatives like the Clean Slate for Worker Power report, which calls for a complete overhaul of labour law, coupled with the current grassroots organising offer grounds for hope.

Unions everywhere must renew themselves from within. If they have historic legitimacy and are to have it in future, it’s because they are collective vehicles for worker representation. They can build solidarity beyond the workplace – “cross-company” solidarity as Georges Friedmann, the godfather of French sociology of work, called it. For the moment, they are sticking to the sectors where they still have some strength, often defending the vested interests of their traditional types of workers – in other words, white men. This is dangerous. They should think of themselves as laboratories of democracy and become champions of inclusivity. They need to succeed in attracting workers with migrant backgrounds, women, and all the minorities who are present in the workplace but are not seen in union organisations.

We can no longer collectively tolerate companies as despotic exceptions in a society that claims to be democratic.

I do, however, want to believe in the renewal of European trade unionism. If I had to give one piece of advice to the unions, it would be to ensure that they always practice what they preach internally when it comes to their goals for social transformation. They will be all the stronger for it.

The other key actor is the state. So many of the challenges we face are global but public authority remains national…

At the heart of my work lies the premise that companies are political entities. We have to understand that we can no longer collectively tolerate them as despotic exceptions in a society that claims to be democratic. We must find a way of inserting these companies into the democratic architecture. When our states were strong and borders were closed to capital (until the 1970s), they “supervised” and taxed despotic companies.

Today, this compromise has collapsed. It’s not just for moral reasons that we should be concerned about the situation of workers, but for political and democratic reasons too. We can no longer tolerate such political power in the hands of private actors who monopolise the right to govern these entities, who are transnational and who elude government, and who have ended up occupying a position in our national politics that is far too important. Our states are political dwarves who can no longer wield the authority necessary to ensure that our societies’ political priorities are upheld — respect for planetary boundaries being the absolute critical priority.

There are two options. There is the slide towards the techno-despotism of Elon Musk, who thinks that technology will save us, that the enlightened despotism of a few capitalist companies will enable us to get a grip on all our problems, including the climate. It is completely delusional. But there is an alternative: the democratisation of these entities and their re-insertion into the political architecture.

Is the modern state equipped for this task?

In Europe, it is. If we look at the European Union, it is already very advanced in its construction, and could at any moment decide to impose conditions on companies active on its soil like forbidding them from interfering in democracy. The EU and its member states can set conditions for internal democracy within companies – in other words, democratise them.

In Europe, we already have a tool: European works councils. There are over 1000 companies that are large enough to be considered active at the European level and who have set up a European works council. It’s a directive that dates back to 1982 and is being looked at again. Of course, companies want as little revision of this directive as possible so that these councils have little power. But European Trade Union Confederation wants to expand its rights. The good news is that a resolution passed on 16 December 2021 by the European Parliament supports this.

I argue that we should give them equal power in corporate governance so that European works councils approve decisions just as boards of directors do. It would change the relationship between states and companies. Today, companies do everything to limit the ability of governments to regulate and tax them. But people themselves are both citizens in society and citizens at work. It’s obvious that the young generation joining companies today has all of these concerns about the climate. Any environmental regulations introduced at the European level would be received differently by companies if their governance decisions (corporate strategy) had to be signed off by the majority of workers’ representatives, as we argue in Democratize Work.

Questioning the role of work in our lives also represents a cultural shift. How can education systems support the transformation of the meaning of work?

I nurture the optimism of the will that Gramsci called for. I’ve been following what’s happening in the education sector, and I’ve been very struck by how active learning methodologies have become mainstream and Montessori a benchmark. At university, most of us now use flipped learning, which was unthinkable 20 years ago. Our educational system is pushing for independence. But the betrayal comes when young people enter the economic system. Whether in companies or in the public sector, they are robbed of their ability to influence the rules and decisions that affect their work. It’s surprising that there haven’t been more revolts. The explosion in chronic illness and burnout in particular highlight this breaking point. Being robbed of their ability to influence their work has become unbearable for workers.

To try to retain talent and tackle demotivation in organisations that the pandemic has put under considerable strain, the business world has suddenly said that it cares about the “meaning of work” and the “meaning of our mission”. Meaning can imply anything, but in the absence of political rights in the economy, there is an epidemic of alienation in the Marxist sense of the term. When companies wonder how they’re going to attract young people and complain that people aren’t dynamic enough at work, I respond by saying that they need to understand the violence that they exert. Young people are about to enter a difficult world with a changing climate. We tell them to act responsibly and mobilise, but that in the corporate world, they must keep quiet. It’s a pretty unbearable experience of alienation. But I don’t think it will last.

Counting for Nothing? How Economics Excludes Women

Women are still close to invisible in the field of economics. The number of female full professors is alarmingly low, and women’s perspectives continue to be overlooked in mainstream economic theory. The Journal spoke with economist Edith Kuiper about her new book A Herstory of Economics (Polity, 2022), which sets out to give female economic thinkers the visibility they are due and encourages reading the history of economic thought from their perspective.

Green European Journal: Your book focuses on female economic thinkers and writers who have been marginalised for many centuries in the profession. Can you tell us about the drivers of this injustice?

Edith Kuiper: The work that has been done on women in economics so far has mainly focused on the 20th century, the time when economics became professionalised as a science. The emergence of women in economics took place at the end of the 19th century, but in my book, I go back further to the 18th century, because I am interested in the very origins of political economy. I looked at women economic writers who were not even members of academic economics or political economy.

In today’s context, it is difficult for people to realise how hierarchical and patriarchal Western society was – particularly in England. Women were very much under the control of men. The legislative system was set up in a way that made women invisible. They were practically the property of their husband when they got married – they lost their rights to property, their children, and their inheritance. The husband would make all legal decisions for them.

