European citizens have voted for a new European Parliament with an unusually high level of voter turnout. The mounting interest in these elections and a growing diversity of political parties within the new parliament can represent an opportunity, if translated into an innovative, solution-oriented and sustainable European Commission. Besides the gains realised by the liberals (ALDE) and greens (Greens/EFA), right wing extremists and Eurosceptic groups were also able to improve their score, although on a much smaller scale than sometimes expected.
Even though extremist and populist forces have only had victories in some member states, they nevertheless pose a threat to the future functioning of the European institutions through their sabotaging strategies already experienced in many national and regional parliaments. All pro-European forces now have to unite, aware of these strategies, to improve the sustainability of EU decision making. Above all, better tools for citizen participation, a clear policy agenda and a purposeful discussion on the future of Europe are needed in the light of the ongoing Brexit impasse and the EU’s international role.
CEC European Managers looks forward to an agenda-driven legislative cycle during which improvements in the private and professional lives of workers and managers should find their legitimate expression. By adapting very concrete and evidence-based policies, the EU can improve its legitimacy right from the ground of reality of citizens’ lives. Concretely, CEC underlines the need to improve labour mobility and learning opportunities by opening up Erasmus+ to workers and managers. Furthermore, rights to vocational education and training in member states should be portable to facilitate the recognition of continuous education in the Union. At last, human responsibility should remain at the centre for the development of Artificial Intelligence. Technology development has to go hand in hand with a positive social impact and competent management for it to succeed.