The European institutional cycle that is about to expire has been a complex one. Three events in particular have hit its foundations: Brexit, the risk of the dissolvement of the Euro as the cornerstone of the European economic system caused by the Greek turmoil of 2015 and the debate around migration and refugees. Eurocritics have often highlighted each of these events as the proof of the imminent collapse of the European Union.
In the wake of these events, voices calling for a national retreat from the European Union in the name of recovering national sovereignty have become louder. In a growing number of European countries anti-European parties score high in the polls, riding the mixed feelings of unsatisfaction for the current political situation and fear for the rapidity at which societies change.
Yet, staying together is the only possibility for the countries of Europe to being able to face the many challenges awaiting them in the decades to come. Only by acting together can European countries escape the risk of irrelevance in a world that grows more complex by the day. Developing new models balancing economic, social and environmental sustainability, finding the right tools to regulate technological advancements in a human way, acting as a global actor that can defend its interests while promoting universal values and rights: these are only a few of the many, thrilling yet potentially devastating challenges our societies will have to find a solution to. And no credible political force can claim that individual European countries can be better placed than the European Union to face them. That’s why CEC European Managers calls upon the 10 million managers and 38 million professionals to vote during the European elections 2019.
Of course, the institutional mechanisms of the European Union can be reformed. But we need to stand up clearly and defend the principle of European unity as the best possible tool to ensure prosperity and peace. Through the different phases of its integration process, Europe has experienced almost 70 years of peace, becoming one of the best places in the world where to live, a beacon for many countries to modernize their structures and a model for promoting democracy and human rights.
At the end of May, more than 400 million European citizens are invited to elect the new European Parliament, starting the new institutional cycle that will bring Europeans forward until 2024. It’s a major democratic success, one of the biggest in the world, and it has been so since the first elections at direct universal suffrage were organized 40 years ago. For this occasion, CEC European Managers calls to all European citizens to exercise their right to vote and decide freely how they think the society, the economy and the world they live in should look like. Voting is an intergenerational exercise, as the decisions we take now will influence how future generations will live, work and prosper. And it is a democratic tool that – when it is free and legitimate – in no circumstance should be neglected.
Let us not forget the advantages Europe brought to us and let us not prevent the citizens of tomorrow from benefitting even more from a stronger and more resilient Europe.