Lisbon, November 28th - Stjepan Orešković, the majority owner of Mplus and member of the European Academy of Arts and Sciences, participated in the inaugural "European Conclave," held from November 24 to 26, 2023, at the Presidential Palace in Cascais, near Lisbon.
This new annual strategic meeting brought together fifty leaders, including leading intellectuals, scientists, entrepreneurs, artists, citizens, and politicians from the 27 Member States of the European Union.
Under the patronage of the President of the Republic of Portugal, Marcelo Rebelo De Sousa, the event aimed to address key issues shaping the future of Europe as we look towards 2040, across geopolitics, technology, democracy, and common goods.
The event commenced with a warm welcome from Guillaume Klossa, the Chairman of the Conclave board, setting the tone for insightful two-day discussions that followed.
As stated by Dr. Malte Zabel, Co-director of Europe's Future at Bertelsmann Stiftung, who participated at the Conclave, it was a meeting of "50 brilliant minds from different member states and backgrounds that came together in Cascais, Portugal, to think about much-needed innovative ideas for the future of Europe".
In the first-day closing session, themed "Outlook 2040," Mplus's Stjepan Orešković shared the platform with distinguished figures such as Jan Krzysztof Bielecki, Former Prime Minister of Poland and Chairman of EY, Nadia Crisan, Executive Director of the Liechtenstein Institute at Princeton University; and Oliver Röpke, President of the European Economic and Social Committee. The introductory note for the discussion was presented by Jean-Francois von Boxmeer, Chairman of Vodafone and President of the European Round Table of Industrialists. This diverse panel brought together expertise from various fields, creating a dynamic dialogue that delved into the future landscape of Europe.
Commenting on the outlook for 2040, Stjepan said we should follow four principles when it comes to the future of Europe.
"First, to become an ambitious, active, offensive player globally. Defense sounds good at an NBA basketball match. In real life, it's all about walking ahead and not looking backward too much. Europe is a superpower, and it should act like a superpower. There is no room for compromise when it comes to nature, a green future, peace, and sustainability. Europe is the cradle of Western civilization, from the Greek times to the Enlightenment and, further on, to the Nobel Prize for Peace. However, in terms of global positioning, we are the center of the world.
"Centrally positioned, Europe should become a great connector in the conflicting world. Our European business, not only big business in the times of digital transformation, needs an open world for free trade, communication, competition, and collaboration. Europe should serve as a benchmark for other developed and developing economies.
"And finally, it's all about population as a denominator. The objective is to reach 650 million people in Europe by 2040. We, as Europe, are the only ones with such integrative potential. Three big nation-states at our borders are willing to negotiate a full membership, or strong partnership, looking for a space in a potential future 2040 multilevel establishment named Europe," he noted.
As the outcomes of these gatherings and discussions are set to be published in a report at the end of 2023, Stjepan's involvement highlights this convergence of influential voices, which is set to contribute to the formulation of policies and discourse that will echo in the corridors of European decision-making in the years to come.
Photos: Europa Nova / Conclave