Is Europe looking for honest leaders?


The European elections in May are the most important political event in the shaping of our common destiny, but yet the public forum is too busy with the present to have a long term vision. The politicians who seem to be most successful are those who propose simple solutions when the reality is very complex. They offer boundaries, instead of thinking about how to make inclusiveness appealing to the big public, as the diocesan platform of European pastoral affairs points out in its appeal for a Europe of Fraternity.

Politicians without a vision offer economic subsidies instead of proposing a new model of sustainable growth. Populists talk often about honesty, yet they see it merely as the opposite of corruption. But where is the intellectual honesty? Are the politicians campaigning for a fortress Europe telling the truth about the long term consequences of their policies?  Were the pro-Brexit campaigners honest about the economic and legislative consequences of having the UK out the European Union? All these questions will be asked to two MEP’s at the “Voices of Christians at European Elections” conference, organised by JESC; COMECE and CIDSE, at the Chapel for Europe in Brussels on April 10.

In this edition of The Leadership Post, we focus on everything we can learn from good leaders and on the lessons we must learn from the lack of good leadership.

Since the European Leadership Programme (ELP) has started we have had lecturers who went to the heart of this problem talking to the fellows about their political experience. A good example is the Former Slovenian Prime Minister, Lojze Peterle, who was serving his Country at its most difficult time: the end of the communist era. Was it easy? As you can read in these articles about the ELP It was not easy at all. Without his strong faith and spirituality, he could not have taken difficult decisions.

These same spiritual values are shared by Philippe Lamberts, MEP, from the Green group in the European Parliament, who gave a lecture to the ELP fellows on 21st March. He talked about the importance of having a good compass when the circumstances are unpredictable or harsh. No matter how difficult the situation gets we always need to find a way to sort out problems created by external circumstances or bad leadership.

It is not only politicians who are called to solve problems, especially when it comes to helping people fleeing from poverty and desperation. The president of the Conference of the Jesuits of Latin America and the Caribbean (CPAL), Roberto Jaramillo Bernal SJ, held a summit to discuss a plan to help Venezuelans.

The complicated challenges that we are facing at the moment open up to a more active role of women not only in politics but also in the ecclesiastical institution as suggested in Eleonora Vitale’s article about the “Women new role in the Church”.

Enjoy The Leadership Post.
April Blessings to all.

Peter Rožič SJ