2019 is going to be a year of major change for Europe with a new Commission appointed in November, but the biggest game changer is likely to be the European Parliament elections in May. The replacement of a significant number of MEPs could see the very real possibility of nationalist and populist parties holding the balance of power. The established ways of legislating and regulating could fundamentally change. Add into the mix the UK’s potential exit from the EU, and we’re looking at a significant shift in the rules of engagement in Brussels. Is your business ready?
George Orwell once wrote that ‘in our age, there is no such thing as keeping out of politics. All issues are political issues’. While companies have traditionally preferred to engage away from the limelight, the level of political uncertainty could well change this dynamic. Business may have to be prepared to take a much more public position. Orwell went on to write that ‘politics itself is a mass of lies, evasions, folly, hatred and schizophrenia’. Could this be about to come true or will it be business as usual?
As campaigning gets underway, FTI Consulting has undertaken some research into public voting attitude and the thinking of business leaders in France, Germany and Spain. We have reviewed how both SMEs and large company leaders across all three countries are preparing themselves for the new reality, assessing their understanding and awareness of the issues that are important to them and influence the way they operate. We hope you enjoy the insights.
Julia Harrison, Managing Partner and Senior Managing Director FTI Consulting Brussels