Paris Town Hall: Europe - Next Steps

At “Europe, les prochaines étapes”, a “town hall” meeting in Paris on May 28 sponsored by the Berggruen Institute on Governance (BIG) and Sciences Po, European leaders called for “urgent action” to address the crisis of youth unemployment and endorsed the development of a program proposed by BIG. 

With six million unemployed youth in Europe, the sense of urgency among its leaders permeated the conference. Addressing the gathering, French President François Hollande called for an “offensive” against youth unemployment, saying “we need to act quickly. In this battle time is the decisive factor.”  Prime Minister Mariano Rajoy of Spain, where youth unemployment is the highest in Europe, called for “action now without delay.”

In the months preceding the conference, BIG proposed and developed a jobs and training program in conjunction with experts and policy makers from around Europe, including members of its own Council for the Future of Europe and importantly, the ministers of finance and labor in both France and Germany. 

The proposed program – with the working title “Europe Works” – has three main components:

  1. Financing for small and medium enterprises (SME) across Europe through a combination of EURO 70 billion made available at favorable rates by the European Investment Bank (EIB); EURO 16 billion in committed, but undispursed, EU structural funds; and EURO 6 billion dedicated by the EU to targeted to fight youth unemployment.
  2. A “dual-track” training program for certification in schools and on-the-job training so that new jobs are sustainable and workers are properly skilled;
  3. Enhanced labor mobility by extending the EU’s “Erasmus Program” for higher education that allows students to study anywhere in Europe to include vocational training -– “Erasmus for all.”

The goal is to mobilize the available sources of funding and link them with effective labour market policy measures. Governments cannot guarantee jobs, only the private sector can create jobs. But the states can conserve and improve young people’s employability. And they can provide European funding for small and medium enterprises (SME) to promote growth and employment. 

To make the announcement the program’s collaborators and ultimate decision makers were assembled, including, German Finance Minister Wolfgang Schäuble, French Finance Minister Pierre Moscovici, German Labor Minister Ursula von der Leyen, French Labor Minister Michel Sapin and the Italian Labor Minister Enrico Giovannini and Werner Hoyer, president of the European Investment Bank. 

Ministers Ursula von der Leyen and Wolfgang Schäuble

In addition to outlining and endorsing the plan, the ministers suggested that the €6 billion should be “front loaded“ to be spent immediately. Prime Minister Rajoy called for a further €30 billion in capitalization for the EIB to fight youth unemployment. 

Prime Minister Mariano Rajoy closing the conference

EIB President Werner Hoyer committed the bank to this initiative as a key way not only to fight youth unemployment, but to prevent further fragmentation of European financial markets which have made credit scarce for SME, which produce most new jobs.

Other participants in the meeting, including elder statesmen and former leaders such as Jacques Delors, and Mario Monti, added their support for immediate action. In a panel about the upcoming 2014 EU Parliamentary elections, which included Felipe González, Martin Schulz, François Fillon and Sylvie Goulard, panelists expressed concern about the deleterious effect unemployment rates will have on election results.  Disenfranchised youth are easily persuaded by populists rhetoric blaming the union for the state of the national economies.

Felipe González, Martin Schulz, François Fillon and Sylvie Goulard

After the morning session at Sciences Po, the labor and finance ministers met at the Elysée Palace with President Hollande to chart the path forward for this initiative.  Ursula von der Leyen laid out a “roadmap” for implementation that will include a summit of all European labor ministers and heads of public employment services in Berlin on July 3, hosted by Chancellor Merkel and EU-Commission President Barosso, to finalize the initiative and present it “with a single European voice” at the G-20 Summit in St. Petersburg in September.

Minister von der Leyen also called on the private sector to “step up to their responsibility” and take part in this urgent initiative. “To be effective, “ the German labor minister said, “any jobs program must be demand driven.“ To ensure this engagement, BIG will be mobilizing the private sector in the coming months to inform the development process.

With the program securely in the hands of the policy makers empowered to develop it and execute it, BIG will also be looking ahead to 2014, when we will host another conference in Europe, this time on the EU Parliamentary Elections.

composed by Arswain
machine learning consultation by Anna Tskhovrebov
commissioned by the Berggruen Institute
premiered at the Bradbury Building
downtown Los Angeles
april 22, 2022

Human perception of what sounds “beautiful” is necessarily biased and exclusive. If we are to truly expand our hearing apparatus, and thus our notion of beauty, we must not only shed preconceived sonic associations but also invite creative participation from beings non-human and non-living. We must also begin to cede creative control away from ourselves and toward such beings by encouraging them to exercise their own standards of beauty and collaborate with each other.

Movement I: Alarm Call
‘Alarm Call’ is a long-form composition and sound collage that juxtaposes, combines, and manipulates alarm calls from various human, non-human, and non-living beings. Evolutionary biologists understand the alarm call to be an altruistic behavior between species, who, by warning others of danger, place themselves by instinct in a broader system of belonging. The piece poses the question: how might we hear better to broaden and enhance our sense of belonging in the universe? Might we behave more altruistically if we better heed the calls of – and call out to – non-human beings?

Using granular synthesis, biofeedback, and algorithmic modulation, I fold the human alarm call – the siren – into non-human alarm calls, generating novel “inter-being” sonic collaborations with increasing sophistication and complexity. 

Movement II: A.I.-Truism
A synthesizer piece co-written with an AI in the style of Vangelis’s Blade Runner score, to pay homage to the space of the Bradbury Building.

Movement III: Alarmism
A machine learning model “learns” A.I.Truism and recreates Alarm Call, generating an original fusion of the two.

Movement IV: A.I. Call
A machine learning model “learns” Alarm Call and recreates A.I.Truism, generating an original fusion of the two.