And even prior to being married, the disenfranchisement started: women did not have access to education – except for some very upper-class, aristocratic women who were allowed to join their brothers when the tutor came to their house. This situation had very radical implications: when a person fails to get any education, she will not be able to read or write, know her rights, defend herself legally, and will be shut out of intellectual social conversations, let alone be able to get a decent job. And of course, it is very difficult for someone in this position to organise.

What impact did having access to education through their brothers’ tutors have?

In the 18th century, some of those women who managed to obtain an education went on to establish schools for other women. They wrote about the importance of education. Sarah Trimmer (a well-known writer of 18th-century British children’s literature) is one of the important women who wrote an extensive book on how to start a school. And the book is, of course, addressed to the ladies. The same is true for women’s economic works more generally; many of them were addressed to other women.

Why to other women, why not to society as a whole?

At the time, gender fundamentally structured everybody’s lives. During the 18th century, men were in control of the public sphere and the economic sphere while women were increasingly locked up in the private sphere, uneducated and unable to earn a living for themselves or build a career.

In this context, economic thinking develops without women being anywhere close. Political economy develops in clubs of men to which women did not have access. And not only did women not have access, but also, the economic topics that concerned women and their interests were not investigated or discussed – they were practically only laughed about.

Women were excluded from the theories developed by Adam Smith, David Ricardo, and Thomas Robert Malthus that laid the foundation of economic thought and were virtually uncontested at the end of the 19th century. Later, the marginalist revolution turned out to be similarly exclusive. This new strand of economic thinking introduced a more technical approach that takes capitalism as a given. And women were excluded because the theories started from the self-interested and rational male economic agent – something that was claimed to be neutral and generic.

Women were excluded from the theories that laid the foundation of economic thought.

Some thinkers claimed that their theories applied to women’s experiences – which of course was not true, but there were no women in the room to tell them that. In fact, women’s issues were seen as deviant, belonging in the household, which was considered outside the economic realm. The household as such had already been excluded from Political Economy by Adam Smith. So, you can see that there was not only a physical exclusion of women from the places where economics was developed, but also an exclusion of their experiences, agency, and interests in the theories of the field.

Was it not obvious for these theorists that an economic theory built around the ideal of the rational, probably white and wealthy, male, could not have a general application?

The idea was, of course, that these thinkers were describing men who were active in the public realm – businessmen mainly. Later, they also focused on workers. This was an academic environment of white middle- and upper-class men. They were living in the West, they were white guys, and they were in control of society, therefore, they considered it normal that their interests were the most important in the world; being on the privileged side, they did not have a reason to question that. This tradition continues until today.

Of course, these thinkers could have questioned this idea of the white male being representative of all humanity, which left out half of humanity. But this was not a question that they thought could drive their field further. It would even be disruptive to their personal careers. So, they would not talk about it, nor think about it.

Still, you mentioned that there were some women at the time who managed to become educated and started thinking, among other things, about economics. Who were they?

That is another interesting aspect: women were not just excluded from academia and the focus of economics, they were also erased from the history of economics. There were women who were acknowledged for their contribution during their lifetime, but their names are barely mentioned in the literature. There was, for example, Émilie du Châtelet. She has recently been rediscovered – and is now famous – but until 10 years ago, we only knew her as a weird lady lover of Voltaire. In truth, it appears that she was an active contributor to the French Enlightenment. She had her own community in which mathematicians, philosophers, and other intellectuals, even somebody like Voltaire, would come by to write and discuss relevant issues. She translated the works of Mandeville and Newton into French, adding her own thoughts in introductions and commentaries. But then, the history of economic thought has been written, and the historians being men, considered her contribution uninteresting.

Economics is very much linked to power.

Another important name is Sophie de Grouchy de Condorcet, who translated Adam Smith’s Theory of Moral Sentiments into French and added a set of eight letters with her own comments to the 1798 edition. These letters were only translated into English in 2008. As a member of the aristocracy, she was very well connected, ran a salon, and was popular amongst the people that mattered. Still, historians of economics almost exclusively mention her husband and consider her work irrelevant. ; In fact, a lot of the work of female authors addressed themes that were not acknowledged in economic theory – like marriage as an economic institution, education, or consumer behaviour. That is another reason why the work of these women was seen as uninteresting by historians of economics.

While more women in the 21st century go into economics, they remain marginalised. They do not decide the direction of the economic discipline because they are a minority at the level of full professors. In the United States, only about 15 per cent of economics professors were women in 2021. So, that is still not a critical mass (which is 25 per cent or higher). Women are still the exception and that is not good for economic science.

What was your personal experience when you entered the field of economics?

I first wanted to study physics because it was difficult, but then I developed an interest in economics. I tend to do things that I find interesting without always fully recognising how difficult they are. In our societies, economics functions like a religion; it guides our decisions on who gets what and why. So, I wanted to understand economic reasoning. I was especially motivated to understand why economics is more interested in using people to produce wealth than producing wealth to make people happy.

And I realised in the first week of my studies that the mainstream approach to economics is very limited, and that makes it dangerous. If you tell people again and again that they are self-interested, they will inevitably become self-interested. At that time, neoclassical economics dominated academia, Marxism was silenced, and other approaches were marginalised and vilified – at least until the mid-90s. There was hardly any space to develop an alternative economic perspective. That meant that a paper that applied alternative approaches would not be really recognised by others in the field. I remember that even Amartya Sen’s Nobel Prize was laughed about in my department. At the time, neoclassical economics had been dominant not only in academia, but also in policymaking at the World Bank and the IMF, among others. The same theories were taught all over the world, and critical scholars had raised similar concerns.

