Globalization, Inclusion and Sustainablity in a Global Century
G7 International Forum - May 2017

From the Introduction to the Forum

“Beyond GDP, Getting Sustainability in a Global Century”

With the Patronage of the Italy’s G7 Presidency, a group of analysts and experts provided the G7 Heads of Government, through their Ministers of Foreign Affairs with considerations and proposals aimed at facing today’s great challenges in a stronger way.

The analysts and experts from several Institutions and Universities (namely, Fondazione Universitaria Economia Tor Vergata and Link Campus University), national and international Research Centres, as well as from the fields of culture and politics. The Forum was a follow up to the previous one “The G8 and beyond: the economics and politics of a global century?”, held in Villa Madama on 21st and 22nd June 2009 in preparation for the G7 of L’Aquila (Italian Presidency) held on July 2009.

The idea of the “responsible nationalism” has emerged in the USA as a response to the limits of globalisation. However, the global systemic interrelation known as globalisation, which is an ancient phenomenon in human history, is nearly irreversible. For this reason, new policy is necessary, involving the G7 in carrying out “Sustainable development goals”, not only related to climate-environment but also to the socio-economic field.

The international forum focused on three in-depth spheres:

  1. The issue of fair globalization, aimed at rediscovering its cultural and political soul, is crucial. In fact, we are facing two phenomena, both inevitable, that need to find a dialogue and renewed strategic syntheses. On the one hand, lies everybody’s strong need (not only in terms of need) to overcome one’s own national boundaries, which are often very anachronistic barriers compared to the radical and fast global historical processes; for example the theme of the “web” in all its aspects and, in particular, the great on-going debate on cyber security and its implications (technological, economic, social, political, cultural); in addition, “forced” migrations (for wars, economic crises, environmental reasons) and their impact on our societies and our cultural, social and political habits, the changes in our cities and the demographic unbalances. On the other hand, lies the human beings’ need to feel part of native and identity-making worlds, almost to escape from the globalised dispersion (perceived as “atomizing”) to find themselves in their “homely” certainties.

    Not only in the case of the European Union:
    ? Besides the competition policies, any policies adequate to support the globalisation’s losers have been implemented.
    ? The social policies are left to the national authorities that are bound to the budgetary regulations.
    ? The territorial policies are scarce and have assumed a function of compensation rather than of governance of the globalisation effects.
    ? The market social economy showed limits in its capacity of obtaining satisfying income redistribution.
  2. In this context, we need a response able to carry out adequate governance of globalisation and its inequalities, as well as adequate governance of migratory flows, thus enabling sustainable development, as envisaged in the UN 2030 Agenda. Is the idea of a “responsible” nationalism useful? It is useful to the extent in which it helps avoiding the evident distortions of the misunderstood nationalism to which one would like to come back to, going to the roots of the real problems of our “developed” societies and their relationships with the “emerging” economies.

    We will mention two of them, undoubtedly crucial, and getting the different academic disciplines and the ruling classes involved:
    ? The increase in inequalities and insecurity in our national societies and at global level. Austerity policies were not able to lead Europe as a whole to adequate growth and development rates to keep up with the big economies of the rest of the world. The rhetoric of development does not do anything but exacerbate the existing problems, thus widening the social gap between the wide majorities, victims of growing social exclusion and very narrow oligarchies, increasingly richer.
    ? The narrowing of the spaces of the democratic experience in our democracies “competitive 4.0”, “emptied”, “refuge” of populisms of different nature (very different from context to context).
  3. It is necessary to realise that we have just entered an era that can be defined as “post-Brexit”, where Brexit, in Europe, risks being a turning point, a change of era as it was 11th. The forum is an opportunity for free debate, as well as finishing point of every participant’s reflection to work out, together, a document helping the people responsible for the G7, in a constructive way, to develop an action that can bear the aspirations and proposals not only for the societies the G7 represents, but fothe whole planet.

Final Comment

The surge of 2.3 million refugees and asylum seekers arrived in Europe during 2015 and 2016. Although this episode is only a small part of the broader global phenomenon, it presented Europe with the most dramatic wave of forced migration the continent has experienced since the aftermath of World War II (Mattern et al., 2016). Migration flows are challenging European Institutions that have to solve the dilemma on refugees hospitality: investing on immigration or protecting from them?