EUROCADRES on the 2014 elections of the European Parliament
On May 2014, EU citizens will vote in what is already considered as the most important European Parliament elections to date. Profound changes in the framework of the institutions are to be expected.
Since EUROCADRES is representing almost 6 million of unionized professional and managerial staff, we want to raise our voice on the important matter of the European Parliamentary elections (followed by the change of the Commission), EUROCADRES is politically independent, but we list up the most important benchmarks on which we measure the proposals and opinions of the parties and their candidates.
Europe’s leaders will be judged on how they addressed the crisis in the Euro zone. And maybe even more important, the citizens will have to make a choice between a mandate for, and a break against the political and economic integration of Europe. And for the first time ever there will be rival candidates for the Commission Presidency (to be proposed by the Council, taking into account the result of the elections, and finally elected by the parliament (article 17 of the Treaty).For that reason these candidates will have to present, during their campaign, a clear manifesto for the future of the EU. Euro sceptic positions could influence the direction of the EU agenda and hamper the construction of a stronger Europe.
EUROCADRES wants therefore to repeat its 2009 hope that the new Parliament and the new Commission will face up to the crisis by modernising and strengthening the European economic and social structures.
EUROCADRES wants to put forward a number of priorities to be taken into consideration by the new parliament and Commission in 2014 and beyond.
- In the further development of the 2020 strategy the involvement of the social partners (among them EUROCADRES) will be very important to make this strategy more efficient. Europe has to become the most competitive area in the world, based on knowledge and on social cohesion.
- Working conditions have to be respected in every member state, the revision of the working time directive has to guarantee full social protection for every employee (including of course P&MS) and the EU must be an active promoter of working life quality.
- Europe has to rethink its policy to find a better solution to fight the crisis and the ongoing unemployment (in particular among young professional and managerial staff). The extreme austerity measures have been proven inefficient, but modernisation of the economy and of the welfare state is inevitable
- EUROCADRES proposes an action plan to attract high–tech industries, to implement digital agenda, to develop a world class system for lifelong learning, to promote entrepreneurship and start–ups, especially for SME’s. This plan should, with the cooperation of the social partners, make the public service as well as the industry more efficient and innovative.
- In the context of the mid-term review of the EU budget, the share of education, research and social funds must be raised considerably to support the necessary innovation in every field.
- Closing down tax heavens and putting an end to the fierce tax competition will contribute to a sound and more balanced budget.
- The gender balance still needs to be strengthened and promoted in many areas of professional life, for instance in the boards of companies.
- The economic, social and financial crisis has an important impact on health and safety matters of our citizens, special attention has to be given to the wellbeing of people in their private as well as professional life. The EU has therefore to develop a strong occupational health and safety strategy, supported by the experiences of the social partners in this matter and putting the emphasis in particular on mental health.
- Free movement of all workers and students must be further promoted, because this is one of the greatest achievements of the EU. The directives on work related immigration from third countries however have not resulted in a constructive added value. EU policy in this field should be thoroughly evaluated, especially where undeclared work is concerned.
- European transparency tools, such as credit systems and qualification levels, have to be more coherent and they need to be revised.
- P&MS should play a specific, influential role in EWC’s and in the implementation of CSR. Their specific competences can contribute to better social rules and practises in European legislation to the benefit of all employees. The Directive proposal on disclosure of non-financial and diversity information by companies must be adopted.
- EUROCADRES once again underlines the importance of social dialogue and collective bargaining to build up a stronger Europe, through more European democracy. The social partners also have to be consulted regarding economic policy, Internal Market issues and work related immigration policy.
- We call upon our National member organisations to urge the EP candidates (and later on the new Commission) to show their commitment to a more social oriented Europe in 2014 and beyond.