The European Union: Bringing the world together to ensure no one is left behind.

Nov 29, 2017

As the humble founder of a small enterprise, I realise how difficult it is to get a lot of needs met, while serving different goals. Even though I have the one vision, to use agroecology as a tool for making better chocolate with cacao farming development – it is, in the end, a mastery of managing moving climate conditions, market conditions and safety issues as we navigate the ever-shifting world of cacao growth.

Subsequently, I have a great respect for the very complex world of the European Union, who is infinitely more complicated than my humble enterprise. Whenever I start to feel confused, I think about how the guys in Brussels must manage it all.

The European Union (EU) works to build fair international rules-based order based on high standards requires cooperation between many countries with different interests, cultures and levels of development.  This Union, is recognized as a state organization and is included in the G20 governments along with Argentina, Australia, Brazil, Canada, China, France, Germany, India, Indonesia, Italy, Japan, Mexico, Russia, Saudi Arabia, South Africa, South Korea, Turkey, the United Kingdom and the United States.

What have they been working on?

This single market system eases the movement of goods, capital, services and people between its members.  The hope is to bring nations together, protect the rights and wellbeing of the human race worldwide, and to regulate rules on topics from taxes to climate change. 

Here are some of the projects the European Union has played a part in:

  • The 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development and its goals
  • International agreement to fight climate change
  • Commitment from the UN to develop global policies to manage large refugee and migrant flows
  • WTO agreement on trade facilitation

These examples are evidence of a new global effort to cooperate on harnessing globalisation. Europe and its Member States played a key role in these achievements. The EU is itself a model of successful regulated integration, enabling us to champion multilateralism and a rules-based order.

Like any organisation, it is far from perfect. Like my own little company, far from perfect. Rather than pointing out and looking for faults, I genuinely look at the Union as a way of trying to organise my own thoughts as a ChangeMaker. To see where ideas are being developed, to see how to participate and contribute positively to, and where I can take heed and make changes in my own smaller world.

Sleeves are rolled up for big challenges

Even with so much progress, there are many challenges ahead for the European Union and the rest of the world. So what is next up on the agenda that is taking precedence?  Here are a few of the upcoming challenges that need to be faced:

  • Global Digital Economy Regulations
  • Tax
  • Corruption
  • Resource Extraction
  • Illicit Financial flows
  • Social Dumping
  • Harmful government subsidies

The European Union plans to faces these challenges head on while continuing to follow, further develop and support the regulations that have preceded them ensuring strong, sustainable, balanced and inclusive growth.

They state:

“Multilateral cooperation with our global partners remains our preferred approach. To that end, we should contribute to the strength and reform of multilateral institutions to make them fairer and more effective so that they remain a part of the solution. Yet in an increasingly contested global order, we should also be ready to push ahead through cooperation with smaller coalitions, while leaving the door open for others to join when ready. Likewise, non-state actors such as international or non-governmental organisations should be appropriately involved.”

As a ChangeMaker, I am looking at this list above and seeing how they dovetail into my own work, from our cacao farms to our consulting work in Europe. Looking very closely at my own small practices to see how well we are faring in the big issues.

While looking at the big structures, ChangeMakers can look at the small circles around us to see what we are paying into. A positive way forward?

I hope so.

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