The world watches and waits with bated breath to see how the European Union (EU) will respond to Greece’s “No” referendum vote. Clearly, as North Americans we are so far removed from European politics and economics that it is difficult to guess or even understand the full complexity of their situation.
I suspect most of us have forgotten the original intent of the EU, which was created after the Second World War (1958). Pundits of that day believed the forging of economic interdependence among what eventually amounted to 28 countries would build relationships not wars. A good principle to live by and one that has proven itself.
The EU has delivered half a century of peace, stability and prosperity,
helped raise living standards, and launched a single European currency,
the euro. Europa.eu
Although war is not the issue on the EU’s parliamentary table, the Eurocrats are faced with a growing resentment between European nations; Germany and Greece being a prime example. Some voices criticize the EU for its old, outdated ideas.
The result is a tired, stumbling European Union that is dying on its feet
before our very eyes. Credibility for the project is fading fast as citizens
right across Europe awaken to the reality of its authoritarian instincts
that seek to run roughshod over public opinion. The Telegraph
After five years of economic depression and mass unemployment, Greek voters chose to reject the escalating pressure and terror tactics of European leaders by saying “No.” Clearly, the issues faced by Greece and the whole EU go beyond economic instability and bank closures. Speculation as to the EU’s own survival has risen given its inability to de-escalate the Greek crisis. “If the EU cannot resolve a small problem the size of Greece, what is the point of Europe?” stated Romano Prodi, former chief of the European Commission and Italy’s ex-premier.
The question remains, what do we do with a country that can no longer sustain its debt load? Throw it out of the Union? Eject it from the human collective? As challenging as Greece’s crisis has become, it signals a deeper, more complex issue for the EU and global society as a whole. IMHO and as history represents, ejecting someone from a group where they have been a participating member, such as in a family, builds resentment rather than solves problems. In fact, we know from studying human family systems that the person is not the problem source, rather the family dynamics must be changed in order for the problem to not reappear. So, regardless if we hold a family member responsible for the problem and eject them from our union, the problem we believed they caused will continue to reappear even without their presence.
This same process occurs whether in a family or a nation or an ecosystem of countries. As I stated in a recent blog, ecosystem orchestration requires new leadership capabilities willing to draw on a range of solutions and innovations based on the diversity of the participants involved. The EU’s leadership is being tested by Greece’s circumstances. This is not a time for rejecting or ejecting participation. Less distance between Greece and her fellow EU-ers, instead of more, is necessary for them and us to learn new ways of working together. Where do we need to collaborate and what new economic innovations do we need to co-create in order for all countries, not just Greece, to become sustainable global citizens?
May we respectfully navigate our way through this powerful learning moment in our collective history.
For more info on the benefits of collaboration, click here.