A position of employers and entrepreneurs on the future of the European Union has been presented at the plenary session of the European Economic and Social Committee in Brussels. The Polish Entrepreneurship Council – in a position presented by President of Employers of Poland Andrzej Malinowski and his adviser Janusz Pietkiewicz – focuses on the causes and consequences of Brexit.
“The answer to "Brexit" should not only be appeals for an even greater top-down integration without taking into account the voice of the citizens. This would deepen the crisis. Proposals and solutions presented in the debate cannot ignore social partners and consultation with those who create prosperity, jobs and are responsible for social peace” – the statement reads.
The Polish Entrepreneurship Council points out that “in the face of crisis of the values that build European Union and the threat to the economic and social power of Europe and its competitiveness in the global world, employers and entrepreneurs should be active in improving and developing the European project”.
The Council is a platform for debate and discussion for the most important Polish entrepreneurs’ organizations – Employers of Poland, Polish Business Council, Business Centre Club. Lewiatan, KIG and the Polish Crafts Association. It was active in 2005-2009 and reactivated in 2016. Its aim is to coordinate the positions of employers and entrepreneurs on the most important issues pertaining to the economy and entrepreneurship. It will issue opinions on key issues related to the conditions of business activity in Poland. In Autumn 2016 a Polish Entrepreneurs’ Congress organized by the Council will be held.
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Warsaw, 12 July 2016
The position of Polish employers and entrepreneurs on the future of European Union
After 43 years of presence in the Community structures citizens of the UK opted in a referendum for leaving the European Union. Respecting decision of the British people, citizens of a country with a long-standing democracy, the economy and financial structure of a world power, as Polish employers and entrepreneurs we express our grief over their choice but we also point out to its cause – a severe crisis of confidence in European institutions that has reached a number of member states.
The result of the referendum has caused losses on both sides and will cause more in the future. It also made us aware of the need to rebuild the European identity – an identity of a multinational community respecting identities of its members but acting together for the Union. The referendum provoked the most serious crisis in the history of the European Union but showed us its source. It is necessary to restore trust so that the Union is seen by Europeans as their organization again.
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In the face of crisis of the values that build European Union and the threat to the economic and social power of Europe and its competitiveness in the global world, employers and entrepreneurs should be active in improving and developing the European project.
The answer to "Brexit" should not only be appeals for an even greater top-down integration without taking into account the voice of the citizens. This would deepen the crisis. Proposals and solutions presented in the debate cannot ignore social partners and consultation with those who create prosperity, jobs and are responsible for social peace. The result of the UK referendum and the earlier Dutch referendum as well as the rise of nationalistic feelings in a number of places in Europe show us that we need to focus on educating Europeans, listening in to their feelings, pointing out to the benefits of European integration and constant communication with citizens for a better understanding of threats and challenges lying ahead Europe.
Solving the crisis of European identity requires dialogue of equal partners with employers, entrepreneurs, trade unions and non-governmental organizations. It is vital to build good practice in strengthening "of the EU civil society” as defined in provisions of the Treaty. Article 11 section 1 of the EU Treaty specifies that "The institutions shall, by appropriate means, give citizens and representative associations the opportunity to make known and publicly exchange their views in all areas of Union action". Section 2 states: “The institutions shall maintain an open, transparent and regular dialogue with representative associations and civil society". It is also our responsibility. The future of the European Union does not depend only on politicians but also on our attitudes and involvement for common Europe.
We need immediate action. We urge EU decision-makers to listen to the voice of those citizens, who point to the ways of ending the crisis and starting an open dialogue on the future of European Union that will be stable, competitive, and safe. Let us work on increasing everyday citizen participation. This builds responsibility, loyalty and trust in people. Let us set ambitions goals and devise strategies to achieve them.
We appeal to all the social partners – employers and entrepreneurs organizations, trade unions, and non-governmental organizations – to get involved in building the future of European Union.
Polish Entrepreneurship Council