Leading British Economist John Kay Meets Nicolas De Santis for Corporate Culture Banking Project

Leading British Economist, John Kay, a distinguished academic and acclaimed columnist for The Financial Times met with Nicolas De Santis, President of Gold Mercury International, to discuss the global economic challenges affecting the world, specifically the future of banking and financial institutions.

The discussion was part of a series of interviews that Gold Mercury is conducting with leading authorities, representatives of financial institutions, academics and other prominent actors involved in the economic and financial services sector. The interviews are undertaken within the scope of the ‘New Corporate Culture for Banking’ project.

John Kay is an influential economist and his research interests encompass public policy and business strategy. In 2012, Mr Kay chaired the Review of UK Equity Markets and Long-Term Decision Making, which reported to the Secretary of State for Business, Innovation and Skills. Mr Kay discussed with Mr De Santis the current economic structure and the ideologies which are shaping it, as well as the future of global economic governance. The loss of trust in the financial sector, the failed role of corporate boards and the necessity for a culture for self-regulation were among the topics that were covered in the discussion. Finally, Mr Kay underlined the need to examine the crucial role of intergenerational equity as part of the new thinking required in the convergence of the economic, environmental and social aspects of a society.

“John Kay is a leading figure in economic and social thinking. His ideas question established norms and contribute towards innovative thinking for the challenges which are shaping the global economy, especially banking. Mr Kay has a holistic view of the financial sector, looking beyond narrowly focused solutions and quick fixes. His way of approaching economic challenges offers us invaluable insights for our ‘New Culture for Banking’ project. The role of banking needs to change, moving towards serving societies to produce a sustainable future for future generations,’’ said Nicolas De Santis, President of Gold Mercury International.

Mr John Kay is a Visiting Professor at the London School of Economics and a Fellow of the British Academy and the Royal Society of Edinburgh. He is a director of several public companies, a writer, lecturer and broadcaster and a weekly contributor to The Financial Times.

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Nicolas De Santis Hosts Book Launch of Shaking the Skies

Leading Change in the Global Aviation Business

The development and progression of aviation continues to be an essential global technological development. Aviation has opened up the individual to the world and in doing so, created a global village, connected cultures, families and nations.

Throughout his time at the International Air Transport Association (IATA), Giovanni Bisignani challenged governments, powerful leaders and airline conglomerates to revolutionise the commercial aviation industry. In his new, aptly named book, Shaking the Skies, Bisignani details the many challenges he faced as he sought to, upon his appointment as CEO and Director General, improve the profile and economics of the aviation industry. Hired “to lead a revolution,” Bisignani presents a remarkable account of an illustrious career that was based around an ethos of ethical leadership, good governance and business determination.

The strongest message that Bisignani seeks to communicate is change. Initially detailing his rise in the aviation industry that led to his appointment at the IATA in 2002, Bisignani’s wealth of experience, run in with Gaddafi in Libya and requests from Mother Teresa tell a fascinating story of how he was able modernise the aviation industry. The story of his rise and how he came to lead one of the biggest associations in the world is also filled with details and facts that demonstrate a man who cared as much about the industry as he did the customer.

His achievements and changes did not seek to purely benefit the IATA and its associated airlines; rather, he pursued a system of change that improved every aspect of the industry. His changes began with management restructuring and, to name one of many successes, led to him enforcing e-ticketing and subsequently making aviation the first ever industry to “enter the paperless world.”

The uniqueness of Bisignani as a CEO is also illustrated and detailed in a concise factual method. Emotively and professionally affected by September 11, Bisignani, during his time at the IATA, greatly improved the environmental and safety procedures of the aviation industry. His continued effort to make flying safer and environmentally friendlier involves global, ethical and unilateral action and is captured entertainingly through meetings with Al Gore, “crazy” technological ideas and a “shooting” incident in Lagos.

The full extent of Bisignani’s developments and contributions to the aviation industry are summed up through a description of how he hopes his changes will lead to “Vision 2050.” Where, as an industry, aviation businesses and governments will co-operate with economic, environmental and moral procedures in mind to ensure airlines continue to be “a force for good.”