Still, as a group of women, we decided to start studying the economics of women. But there were hardly any books on the issues that interested us. That was tough and exciting at the same time. At some point, I found a colleague, Jolande Sap, who had a similar view of the issues of gender, feminism, and economics as I did. We organised an international conference. I went to the United States, where academics were a bit further with all this, and the Americans came to Amsterdam to facilitate an exchange of ideas. So, we were able to connect worldwide with other people who saw that gender had been a structuring factor in the development of political economy and economic science. That was just fantastic. There were people from New Zealand, Brazil, and Russia, for example.

We were with approximately 120 people at the conference, from different parts of the world, and we all understood each other. That was a clear sign of how important our approach to gender and economics was.

So far, only two female economists have received the Nobel Prize: Elinor Ostrom and Esther Duflo. Why is that? Even if only 15 per cent of professors are female, there should be enough material out there to choose more female economists. So, is there also a problem inside the Nobel Prize in Economics Committee?

Yes, the problem is part of the culture in economics. We need to ask ourselves a few questions: Who is being selected for the Committee? What are their values? I know people who would be great candidates for the Nobel Prize, but it takes a long time and connections to get nominated. Feminist economists hardly have the kind of time and connections to do that. It took years to get Amartya Sen nominated, even though he is totally brilliant and made a significant impact on development economics. The Committee members were not happy about giving him the prize because he is left-leaning and a self-proclaimed feminist economist. But they could not find a compelling reason to refuse him.

Overall, we can see that the Nobel Prize reflects the current situation in the field of economics. I do not expect the Nobel Committee to award an African-American woman in the next 20 years, for instance. When Ostrom got the prize, Gary Becker complained that economics is turning into social or cultural science. So, this sexist attitude is really sticky.

One of the ways to protect the position of economics as a science has been the increased use of mathematics in its theories. But I believe that this emphasis on mathematics would not be a necessity. The thing is that while physics has a very concrete subject to study, “the economy” is a social and political construct. So, what is defined as the economy is not obvious. And male economists have, over the years, defined the economy as an activity that women do not partake in. From the very beginning of political economy, patriarchy crept in. In fact, economics is very much linked to power. It provides an ideology that rationalises economic relations. Those who are powerful in economics are also powerful in society, so economists have a huge voice. When, for instance, 200 economists say that the minimum wage should go up, that will become an impactful news item.

What would be the takeaway of your book for activists or progressive political parties?

While writing the book, I learned how strong the impact of patriarchy has been on economic thinking. I knew before that it was strong, but I did not know it was practically fundamental. Still, I think the book is good for the heart, in the sense that a lot of these people you can read about did so much more than what you would expect based on the dominant narratives. Their work grounds economic thinking and brings it back to our lived experience and everyday problems.

Today’s mainstream economics is just one story about the way the economy works. It might be the dominant story, but it is still a limited one.

Although they were written out of history books, they were still successful. Quite a few women were awfully famous when they were alive. Everybody knew them. And yet they did not end up in the history books.

In this sense, the book can inspire individuals, economists, and politicians with new ideas on how to think about the economy, as well as how to make it fairer. And it also helps readers recognise that today’s mainstream economics is just one story about the way the economy works. It might be the dominant story, but it is still a limited one. I call mainstream economic theory “status quo economics” because it cannot deal, for example, with substantial changes in the economy, such as climate change. My book shows that if you integrate women, if you recognise women’s voices and the voices of women of colour in particular, you can learn something amazing. To understand what is going on in the economy, these voices must be heard and taken seriously.

You mention that climate change cannot be addressed by status quo economics, but how could feminist economics help Greens to put it on the agenda?

Historically, the feminist movement and the environmental movement had similar or parallel interests. Their issues were excluded from mainstream economic thought. For neoclassical economists, nature is a given and as such, it is up for grabs. This is similar to how the work of women in the household is taken as a given and not valued or considered as a cost. This makes the problems of these two fields similar, to some extent.

In the past, feminist economists had been shy to take steps toward environmentalists, partly due to the essentialism that very quickly linked nature and women. Feminist economists like Bina Agarwal showed that this was not a productive approach. At the same time, the Green movement has often come up with a very similar analysis to that of feminist economists, but without recognising this similarity. So, that means that to some extent we were inventing the wheel twice – just giving it different names.

But by now, I think, there is an increasing awareness amongst Greens and feminist economists that they must cooperate and understand better the interests their movements share. Recently, there has been a lot of productive work on reaching a common understanding of the problems, their root causes, as well as possible solutions. I think that environmentalists and feminist economists could mutually strengthen their voices.

Ulusötesi Baskının Avrupa’ya Uzanan Etkisi

Avrupa Birliği’ndeki diasporaların giderek artan boyutu, içinde yaşadıkları ülkelere birçok fayda ve fırsat yaratmakla birlikte bu toplulukları koruma sorumluluğunu da beraberinde getiriyor. Otoriter hükümetler, Avrupa ülkeleri topraklarında etkinler ve muhalif vatandaşları gözetim, korku ve fiziksel şiddetle hedef alıyorlar. Ulusötesi baskı yoluyla, iç politika ile uluslararası politika iç içe geçiyor. Sonuçları ise, demokrasinin bütünlüğünü ve herkesin özgürlüğünü tehdit ediyor.

