Manuel González Marin
Manuel Marin, former Vice President of the EU Commission

For many centuries, Europe organised the world. Look at the Spanish empire, the French empire or the British empire. We were able to organize the world according to our rules and our interests. We defined the prime meridian – the place of zero degrees longitude – as a line going through Europe.

In the last 20 years, the world has changed. It is no longer Eurocentric. It no longer operates on the zero degree meridian. Today, gravity has shifted to the 180 degrees meridian. The economic, financial and political centre of the world is located somewhere between the United States and China.

Can Europe become the third pillar? Are we able we move to a multipolar world?

Europe is the largest economy in the world. We are the second most important trading block. We are the leading donor of development aid, and we own the second largest military force in the world. Yet so far, we are not able to translate our theoretical capabilities into real instruments.

We cannot give in to despair; we need to believe that Europe can progress. But for that, we need more Europe. And for more Europe, we need better leadership.

Manuel Marín, former Vice-President of the European Commission