Is the Europe of institutions and of politics striving to find its identity and role in the age of globalization? Certainly yes, as Franco Botta and Fabrizio Coricelli explain in this issue of the magazine. But there’s also another Europe, the one of firms and markets, of the young who join Erasmus programs and of the trade unions, of volunteering and of subsidies. Does this other Europe, less known and less compelling, no longer tackle the problem of identity and unity in Shakespearian “to be or not to be” terms? This other Europe knows that it is not possible to go back. And so it keeps going. As Dieter Rampl, president of UniCredit-Hypovereinsbank, the credit giant born out of the first cross-border European aggregation, writes. And as Predrag Matvejevic, recently sentenced to 5 months in jail in Zagreb for insulting those behind the ethnic cleansing in Croatia, calling them “Taliban”, confirms on behalf of the European intellectuals.
The special report in this issue of east is dedicated to the problem of Italian economic competitiveness and in particular to the theme of supports available to assist the internationalisation of Italian companies. Starting from a poll involving a panel of 200 companies, we gathered authoritative opinions and practical suggestions to qualitatively improve Embassies, ICE offices, Chambers of Commerce and all the rest. Contributions are by Luca Montezemolo, Fabrizio Onida, Adolfo Urso, Lapo Pistelli e Giuseppe Scognamiglio.
Finally a novelty: the magazine, having rounded the buoy of the first year, has decided to open its doors to advertising. As readers can see, we do it with discretion, and respecting an appropriate balance between texts and advertising spaces, and the aesthetic-formal rigour which characterizes us. It would not have been right, nor serious, to start with advertising even before verifying that the indispensable credibility bases were there. We are doing it now for two reasons. The first is that in this year east has conquered its space and role in Italy and Europe. The second, more general, is that an economically independent magazine is one in which independence and freedom are guaranteed both for those who make it and for those who read it.