Globalisation, Information Society and Sustainable Development: The Promise of a European Way


Recently the "European Way" has been mentioned in this background paper, which will soon be updated to reflect the most current thinking by the many parties involved in defining the "European Way".

That definition process began with a multistakeholder group which met for discussions  throughout the year 1998, and developed basic principles intended to reconcile the paradigms "Information Society and Sustainable Development" with one another. Participants at the discussions included all political parties, industry, trade unions, environmental NGOs, women's groups, etc.

That activity culminated in the presentation of the principles at a high-level conference held that same year in Stuttgart, Germany, in the form of a document which is now an Annex to the 1998 Status Report: Towards a sustainable information society. Some of the core ideas that emerged are supposed to be visualized at Expo2000 and brought across to the public as the key issues for the next century; they include:

1. The innovation dynamics of a globalized economy are opening up great chances

2. Worldwide financial markets and trade systems are powerful instruments

3. However much depends on having reasonable framework conditions for the markets.

4. Our present framework conditions are not sustainable.

5. Will we succeed in agreeing on the right framework conditions? The answer will lie in finding ways of preventing hunger, of getting principles respected such as the international instruments anchored in the Kyoto Protocol, of incorporating the concerns of employees including women in a framework agreed upon between North and South that will prove sustainable as regards future developments. This is the overall theme of global governance and includes multilateral treaties, agreements, etc. It will be in it that the sustainability of the world will be decided; the central political debate as we enter into a new century. Of course, Europe is called upon to lead in this context.

On May 3rd - 4th, 2000, Cities for the South will take place in Geneva.

The upcoming event to be held on 6th October 2000 as part of Expo 2000, the World Exposition, will be located in the 21st Century section of the Theme Park, It is considered a follow-up to the successful Stuttgart conference, and will be subdivided into these four sections in addition to its Opening and Closing Sessions:


For additional details, contact Prof.Dr.Dr. F.-J. Radermacher, Research Institute for Applied Knowledge Processing FAW, Ulm, Germany, email: