I was born in a socialist country, so I am no fan of 10-year plans unless they come from the European Union.
With the Lisbon Strategy, the EU has invented the internet. It has reformed its agricultural policy and made it greener, more efficient, and more fair for the rest of the world. It has become a global leader in protecting human rights. And English has become our lingua franca that every EU citizen speaks beside his mother tongue and the languages of all national minorities (including Welsh).
Despite this success, our majesty Barroso II has called from above to create a European Union 2.020 - that is more than Web 2.0 - and I feel obliged to point to three missing details in the new strategic superplan of our Union, a plan that I haven't read out of pure conviction that it must be good anyway.
1. Invent the interdrum
In 2010, only a small number of visionary politicians sees a chance to connect people via modern technology. Shocked by the dullness of digital communication tools - toys only kids and terrorists are using - they have proposed to use drums to communicate from European village to European village. If implemented through the 2020 strategy, their proposal will not only boost the European drum industry. It will also satisfy the French stick manufactures who might complain that they are disadvantaged by the billions of Euros that are invested to turn tomato plantations in Spain into eco-friendly ice-cold polar bear habitats (see next point).
However, critics say that the interdrum could enable ordinary citizens to drum with each other freely, disturbing the upper classes enjoying classical live music concerts on their 40 inch iPosters produced by Apple-Google Inc. Yet, if we put in place effective measures to control the copying and distribution of volume-controllable drums, there will be no particular danger in the emerging interdrum. To the contrary: We will finally be able to track citizens wherever they are because they will be too loud to hide.
2. Foster a modern and climate change oriented agriculture
In 2020, the earth will be so warm that polar bears will have almost disappeared from Europe if we don't do something over the next 10 years. Once trekking in large herds through our continent, the polar bear has become a vital part of the European climate compassion industry. In Copenhagen, the Union has shown its strength and global leadership potential in that regard - it deserved our compassion - and it now needs to follow up. Now the Common Agriculture Policy of the EU will have to implement its usual sound and balanced set of measures to save future-oriented products (polar bears) by first creating mountains of these products (i.e. "ice beargs") that then can be dumped into the (Arctic) sea which will make the north of Europe white again.
3. Chinese courses for all
Finally, until 2020 China will have understood how great the European Union is. They will come to copy our democratic model, the "Citizen Bureaucracy", buy our cheap manufactured and agricultural goods (sticks and polar bears) and sell their high-tech products (drum detection and supervision equipment) to us. In order not to lose them as our customers and students to the prospering region of Darfur, we all need to speak Chinese in 2020 (beside Romani and Maltese).
I know these are visionary ideas - but if we can imagine Nigel Farage being European Council President and Geert Wilders being EU Foreign Minister in 2020, why can't we also dream in other areas and formulate these dreams in a strangely bureaucratic language so that nobody can complain if they don't come true over the next 10 years?
A rail postcard from Baden Baden
3 days ago