Although be separate by a nine-hour time difference, one eleven-hour flight, and a herbal proximity through Asia and Latin America, California seems to save glancing end at Europe. Girlfriend just have to pay attention to view the clues.

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California’s growing wine industry generally looks to France and Italy for its top quality standards, while restaurants and bars sell an expensive range of Mediterranean-inspired fare. San Francisco’s and Los Angeles’ notorious traffic jams space lined v European cars, when the logos of European service providers decorate structures in Silicon Valley. Californians’ format mirrors the Old Continent fashion fundings and, perhaps less far-reaching but no less indicative, in ~ the brand-new skyrocketing cycling motion possessing an high-quality European-made bicycle is an unequivocal condition symbol. Unfortunately, talk a name-brand bike only marginally improves uphill performance since its separation, personal, instance leg strength that counts and not geography origin.


According come the 2018 data, California is the optimal exporting us state to Europe of computers, electronics, transport equipment, chemicals, and also other produced commodities. That comes together no surprised that the Old Continent is a strategic counterpart for trade and partnerships, especially for the san Francisco just Area, world epicenter of the “digital revolution”, fabricated Intelligence, self-driving cars, and Mars private room challenges.


Despite being geographically personally from every other, Europe and also the gold State are however substantially interconnected. This is even much more evident socially: the large number of european expat areas of europe passport holders functioning in Californian companies, start-ups, and universities and also in Californian-based europe hubs. The socio-cultural interchange is additionally seen top top the relational level among the bilingual and also multi-passport offspring who define Euro-Cali families. Business and culture are the powerful glue bringing civilization together past political borders and also geographical distances.


However, spontaneous interchanges and also recurrent EU-related questions include to the picture. From a distance, the “European Space” is highly understandable. Besides unconvinced requests for Brexit forecasts and pullout mechanisms, EU-related conversations in the san Francisco bay Area primarily revolve about welfare differences and institutional architecture.


Discussions that welfare distinctions usually create statements the Europeans experience much less anxiety contrasted to the striving middle course in America. Decades-long college student loans, the exorbitant price of exclusive health care insurance, and also chronic lack of social services generate anguish that is hardly understandable top top the Old Continent. I m sorry brings us to the very first recurring question:

– “Why the growing anger amongst Europeans?”

Even through all the explanations for the EU’s supposedly neo-liberal turn, ns don’t have much clarity to offer to my random interlocutor:

– “I frankly don’t understand it myself. Possibly it’s similar to in life. Sometimes either friend keep relocating forward or friend spin downward. Friend know, challenges keep you far from going come dark places.”


Conversations roughly institutional architecture usually prompt standard questions ~ above EU decision-making procedures, regulation entanglement, and also who is actually driving the bus. Californian I.T. Providers have considerable interests in Europe. Things such as net privacy governance, anti-trust mechanisms, assets security standards and intellectual property are basic to to run a European-based business. Compare explanations v the united state Constitutional system seem to it is in helpful. Two-chamber congress (one representing the fifty states, the other representing the nation), the President and the government, commonwealth judicial power and also the united state Supreme Court are similar in Europe come the Parliament and also the Council, the Commission, and the ECJ. Us Federal bureaucracy can be compared to the EU. Also the polarization in between Member States and also Brussels is understandable indigenous an American cultural perspective. Return the piece of the puzzle room pretty lot the same, the EU is quiet projecting a different institutional configuration. I beg your pardon brings united state to the second question:

– “Why nothing you guys just go federal?”

– “Man, i really nothing know! possibly it’s just like in life. How plenty of times do human being think they should start exercising? Or how often do civilization put turn off going top top a diet?”

However, i realize that my explanations aren’t beneficial so I shot to to fill in the photo with part details:

– “You recognize in Europe we speak 24 official languages (not to cite countless dialects and also unofficial local ones), social nuances vary widely every 20 miles, and collective identities are rooted in deep historic layers. Perhaps it takes just a little longer to harmonize this wonderful and amazing diversity.”


People warmly thank me because that the conversation and also cheerfully say goodbye. I doubt I will have an ext insightful answers because that the next curious questioner. Yet what i am pretty certain of is that, like its awe-inspiring landscape, the methods in California are huge and expansive and new ideas about the human being of tomorrow easily flow native Silicon Valley’s desktops. Together a an outcome European populism and EU-related administration complexities feel prefer a distant and vague fact to most.

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Andrea Lollini is Professor in ~ UC Hastings college of regulation (San Francisco) and at the university of Bologna (Italy). His interdisciplinary research intends to check out how an essential rights are revolutionized by new developments in neurosciences. He functions at the UCSF-ALBA Neurobiology Lab and also the UCSF-Dyslexia facility coordinating the “Language Based Learning impairment Prison Pilot Study”. To keep his mind maybe clear, he cycles crazy mile up and down steep Californian roads.