The values and ideals which make up Giovanni’s Vision 2050 was the motivating factor behind Gold Mercury International’s decision to co-publish and host the launch of the book. The principle, vision and managerial system which Giovanni outlines in Shaking the Skies corresponds with Gold Mercury’s own views on Global Governance; namely, constructing a future in which ethics, sustainability and visionary leadership underpin an organisations operations.

A central message of Giovanni’s book is the importance of having an effective managerial system in place. This message correlates with Gold Mercury’s mission of seeking to educate organisations about the significance of having a responsible vision that is environmentally friendly and proficiently managed.

Shaking the Skies: Leading Change in the Global Aviation Business will be launched on the 20th May 2013 at the Royal Aeronautical Society, London.

Visit the Shaking the Skies Twitter page for news and extracts about the book.

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Global Education Futures: Nicolas De Santis Attends Bett Technology Education Summit

Gold Mercury International’s President and Secretary General, Nicolas De Santis attended the Bett Technology and Education Summit in London, a global showcase of the use of information technology in learning and education.

Gold Mercury International’s President and Secretary General, Nicolas De Santis attended the Bett Technology and Education Summit in London, a global showcase of the use of information technology in learning and education. Nicolas De Santis met various global education leaders and innovators to discuss the future of education in secondary schools, high schools, higher education and Executive Learning.

“The marriage of education, content and technology plays a critical part in the future of Global Governance. New business models and education platforms are emerging that will transform the way we educate for the future. Visionary education leaders like Salman Khan of Khan Academy or Daphne Koller from Coursera are prime examples of this,” said Nicolas De Santis, President and Secretary General of Gold Mercury International.

New Business Models in University Education – Coursera

Nicolas De Santis met Stanford professor Daphne Koller, Co-founder and Co-Ceo of Coursera, the educational technology company . The Coursera platform now offers over 200 courses from 33 top international and US schools and reaches over 2 million students around the globe. Coursera was founded to give anyone and everyone access to courses from top-tier universities — for free, online. Coursera has taken a big step in innovating its business model to monetise the platform by letting students earn verified certificates for a fee. Coursera recently launched Career Services, an opt-in to a recruiting program that allows students to find and connect with positions that match their skills and interests. Using sophisticated analytics, Coursera looks for matches between students and companies. Once it identifies a match, it sends an email to students, seeking their approval, only making an introduction if the student gives them the go-ahead. Companies pay Coursera a flat fee for each introduction, with a share of that revenue going to the colleges offering the course. “Coursera is the future of learning and job seeking. It can transform the way jobseekers and employers find each other in the future, aligning learning skills and training with jobs in a more efficient way,” said Nicolas De Santis, President and Secretary General of Gold Mercury International.

Country Strategic Vision and Education Futures – The United Arab Emirates Case

Nicolas De Santis, President and Secretary General of Gold Mercury International also met with His Excellency Humaid Moh’d Al Qutami, U.A.E. Minister of Education. His Excellency Al Qutami attended the Bett Education Conference to present the Mohammed Bin Rashid’s Smart Learning Program. The program, which is part of the United Arab Emirates 2021 national vision, is designed to allow world-class technology to be deployed in classrooms across the U.A.E in order to educate students to highest level of education. Remarking upon this Mr De Santis noted that, ”it was very impressive to see that education is being given a critical role in U.A.E’s future global strategy and vision. The U.A.E is now ahead of many other developed countries in the deployment of educational technology in classrooms and is the only country that we here at Gold Mercury could see presenting a future global education strategy at Bett.”

EBI project – Personalised Classroom learning from Lezama Foundation

Culture and technology in education are two key areas of Gold Mercury development, as part of its mission to advance global governance. Gold Mercury is currently advising on the EBI project for personalised classroom learning developed by the Lezama Foundation. The pilot school project uses Microsoft technology and has been implemented with great success in Spain in the Santa María la Blanca School in Madrid, Spain. The Lezama Foundation is willing to share its findings with other institutions around the world. The EBI Project aims to increase student performance and enjoyment as well provide them with a bigger autonomy and sense of responsibility. For its education centers, EBI offers students access to all academic information and facilitates the relationship between students, parents and teachers.

