17-18/2017 The way forward
Europe has entered a hot phase. The results thereof will probably have a direct effect on the business climate for most of our readers. In March the Dutch elected a new parliament, and the UK’s exit from the EU was set in motion. On 23 April the French presidential elections started, to be completed on 7 May. The Germans, in turn, are only electing their government in September. So far, so predictable – more or less. That Europeans have to include the unpredictable in their calculations ever more was once again illustrated in the last few weeks – in Parliament Square in London, in the St Petersburg underground, in a Stockholm high street or on the way to the match in Dortmund.
Allow me to return to France for a moment here. Logistics questions and – more pertinently – logistics answers do not feature in the manifestos of the eleven candidates for the grandest office in the Grande Nation. It looks as if goods transport is not very sexy, as the worn-out cliché goes, in the homeland of fashion, elegance and savoir-vivre. The small consolation in this context is the truism that every election’s promises are written in the wind. A candidate who might propagate the right of goods and people to freely move around the single European market would of course receive more support from the transport and logistics industry than a competitor who’d like to, let’s say, re-establish barriers in today’s globalised world, and re-introduce the principle of national preference – no matter whether he is politically on the right or the left.
On the morning of 24 April just two of the eleven candidates will still be dreaming of the biggest of political coups in the country – moving in to the Elysée Palace after the second round on 7 May. The requirements to attain this and the tactical aspects dominating the last few days of electioneering are a broad field. Where to place the last few election posters left over at the end of the campaign? How to ensure that voters get the right papers and envelopes? How to make sure that the polling booths are equipped with the right registers, booths and ballot boxes? The results, established manually, are then transmitted digitally. Funny old old-fashioned democracy...
Enjoy your read of the ITJ – be it on screen or on paper!
Head of airfreight