Publication date

October 17, 2022

Inspired by Bruno Latour

While preparing my editorial on the ever-changing European energy policies agenda, I could not stop hearing in my mind one of the last analyses of the philosopher Bruno Latour, who recently passed away: ‘Can the present accumulation of crises allow Europe to finally find the soil that suits this great institutional invention and which continues to be presented as being suspended outside of any soil and with no people which belong to it?’ [1]. Such a statement is sincerely impossible to paraphrase, even less to summarise.

Bruno Latour believes that Europe has the unique opportunity to synchronise its model, its way of living with its own resources.

In itself, this is not revolutionary, but the political translation of this alignment objective between resources/needs (of a ‘doughnut’ Europe [2], which would remain within the limits of its resources) is revolutionary: it is Europe as a People, a Nation and as a Territory, that can – and must – emerge.

Today, our dependencies are indeed, terribly, painfully visible.

Our daily lives are rooted in a very real territory. And this energy crisis impacts every one of our daily actions. As Geneviève Pruvost writes: ‘Without a policy for everyday life, without the collective and radical reconstruction of our subsistence, there cannot be an egalitarian or ecological society.’ [3]

Week after week, we announce ‘Emergency European Energy Commissions’.

Another one this week, another on 25 October, yet another in November… This is unprecedented. This crisis is transforming the entire institutional machine.  None of the traditional negotiation mechanisms are operable in this unique set up. This raises number of questions: Does this new reality allow energy policies to be ‘anchored’? Is there room for the territories? What about a place for everyday policies? How do we empower everyone in order for them to retain control of their European destiny?

Unfortunately, while agendas seem to be overwhelmed by urgency, politicians are still struggling to grasp the relevant issues.

[1] https://geopolitique.eu/en/articles/is-europes-soil-changing-beneath-our-feet/

[2] https://doughnuteconomics.org/

[3] https://journals.openedition.org/lectures/51439