Mart 2019’da Rus eski subayı Sergei Skripal ve kızının İngiltere’de Rus istihbaratı tarafından zehirlenmesi ve Ekim 2018’de Cemal Kaşıkçı’nın Suudi yetkililer tarafından İstanbul’da öldürülmesi gibi olaylar ulusötesi baskıyı haber gündemine taşıdı. Terim yeni olmasına rağmen, yurt dışındaki “düşman” vatandaşları hedef alma uygulaması yeni değil. Şili’li muhalif Orlando Letelier, 1976’da Washington DC’de Augusto Pinochet’nin gizli polisi tarafından arabasına yerleştirilen bir bombanın patlatılmasıyla öldürüldü. İddiaya göre Bulgar yazar ve BBC gazetecisi Georgi Markov, 1978’de Londra’da, bir Bulgar devlet ajanı tarafından ; zehirli bir tabletle öldürüldü. ;

Daha yakın zamanlarda, dijital teknoloji, Belaruslu muhalif politikacı Sviatlana Tsikhanouskaya gibi sürgündeki aktivistlerin kendi ülkelerindeki siyasi durumu yurt dışından etkilemelerine olanak sağladı. Rusya, İran ve Çin gibi otoriter devletler, aynı teknolojiyi, muhalifleri gözetleme ve çevrimiçi taciz yoluyla hedef almanın yanı sıra suikastler, adam kaçırma, memleketlerindeki aile üyelerini tehdit etme veya Interpol üzerinden uluslararası tutuklama kararları ve kırmızı bültenler çıkartmak gibi daha sıradan baskı biçimleri için kullandılar. Ulusötesi baskı yükselişte ve Türkiye de bunun en kötü faillerden biri. Yaklaşık 5,5 milyon kişiden oluşan, Batı Avrupa’nın en büyük ve en çeşitli diasporalarından biri olan Türk diasporası örneği, çok yönlü ulusötesi baskının 21. yüzyılın en sinsi jeopolitik meydan okumalarından biri olduğunu göstermektedir. ;

Diasporanın kökleri ;

Diasporanın büyük bir kısmı, 1961’de umutsuzca işçi arayan Almanya ile kronik olarak yüksek işsizlikten mustarip Türkiye arasında imzalanan bir işçi sözleşmesine kadar uzanır. Avusturya, Belçika, Fransa, Hollanda, İsveç ve diğer ülkelerle de benzer anlaşmalar imzalandı. Bu ülkeler, kökleri Türkiye’de olan en büyük diasporalardan bazılarına ev sahipliği yapmaya devam ediyorlar.

Moving Targets: Geopolitics in a Warming World
This article is from the paper edition
Moving Targets: Geopolitics in a Warming World
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Çoğunlukla yoksul olan ve Anadolu’nun kırsal kesimlerinden gelen, bazen bütün köy halinde göç eden bu Gastarbeiter -misafir işçiler- 1970’lerin sonunda toplam 2,5 milyonun üzerine ulaşmıştı. Söylemeye gerek yok, “misafir” işçilerin çoğu kaldı ve aileleri [de] kısa süre sonra onlara katılarak Avrupa’nın en güçlü ekonomilerinin inşasına yardımcı oldular, ancak bu süreçte marjinalleştirilmiş bir alt sınıf oluşturdular. Bu ilk nesil, bugün hala Avrupa’daki diasporanın çoğunluğunu oluşturmaktadır. ;

1980 darbesi ve Türkiye’deki üç yıllık askeri diktatörlüğün ardından, bu ekonomik göçmenlere, Avrupa’ya sığınmak isteyen büyük ölçüde solcu fakat aynı zamanda aralarında İslamcılar da olan bir siyasi mülteci seli [de] katıldı. Türkiye’de ciddi şekilde kısıtlanan veya yasaklanan İslamcı, solcu, Kürt ve Alevi dernekleri Avrupa’da gelişmeye başladı. Bu, Cumhurbaşkanı Recep Tayyip Erdoğan’ın ilk olarak içinden çıktığı Millî Görüş İslamcı hareketini [de] içeriyordu. 1990’lar, hükümetin zulmünden ve bir isyandan kaçan çok sayıda Kürt’ün geldiği üçüncü bir göç dalgasına şahit oldu. ; ;

Bu yeni gelenler diasporanın siyasi bilincini yükseltmeye başladığında, Türk hükümeti onları daha yakından takip etmeye karar verdi. Ankara, daha radikal İslamcı grupları kontrol altında tutmak için tüm kıtadaki camilere imamlar göndermek üzere Diyanet İşleri Başkanlığı’nı görevlendirdi. Bugün Avrupa’da yaklaşık bin [kadar] Diyanet‘in kontrolünde olan cami var. Türkiye’nin eğitim bakanlığından da Almanya ve diğer ülkelere Türkçe öğretmek için çok sayıda öğretmen gönderildi. ; ;

Yurt içi ve yurt dışı baskılar ;

Son on yılda diasporaya, siyasi ve ekonomik istikrarsızlıktan kaçan, Türkiye’nin en yüksek eğitimli binlerce vatandaşının yanı sıra Ankara’nın gazabından kaçan siyasi mülteciler [de] katıldı. Cumhurbaşkanı Erdoğan, Temmuz 2016’daki acımasız, başarısız darbeyi yüz binlerce kişiye karşı baskı uygulamak için bir bahane olarak kullandı. Birincil hedefler, Erdoğan’ın eskiden ortağı şimdiyse düşmanı olan ve Ankara tarafından darbeden sorumlu tutulan küresel bir İslami hareketin lideri Fethullah Gülen’in takipçileriydi. Diğerleri [ise] aralarında birçok üst düzey akademisyen ve gazeteci olan hükümeti eleştiren solcular ve Kürt milliyetçileriydi. Bu insanların büyük çoğunluğunun darbeyle ya da diğer şiddet eylemleriyle hiçbir ilgisi yoktu. Ankara, çoğu AB üye ülkelerinde vatandaşlık sahibi olan düşmanlarını dünya çapında düzinelerce ülkede takip ettiği için, Erdoğan’ın baskısı kısa sürede ulusötesi hale geldi. Demokrasi gözlemcisi Freedom House, Türkiye’nin, son yıllarda diğer tüm ülkelerden daha fazla yurt dışından iade aldığını, esasen -genellikle yerel devlet yetkililerinin yardımıyla- kaçırdığını ortaya çıkarttı. Kuruluş, bunun muhtemelen gerçeğin altında bir sayı olduğunu kabul ederek, 17 ülkeden 58 kişinin iadesini belgeledi. Türk hükümetinin kendisi de zaten 27 ülkeden 116 “terörist”i tutuklamakla övünüyor. ;

Freedom House, Türkiye’nin son yıllarda yurt dışındaki muhaliflerinin, diğer tüm ülkelerden daha fazla olduğunu tespit etti.

Freedom House‘da ulusötesi baskı konusunda uzman olan Yana Gorokhoskaia, “Türkiye bu kampanyadan oldukça gurur duyuyor,” diye ifade ediyor. “Sık sık birini kaçırıp Türkiye’ye geri getirmekle övünüyorlar ve bu medyada yerli izleyicilere bir başarı olarak sunuluyor.” ;

Vakaların çoğu AB dışında gerçekleşti, ancak hepsi değil. En az bir davada, iki yerel mahkemenin adil yargılanmaları garanti edilemediği için Türkiye’ye iadenin aleyhinde karar vermesine rağmen, Gülen destekçisi olduğu iddia edilen birçok kişi Bulgaristan’dan Türkiye’ye götürüldü. ;

Ankara, siyasi muhaliflerin peşinde koşarken başka yollarla da devlet idaresinin normlarını ortadan kaldırdı. Interpol, Almanya Başbakanı Angela Merkel’in konu hakkında Ankara’yı sert bir şekilde azarladığı, Erdoğan’ın siyasi hedefleri hakkındaki iade veya bilgi sağlama talepleriyle dolup taşıyor. Türkiye’nin Milli İstihbarat Teşkilatı’nın (MİT), Alman istihbaratına gözetim altına alınması için 300’ü aşkın Gülen destekçisinden oluşan bir liste verdiği; Almanların bunu yapmak yerine o kişilere dikkatli olmaları; Türkiye’den ve Türk konsolosluklarından uzak durmaları konusunda uyardığı bildiriliyor. Eylül 2021’de Düsseldorf polisi, elinde silahlar ile bir Gülen destekçileri listesi bulunan ve Türk istihbaratı için çalıştığına inanılan bir adamı tutukladı. Alman parlamenterler bile Türk gözetimi altında olabilecekleri konusunda uyarıldı. İsviçre ve Avusturya da Türkiye’nin muhalifler hakkında casusluk yapmasından şikâyet etti. ;

Türk devletinin geniş kapsamlı etkisi ;

Avrupa topraklarındaki istihbarat operasyonlarının yanı sıra Ankara, fark edilen düşmanlarına karşı bir dizi başka kaynağı seferber etti. Yurt içinde ve yurt dışında sıradan insanlar, memleketlilerini ele vermek konusunda teşvik edildi. Diyanet’e bağlı, Erdoğan hükümeti fonlarıyla güçlendirilmiş ve sadık partililerle dolu camilerdeki imamlar, Gülen yandaşlarını gözetliyor. Almanya’daki Türk konsolosluklarının, Türk öğretmenlere ve öğrencilere, öğretmenleri gözetlemelerini ve Erdoğan hükümetini eleştiren her türlü materyali bildirmelerini söylediği iddia ediliyor. ;

Almanya tarafından 2018’de yasaklanan motorcu çete Osmanen Germania gibi Erdoğan’ın Adalet ve Kalkınma Partisi ile yakın bağları olan şiddet grupları da Ankara tarafından muhalifleri hedef almak için kullanılıyor. Alman makamlarına göre, AKP üyesi ve Erdoğan sırdaşı Metin Külünk, “Kürtlerin kafalarına sopalarla vurmalarını” söylediği çeteyi finanse etti. ;

Temmuz 2021’de Türk gazeteci Erk Acarer, Berlin’de, kendisine yazmayı bırakmasını söyleyen kimliği belirsiz Türk erkekler tarafından saldırıya uğradı. Aynı sıralarda, Köln’deki Alman polisi gazeteci Celal Başlangıç’ı, adının hedefte olan muhalifler listesinde bulunduğu konusunda uyardı. ;

Erdoğan’ın yurtdışındaki kampanyası, Avrupa’daki diasporanın karşılaştığı gerçek ayrımcılığın altını çiziyor.

Bu baskı Avrupa’da acı bir belirsizlik bıraktı. King’s College London‘da Türk diasporası uzmanı Alexander Clarkson [bu durumu], “MİT’e, yaptıklarına, kurduğu baskı ve çıkardığı sorunlara karşı gerçek bir nefret var” diye açıklıyor. Avrupalı yetkililerin, çok sert tepki vermekte tereddüt ettiğini çünkü MİT’in bir NATO ortağının istihbarat teşkilatı olduğunu söylüyor. Ancak, çeşitli AB ülkeleri Diyanet’e karşı sıkı önlem aldı. Alman hükümeti, Türk hükümeti için çalışan imamları inceleme altına aldı ve kendi imamlarını eğitmeye başladı. Diğer ülkeler Diyanet imamlarını sınır dışı etti ve vize başvurularını bloke ederek Türk camilerini kapattı. Paris, camilerin dış kaynaklı finansmanına kısıtlamalar getirdi. ;

