_ Marina Steiniger, Junior Economist and Doctoral Student, ifo Center for International Economics, ifo Institute. Speech given at the panel session “Connectivity, trade, and economic cooperation in the European and Eurasian space” on the margins of the 24th OSCE Ministerial Council. Vienna, 8 December 2017.
I am much honored to represent here and speak on behalf of the participants of the International Youth Forum “Future of Eurasian and European Integration: Foresight – 2040” that took place over last 4 days in the small town of Laxenburg near Vienna at the International Institute for Applied Systems Analysis.
We, 40 young researchers across 19 countries from the Greater Eurasian space came together to find a new way of thinking which would help the nations succeed in future integration by solving social, security and economic matters, across the European Union, the Eurasian Economic Union and also countries beyond these borders.
It was already in 1989, when Gorbachev and Kohl spoke about the aspiration of a “Common European House”, which should build on closer economic cooperation. This was almost 28 years ago and we are not yet there. When we, the young people, think of 2040, we want this vision of a common space from Lisbon from Vladivostok to be accomplished.
To achieve this, social, political, and economic challenges have to be addressed. As a result of our 4-day deliberations, collecting our knowledge and experience of young people coming from different countries, cultures and backgrounds, we have come up with the following advice to decision makers of today:
One: We need an economic environment that allows fair competition. Only then, the economy can prosper.
Two: We suggest concentrating on compatibility of regional integration projects, their aims and strategies.
Three: We suggest concentrating on the implementation of bottom-up projects, such as improving connectivity via developing hard, soft and digital infrastructureto become the basis for integration.
We want to think positive. We appreciate differences, but want to live together in our common house called Greater Eurasia. We want Greater Eurasia to be peaceful and prosperous.
Is it up to you? Or will it be up to us?