MADRID – Today, three European countries are among the world’s seven largest economies. Ten years from now, only two will remain. By 2030, only Germany will still be on the list, and by 2050, none will remain. Indeed, by then, the United States will be the only representative of the West in the top seven.
What this means is that the European states are too small to compete separately in the world of the twenty-first century. It’s as simple as that. By 2030, according to the World Bank, there will be two billion more people, mainly Asians, in the middle class. The pressure on the planet’s resources, commodities, water, and food will be huge, making a global rebalancing practically inevitable. And in a world marked by interdependence and constant change, Europe will find that unity is strength.
Indeed, unless Europeans work toward integration, they may find themselves surpassed by emerging countries in terms of technological development, job creation, production costs, talent, and creativity.
The European Union is still the place where economic and social institutions assure a better quality of life. In this sense, the demand for a European voice in the world is clear – Brazil’s former president, Luiz Inácio Lula da Silva, spoke of the EU as a “singular international heritage” – because it guarantees the values that represent humanity at its best.