This article was exclusively written for the Sting by Mr João Malhadeiro, member of LisbonPH, the Junior Enterprise of Faculty of Pharmacy of the University of Lisbon. Mr Malhadeiro is affiliated to the European Confederation of Junior Enterprises (JADE). JADE is a cordial partner of The European Sting. The opinions expressed within reflect only the writer’s views and not The European Sting’s position on the issue.
Nexit? Frexit? Deutschexit? Confused by this words? You shouldn’t, because those are some of the most popular hashtags and movements nowadays in Europe. Those three can become the most popular words in a few months, because 2017 marks the year of the Dutch, French and Germany elections, but above all, marks the future of the European Union as we know it.
15/03/2017. All the roads end up in the Netherlands, being the first country where the elections take place. Nexit is the main word in Geert Wilders dictionary, the leader of the far-right Party for Freedom (PPV), whose popularity has risen day by day. The race is currently neck and neck, with the lead changing frequently, but PPV tops most of the polls, based on a populist and anti-immigration speech and ideology, that has been backed up by Brexit and the election of Donald Trump.
23/04/2017, another date you need to save on your calendar. It marks the day of the First Round of the French Elections, one of the most talked and unpredictable elections of the recent years. Marine Le Pen, the leader of the far-right party Nationalist Front, makes the headlines, once again with her anti-Islamic, populist and racist ideas. The problem? Her enthusiastic supporters and the division between the opponents, that led to several internal convulsions in the right and left parties in the process of choosing their candidates. The danger? A Second Round in May 7, can dictate the arrival of Marine Le Pen to the Élysée, since most of the polls suggest that in unlikely for her to win in the First Round, but at the Second Round, the scenario changes drastically.
Finally, add the day 24/09/2017 to your timeframe. It’s the day of Germany’s Federal Election and one of the most important in Europe in 2017, that can dictate the future of European Union. Angela Merkel is once again the favourite to win the election, but there could be a wild-card that can make a surprise. Guess what? If you taught about the right-wing, anti-immigrant, anti-Islam, Eurosceptic party Alternative for Germany (AfD) you’re right. They can become the first far-right party to have parliamentary seat in the Germany Parliament since the World War II.
As we can see, 2017 will be a decisive year for the European Union and for the European policies. However, Entrepreneurship can be the answer and the driving force to these difficulties. Taking a close look to the different proposals of the Dutch, French and German parties we can see a common denominator: entrepreneurship.
In the Netherlands, the current government, also a candidate for the 2017 elections has proposed an ambitious programme where entrepreneurship it’s the basis to strengthen the Netherlands’ position as one of the world’s top five most competitive economies.
In France, the government has just created the “French Tech Visa”, a new program for foreigh tech talent. The main goal? Attract foreign talent to the coutry to help the development of French start-ups. In addition, there will be partnerships with accelerators and startup competitions.
Germany is no exception, being Berlin in the top 10 startup hubs in 2016. However, we could not forgot Munich, Hamburg or Cologne. How was this possible? Through several policies discussed in the German Parliament related to cheap housing, affordable industrial-looking offices, a healthy investor scene and a huge local market making Germany the go-to place for talent and startups.
2017 it’s the opportunity for Youth Entrepreneurship to commit to Europe, creating products, services and intellectual property, and sowing the seeds of a new digital revolution. More than a decisive year for Europe, 2017 can be the year of Opportunities and the trigger for the revolution made by Youth Entrepreneurship.
About the author
João Malhadeiro is a member of LisbonPH, the Junior Enterprise of Faculty of Pharmacy of the University of Lisbon (FFULisboa), where he works as the Director of the Innovation and Scientific Department. In addition to this role, he is also the coordinator of Pharmacevtica, the magazine of the Students’ Association of FFULisboa and writes chronicles about politics, economy, sports for the P3’s website by the newspaper “Público”. João is graduating from the FFULisboa with a Master in Pharmaceutical Sciences. In the lab, he mixes the world, politics, health, economy, science and writing in test tubes.