Türkiye’nin AB sınırları içinde siyaset yapması ve özellikle son beş yılda Erdoğan ve diğer AKP’li siyasetçilerin sert söylemleri, Avrupa-Türkiye ilişkilerine yardımcı olmadı. 2017’de, Erdoğan’ın cumhurbaşkanlığı yetkilerini büyük ölçüde artırmayı öneren bir oylama öncesinde Türk siyasetçilerin Avusturya, Almanya ve Hollanda’daki mitinglerini kısıtlama konusunda bir tartışma patlak verdi. Erdoğan ve diğer üst düzey politikacılar Avrupa hükümetlerini Nazilere benzettiler ve o yılın ilerleyen günlerinde diaspora üyelerine daha fazla çocuk sahibi olarak 2017 federal seçimlerinde Almanya’nın “Türk karşıtı” ana akım siyasi partilerine “ders vermeleri” gerektiğini söylediler. Türkiye, ülkenin aday statüsü, diasporası ve gümrük birliği yoluyla yapılan devasa ticaret hacmi nedeniyle Avrupa Birliği için özgün bir örnek. Stiftung Wissenschaft und Politik’te (Alman Uluslararası ve Güvenlik Çalışmaları Enstitüsü) Türkiye’nin diaspora politikası konusunda uzman olan Sinem Adar’ın belirttiği üzere, AB için Türkiye hem iç hem de dış politika meselesi. [Kendisi bunu] “Türkiye ile işlevsel bir ilişki bir seçim değil, bir zorunluluktur,” diyerek açıklıyor. ;

AKP döneminde Türkiye uluslararası alanda kendini kanıtladı ve Afrika, Balkanlar ve Orta Doğu’daki ilişkileri ile etkisini genişletti. Son on yılda bu politika, Libya ve Suriye’deki müdahalelerle Doğu Akdeniz’de saldırgan, askerileştirilmiş bir yol izledi. AKP, bu dış politika genişlemesiyle çakışan şekilde diaspora içindeki kurumsal erişimini ve etkisini derinleştirdi. 2010 yılında açılan yeni bir devlet kurumu olan Yurtdışı Türkler ve Akraba Topluluklar Başkanlığı (YTB) bünyesinde Türkiye’nin ilk derli toplu diaspora politikasını geliştirdi. Nihayet 2014 yılında, yurttaşların Türkiye seçimlerinde yurtdışından oy kullanmasına izin verildi (önceden Türkiye’ye gitmek gerekiyordu), konsolosluk hizmetleri iyileştirildi ve esasen AKP’nin bir kolu olan Avrupa Türk Demokratlar Birliği’nin himayesi altında sivil toplum kuruluşları, düşünce kuruluşları, okullar ve kültür merkezlerinden oluşan geniş bir altyapı kuruldu. Bu altyapı, bir ulusötesi baskı silahına dönüştürülmek yerine yalnızca bir yumuşak güç aracı olarak kullanılsaydı, bu çabalar o zaman övgüye değer olurdu. [Ne var ki hâlihazırda] Türk devletinin geri kalanı gibi, Türkiye vatandaşlarına değil de Recep Tayyip Erdoğan’ın şahsına ve partisine hizmet ediyor. ;

Harekete geçmemenin bedeli ;

AB ülkelerinin ulusötesi baskıya karşı koyabileceği çeşitli yollar var. AB genelinde net kırmızı çizgiler oluşturulmalı, birbirine uyumlu hale getirilmeli ve bunları çiğnemek beraberinde yüksek maliyetler getirir olmalı. Bunlar, hedefe dönük, AB çapında varlık dondurma ve seyahat yasaklarını içeren yaptırımları içerebilirler. Avrupa merkezli şirketlerin gözetim teknolojisini otoriter rejimlere satmaları daha da kısıtlanabilir. Sığınma programlarının modernize edilmesi ve genişletilmesi gerekiyor ki, böylece ulusötesi baskının hedefindekiler AB dışındaki güvende olmadıkları ülkelerde yıllarca bekletilmesin. Kolluk kuvvetlerinin ulusötesi baskıyı belirleme ve bunlarla başa çıkma konusunda eğitilmesi gerekiyor; Interpol, yakın zamanda reforme edilmiş olmasına rağmen, siyasi nedenlerle hedef alınan kişileri listelemeye devam ediyor. Tecrit edilmiş göçmenler, en çok ulusötesi baskı riski altındalar ve AB ülkelerinin risk altındakiler için özel programlarla diasporalarına yönelik sosyal yardımı, kaynakları, iş eğitimi ve uyum çabalarını artırması gerekmekte.

Özel olarak Türkiye’ye gelince, AB’nin mültecileri Avrupa’nın dışında tutması için Ankara’ya ödeme yaptığı ve Erdoğan hükümetinin AB’ye karşı bir silah olarak kullandığı tartışmalı 2016 göç anlaşması rafa kaldırılmalı. Bu anlaşma, Türkiye’yi risk altındaki göçmenler için güvensiz bir ülke haline getiriyor ve Ankara’ya güçlü bir koz veriyor. Avrupa ülkeleri ayrıca, Müslüman toplulukları daha fazla marjinalleştirmeden veya İslamofobik politikalara veya retoriğe başvurmadan Diyanet camilerini bağımsız camilerle değiştirmek gibi hassas bir göreve devam etmeli. ;