Gold Mercury international will continue to play a role in promoting the deployment of technology into the educational system. This will be done by identifying visionary leaders in education and collaborating with them, in developing and promoting new business models and innovation.

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Nicolas De Santis Joins the Board of Directors of the Global Virus Network (GVN)

Kathleen Kennedy Townsend to Chair (GVN) Board of Directors, Lisa Paulsen, Romain Murenzi, Steven Burrill, Salim Abdool Karim, Andrew Cheng, Longde Wang, Scott Fine and Raj Shah Also Elected to GVN Board.

The Global Virus Network (GVN), a coalition of the world’s leading medical virology research centers working to prevent illness and death from viral disease, today announced the addition of Nicolas De Santis, President & Secretary General of Gold Mercury International to its Board of Directors. Nine other members also joined the Board; Kathleen Kennedy Townsend as Chairperson, Lisa Paulsen, Romain Murenzi, G. Steven Burrill, Salim S. Abdool Karim, Andrew Cheng, Longde Wang, N. Scott Fine and Raj Shah. The announcement was made today by Robert C. Gallo, co-founder of the GVN and Chair of GVN’s Scientific Leadership Board. Vint Cerf, the American computer scientist, who is recognised as one of “the fathers of the Internet” and who is also a Vice President and Chief Internet Evangelist for Google, will also lend his expertise as an advisor. He said, “It is an honour to join this organisation. Such an initiative is not only timely but necessary in an era when the world is so connected and so vulnerable to rapid viral propogation.” 

“The addition of these new Board members will add valuable resources to the GVN and will greatly enhance GVN’s global visibility,” said Dr. Gallo, Director of the Institute of Human Virology at the University of Maryland School of Medicine. “One of the biggest lessons we learned after discovering the first human retroviruses, including co-discovery of HIV as the cause of AIDS, and developing the HIV blood test, is that researchers need a GVN to share and disseminate important information seamlessly, without government politics or financial limitations. Having such an organization will result in millions of lives being saved.”

Nicolas De Santis is President & Secretary General of Gold Mercury International, the London based Global Governance and Visionary Leadership think tank founded in 1961. De Santis brings his European, corporate and foundation expertise to build GVN both strategically and internationally. “There are few health & scientific collaboration projects that are as global and of the professional scale of the Global Virus Network. As our planet’s population grows exponentially, GVN’s role will become central in preventing, protecting and curing present and future generations. GVN will work with key global governance stakeholders including international organizations, governments, foundations, the scientific community, corporations and more in order to achieve its global mission,” said De Santis.

As Chair of the Board, Kathleen Kennedy Townsend will bring global leaders together to support the mission of the GVN. “The global community faces serious threats from new viruses every day, including SARS, Hantavirus, Dengue, West Nile and the specter of pandemic influenza viruses,” said Kennedy Townsend. “Our best defense is a rigorous and worldwide research network poised to engage in any outbreak situation. GVN is the very safety net that we need to protect the health of the world’s citizens from new viral threats. To put this safety net in place requires support from governments, the private sector, and citizens. I will bring all of these partners together to protect human health through GVN and its many partners.”

Lisa Paulsen, President and CEO of the Entertainment Industry Foundation, which is widely known for its groundbreaking and unprecedented initiatives that galvanize the nation in support of critical healthcare issues, will broaden GVN’s reach. “Facilitating collaboration and information-sharing among scientists and doctors can play a huge role in moving research forward. The GVN presents an opportunity to help save so many lives, and I look forward to contributing to its success,” said Paulsen.

Romain Murenzi is the Executive Director of the Academy of Sciences for the Developing World, in Trieste, Italy, and former Minister of Science and Technology, Rwanda, where he has been a key architect of its country’s education, science and technology renaissance after years of civil war and genocide. Dr. Murenzi, who now deals with scientific issues and capacity building for all low and mid-income nations, said: “The world faces dreadful epidemics almost every year. These epidemics, in fact, trigger severe consequences especially in the poorest countries, where they affect social life, development and economy. However, every menace to mankind can be turned into an opportunity for advancement and progress. This goal can be met through science, technology, innovation and shared knowledge. Therefore, it is with great pleasure that I welcome joining the Global Virus Network Board of Directors and the opportunity to give my contribution to this global undertaking.”

