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It was difficult, some would say impossible, in 2017 to predict what might happen in the next five years. And yet, many people at that time had predicted and described the possibility of a major pandemic, a war in Ukraine, an attempted coup in the United States and a major revolt in France.

So, if we want to better understand the framework in which the next elections will take place, especially in France, we must venture to predict some of the events of the next five years; not only the next Olympic Games, or other world cups, but also the risks, more or less certain, that the next leaders will inevitably face. And whether they are prepared to manage them and, better still, to anticipate them.

Among these risks, here are seven, in no chronological order of appearance, nor hierarchy of seriousness, but rather in decreasing order of probability:

1. A climate crisis: this is not a risk, it is a certainty: we know that in three years’ time we will have reached a point of no return in our ability to control the planet’s temperature. It is therefore vital for the world’s leaders, in the next five years, to take major, binding initiatives separately and together so that our planet will still be habitable in thirty years’ time.

2. World famine: here again, it is not a probability, but a certain catastrophe, which has begun, largely aggravated by the war in Ukraine, which deprives the planet of a very important part of its food, and of its fertilisers, for at least two years, whatever the fate of the weapons. The result will be a famine that will lead to the death of millions of people, if not more; and enormous population movements, which no populist barrier will be able to hold back, if we do not take the lead in helping these populations to have the autonomous means to feed themselves.

3. A shortage of strategic raw materials: we know for sure that certain raw materials are becoming increasingly rare, that we are consuming more and more of them, and that they are vital for the industries of the future, for example for the batteries on which we are basing a large part of our hopes for controlling climate change. And yet, these batteries depend on materials that are only available in quantity in one or two countries with such easily predictable behaviour as China and the Democratic Republic of Congo. With no alternative available at the moment: What if a large part of the production lines for batteries, or computers, or solar panels, or wind turbines, or vehicles of any kind, are interrupted globally for months on end because of a blockage of this kind?

4. A war with Russia: the current dreadful war is probably just beginning. It could settle down, last, pushing the democracies in support of the Ukrainians to be more and more involved, and not only by interposed deliveries of arms, in the fight against the barbarity that tortures, rapes, kills and denies them.

5. A new pandemic: no expert excludes (and some even consider it probable) that a new variant, of this or another virus, will one day massively attack the human race again. Or even worse, much worse. Will we be prepared to make the best use of science to guard against it? Will we be able to unite and preserve democracy in this battle?

6. A global financial crisis: For the past fifteen years, we have never solved crises, whatever their nature: we have been pushing them back, rolling a ball of debt bigger and bigger in front of us. This brings back inflation, which will be further aggravated by the preceding events; and the debts, both public and private, will have to bear ever higher interest rates, until the indebted nations, households and companies become insolvent. This will trigger other crises, this time social ones.

7. A crisis and revolt in the French hospital or education system, followed by a social crisis and a national financial crisis. It is easy to draw the outlines.

Other crises are possible, for example in the agricultural world or in the world of justice or culture and the media, and therefore of democracy. And many others.

It is therefore urgent to remember that history is tragic; that over the next five years many events will threaten the standard of living, the well-being and the public liberties of democracies; and that, in order to face them well, we will have to choose leaders who are aware of the importance of constant cooperation between all those who will be installed, for some time, in the cockpit of the plane of our destinies.