With its 450 million population, world-class talent, unique social values and way of life, the European Union has the potential to become a leader in promoting a stronger democracy, social cohesion and an innovative economic model that will launch our continent into the future.

Yet despite all these strengths, Europe struggles to affirm its role as an economic and political superpower in a chaotic global context heavily impacted by war, economic stagnation, climate change, autocrats and inequalities.

We - entrepreneurs, investors and innovators - are proactive communities working for a better Europe. Our contribution lies in the promotion of social and economic development through an open, inclusive and technologically-forward driven model. If competitiveness is the new buzzword in Brussels, we are one of the leverages which makes it tangible.

This year, we have a unique opportunity to change things for the better. Between June 6 and 9 the citizens of 27 European countries will be called to the polls to elect the next European Parliament and a record 68% of Europeans already expressed their willingness to cast a vote. This is the perfect time to ask ourselves a fundamental question: What kind of Europe do we want for the next 5 years? Our answer is clear:

  1. We want a powerful Europe that pursues ambitious long-term and non-negotiable objectives tied to international cooperation, more integration, a common defence, disruptive green policies and socio-economic development driven by innovation and technology. A Europe which develops a sustained plan for right and fair partnerships on critical materials and technologies with other regions. To this end, Europe needs to support innovators not just with rules, but with concrete private and public investments and proactive strategies for technological development and transfer beyond national interests.
  2. We want a Europe that nurtures democracy, diversity and future generations, where every citizen and organisation has an equal chance to contribute to the policies that affect them. We want a Europe of informed citizens which promotes critical sense. We want a Europe that is open to foreign talents, and where children and professionals - no matter where they come from - find an education and job opportunities that enable them to face the challenges of our time. The European Union must skill its existing workforce for the innovations to come, and remain an attractive place to work through the social model we have built in the past decades, to retain and attract the talents we need.
  3. We want a Europe where people and companies can succeed without having to move abroad. A Europe where value is shared fairly between urban and rural areas, and where citizens can conciliate their personal and professional goals. Citizens must have the right to move in the Single Market, but also the right to stay and scale in Europe. We need a more integrated continent, where entrepreneurs and companies are built as European from the first day and become the Champions that innovators can look up to.

For our communities the path ahead is clear: Europe must turn from a regulatory power to a brave innovation superpower which relies on an open society for people around the world. We are Europe's greatest allies in this quest.

Innovation is not only about technology: it's about improving our everyday lives, facilitating people's access to work, healthcare, sustainable energy, cheap transportation, finance, democratic processes. Europe has created tremendous ecosystems in key sectors like clean technologies, artificial intelligence, quantum and biotechnologies, that will lead to solutions for its citizens.

But much remains to be done to turn those breakthroughs into global leadership. The time to act is now, and this is a wake-up call to Europeans: let's set a strong, bold and long-term vision for an open and competitive Europe that benefits all.