G. Steven Burrill, Founder and CEO, Burrill & Company, said “The viral disease challenge in this world is expanding unchecked, with global populations on the move and new ‘bugs’ mutating faster than we can address them.” Burrill continued, “My 45 years in working to build some of the leading companies in the world – Pharmasset as an example, where I was Chairman for over 7 years from its earliest days to its major successes in Hepatitis C – have provided me with an intimate knowledge of how we can build major companies from great discoveries and bring real solutions to the great healthcare challenge. It’s a real pleasure to be a part of this team.”

Salim Abdool Karim, President of the South African Medical Research Council and Director of CAPRISA (Center for the AIDS Program of Research in South Africa) at the University of KwaZulu-Natal said, “By increasing its reach in Africa, GVN is well-placed to make an impact with innovative solutions to a number of human viral diseases that threaten Africa and beyond.” As a clinical infectious diseases epidemiologist, co-leader of the CAPRISA 004 tenofovir gel trial, which demonstrated efficacy of topical antiretroviral microbicides to prevent both HIV and HSV-2 infection, a longstanding leader in training of future virologists and a key voice in South Africa on evidence-based policymaking, Dr. Karim will bring his research experience and leadership on how best to impact on emerging and re-emerging viral infections.

Andrew Cheng is Senior Vice President of HIV Therapeutics and Development Operations at Gilead Sciences, Inc., a Bay Area-based biopharmaceutical company focused on developing innovative medications for life-threatening diseases such as HIV/AIDS, hepatitis, respiratory and cardiovascular disease, and cancer. Dr. Cheng said, “I applaud the vision and objectives of the GVN, which are very much in line with Gilead’s own mission and heritage in working to address unmet medical needs. Gilead also is a strong supporter of innovative public-private partnerships that aim to prevent and control viral epidemics. I am delighted to support and help guide GVN’s important work.”

“China has high prevalence of viral diseases such as hepatitis B,” said Professor Longde Wang, President of the Chinese Preventive Medicine Association. “We have also had the serious SARS attack. We have learned a lot from the response to these diseases,” continued Professor Wang. “So the prevention and control of viral diseases are the main task for the government. In order to do the work well, we should learn from international experts through the GVN.”

N. Scott Fine, founder and President of Fine Equities, Inc said, “I’m honored to be joining the distinguished members of the GVN and will do whatever I can to support its mission of protecting humanity from viral threats that can wreak enormous harm on civilization itself. I’m proud to be aligned with Dr. Gallo and other globally renowned virologists in the quest for a safer and healthier planet.”

Raj Shah, Chairman & CEO of CTIS, Inc. said, “The promise and commitment of having a healthy world by eliminating health disparity can’t be achieved without building a solution that deals with virus management.”

The ten new appointees will join founding Board of Directors members Tim Moynahan (previously served as founding Chair), Mathew Evins, Terry Lierman, Dr. Tony Cernera, along with Dr. Robert Gallo, Dr. Reinhard Kurth of Germany and Dr. William Hall of Ireland, who co-founded GVN.

About Nicolas De Santis

Nicolas De Santis is President and Secretary General of Gold Mercury International, the independent strategic vision advisory think tank and international non-governmental organization based in London that focuses on Global Governance and Visionary Leadership. Gold Mercury works with international leaders towards advancing anticipatory governance practices and strategic frameworks in key global areas to guarantee a better society and more sustainable outcomes. His role in Gold Mercury includes managing the historic GOLD MERCURY AWARDS® for Visionary Leadership in Global Governance. The Awards are presented to leading world figures and institutions and exemplify ethical, visionary and sustainable decision-making. Gold Mercury Award laureates include the most visionary individuals and organizations in the world. Recipients of the Award include former U.S. Presidents Ronald Reagan and Gerald Ford. De Santis also serves on the board of U.S. based public company Lyris.com, the leading online marketing and email solutions company and is the son of Eduardo De Santis, a film producer of dozens of movies in America and Europe, and famous Spanish leading actress Maria Cuadra. Before entering the world of business, De Santis attended the Lee Strasberg actor studio in London and the London Film School.

