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Take up our common challenges

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China and Europe: united to face common challenges

The workshops of the second biennial provided a comprehensive picture of the challenges that Chinese and European societies face today. Although China and Europe are different in many ways, they are both confronted with four major challenges. This paper, China and Europe: united to face common challenges (pdf, 491 Ko), explains the collective methodology used to identify these common challenges and compare the importance of these in each society. Then, we shall briefly summarize the Chinese and European perceptions based on the contributions made by each workshop.

The 4 common challenges of China and Europe

- 1. The construction of a harmonious society and sustainable development : How can our present development models be made to evolve and how can new, sustainable paths be broken when current economic rationales still seem so dominant?
- 2. Values, opening up and identity : How can each of the societies defend its values and its identity, remain true to them, and use them as a force for the future and as support for a renewed ethics in a context of globalisation and so-called “multicultural” confrontation? How is it possible to remain true to self while also being open to the world’s evolutions?
- 3. Participative and integrated governance : The old methods for managing society, top-down and partitioned, are no longer adapted either to the nature of the problems to be solved, which call for co-operation amongst players, or to societies’ aspirations for greater participation, to exercising more responsibilities and to having a greater share in decision making. How can a form of governance be invented that is suited to the needs and aspirations of the twenty-first century and allows citizens greater participation?
- 4. China and Europe in the world. If the challenges are the same for both societies, they are likely to be shared by the whole world. And in any case, the interdependence between societies and the biosphere has grown in such a way that neither China nor Europe can claim to develop separately or handle their competition. Whether they want it or not, they are bound to enter into discussion and cooperate.