As Slovenia takes on the Presidency of the Council of the European Union, CEC European Managers highlights the need to walk the talk on its political priorities for the six months to come. Amid criticisms of the Slovenian government for the non-respect of the rule of law and human rights, including of LGBTIQ people, a renewed attention must be put onto concrete measures to protect EU values and rights in all EU member states. The application of human rights and the rule of law is non-negotiable.
“The EU now has to make choice. Do we manage to come to a shared vision on updating our democracy and economy for the good of all of our citizens or do we let some EU Member States slip into authoritarianism and new geopolitical dependencies? The EU is in the first place a community of values, rights and principles. Their respect is a fundamental legal obligation, and if their violation is ascertained, then the EU should act” commented Maxime Legrand.
CEC European Managers calls for a new dialogue, also through the upcoming Conference on the Future of Europe, on democratic values, European cohesion, and our development vision. Some governments display behaviours damaging EU rights, interests and democracy. The EU has to be credible in protecting its most fundamental values. Unfortunately, the EU has failed to deliver on many of the needs and expectations of the citizens of Member States that have joined after 2004.
As far as the social dimension is concerned, the Slovenian Presidency declared its intention to focus on providing political follow-up to a series of pending dossiers: from the minimum wage directive to wage transparency and the coordination of social security systems. In addition to these issues, special attention will be given to demographic change and its effects on the labour market (from the perspective of ensuring quality work for a quality life for all generations) and the impact of artificial intelligence on gender equality in the workplace.
While the strategic priorities are to be welcomed, concrete milestones have to be achieved to ensure they are effectively put into actions.
The Slovenian Presidency has the following priorities:
1. The resilience and recovery of the European Union. A strategically autonomous European Union.
Developing or upgrading plans and instruments to reinforce the resilience of the European Union to pandemics and cyberattacks. A recovery of the European Union after the pandemic that is based on a digital, green and fair transition.
- The Conference on the Future of Europe.
Organising discussions open to all who would like to contribute proposals on how to build a common European future.
- A union of the European way of life, the rule of law and equal criteria for all.
A union of balanced rights and responsibilities, a high level of protection of human rights and fundamental freedoms, including the right to freedom of expression.
- A credible and secure European Union. A union that is capable of ensuring security and stability in its neighbourhood.