About The Honorable Kathleen Kennedy Townsend

Kathleen Kennedy Townsend is Senior Vice President at the Rock Creek Group, a hedge fund. She served as the State of Maryland’s first woman Lt. Governor and was in charge of a multimillion dollar budget and had oversight of major cabinet departments, including Economic Development and Transportation, State Police, Public Safety and Correction and Juvenile Justice. Prior to being elected Lt. Governor, Townsend served as Deputy Assistant Attorney General of the United States. Townsend currently serves on the Board of Advisors at the Institute of Human Virology at the University of Maryland School of Medicine. The eldest child of the late U.S. Senator and Attorney General, Robert F. Kennedy, and Ethel Kennedy, Townsend received her undergraduate degree from Harvard University and her law degree from the University of New Mexico.

About Lisa Paulsen

Lisa Paulsen is President and CEO of the Entertainment Industry Foundation (EIF), a charitable organization representing the philanthropy of the television and film businesses. In 2008, Paulsen was a co-creator of Stand Up To Cancer (SU2C), an initiative to accelerate ground-breaking collaborative cancer research and bring new therapies to patients quickly in order to end cancer’s reign as a leading cause of death. Harnessing the power and influence of the media, SU2C brings together many of the world’s most renowned entertainers to generate awareness and encourage the public to take a stand against cancer. Stand Up To Cancer has produced three nationally-televised fundraising specials, simultaneously broadcast live and commercial-free on ABC, CBS, FOX and NBC, as well as numerous cable networks. More than $260 million has been pledged to Stand Up To Cancer in connection with the three telecasts. In addition to health, EIF’s national initiatives seek to have a positive impact in several other areas, including the arts and education, encouraging public service, and serving veterans and military families. To date, EIF has raised more than $800 million. Paulsen lost both her parents to cancer and in their honor led the creation of the Coleman Cancer Center, a TORI network site of the UCLA Jonsson Comprehensive Cancer Center, in the family’s home town of Terre Haute, Indiana.

About Romain Murenzi

Romain Murenzi is the Executive Director of the Academy of Sciences for the Developing World, in Trieste, Italy. Dr. Murenzi was born in Rwanda and raised in Burundi. After graduating from the National University of Burundi in 1982, he taught mathematics in high school for three years before being awarded a fellowship for doctoral studies from the Catholic University of Louvain, where he earned his doctorate degree in physics in 1990. Dr. Murenzi subsequently became a postdoctorate researcher at the Center for Research and Advanced Training in Scientific Computation in Toulouse, France, and a professor of physics at Clark Atlanta University in the United States. Between 2001 and 2009, he served as the Minister of Science and Technology in Rwanda. He returned to the United States in 2009 to assume a joint appointment as Director of the Center for Science, Technology, and Sustainable Development at the American Association for the Advancement of Science (AAAS) in Washington, D.C., and visiting professor at the University of Maryland’s Institute of Advanced Computer Studies in College Park, Maryland. He was appointed Executive Director of TWAS in April 2011. Dr. Murenzi is member of the following boards: the Global Research Council (GRC), the Global Virus Network (GVN), and the Sustainable Development Solution Network (SDSN).

About G. Steven Burrill

G. Steven Burrill has been involved in the growth and prosperity of the biotechnology industry for over 40 years. Burrill founded and has been Chief Executive Officer of Burrill & Company, a venture capital and merchant banking firm, since 1994. Prior to his founding of Burrill & Company, he spent 28 years with Ernst & Young, directing and coordinating the firm’s services to clients in the field of biotechnology, life sciences, high technology, and manufacturing worldwide. He currently serves on the Boards of Directors of AliveCor (Chairman), Catalyst Biosciences, Depomed (NASDAQ: DEPO), NewBridge, Novadaq (NASDAQ: NVDQ), Targacept (NASDAQ: TRGT) and XDx. Previously he served as Chairman of the Boards of BioImagene, Abunda Nutrition and Pharmasset. Mr. Burrill is a founder and currently serves as Chairman of the Board of the National Science and Technology Medals Foundation (NSTMF). In addition, he serves as Chairman of the Board of the World Council for Ethical Standards, and also serves on the Boards of the National Health Museum, the Buck Institute for Research on Aging, and the Gladstone Foundation.

About Salim S. Abdool Karim

Salim S. Abdool Karim is Director of CAPRISA – Center for the AIDS Program of Research in South Africa, President of the South African Medical Research Council and Pro Vice-Chancellor (Research) at the University of KwaZulu-Natal. He is also Professor of Clinical Epidemiology at Columbia University, Adjunct Professor of Medicine at Cornell University and Associate Member of The Ragon Institute of Massachusetts General Hospital, Massachusetts Institute of Technology and Harvard University. Besides his role in investigating the role of antiretrovirals for HIV prevention, Dr. Karim is involved in studies on viral evolution and the epitopes eliciting broadly neutralizing antibodies against HIV. His clinical research on TB-HIV treatment has impacted on and continues to shape the international guidelines on the clinical management of co-infected patients. Dr. Karim is a Foreign Associate of the Institute of Medicine and Member of the Academy of Science in South Africa, African Academy of Science and the Academy of Sciences for the Developing World. He is a Member of the WHO Expert Advisory Panel on Sexually Transmitted Infections and HIV, Member of the Scientific Advisory Board of the U.S. President’s Emergency Plan for AIDS Relief (PEPfAR), and Member of the Scientific Advisory Committee for Global Health of the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation.

About Andrew Cheng

Andrew Cheng, MD, PhD has been Senior Vice President of Development Operations at Gilead Sciences Inc., since January 2009. Dr. Cheng is responsible for Gilead’s biometrics, clinical operations, drug safety and public health, project and portfolio management, and regulatory affairs activities. He joined Gilead in 1999 and served as Vice President, Clinical Research, overseeing clinical development activities for Gilead’s development-stage programs in HIV/AIDS. Prior to joining Gilead, he trained in internal medicine at the University of California, Los Angeles. Dr. Cheng received his Medical Degree and PhD in Cellular and Molecular Biology from Columbia University and undergraduate degree from the Johns Hopkins University.

About Longde Wang

Professor Longde Wang, President of the Chinese Preventive Medicine Association, is also a member of the Standing Committee of the National People’s Congress of China, the Chief Expert of Strategic Program of “Health China 2020”, the Chief Committee Member of National Expert Advisory Committee on Disease Control and Prevention, and the Deputy Director of the Stroke Screening and Control Project Committee of the Ministry of Health of China. Professor Wang has served as Vice-Minister of Ministry of Health of China. In 2009, he was elected as an Academician of Chinese Academy of Engineering. Professor Wang plays significant leadership role in public health in China. More than 100 papers and more than 30 books have been published related to public health, preventive medicine, and epidemiology and disease control, especially some papers published on important journals such as the New England Journal of Medicine, the Lancet. Professor Wang has several important awards, including China’s National Science and Technology Award, the Stop Tuberculosis Partnership’s 2007 Kochon Prize, and the 2007 UNAIDS Award of Excellent Leadership and Continuous Contribution for Response to AIDS.

About N. Scott Fine

N. Scott Fine is founder and President of Fine Equities, Inc. Fine originated the process and co-managed Central European Distribution Corp.’s initial public offering and is an investment banker at Scarsdale Equities. Fine has focused his efforts and has worked or initiated several transactions in the healthcare and consumer products area. Fine was the lead investment banker for DermaSciencs, Inc. Fine sits on the Deans Advisory Board for The University of Connecticut’s Neag School of Education at Storrs, Connecticut.

About Raj Shah

Raj Shah is Chairman & CEO of CTIS, Inc. and is a businessman committed to making a difference in the health care industry with a specific focus on chronic diseases and converging of clinical research with clinical care, public health (prevention) and health education to deliver the best outcome. He has a special commitment to the underserved and minority population and is committed to using health IT and health education to reduce health disparity and increase health equality. Shah is also committed to personalized medicine and use of bioinformatics to combat diseases in predisposition stage. He has leveraged business, non-profit and philanthropy segments in improving productivity, efficiency and quality in the healthcare industry and has directed over $1 billion in business through his management role with two Fortune 100 companies and his current company, CTIS, Inc.

