Brand EU Project: Build a Shared EU Brand Identity to Secure a Common European Future

Gold Mercury International is conducting new research on the future of the European Union’s brand and on issues relating to the concept of EU citizen identity formation.

The main aims of the BRAND EU project are: a. to deliver critical insights on the current state of the European Union’s governance and political structures and b. to address the lack of a common European Identity and strong EU Brand.

“Gold Mercury has identified the lack of a clear EU Brand and EU identity as a key problem to achieving the full support of its citizens and for the development of Europe as a whole. One of the key brand problems for citizens to understand Europe and participate actively, is the complexity of the current political structure of the EU. It can be only understood by academics or experts,”

says Nicolas De Santis, President of Gold Mercury International.

Gold Mercury aims to challenge the current complexity which is associated with the BRAND EU. Both studies will also include interviews with leading national and international political authorities, representatives of the EU, civil society members, academics and other key actors in the EU and within international affairs.

Understanding the Institutional Structure of the EU

The report on the EU’s institutional structure, entitled ‘The Current State of European Union’s Governance & The Need for Greater Political Integration’ will provide an in-depth analysis of the current levels of political organisation in Europe (i.e. national, European, regional, municipal) and will investigate different conceptualisations of the EU’s structure (i.e. federalism, con-federalism, multi-level governance). The report will also provide policy recommendations based on existing research, responding to main areas of criticism including the democratic deficit and the lack of a common European demos.

At the moment, the EU has 27 member countries and 5 have already been given candidate status. However, there are enormous differences in the political organisation of the member states. The interplay between transnational, national, regional or urban levels of political organisation is no longer efficient for the competitiveness and future of Europe.

In order to challenge the current instability in the European context and its global effects, it is critical to analyse the diversity of the political organisation and levels within the EU. This will provide a clear understanding about the different levels of governance in a country and about the changing notions of national sovereignty, a concept which is of the utmost importance in order to understand the current debates about the EU.

The Critical Role of a European Identity & Demos

At the same time, a collective EU identity is missing and citizens often feel disempowered to participate in EU affairs. As the British Prime Minister, Mr. David Cameron argued in his recent EU speech, “disillusionment” with the EU was “at an all-time high”. Mr. Cameron also added that “There is a gap between the EU and its citizens which has grown dramatically in recent years. And which represents a lack of democratic accountability and consent that is – yes – felt particularly acutely in Britain”.

However, sharing a common European identity or common ‘esprit de corps’ is critical in order to develop a shared sense of the Brand EU and to promote civic engagement. Developing a shared EU identity would not in any sense presuppose to eliminate national identities but rather to complement them and enrich them. Working towards this direction, Gold Mercury’s report on the lack of a common European identity will investigate the role of identity formation in European citizenship and will provide innovative ways of addressing the core issues relating to the lack of a shared Brand EU identity.

Developing a new Vision for the EU

Gold Mercury International argues that the European Union is a critical institution in global governance which is at a critical point in its evolution. It needs to clarify its purpose, role and future vision to its citizens and the international community in order to progress as a future bastion of stability. The recent economic crisis has manifested the instabilities of the current political system in nation states and the EU, including the lack of unified decision-making, underlining the need for critical discussions about the future levels of political, fiscal and economic integration.

However, policy research and reporting on EU affairs has increasingly become too narrow, focusing only on the negatives perceptions associated with EU membership. The British Prime Minister’s EU speech and his plan for an ‘in/out’ referendum illustrate that Euro-Skepticism and the practices of questioning the EU are a growing force in the UK. As Mr. Cameron mentioned, “We insistently ask: how, why, to what end? But all this doesn’t make us somehow un-European.”

At the same time, U.S. President Barack Obama underlined to the British Prime Minister David Cameron, that the United States “Values a strong UK in a strong European Union”, reminding us that other nations value the unity that the EU brings and want the EU to stay united and prosper with Britain at the heart of it. But a united and prosperous Europe needs a common vision.

The Gold Mercury Brand EU project aims to challenge the frequently unbalanced debates on EU and provide a solid platform to build a framework for a common EU vision which can be shared amongst all EU citizens.

“The Brand EU project aims to re-shape the current debates on the role and future of the European Union and its citizens by analysing and comparing different international political and supranational structures. The EU at the moment is a hybrid with both federal and con-federal elements. It is an imperative that we build Europe around simple concepts and a common vision of why we are all united as peoples in order to build a shared identity,”

says Nicolas De Santis, President of Gold Mercury International.