Giderek daha katılaşan sınır politikalarına rağmen, Avrupa’daki diasporalar büyümeye devam ediyor. AB sadece faydalanmakta. Göçmenler ise Avrupa kültürünü daha da zenginleştirmenin yanı sıra, işgücü taleplerinin karşılanmasına ve kıtanın yaşlanan nüfusunda demografik düşüşün önlenmesine önemli bir katkı sağlıyor. Bununla birlikte, AB ülkeleri her şeyden önce eşit vatandaşlar olarak muamele görmek isteyen diasporalarla bütünleşme ve onlarla ilişki kurma konusunda daha iyi bir iş çıkartmalı. Türk diasporası örneğinde, AKP’nin ulusötesi baskı kampanyası, Erdoğan’a diasporada Türkiye’den daha yüksek oranda destek verilmesiyle kolaylaştırılıyor. Erdoğan’ın yurtdışındaki kampanyası, Avrupa’daki diasporanın karşılaştığı gerçek ayrımcılığın altını çizerken kendini onların korkusuz şampiyonu olarak sunuyor. YTB’nin diaspora dergisi Artı 90, Erdoğan’ın Avrupa bayrakları üzerinde hilal ve yıldızlarla süslenmiş bir fotoğrafının yer aldığı bir kapağıyla “Asla, asla yalnız değilsin” diye başlık atıyor. Bu mesaj, orantısız bir şekilde düşük gelir ve eğitim seviyelerine sahip olmaları yüzünden kendi ülkelerinde tam olarak kabul görmemiş hisseden ve genellikle aşırı sağ siyasetin hedef kitlesi olan diaspora topluluklarından birçok kişiye hitap ediyor. Ulusötesi baskı, sadece daha geniş bir jeopolitik resmin uygunsuz bir cephesi değil, aynı zamanda Avrupa Birliği’nin üzerine kurulduğu temel haklara – yaşama, özgür olma ve ifade özgürlüğü haklarına – yönelik bir saldırı. Türkiye ve onun gibi otoriter devletlerin eylemleri sadece diaspora topluluklarının haklarını değil, Avrupa’da yaşayan tüm insanların haklarını tehdit etmekte. AB, kendi sınırları içerisinde insan haklarını demokratik olmayan rejimlerin ihlal etmesine göz yumarak ve kendi topraklarında olan bitenlere güçlü bir yanıt vermeyerek, sadece yurtdışındaki otoriterliği teşvik etmekle kalmıyor, aynı zamanda onu etkin bir şekilde içeriye davet ediyor. ;

“A dangerous and complicated moment”: France After the 2022 Elections

France’s June 2022 legislative elections saw 23 Greens take office in the country’s National Assembly, thanks to a successful alliance among Green, left-wing, and progressive parties. While this historic achievement may be significant, the far right also saw unprecedented gains, voter turnout reached a record low, and Emmanuel Macron’s political agenda has been endorsed for a second term despite numerous broken promises. Gwendoline Delbos-Corfield assesses whether recent shifts towards fragmentation are here to stay and the prospects for Greens to influence politics in a country where the role of opposition is strongly curtailed.

Green European Journal: In the campaign for the 2022 French legislative elections, Green and progressive parties joined forces to form a coalition: the New Ecological and Social People’s Union (NUPES). How did this come about? Was the decision by the French Greens to enter this alliance a reaction to the disappointing results of April’s presidential elections, or was it the product of a longer term reflection and process?

Gwendoline Delbos-Corfield: I have long held a very critical view of French politics and the French situation, but even more so today. The way the Fifth Republic is organised with the presidential and legislative elections in two rounds has similar effects to first-past-the-post systems. Because of this lack of proportionality, which comes from the French fear of parliamentarianism, coalition-building ends up being a must at all levels, for municipal elections, regional elections, and especially for the national ones – which is where coalitions are most difficult to build. It is a way of seeing politics that opposes Left and Right and leaves no space for anything in between. For the Greens, it means that coalitions are always a consideration, and there is constant debate in the party on the topic.

Ever since the electoral agenda was inverted, so that the legislative elections follow presidential elections, legislative elections have been something of a formality that just confirms whoever wins the presidency. But this time around, [La France Insoumise leader] Jean-Luc Mélenchon made a smart move and managed to break this pattern. He moved quickly to present the legislatives as a way of still getting into power and used this to force different movements to come together. Within the Greens, there was little debate in the end because there was no other option. It would have been completely misunderstood if we had not joined the NUPES.

The results of this election cycle present a mixed picture. Yannick Jadot failed to reach 5 per cent in the presidential elections, yet there is now a significant Green group in the National Assembly. At the same time, the far-right Rassemblement National (RN) gained more seats than ever, Emmanuel Macron was re-elected, and Jean-Luc Mélenchon emerged as the dominant force on the Left. Was it a success for the Greens overall?

It’s a very dangerous and complicated moment. 89 deputies from the RN now sit in the French Assembly. For years I’ve been saying that France is politically and democratically immature, and that we should move to a parliamentary system. The counter-argument was always that the French system protects us from the far right because they will never reach the second round and win seats. That obviously no longer holds.

The strength of the far right makes for a very serious situation. So does the fact that so many did not turn out and vote. Surveys have shown that France is among the countries with the least trust in its elite, the world of politics, and journalists. Conspiracy theories are a major problem, which was why the vaccination uptake was also difficult. As president, Macron has cynically and opportunistically instrumentalised this situation.

In this bad and dangerous overall picture, the Greens did the best they could. The parliamentary group is not the biggest imaginable, but it does contain the largest ever number of Green deputies. Most importantly, the way in which these people were selected means that they have full autonomy to follow the Green agenda. From 2012 to 2017, the Greens had 17 deputies elected thanks to the Socialist Party, and they continued to be politically dominated throughout the mandate. Having strong, autonomous MPs will be a first, and I trust that they will be an active and assertive group. Although there were major disagreements on foreign affairs, the Greens choose their own candidates as part of the NUPES alliance and the rest of the programme largely matched that of the Greens.

Some have concluded we’re witnessing a shift to a political landscape divided into three major blocs: the far right, the liberal centre-right, and the socio-ecological left. Do you think that that might be a new, more or less stable configuration? If so, what would it mean for political ecology as an autonomous force?

I don’t believe in this theory of the three poles and I think that the fragmentation is here to stay. A liberal centre-right? Under Macron, the French government is less and less committed to defending the rule of law. It’s not out in the open, but when you dig, you find violations of data protection, the criminalisation of civil society, police violence, and migrant pushbacks. After the first round of the legislatives, many in what is supposed to be the liberal centre-right refused to choose between far-right and NUPES candidates. Since these elections, the same people have even said that the extreme left is more dangerous than the extreme right. Sure, there are small communist or anarchist-leaning parties in France, but Mélenchon is not extreme left and it is dangerous to depict him as such. This idea of Macron as a liberal defender of the rule of law is not credible.

On the right, the traditional Republican right may have shrunk with its voters moving to Macron or Le Pen, but it will not go away. Rassemblement National is also here to stay. And they are underrepresented in the Assembly relative to their actual support.

Environmental issues are indeed a shared concern across the Left. I don’t know one left-leaning person in France who does not believe that the environment is at the heart of the debate. Apart from a few outliers in the Communist Party, the Left in France is convinced that social justice and environmental justice go hand in hand. It is a source of hope that all left-wing parties are concerned about green issues but the Left is still likely to remain fragmented and the question will be how we manage it.

There have been tensions around Europe – La France Insoumise contains Eurosceptic elements, while the Greens are pro-European. Has the alliance bridged this gap to some extent?

We will need time to read the situation. The Greens, in theory, never changed their stance as unambiguous pro-Europeans. But it did bring up differences within the Greens about Europe. Many Greens still consider the EU to be more neoliberal than France, which I think is incredible when you look at the French situation. Similarly, some still regard Germany as an occasional threat. A lack of understanding of the parliamentary situations in other European countries, particularly Germany, blinds the Greens and the wider Left to a great extent. There is also a lack of knowledge about the European institutions themselves. Many on the French Left, including the Greens, see violating European treaties as a solution. That is the same thing that Hungary and Poland are criticised for. Most of Europe’s problems do not stem from the treaties.

At the moment, the European debate is not taking place – it was easier not to open that box during the election. The Greens and Socialists reiterated their pro-European positions and La France Insoumise said that they did not define themselves as Eurosceptic. But the issue will re-emerge as the next elections are the European elections in 2024, and some are already calling for another NUPES alliance. It is unlikely to happen – the Greens will prefer to run on their own – but there will be discussions.

Some have said that the arrival of Green and left-wing deputies with backgrounds in environmental campaigning and activism hints at the transition of the “climate generation” into institutional politics, others have proclaimed the death of the climate movement in the wake of the pandemic. What is your reading of the situation?

The climate agenda remains present in the minds of civil society in a very strong way. It is not dead at all. In France, we have been seeing more radical actions and civil disobedience, like the protests at the Tour de France, for example. These protests are young people saying that the government is ignoring the climate problem, and it is true.

Our electoral system means that it’s only at local elections that environmental issues are seen as a priority.

After Macron won in 2017, we were hoping for a green economy. Of course, we expected a bit of greenwashing, but it did appear that there would be some kind of green economic policy. Instead, the government performed very poorly on green issues and the situation is only getting worse. It is a short-sighted pro-business agenda, not even the progressive green business agenda that we might have hoped for.

All of France has felt the impact of heat and drought this summer. People are ready to make sacrifices for environmental issues when they are asked to, and surveys show that it is a major concern for people. But our electoral system means that it’s only at local elections that environmental issues are seen as a priority and so it’s only in cities that have elected mayors who are Green, or close to the Greens, where you can make a real difference.

After these elections, the number of female MPs fell by 2 per cent but the ranks of the NUPES and Green deputies include many strong, prominent women, including young women. How do you see the picture for women after these elections?

The Fifth Republic is a patriarchal system. That doesn’t mean that French society is more patriarchal than others but that the political system is patriarchal. It is built on the idea that a strong man should lead the country and solve all of its problems. This man doesn’t need help and he doesn’t need consultation. He acts as “Jupiter”. During the pandemic, people would ask me, “Why are things happening differently in Germany?” In Germany, you have consultation. In France, the State concentrates all power at the national level and in the hands of the dominant party.

This system influences how women act in politics and how they are involved. Organising the legislative elections across two rounds encourages the selection of recognisable faces and makes it more difficult for outsiders. Parties struggle to bring in new generations of politicians because they end up relying on the best-known names. Young women are disadvantaged by such a system.

In 2017, Macron put forward many female candidates because most of his candidates came from outside of politics. They were elected because they were his people, even the campaign posters made that clear. Now we are back to the old system. Many of the women who entered politics with Macron became disgusted by politics and decided not to go back. So, it is not the French society that is lagging, it is the French political system.

What can we expect from the Green parliamentary group? Will they have much influence? Where will the Green strategy lie between radical opposition and constructive engagement with Macron’s government?

People outside of France need to understand that you cannot just invent a parliamentary system in a non-parliamentary system. After the elections, many people were saying that France is going to discover parliamentarianism. No, it’s not. When it doesn’t exist, it doesn’t exist. The system lacks the tools, means, and ways of working for that.

In the French Assembly and Senate, hundreds of amendments are made to every law but the governing party doesn’t actually consider them. You don’t even look at the opposition’s amendments, you just refuse them. Of course, the opposition will do serious work to scrutinise legislation and make amendments. But to get media attention, they will have to resort to polemics and stunts. That is the only way to usefully do politics in the French system. There are no incentives to focus on amendments and detailed legislative work because there is no parliamentary political culture in France.

A society where people, particularly young people, do not vote is a society in danger.

The Greens will face the double difficulty of acting as part of an opposition in which Mélenchon will continue to be the most vocal. Political parties across the spectrum in France are struggling to keep their members. It’s a challenge for the future of the Greens too. Another part of the opposition will be led by the RN and they will take every chance to push their racist and authoritarian agenda. Some of the debates that exist on French television would be illegal elsewhere in Europe. Open antisemitism, racism, and xenophobia will become even more normal. But we will fight back, make no mistake about that.

The greatest challenge in France today is that of civic education. The public needs to gain a deeper understanding of France’s institutions, Europe, and the geopolitical situation. A society where people, particularly young people, do not vote is a society in danger. France has good civil servants and NGOs who keep France and the French system alive and safe, for now, but it needs the citizens themselves to take an active part in the country’s future.

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