The justifiable criticisms that have been levied at the working conditions imposed on Deliveroo platform workers have introduced the word “delivery” into daily political discourse. This politicising of the word has paved the way for a major misunderstanding over the mission of politics.
Citizens are not policy-consumers: you don’t order a policy to be delivered at home as if it was a pizza. So what shall the EU deliver? This very misunderstanding seems to be making it easier for populists from the extreme right to build on the disappointment of citizens when the EU and governments fail to ‘deliver’.
A combination of ever more extreme short-termism, and the fascination with constantly changing headlines on news websites over the course of one day are now shaping politicians’ statements, rather than the other way around. Who is shaping whose opinion when the user of a smartphone looks at it 100 times a day?
We do not want a policy to be viewed on the basis of speedy delivery. The problems of today are not really new and it is up to the European Institutions to create a legal framework that finally manages to contain speculation in the financial markets and prevent a new explosion of the(ir) bubble with its well-known tragic consequences for citizens and the productive economy.
Furthermore, it is finally being understood that the environmental crisis and the climate emergency are global challenges: you don’t overcome them by pushing a button. Today, the climate strikers united under the banner of Fridays for Future will remind everyone of that. Global also means all-encompassing: the Pillar of Social Rights and its recommendations – aligned with the SDGs - are more than a reporting exercise and must be concrete. Social investment is not a vain promise, but also an economic mid- and long-term strategy.
Migrations flows will remain a reality as long as the root causes are not eradicated. This will not be possible in the short term, it needs fair trade agreements and long term investments in those areas of the world which are the most hurt. Give Peace a Chance is more than an old song performed in a hotel bedroom in Amsterdam. It is up to the EU to speak and to act with one voice in this world of the Bolsonaros, Trumps, Putins…and sadly others.
It is time the elected Commission President built a programme of reliable policies, not catering to the mania for speedy delivery but, rather, that leave their mark and have a real impact for a real change. It is always the same refrain of “Promises bind only those who believe in them”. Electoral results all across Europe show that citizen’s trust in democracy as the best form of living together is eroding. This is not a matter of delivery, it is matter of reliability and credibility. And we as citizens organised in civil society organisations do not want to order a policy delivery, we want and will contribute to an improvement of European policies that leave nobody behind and involve citizens in the policymaking process. For those who want delivery, order a pizza or some other fast food. We want transparency, participation and a real civil dialogue with the EU institutions for the sake of the future of the European project.