Euroasitatic Economic Forum in Verona. “The Evolution towards a New Human Economy” (Benedetto Ligurio)

A network connecting from Lisbon to Vladivostok for the development of a new social and economic order. An ambitious and pioneering plan, capable of overcoming the struggles of the mainstream media, was presented at the Palazzo della Gran Guardia in Verona on 28 and 29 October 2021 on the occasion of the 14th Eurasian Economic Forum organized by the Rosscongress Foundation and Conoscere Eurasia on the horizon. It will be held, as usual, in Saint Petersburg in 2022.

The first session fully expresses the aspirations of the Forum: to identify the factors of multipolar cooperation that promote joint growth and able to combine green development in a great partnership from the Atlantic to the Pacific. This is to encourage the process of integration and exchange between the European Union, the Eurasian Economic Union, whose members largely belong to the common house of the Council of Europe, the China-backed New Belt Road, the Chagai Cooperation Organization, which joins the Central Asian republics to Russia and China, and the Regional Comprehensive Economic Partnership The Indochina Free Trade Agreement, including Vietnam, Thailand and Indonesia, to the three Asian industrial powers China, Japan and Korea. Come, and to the two great economies of Oceania that are part of the Commonwealth: Australia and New Zealand.

The discussion, moderated by the Ambassador of the Italian Republic to the Russian Federation, in office until October 2021, Pasquale Teraciano, focused on the need to overcome the global crisis and tensions between East and West. Speakers include Marco Tronchetti Provera, CEO of Pirelli, Emma Marcegaglia, CEO of Holding Marcegaglia and former president of Confindustria, Sergei Karaganov, Dean of the School of International Affairs at the National Research School Higher University of Economics. Ideally, the debate continues in the fourth session, devoted to the role of international diplomacy and which sees the participation of Alexander Pankin, Deputy Minister of Foreign Affairs of Russia, Giorgio Staras, the new ambassador of the Italian Republic to Russia, and Sergey Razov, Ambassador of Russia. Union in Italy, Vladimir Chizhov, Permanent Representative of Russia to the European Union, and Umberto Borati, parliamentarian from the Democratic Party, former mayor of Forte dei Marmi, member of the Left Democrats and until the first half of the 1990s from the International Socialist Party.

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Two sessions dedicated to the green economy and environmental transformation. The Forum clearly demonstrates the awareness that an economic system based on capital and growth without environmental and social constraints is no longer sustainable. To this end, questions are raised about how to initiate a new development model that takes into account environmental needs and aspects of economic and social sustainability. A central aspect is the need for direction to manage and transform rapidly decarbonizing energy resources and digital infrastructures. Thus, natural gas, with its low environmental impact, and the introduction of production technologies based on hydrogen are essential resources for sustainable development just as ensuring both developing countries and European countries, welfare standards and access to consumption that does not mean a decrease and at the same time are able to respond to the increase in energy needs production system without affecting the environment.

Attending the two sessions were Paolo Gallo, CEO of Italgas, Viktor Zubkov, Chairman of the Board of Directors of Gazprom, John Wallace, CEO of US DeGolyer and McNaughton, and Andrew Morlett, CEO of the Ellen MacArthur Foundation active in promoting a purposeful circular economy. In environmental sustainability, Albina Dudareva, Chair of the Committee on Environment and Environmental Protection of the Russian Civil Chamber, is particularly interested in environmental issues and the role of women in society, Gregorio de Felice, chief economist at Intesa San Paolo, Luciano Serena, CEO of Generali CEE Holding.

a. Romano Prodi, President of the Foundation for Cooperation between Peoples, and several times Prime Minister in a dialogue with Alexander Shukhin, President of the Federation of Businessmen and Industrialists of Russia, and Carlo Bonomi, President of Confindustria in the discussion moderated by the former Russian Ambassador to Luxembourg A. Mark Enten, from the Moscow Institute of International Relations.

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Of particular interest is the search for overcoming the neoliberal economic and social order, which is the topic of the Forum’s final session. The discussion was attended, among others, by Piero Martello, former president of the Milan Labor Court and director of the Lavoro Risorse Europa magazine, Valery Fadeev, President of the Presidential Council for Human Rights of the Russian Federation, and the Orthodox High Priest Alexander Tkachenko. , Chairman of the Committee on Philanthropy, Civic Education and Social Responsibility of the Russian Public Chamber and Jesuit Luciano La Rivera, economist, who stressed the need for a solid and progressive economic model, taking as Emperor Augustus’ motto “a difficult festival” the need for a model
thoughtful development.
A new human economy designed for the individual and social brotherhood. All this, as emerged from the discussion, in a context in which the neoliberal paradigm shows its limitations and the need to move from the typical creative destruction of capitalism to the integrative intervention of the state for social welfare and economic growth, from the spirit of competition and the individual disintegration of the spirit of social solidarity.

The session acknowledges broad consensus on the need to search for alternatives to the liberal order, which is now considered outdated even by large transnational holding companies. The post-pandemic era opens up the prospects for great social instability that can only be overcome through the vital and sustainable construction of a human economy. During the conference there were constant references to European humanist culture and the Renaissance, from Dante to Shakespeare, passing through the Italian Marco Polo and other Adriatic merchants who reached Asia, as well as references to Russian literature. It is part of the common European cultural background, in particular Dostoevsky and Tolstoy and clearly the fierce resistance to Nazism that led to the construction of modern Europe.

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The works concluded with reports by Alexander Stoglev, Director of the Roscongress Foundation and Antonio Valleco of the Connoisseur Eurasia Society. The challenges and verification of progress in the objectives of the Forum held in Italy, in a full European dimension, will surely find verification at the next International Economic Forum to be held in Saint Petersburg in 2022.

Benedetto Ligurio, University of Rome La Sapienza

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