European choice: globalization or re-sovereignization? The International discussion devoted to this topic took place on March 6, 2015 in Geneva Press Club with participation of over 100 experts from Russia, Switzerland and other European countries. The event was organized by the Endowment for St. Andrew the First-Called Foundation and supported by the Chamber of Commerce and Industry of Switzerland-Russia/CIS, Swiss-Russian Forum, the Moscow State University named after M.Lomonosov, World Public Forum “Dialogue of Civilizations”.
In the framework of two theme sessions devoted to research of globalization as politics and the analysis of historical interaction between Europe and Russia the experts discussed the current economic and political trends.
Under the conditions of globalization national states have to choose: whether to keep their national sovereignty and democratic policy or to be involved in the processes of international integration.
In particular, according to the participants of the event one of economic consequences of globalization was the world financial crisis and desovereignization of national states including Switzerland as the world banking and financial centre. At the same time Switzerland – more than any other European countries – created mechanisms for securing the state sovereignty. Its developed banking system guaranteed independence from the Federal Reserve System of the USA. However the global economy requires global control; and loss of bank sovereignty is the payment for participation in globalization project.
“Banking system turned into an absolutely independent and rather profitable kind of business which dictates to other elements of economy how they should develop” – said Vladimir Yakunin in his speech, the founder and Deputy Chairman of Committee of the Endowment for St. Andrew the First-Called Foundation, Chairman of the Board of Trustees of the Foundation of St. Andrew the First-Called, Doctor of Political Science. “The processes connected with globalization lead to the situation when some part of the state’s sovereignty including economic sovereignty is handed over to international supranational organs” – he emphasized.
Richard Werner, professor of international banking at the business school of the University of Southampton, director of the Centre for Banking, Finance and Sustainable Development, Chairman of Local First Community Interest also shared his opinion on economic consequences of globalization: “For the last forty years we can see how strong the influence of IMF and other banking structures was on development of different economies around the world when it comes to privatization, liberalization and deregulation. The result was quite different from the expected one. As a result there were lack of development, inequality, economic and political dependence of countries where this policy was applied” – said Werner.
This opinion is to a large extent supported by Walter Schwimmer, Austrian politician, former Secretary General of the Council of Europe, Chairman of International Coordination Committee and Co-Chairman of the World Public Forum “Dialogue of Civilizations”. In his speech Schwimmer focused on asset and regulatory approach to the research of globalization and noticed that one of peculiar features of neoliberal globalization is unacceptability of any rules and obliteration of traditional values.
“Today it has become obvious that all the countries should make active efforts to develop rules acceptable for all in order to secure freedom and civilized development of society. Civil society needs the common rules more than ever, otherwise the situation will be as in the Latin proverb – Homo homini lupus est. We need rules in order to live in harmony and in peace and be confident in our freedom. We must come up with the solution of what should be done at local, national and international levels” – said Schwimmer.
The participants of the panel discussion concurred that preserving the sovereignty and prevention of conflict in Europe – that is the common aim for all the European countries, and the historical interaction of European countries like Switzerland and Russia – that is the resource for sustainable development in the future.