Dear Presidents, dear Ministers, dear colleagues,
My name is Luigi Caprioglio, I am the Secretary General of CEC European Managers and today I am here representing the Liaison Committee Eurocadres-CEC. Eurocadres are representing the managerial and professional staffs inside the ETUC unions whereas CEC is an independent confederation gathering managers and executive staff throughout Europe. Through this Committee, European managers, professionals and executive staff participate in the European social dialogue within the delegation chaired by ETUC. I am proud to take this prestigious opportunity to bring forward the voice of the European managerial workforce, a voice strong of more than six million affiliates.
Managers participate significantly in the social and economic life of Europe; we are the initiators and implementers of those policies that will bring companies and public services in the best position to face the challenges that derive from their constant evolution. As social partners, we play the role of facilitating the dialogue between the two sides of the industry, thanks to our nature of employees and our professional proximity with the upper management. A role of “bridge-builders” that is increasing being accepted, both at national and European level, also by our partners, but which still needs to be fully recognized from an institutional point of view and on an equal footing with all the other social partners.
Since last year, the European scenario has acquired a new source of instability: Brexit. Besides its economic consequences, Brexit is the proof of how dangerous can it be for Europe when politics fail in taking its own responsibilities. From an institutional point of view, Europe must find the way to play effectively its role, to ensure that our continent as a whole is capable to remain a strong global actor in the future.
The economic and social situation remains rather disappointing. The current rates of growth and employment describe a Europe where disparities are increasing, convergence is reducing and some social indicators like increasing poverty rates prove that the way to a full recovery is still very long. To invert this tendency it is of primary importance to restore credibility for ordinary citizens in Europe. The issue at stake is crucial, if we consider how much the European social model has been important in “building” a common European identity. In this respect, we believe that the current initiative to elaborate a European pillar of social rights, as the basis for a renewed Europe of economic and social convergence, is a good one, and we confirm our availability to work with the European institutions and the other European social partners on its future implementation.
An essential precondition for the improvement of socio-economic conditions in Europe is growth. And there can be no recovery and no employment creation if the productive engine is not started again, thanks to investments. Investments cannot of course be only public: the role of public investment is vital in providing the necessary infrastructure (both physical and intangible) to support private business, but it is business that can create millions of jobs. Public authorities must be put in a condition to mobilize resources, even if that means to review some principles of financial policy.
Most importantly, Europe must win the competition of the future: taking the most of the ongoing and upcoming digital revolution, setting the example on tackling effectively climate change, adopting new, innovative policies to adapt to the revolutionary trends of today like demographic change, the management of migrant flows – these are only a few of the many “megatrends” that our society will experience in the coming years.
To face all these challenges, a strong leadership is necessary, a capacity to see ahead and shape the right policies to the critical issues of tomorrow. European managers and professionals, thanks to their qualifications, skills and professionalism are able and willing to give a crucial contribution to the development of such policy responses.
I thank you very much for your kind attention and wish us all very constructive exchanges.