Volume 5 Issue 1
From the editor
Can the Internet be used to revive democracy? Will voters become more engaged on-line? Is governance more transparent online? Can we hold our politicians to account on-line? These were some of the ideas that inspired the Europaeum's Policy Forum last autumn on Democracy and the Internet.
We know that the Internet is changing the way society works, shops, engages in leisure, accesses information, meets, collaborates - even the way it thinks. We know too there is a growing democratic deficit between the governing classes and the peoples. But it would simplistic and misconceived, as many of the expert participants reminded us at the Oxford forum, to regard the Internet as a panacea for improved future participation.
But this new medium, `this new form of paper' as the keynote speaker, Tim Berners-Lee, inventor of the World Wide Web, put it, offers many opportunities in terms of access, accountability, transparency, and connectivity, and yes, e-voting which Andrew Pinder, the Government's e-Envoy, heralded to be with us in the UK by the next general election. We reproduce here Tim Berners-Lee's vision of the next horizon for the web, as well as Predrag Vostinic's stirring description of how the Internet helped defeat the authoritarianism of Milosevic.
RAYMOND BARRE, the former Premier of France from 1976 to 1981, now Professor of Economics at Paris I Panthéon-Sorbonne, very much an atypical politician in terms of his career and opinions, gave a Europaeum Lecture on June 29th at the Sorbonne in Paris. Here George Saunier and Jean-Michel Guieu review Barre's analysis of the future of the European project
After recounting the history of his personal engagement as Premier in supporting the construction of Europe, Raymond Barre in his Europaeum Lecture detailed his impressions on the present state of the European Union - particularly focussing on the Treaty of Nice and its aftermath. Significant new developments had occurred during the summer months affecting the debate on the future of Europe, most notably with the successive interventions of President Jacques Chirac' and then of Prime Minister Lionel Jospin. A new program of study, which should last until 2004, the Inter-Governmental Conference was initiated.
Each partner institution will send two delegates to the convention, which will take place from March 4th-8th, at the Palais des Nations in the heart of Geneva's international district, as part of the Geneva International Model United Nations.
The process of European integration also involves the development of a European knowledge. But this "sophia" (knowledge), argues MARCELLO PERA in this address given to the Berlin Conference, derives from diversity and thrives on pluralism, not a uniform or sole way of thinking.
Migration can harden hearts and soften brains. Yet, as JOHAN BERGGREN discovered as a student participant at the 2001 Europaeum Summer School, it could become a defining issue today
Peace in the Middle East will come from a deal with politicians like Yasser Arafat, not with Islamic zealots, argues AVISHAI MARGALIT, holder of a Europaeum Visiting Chair at Oxford.
openDemocracy.net was instigated by Anthony Barnett, a human rights activitist who founded Charter 88 in the UK, in summer 2001 as a public space -'but not another specialist space' - for scholars from all over the world as "a global network for debate and invention, tackling the major issues of our time".
TIM BERNERS-LEE, inventor of the World Wide Web, invites us to explore with him the cutting edge of information technology and the future of information itself in his address to the Europaeum Policy Forum.
I'd like you to help me with a problem, because I've spent ten years thinking about the social effects of the Web in various ways - the next piece of technology.
After qualifying as a pharmacist at Groningen University in 1970 and gaining his PhD in pharmacology from the University of Nijmegen, he was appointed professor of pharmacology in Leiden in 1975. From 1989 to 2001 he was the first Director of what is now the Leiden-Amsterdam Centre for Drug Research.
Geneva proved a rewarding hunting ground - even in the fog, for ANNE HAMMERSTAD, as she recalls her time in the Swiss city supported by a Europaeum student bursary.