The certainty of decline is to always announce it! It is striking to see how much Europeans have lost faith, to the point of seeing everything in black. Probably the most spoiled citizens on the planet, the best protected from all ills, clearly no longer believe in their chances. As soon as they mention their country, it is to criticise it, but when it comes to Europe .....!
The European Patent Office has just published its index for 2020. Europeans filed 65 854 patents with the Office, compared with 44 293 for the Americans and 13 432 for the Chinese. 4 European countries are in the top ten and 11 of them in the top 20.
This does not prevent observers from explaining to the full how far the old continent is lagging behind in innovation and convincing decision-makers and citizens alike, seriously damaging their morale by distorting reality.
What can we say then about the screaming delirium over vaccines, which are supposed to deliver us from lockdown? The sum of articles, "enlightened" comments, and evidence peddled on the "failure of Europe" must be scrupulously preserved in order to be presented, in a few months' time, to their authors, who are not afraid to cite the United States or the United Kingdom, China or Russia, as examples of countries that are said to be more successful than the European Union.
Will they be ashamed to have forgotten to explain that the first two countries have the highest number of deaths, that the British have postponed the administration of a second dose to make the vaccine effective, that Russia does not have enough industries to get the produces to vaccinate its population and that the Chinese have chosen to deprive themselves of their freedoms in order to defeat a virus that escaped them for lack of sufficient precautions, etc.?
No State has a lesson to give, but the Europeans, as is often the case, love to blame themselves, even though they are the ones who are inventing and financing the vaccines of which they will become the world's main producers in a few months time.
Living on the continent with the largest GDP in absolute terms, the one that invented almost everything that we see around us, from electricity to the Internet, from the steam engine to the rocket, Europeans are convinced that others are better than them.
While they invented democracy and even more so respect for the individual, inhabiting the lands where culture is so much a part of the human essence that it has illuminated the world so many times, they no longer seem to believe in their future. Or rather, faced with the importance of the challenges they face and real competition now exacerbated by the emergence of new powers, they give the impression that they have given up. Do they really no longer want to fight, compete, conquer and discover?
Has Europe, the continent of confinements, become a tired old land populated by people afraid of their own surrender?
No one can underestimate the challenges it will have to face against formidable competitors with favourable demographics, who have access to science and technology, and who are upsetting the most established habits and codes! But from there to underestimating their strengths, to self-mutilation, to always trashing what they have built, to seeing only their defects, there is a line that Europeans have crossed and that is perfectly embodied in their attitude in a health crisis that could well be nothing more than a damaging panic.
European States are rich and powerful. Their societies of law and freedom are stronger than dictatorships and authoritarian regimes. Their way of life attracts, their solidarity seduces and their culture amazes. Their alliance impresses and disturbs. Europeans still have strength, but do they still have faith?