The return of poverty, that id spreading itself along the banks of the Seine, Po and Duero rivers, has finally brought Europe to the consciousness of its delay comparative to the rest of the world, a delay that it cannot overcome because its products, as well as its services and machines, are often obsolete, unreliable and protected (as well pointed out by the Bolkestein Directive). Therefore, they are discriminative and unable to be really competitive in comparison with those provided by the rest of the world. In this respect, it is enough to mention the trend of the technological balance of the Economic and Monetary Union (EMU), as well as the one related to the professional movements. The problem is articulated around the production costs, the labour productivity and the products, often expensive, inadequate in terms of quality, insufficient in terms of quantity and uncompetitive within the realistic concept of a multiplied normal value of the product, which is to be linked to the spending capacity of the end-consumer within the production process, given the fact that there is now a single market – the global one – considerably superior to the standards of the internal market.

To all these one should add the fact that the alleged participative decentralisation designed by the European Charter of Local Self-Government has not led so far to that internal social dialogue that could be found at the basis of the co- administration experiences – developed at their time in Berlin, Belgrade and then in Moscow – as the recent events in Paris are significantly proving. The Paris of today gives one the shivers when thinking to the values expressed at the beginning of the Fourth Republic, with ministries of culture like Malreaux, who saw the human condition in China as being similar to the “negritude” – a human and poetical value, part of the French culture and civilisation – without therefore being in conflict with other civilisations that were coordinated with it. Within the information society, the medieval distances that existed until the naissance of the knowledge society no longer subsist, as proven by the UNECE conference of Tunis, in the sense that all seems to be teachable to everyone and the solution to be given to the most various and complex equations may be discovered in Osaka as well as in Tamanrasset.

But, in the same time, the distance that separates people in terms of capacity to satisfy their needs is continuously deepening and two models of society are now in competition: the purely capitalistic one, nowadays represented by the USA – oriented towards the exportation of its upper class together with its own form of government – and the one of solidarity – result of the three monotheistic religions. The Jewish solidarity is well known from the episode in which Joseph receives his brothers in Egypt and from the Evangelic one in which Mark speaks clearly of unfair richness.

In the same way, The Koran (S.LIX,V.7.), rejecting the class struggle and the accumulation of richness by a limited part of the community – as asserted by dr. Abdul Hadi Gafouri in his “Islam et économie: Réflexion sur les principes fondamentaux de l’économie islamique”, Editions Al Bouraq, Beirut-Lebanon, 2000 – recognises the principle of free cooperation aimed to allow the achievement of the economic self- sufficiency and independence (pgs. 243 and 244, op. cit., inter alia). The rejection of violence and of the devastating effects of terrorism raises today the need to transform the present network of poverties in a series of Mediterranean opportunities. The boundaries to be overcome are two: energetic autonomy and full occupation of all productive factors, in an eco-compatible and sustainable way, in order to insure for this area a real common perspective of growth towards new forms of prosperity, which is to be safely shared within the framework of stability obtained through social dialogue and participation to the public affairs’ management.


Energetic autonomy

The entire Balkan-Mediterranean area, which is the new “pan-economic European space”, even if rich in energetic raw materials, is suffering from the endemic monoculture of oil and gas and of the relative prices, which make it impossible for the people in the area to benefit from the energy necessary to the development of their activities, to the heating of their homes or simply to their own mobility. Nevertheless, as long as the main problem of such economic area is the recovery of the productive activity and of the dignity of a significant part of the unemployed population and furthermore, the bringing of the eco-system back to a relation of compatibility with the environment, it might be necessary to initiate an active process of biomass production, in order to transform it in bio-diesel – used to produce electric power in electric power stations of local significance, that are also parts of a regionally shared electric system. But the new topic is the desirable creation of the project financing for micro leasing: the necessary machines for establishing the village electric power stations should be rented by the supplying enterprises, on the basis of a buy-back agreement, to the public or private managers of the energetic resources, for a figure up to 30% of the obtained income, in order to allow them to face up the long term amortization of the good. Then, a part of the obtained bio-diesel should be used as fuel for the agricultural machines and transportation vehicles, which are nowadays equipped to use even alimentary oils as carburant – as it is already well known.

