EU elections 2024: Not just about choosing representatives, but charting the future of the EU itself

The statue of John Cockerill, in Place du Luxembourg, in front of the old train station. European Parliament headquarters in Brussels

Within the European Union’s corridors of power, there’s an urgent call for a deep-seated change. Political leaders and institutions must heed this call, as it transcends mere policy adjustments. It necessitates a fundamental reassessment of our approach to societal challenges amidst unprecedented circumstances.

At the heart of this shift is the acknowledgment that our current policy models are ill-equipped to tackle the complex crises we face. Climate change looms large, demanding a global response that transcends national interests. EU leaders must recognize this urgency and work closely to craft pragmatic solutions that can navigate the tricky waters of domestic politics.

Meanwhile, the hollowing out of the middle class in EU and globally poses a significant threat to social stability and traditional welfare systems. To address this, leaders must prioritize the creation of meaningful employment, tackling both supply and demand-side factors to revitalize the economy and foster unity.

Automation and AI advancements risk displacing traditional employment, exacerbating unemployment and income inequality. Additionally, the gig economy’s rise undermines labor rights and social protections, challenging the EU’s commitment to equitable and inclusive societies.

On the global stage, the EU must navigate a landscape fraught with distributional struggles and geopolitical tensions. This requires strategic leadership to redefine rules in a way that balances domestic needs with international cooperation.

The EU mustn’t presume unwavering support from traditional allies as before. Shifting geopolitical dynamics demand a proactive approach. With changing political landscapes globally, relying solely on historical alliances risks isolation. The EU must adapt diplomatically to ensure its interests and values are safeguarded in a dynamic world.

As we stand on the cusp of transformation, the upcoming EU elections take on a new significance. The decisions made by our leaders will shape the course of history, determining whether the EU emerges as a beacon of resilience and prosperity or falters in the face of doubt and stagnation.

So as citizens prepare to cast their votes, they must remember that they’re not just choosing representatives; they’re charting the future of the EU itself. The world watches with bated breath as our leaders navigate these turbulent times, holding the fate of the EU in their hands.

Author profile
Dr. Nikolas Farantouris
Jean Monnet Professor of EU Law & Policies at University Piraeus Greece

Dr. Nikolas Farantouris is Jean Monnet Professor of EU Law & Policies, University Piraeus Greece, EU Policy Counsel to SYRIZA Party Leader & MEP Candidate in EuroParliament Elections 2024.

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