09 Jun 2011
Tony Blair examines the Challenges and Opportunities of Economic Globalization at Universidad Europea de Madrid
In his lecture entitled “Challenges and Opportunities in a Globalised World”, Tony Blair analyzed the various economic and political forces now leading the world after the international crisis and the impact these changes have had on the future of business.
Tony Blair spoke about the world in which we live as being an “inter-dependent world that is moving forward”. The former Prime Minister believes we must assume that neither the United States nor Europe will be leading the world in the future but rather those regions will have to share power with such countries as China and Brazil.
He pointed out that the financial crisis we are currently experiencing has led to some quick reactions from governments and the public and has forced many decisions to be made, decisions that would have been necessary anyway regardless of this economic crisis.
Known for being extremely pro-European, Tony Blair spoke about the current situation in Europe, about how our situation has changed, our way of life and what we can expect from the Welfare State. Peace was the prime concern for the leaders who founded the European Union but the criteria have now changed. Our young people no longer feel threatened by possible war. However, they do sense a loss of power within the global economic and political context.
In this regard, Tony Blair believes that Europe should ensure it is able to work with the emerging countries and thus take full advantage of the power it has accumulated over the years. His recommendation would be to avoid stagnation and to combine forces in order to gain ground in such strategic fields as defense, R&D+i, energy and education.
Moving on to the Middle East, Tony Blair said that Europe cannot stand by the sidelines and must take action because these movements are having a direct affect on the European continent. He said that the peace process must be renewed in order to win the great battle currently being fought by the people and achieve a fully democratic and liberal world.
The former British Prime Minister concluded his lecture with a positive message: a call for the acceptance of change because the world is full of opportunities and people just need to be ready to make the most of them.
The President of Universidad Europea de Madrid and Laureate International Universities for the Mediterranean Region, Miguel Carmelo, and the Rector of Universidad Europea de Madrid, Águeda Benito, also took part in the event.
Miguel Carmelo highlighted the importance of education for the growth and development of society, as well as the commitment maintained by Universidad Europea de Madrid to its students by offering them international and quality training that will enable them to perform successfully in this globalised environment. He also thanked Tony Blair for his willingness to speak to our younger generations.
The Rector of Universidad Europea de Madrid, Águeda Benito, concluded the event by moderating a question and answer session during which Tony Blair responded to questions on such topics as multi-culturalism and the challenges it raises for education in European countries. Tony Blair believes education to be one of the most important issues for society, if not the most important, and something that countries must take seriously by focusing on the very near future and on a globalized world.
True to its commitment to society, Universidad Europea de Madrid works to train its students by providing a solid education in values that foster plurality, equality and free thought without distancing itself from the professional reality and current requirements at any given time. In line with this philosophy, the University promotes regular encounters with important world leaders and other internationally-recognized individuals. Bill Clinton, Lech Wałęsa, Shirin Ebadi and Tony Blair are just some of the people to have visited the University to this end over the last two years.
Tony Blair became one of the most influential leaders of his generation as Prime Minister of Great Britain and Northern Ireland from 1997 to 2007. Leader of the Labour Party from 1994 to 2007 and supporter of the Third Way, he promoted a more moderate, multilateral and active policy more focused on values with a pro-business approach. He was recognized for his contribution to advancing the Northern Ireland Peace Process by signing the Good Friday Agreement and fostering a shared power government. Since he left Downing Street, Tony Blair has been the Special Envoy for the Middle East of the Quartet which, formed by the United States, the United Nations, Russia and the European Union, is working with the Palestinians on preparing its condition as a State as part of the efforts by the international community to ensure peace.
He is also the president of two charity organizations. The Tony Blair Africa Governance Initiative operates in Rwanda, Sierra Leone and Liberia to advise Presidents Kagame, Koroma and Johnson-Sirleaf and their respective governments on political issues and attracting investment. His teams work full-time from the center of all three governments, helping them to rebuild their countries and realize change for their people. The Tony Blair Faith Foundation is dedicated to promoting respect and understanding between majority religions and faiths as a force to represent good in our modern world. Faith is of vital importance for hundreds of millions of people but religious faith can also be used as a dividing force. The Tony Blair Faith Foundation is a response to these opportunities and challenges.