MICROLEASING and distribution

The microcredit is only an instrument that should be included in a network founded on the microentrepreneurship, assisted by the necessary technical interventions aimed to allow the identification of the instruments able to activate the autonomous micro productive process at the individual level, but also an associative process of subcontinental dimensions. Besides the necessary for the personal and local direct consume, the result of the microentrepreneurship is to be distributed in one of the forms used on the global market – fresh, refrigerated, transformed and dry – at the market value attained in the primary sector. Where such thing is possible, an entire distributive network is to be created, fortified with adequate conservation and presentation systems, able to support the reaching of the final market at prices that allow the satisfaction of the main needs (locomotion, food, clothes, accommodation) of the people, at any level of the revenue encountered in the different geographical areas. Obviously, the access to the global market is not identical with the access to the herbal local market, and therefore the product originated in the primary sector, as well as the one from the handicrafts sector – that is almost always derived from the primary one – needs not only a generic “look”, but especially the necessary and adequate quality certifications that individualise and guarantee its biological origin, the absence or the presence of GMO (Genetically Modified Organisms), its characteristics of conservation in time, the degree of satisfaction at the nutritional needs level, the consequent effects on the health condition, the hygienic and sanitary circumstances that make the product comestible, the social and ethical context within which it is produced and the contribution of the various structures to its fabrication.

Naturally, the entire distributive network must also be certified and adequate in terms of economy, capacity and velocity – given the fact that one of the reasons that led to the loss of strategic importance of the USSR was the impossibility to transport Georgian lemons and aubergines within the rest of the Union, because of the inefficient transportation means and the lacking refrigeration network.

The solitude

The real problem of the different areas in which the new proximity manifests itself is the guilty ignorance of the other, which generally characterises the countries and the people of the region, especially the various intellectual areas, while, in order to find a way of growing together in the context of the necessary and inevitable living together, it is essential to find those unity in diversity reasons that represent the real added value of the area. The things that lead to a certain reciprocal violence in the sense are the lack of knowledge and the mutual lack of communication. Therefore, it is crucial to help people to overcome such condition through the perception of the fact that they are part of the same dimension of a new total poverty and that such situation may be surmounted only if they grow together, within the framework of a juridical system and within a Latin structure of the proximity – that is to be built in a more unitary way than ever imagined, given the common Justinian origins, that were unfortunately reconsidered only in a unilateral way during the colonial period. Then, it is easy for everyone to see that the time concept in the capitalistic world is different from the one in the rural world or in the various suburbs of the Mediterranean cities.

machines and technical assistance

The problem is not always a financial one. Some local communities may have autonomous financial resources, but lacking the necessary technical assistance in order to see themselves as parts of the same kind of society, on one side or the other of the Mediterranean Sea. As a matter of fact, the people coming on the “hope boats” to the frontiers of Melilla are rarely the poorest of the world. They are often people that have their own economic means, imagination, willing to take chances and with a certain capacity of organising themselves in order to enter that social European dimension from which they presently feel excluded. Therefore, the problem to be faced is the start of an “in loco” dialogue – on equal and tangible basis – with those people that do not have the means to go away or simply intend to stay, a dialogue supported by an offer consisting in the opportunities looked for by others in the so called “journey of hope”. In order to accomplish such goal, it is necessary to create a network of technical assistance, based on the microfinance and microcredit, with the essential role of explaining how the private initiative begins to materialise, in synergy with other similar and contextual initiatives, and how all these should grow together in order to create the productivity system of the Mediterranean area. Such network of technical assistance should also help the private initiative in its materialisation phase and support it during the creation of the distributive system. The operative framework is to be created by the will of the producers of agricultural machines and mills for products processing to be the first to activate the concept of participative leasing, including the use of the applicable national instruments for exports’ support. In order to do so, new suitable subjects have to be trained – educated in universities – subjects that are truly capable of transmitting contents and ways to do things, truly able to be the animators and assistants of the participative self- entrepreneurship process, to become themselves shareholders within such process and therefore to actually be social and financial participants to the outcomes, as all the other production actors.