About Global Virus Network (GVN)

The Global Virus Network (GVN) is a non-profit organization comprised of leading medical virologists from Argentina, Australia, Belgium, Canada, China, France, Germany, India, Ireland, Israel, Italy, Japan, Russia, South Africa, Spain, Sweden, the Netherlands, the United Kingdom, the United States of America, and other nations. The GVN’s mission is to combat emerging pandemic viral threats and current viral killers through international collaborative research, training the next generation of medical virologists, education and advocacy.

For more information on GVN, please contact Nora Grannell at ngrannell@gvn.org.

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Nicolas De Santis Opinion on New York Times

This opinion article about Europe by Gold Mercury President and Secretary General Nicolas De Santis was published in the New York Times and in the Entrepreneur Country Magazine in June 2012.

Following the ravages and bloodshed of WW1 and WW2, we Europeans later inherited a Union without much bloodshed or a revolution. Hence we do not understand it well, appreciate it or value it. We take it for granted, and this is the real tragedy as our apathy and failure as European people can destroy it and once destroyed it cannot be put back together. By taking for granted the EU we take for granted peace, human rights and the still unrealised potential of the single market.

Non Europeans value the EU more than Europeans as they have always looked at it as a miracle of global governance in an uncertain world.

The EU, as I have been told in London by Eurasian Economic Commission Minister Tatiana Valovaya is being emulated by the Eurasian Union and other nations as an example of stability and economic progress by cooperation.

Yes, Europe has been built by statesmen and bureaucrats distant from the citizens and requires further democratic accountability. We all know this. And this is a failure. But don’t national or local governments suffer from the same problem today? Nobody is perfect. Nationally our politicians use the European Union as they please to their convenience as an instrument of policy or as a scapegoat to win tiny political battles at home while weakening all of us Europeans on a global scale. Thank you very much for your political wisdom. Similarly as recently shown a weak Europe makes countries such as the USA feel weaker and worried. No wonder.

We live in an uncertain world but our disunion would make it even more uncertain and dangerous. If our union collapsed or we lost the Euro we can immediately guarantee that we would all independently become weaker and live in totally unpredictable and chaotic environments. Other players in the international scene (fill yourself the blanks here) would move in and take advantage against us in economic, security, environmental, energy and other terms. Can any European nation acting alone now guarantee energy security or gas supplies from the east? You get my drift. At the same time, the nations that today still look at the EU as a beacon of hope and progress would have no recourse but to look elsewhere for guidance. We would have to hope that they do not look to the wrong places. Case in point: Arab spring nations and other emerging democracies.

The people with a case against the EU or the Euro, use loss of national identity and sovereignty as key points, but fail to propose a better model for Europe. They only cry for disunity but propose no alternative but separation or a looser union or just the need for a common economic area.

They deceit people by omission and justify their cry to freedom only using the words: WANNA BE RUN FROM BRUSSELS? What they do not explain is that Brussels is run by people from all European Union nations and not a conspiracy of chocolate eating Belgian Nationals.

Now, do not blame the Euro. The Euro is a global success story. It is used daily by some 332 million Europeans and is one of the major reserve currencies together with the US dollar, Japanese yen, Pound sterling and Swiss franc. The biggest failures have been the financial and banking sectors and our national governments. We are still rescuing banks and governments and many more will have to be rescued. Do not blame the Euro, blame the irresponsible bankers and governments that managed their affairs irresponsibly and lied to their people and the people of the EU and the world. Also what is this media nonsense of some countries leaving the Euro?

New York has not gone back to the New York Pound or requested the elimination of the Dollar even with the weakest American economy in history. Detractors of the Euro grow up and move on or move aside. Do not waste our time as we have to focus on real solutions.

We now need a revolution of young minds to rescue the European project. I say young minds as Europe needs the leap of faith that requires thinking without prejudices or we stand no chance to make Europe strong again. And we need more Europe (unity) not less. Perhaps this crisis is our revolutionary time to think about the EU project and understand its true value and why we need to support it. Now it is time for all Europeans to decide what they want. To stay in and actively participate as full members of the European Union (and yes claim more democratic powers) or leave and write letters to the darkness of the past. Most surely the letters would soon be replied to from the ghosts of uncertainty, instability and destruction.

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