The need to clarify the vision of the EU was also raised by the Independent Reflection Group on the Future of Europe, set up by the European Council. The group’s purpose was to identify, analyse and propose solutions to the challenges that the EU will be facing at the horizon 2030. Their report underlined that:

“The EU needs to communicate a common vision of how Europe can secure its future. The choice we face is therefore clear: build on the strengths of the EU and use its collective weight to become an assertive and relevant player in the world, or cultivate fragmentation and contemplate the possibility of absolute decline in a world where rules are defined by those who matter.”


For more information on Gold Mercury International and this story contact Kate Delaney Send Mail

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  • Founder of New Tunisian Party “Al Mostaqbel” (The Future) Visits Gold Mercury in London
  • Founder of New Tunisian Party “Al Mostaqbel” (The Future) Visits Gold Mercury in London
  • Founder of New Tunisian Party “Al Mostaqbel” (The Future) Visits Gold Mercury in London

Founder of New Tunisian Party “Al Mostaqbel” (The Future) Visits Gold Mercury in London

Former Ambassador of Tunisia in India, Spain and China, Dr Mohamed Sahbi Basly, has met with Nicolas De Santis, President of Gold Mercury International to discuss the political and social situation in Tunisia and to present his new book 'Au service de la République' (At the service of the Republic).

The book describes the service Dr Basly provided, first as Governor and then as Ambassador of Tunisia around the world. Dr Basly had also previously been Governor of Medenine and Sfax. Following the revolution, Dr Basly founded ‘Al Mostaqbel’ (The Future), a new centre-liberal party that is becoming a democratic force in the new Tunisian political landscape.

Dr Basly has participated in a position of privilege in a critical chapter of Tunisian history. The book covers the new political landscape in Tunisia as well as stories about the former President of the Republic Zine el-Abidine Ben Ali, who was in power for twenty three years. The part of the book featuring the Tunisian Republic covers more than half a century and is divided into two parts: The Bourguiba era 1956-1987 and The Ben Ali era 1987–2010.

“I have known Dr Basly for many years from his days as Ambassador of Tunisia to the Kingdom of Spain. I also travelled with Ambassador Basly to meet President Ben Ali in an official visit to Tunisia in 2004. Ben Ali knew that Dr Basly was an independent man of strong principles whose sole aim was to serve the needs of the Tunisian people beyond any party politics or allegiances. This is what has kept the reputation of Dr Basly intact during and post revolution and allowed him to join Tunisian politics,”

said Nicolas De Santis, President of Gold Mercury International.

Dr Basly has a Doctorate in Medicine and is specialised in public health and the environment, having completed postgraduate studies in Occupational Health and Safety in Canada and at the Mount Sinai Hospital in New York. He was a lecturer of medicine in Tunis and at the National Institute of Labour and Social Studies. Dr Basly gained experience as an Ambassador in many countries including India, Nepal, Sri Lanka, Maldives, Thailand, Laos, Cambodia, Vietnam, North Korea, Spain and most recently in China. His post to China coincided with the most important events in the country’s recent history, the World Expo and the Beijing Olympics. Dr Basly is also a member of the International Advisory Board of Gold Mercury International.

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Kerry Kennedy, Gold Mercury Award Laureate, Speaks out about Gun Control in USA

Moral Courage is the ability to confront fear, pain, threat, danger, hardship, uncertainty or intimidation in the face of opposition, shame, scandal, continuous discouragement, torture or even death.

Kerry Kennedy, human right activist and Gold Mercury Award Laureate for Humanitarian Affairs knows moral courage well. She is the President of the Robert F. Kennedy Center for Justice and Human Rights, a global human rights organisation based in Manhattan. She has defended and worked with many human rights activists, the real and most often unsung heroes of our society. She has now joined a cause close to her heart, the advocacy group ‘Mayors Against Illegal Guns’ in Washington, a network of more than 850 executives from cities and towns nationwide calling for heightened gun control. The organisation is co-chaired by Boston Mayor Thomas Menino and New York Mayor Michael Bloomberg. The group is calling for tighter gun laws, an issue Kennedy feels strongly about, “It’s almost impossible to describe the pain of losing your father to a senseless murder or the anger and fear of knowing that that murder might have been avoided if only our leaders had acted to stop the violence.”  Her uncle, President John F. Kennedy, was shot and killed in Dallas when she was only four. Her father, Robert Kennedy, was murdered four years later in the midst of his 1968 presidential run. Following his murder, Kerry Kennedy – the seventh of 11 children- had to grow up without a father. Kennedy and other speakers from the group called on Congress to enact firearm reforms proposed by President Obama, including universal background checks and bans on assault weapons and high-capacity magazines.

“Kerry Kennedy is one of the most passionate and committed individuals I have met. She is on a constant mission to advocate and defend freedom, human rights and a better society for future generations. Her work to fight for and educate us all on human rights is fundamental in the current unstable world that we live in,”

said Nicolas De Santis President of Gold Mercury International.

