With the second issue of the year 2023, Aspenia has renewed its look. Our legendary graphic designer – architect Italo Lupi – passed away in June, after overseeing every single previous issue. Furthermore, having reached Aspenia n 100, we are simplifying the numbering system and will produce issues 1 and 2 of “Aspenia international” each year (issues 1, 2, 3, and 4 will come out each year in Italian).
“Population and Power” delves into the significance of the global baby boom and baby bust. Fertility rates are falling all over, with the exception of sub-Saharan Africa: indeed, a full-fledged demographic winter has taken hold. The consequences of this development will be felt far and wide: as Europe shrinks and yet holds on to a disproportionate amount of the world’s wealth, immigration flows from the south will only increase. On the other side of the world, India’s population has already surpassed that of China, yet the country’s leaders are not exactly thrilled. It remains far from clear how the hundreds of millions of young people due to join the workforce on the subcontinent will find gainful employment. China’s “one child policy” worked insofar as population growth was checked – allowing per capita GDP to increase – but the country lacks a welfare system that can maintain a newly vast elderly population: as China’s economic growth slows, it risks ageing before overcoming the so-called “middle income trap”.
This issue also analyzes the current geopolitical state of affairs in Europe. With wars to the north and to the south, it is more crucial than ever that the EU take up a mantle of global leadership. The Union must increase its strategic autonomy and hasten its enlargement process. The European project remains a beacon of hope for surrounding countries as well as a shining example of progress for others. Member states must come together to maintain their relevance on the world stage; so far its response to the major challenges it faces – in terms of security, energy, migration, tax policy, strategic capability and more – has not proved effective enough. A stronger Europe will also help avoid a new isolationist cycle in the United States – as ever, an “indispensable nation”.