Afrika und die EU: Ein ausbaufähiges Verhältnis

Der Standard

“Zentral in einer nachhaltigen Strategie auf dem schnell wachsenden Kontinent ist der Faktor Bildung und Wissenstransfer, betont Karl Aiginger. Vor allem mit Fachausbildung und bei Innovationen könnte Europa in afrikanischen Staaten einen entscheidenden Beitrag leisten. Afrika müsse allerdings die verfügbaren Modelle und Technologien nach den eigenen Gegebenheiten adaptieren und weiterentwickeln – wie einst China. Ein Ansatz, der nicht ohne Möglichkeiten der legalen Migration nach Europa auskommen kann.”

Was Österreich für Afrika tun kann: „Bildung ist beste Hilfe“

Kurier

“Der Präsident der Querdenkerplattform Karl Aiginger, sieht in Afrika den nächsten großen Wachstumsmarkt. Lediglich 1,16 Prozent der gesamten Ausfuhren Österreichs gehen nach Afrika. „Das ist schade. Denn Afrika ist der nächste große Wachstumsmarkt vor unserer Haustür“, sagt Karl Aiginger, Ex-Wifo-Chef und aktuell in der „Querdenkerplattform Wien – Europa“ engagiert, im Gespräch mit dem KURIER. Es könnte lebenswichtig werden, sich wirtschaftlich in Afrika zu engagieren. Denn EuropasWirtschaftsdynamik sei schwach, die Bevölkerung alt. Afrika aber strebe auf Wachstumsraten á la China zu und die Bevölkerung sei jung. „Wenn wir partnerschaftlich aufeinander zugehen, können sich die beiden Kontinente gut ergänzen“, ist Aiginger überzeugt.”

EU-Afrika-Forum - Karas fordert EU-Afrika-Kommissar

Tiroler Tageszeitung

“Der ÖVP-Delegationsleiters im EU-Parlament Othmar Karas fordert eine Stärkung der Afrika-Politik der EU, die „nicht bloß eine Schublade der Nachbarschaftspolitik sein“ dürfe. „Es sollte einen eigenen Afrika-Kommissar in der nächsten EU-Kommission geben“, sagte Karas am Freitag bei einer Veranstaltung der Querdenkerplattform anlässlich des bevorstehenden EU-Afrika-Forums in Wien.”

Ein kompletter Stopp der Migration aus Afrika ist nicht sinnvoll

von Judith Kohlenberger

Ist von Afrika die Rede, dominieren Migration und deren Prävention die Debatte. Nicht zuletzt aufgrund der Schwerpunktsetzung der österreichi- schen Ratspräsidentschaft wird der Kontinent vor allem im Licht seiner stark wachsenden Bevölkerung betrachtet – ein Umstand, der weniger auf steigende Fertilität als auf sinkende Kindersterblichkeit zurückzuführen ist. Doch auch wirtschaftlich wächst Afrika, wie China und Russland bereits erkannt haben. Für Europa bieten sich zwei Chancen, die uns partnerschaftlich mit Afrika verbinden können: zirkuläre Migration und Bildung.

Er fliegt für EU-Projekte um die halbe Welt

Der gebürtige Pöllauer Philipp Brugner arbeitet als Projektmanager für EU-Projekte am „Zentrum für Soziale Innovation“ in Wien. Dafür ist er in ganz Europa und darüber hinaus unterwegs. Neben seiner Arbeit ist er auch ehrenamtlich bei den „Young European Ambassadors“ tätig. Philipp Brugner ist seit mehr als vier Jahren als Projektmanager für EU-Projekte am Zentrum für Soziale Innovationen GmbH” in Wien tätig. Aktuell beschäftigt man sich intensiv mit dem europäischen Forschungsrahmenprogramm “Horizont 2020”.

Harnessing competitiveness for social and ecological goals

by Karl Aiginger

The term competitiveness has been “captured” for too long by lobbyists and politicians in pursuing a low wage strategy. The right-wing populists of today, like the new US administration, have extended this low road agenda by calling for lower environmental ambitions and for a lower social standard. The potential loss of jobs due to “unfair” low cost competitors, but also to inward migration, can mobilize popular support against globalization, even if the trade balance is positive, as it is in the EU. This article argues that countries focusing on innovation, skills and product quality are more successful in the long run. Especially for industrialized countries this is the only strategy to further increase welfare, since low cost countries will enter the market all the time. A high road strategy however needs an alternative framework of concepts and definitions: competitiveness is defined as the ability to deliver outcomes that include social and environmental goals; performance is measured by “Beyond GDP indicators”; and finally a systemic industrial policy has to support innovation and retrain the losers of structural change. In a “high road” approach, competiveness harnesses societal goals and undermines the roots of populism.