Watch Kerry Kennedy on MSNBC’s Politics Nation with Al Sharpton where she pleaded to take swift action to save American lives and introduce universal background checks on guns.


Gold Mercury Award for Humanitarian Affairs and Speak Truth to Power

Kerry Kennedy was recognised with the 2006 Gold Mercury Humanitarian Award for her work as an internationally renowned human rights activist, the Founder of both The Robert F. Kennedy Memorial Center for Human Rights and the ‘Speak Truth to Power – Voices Beyond The Dark Programme.’ Her dedication to defending and raising awareness of human rights over many years continues the legacy of her father, the late Senator Robert F. Kennedy. She began her work in human rights in 1981 and since this time has led more than 40 delegations to various countries in the search for equal justice. Kennedy established the Robert F. Kennedy Center for Human Rights in 1987 in order to protect the rights codified under the UN Declaration of Human Rights. Her commitment and work regarding human rights covers diverse issues such as child labour, indigenous land rights, freedom of speech, judicial independence, ethnic violence and women’s rights. Her book ‘Speak Truth to Power: Human Rights Defenders Who are Changing our World’, is a powerful representation of those individuals, from more than forty countries who are seeking to advance human rights. The book features interviews with these human rights defenders and is accompanied by powerful portraits from world renowned photographer Eddie Adams.


Visit The Robert F. Kennedy Centre for Justice & Human Rights

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Algeria Crisis and Sahel Region – Failed States and Global Governance: A Wake Up Call to the World

Underlying the problems causing the current Algerian crisis is the failed states concept. The world cannot longer afford ‘internationally abandoned territories’. A Gold Mercury Global Governance Policy Report on failed states entitled Wild West Country emphasises the critical role and cost of failed states in the Global Governance peace and security arena. It also details the evidently pre-emptive failure of actors to respond to this issue with multilateral reactiveness and lack of strategic foresight.

Not all failed states are the same.

Gold Mercury’s Wild West Country Report also proposes a new framework to analyse the root causes of failed states and a new model to differentiate, classify and prevent them.

Gold Mercury International has consistently been involved in researching the critical role of failed states in destabilising global peace and security. Our report entitled ‘Wild West Country, Towards a New Framework for Failed and Crisis Countries’ provides a valuable framework to analyse the concept and root causes of failed states.

The British Prime Minister, David Cameron, in a recent statement underlined that “what we face is an extremist Islamic violent al-Qaida- linked terrorist group- just as we have to deal with Pakistan and Afghanistan.” The Prime Minister recognised that global cooperation is needed in order to challenge terrorism in North Africa. What still needs to be recognised, however, is that failed or crisis states are at the core of this issue.

On this prevalent issue, President and Secretary General of Gold Mercury Nicolas De Santis notes that;

“Failed states share certain common denominators like poverty, collapse of state institutions, corruption and lack of social cohesion, crime, torture and violence. But the root causes of each failed state are very different and so must be the projects and solutions that seek to address them. Most present classifications of failed states bundle states up in indexes but Gold Mercury International believes that they must be classified differently to truly understand the nature and origin of the problems and potential risks for the international community that failed states cause. Importantly, this classification of states allows a framework to be constructed on how to begin the arduous journey of dealing with failed states. We can see that the ‘one solution fits all’ idea will not work in solving the conundrum that the international community has inherited from the past and keeps exploding in our hands.

Failed states affect everyone and are costing nations billions. As an example, in 2011, Somali pirates attacked 237 ships and successfully hijacked 28. Piracy impacts multiple stakeholders and none more so than the seafarers attacked, held hostage, or killed. Oceans Beyond Piracy’s report on the “Economic Cost of Somali Piracy” estimates that piracy cost nearly $7 billion in 2011 alone. The study assessed nine different cost factors and found that over 80% of the costs are borne by the shipping industry, while governments accounted for 20% of the expenditures associated with countering piracy attacks.

Gold Mercury’s experience with the subject matter also led to the notion that the creation of future territorial strategies will be fundamental. This is because a long term clarified vision for the role of failed states and their population will be essential as they become part of the globalised world and assist in maintaining global peace and security.

“We have seen time and time again that only relying on international aid does not solve the long-term problems countries face. Poverty and a lack of governance play a critical role in failed states but this is not the only cause. Clarity of a future vision for a country and its population is vital. People need to cover their most basic needs but they also need purpose, direction, belief and a hope that they can play a role as human beings and global citizens in building a better future for themselves, their children and their country,”

notes the President of Gold Mercury International; Nicolas De Santis.

To go to the ‘Wild West Country’ publication page, please click here.

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