Once again, Portugal’s iconic capital Lisbon hosted a summer university for teachers and students who discussed both ideas and solutions for Europe.
Reinventing Europe and giving the EU’s main actors – the states, universities, enterprises, and civil society – the opportunity to develop new challenges that are focused on innovation and creativity is, in a large sense, giving a central role to the development of a new global order.
This coincides with the reinvention of Europe, which is in essence the reinvention of its people and institutions.
The main takeaways from the summer’s lessons in Lisbon:
1) Social Innovation – Europe must know how to integrate its citizens using a method of social cohesion that is done with their constructive participation as this is increasingly necessary for the effective mobilisation of European society. Education must be the right tool for this strategic ambition.
2) Competitiveness – Innovation and technology are the main facilitators for competitiveness in Europe. Universities and companies must also create a new strategic partnership centred on the objectives of the added value, creativity, and knowledge. This is the basis for the future effective implementation of an agenda of innovation.
3) Intelligent Cities – Europe excellence is in the strength of its diverse regions. The development of strategic projects like the poles of competitiveness, clusters of innovation, and knowledge cities is an effective confirmation that the basis for a new agenda in Europe depends on the capacity of its regions.
4) Cultural Identity – Europe has a unique identity based on its strong culture and European Culture should be seen as a unique and strategic asset. Europe must be able to involve other global partners in the construction of integrated projects that are focused on the development of culture as a driver for development. The reinvention of culture is, itself, an innovative way to involve a greater number of uniquely European actors in projects for the future.
5) Strategic Majority – We want a Europe that is fundamentally for its citizens; a place where people know who they are and have a strong commitment to the values of freedom, social justice, democracy, and development. This is the reason to believe that a new Europe is an individual and collective necessity for all of us as European citizens.
Europe is facing a new chapter in its long history and it is imperative that European institutions embrace a new contract of trust both with its citizens and society as a whole.