Political Rebound Effects as Stumbling Blocks for Socio-ecological Transition

by Karl Aiginger

While the extent to which management and owner interests in firms can diverge has been extensively researched, the discrepancy between the preferences of citizens and governmental response to these (or lack thereof) remains under- researched. It may lead to disruptive changes and the unexpected rise of populism that calls for new elites or a return to old values or both. The article begins with the fact that a clear majority of citizens dislike increasing inequality and would like governments to prevent climate catastrophes, ranging from droughts to global warming. Nevertheless, neither green parties nor parties that favour redistribution have been successful in most countries. Documentary policy analysis yields to explanations for this, which are probably interconnected: “political rebound effects” and the fear that inefficient governments might not solve the core problems while increasing the already high tax burden. These hypotheses can hopefully help focus the assessment of uprising populist movements and provide the basis for more empirical research. OLD to be deleted: While it is intensively researched how far interests between management and owners in firms can diverge, the discussion why differences between the preferences of citizens will not be implemented by governments even in the very long run is under researched. These differences then may lead to disruptive changes and the unexpected success of populism calling for new elites or to the return to old values or both. The article starts from the fact that a clear majority of citizens dislike rising inequality and would like governments to prevent climate catastrophes from droughts to global warming. Nevertheless neither green parties nor parties favouring redistribution are successful in most countries. Documentary policy analysis leads to two explanations which will probably work together: first by “political rebound effects” and secondly by the fear that inefficient governments may not solve the prime problems but only increase the already high tax burden. These hypotheses hopefully help to focus the assessment of uprising populist movements and are open to more empirical research.

Regional Competitiveness Under New Perspectives

by Karl Aiginger and Matthias Firgo

The term “competitiveness” has been used in conceptually distinct ways at the firm, regional and national levels. After primarily reviewing existing concepts at the national level, we introduce a new definition of regional competitiveness adapting definitions used in the academic literature. Specifically, we connect “outcome competitiveness” with new perspectives on a more socially inclusive and ecologically sustainable growth path, as envisaged in the WWWforEurope research program, in which 33 European research groups are taking part. Evaluating competitiveness requires both an input assessment (costs, productivity, economic structure, capabilities) and an outcome assessment. We define regional outcome competitiveness as the ability of a region to deliver Beyond GDP goals. For regions in industrialized countries, this ability depends on innovation, education, institutions, social cohesion and ecological ambition. Given this new perspective (of broader Beyond GDP goals), social investments and ecological ambitions should not be considered costs, but rather drivers of competitiveness. This is compatible with a new innovation policy fostering non-technical innovations and a new industrial policy supporting societal goals. Applying this concept to European regions, we show which regions take the "high road" to competitiveness and compare our results with the existing literature.

NEW DYNAMICS FOR EUROPE: REAPING THE BENEFITS OF SOCIO-ECOLOGICAL TRANSITION

by Karl Aiginger

The European project is a long-run success story. Up to the 1990s, Europe thrived and experienced rising prosperity, as well as a catching up process with technology frontiers, while simultaneously extending its welfare model. The integration process, starting with six Member States, led to a single market of 28 countries. It culminated in the creation of a currency union for 330 million Europeans. The political integration of former communist countries and their economic catching-up with Western Europe were achieved at an unprecedented historical pace.

HOW A STRONG EUROPE COULD CREATE MORE NATIONAL SCOPE OF ACTION

by Karl Aiginger

New challenges can only be overcome internationally. If small countries want to play a role, the European level needs to be consolidated. However, if common solutions are poorly communicated or if there is too much interference in national priorities and individual living conditions, they will be rejected as edicts from Brussels and a return to national solutions will be demanded. In extreme cases, this can lead to exits from the EU; even if this fails to contribute to solving the problem and actually further reduces the available options and the prospects of success.

We highlight that Europe-wide regulations can actually lead to a greater scope of action at the national level. Innovative, problem-specific solutions can be developed based on national priorities due to the fact that international restrictions and leakage effects are eliminated. We demonstrate this in the case of tax regimes, fiscal and climate policy, and for globalization. Best practice examples of European policy which provided funds not feasible at the national level, but at the same time increased the options at the regional or national level and which were moreefficient, can be found in the EU‟s regional and research policies. From these, we derive principles for overcoming the contradiction which currently prevails between the need for common rules and the desire for decentralized solutions on the regional or national levels.

Auf dem Weg zu einer Bürgerunion?

by Philipp Brugner

DiePresse, 08.08.2018

Auf EU-Ebene bahnen sich momentan viele Veränderungen an: Aktuell die österreichische Ratspräsidentschaft, deren erklärtes Ziel es ist, den Brexit und ein neues, rigides europäisches Migrationsmanagement zum Abschluss zu bringen. Im Mai nächsten Jahres dann die Wahlen zum Europaparlament und die Suche nach einer rasch handlungsfähigen Kommission, der es gelingen muss, bei den europäischen Reformvorhaben rasch wieder Fahrt aufzunehmen.