2024 marks a significant year for Europe as millions of citizens will participate in shaping the future of European democracy from 6–9 June. These EU elections hold immense importance for all Europeans, and engineers in the Nordics are no exception.
The EU faces unprecedented challenges in an increasingly complex, unstable, and interconnected world. Conflicts and climate change are just some of the issues that require a united European response. However, the EU political landscape might change after the elections potentially complicating European decision-making. The final impact will hinge on the election results and the alliances formed in the European Parliament post-elections. This is why every vote counts in these elections!
Meet the MEP Candidates in the Nordics
ANE and the Nordic Financial Unions (NFU) are organising a joint “meet and greet” event with the candidates running for the European Parliament from Denmark, Sweden, and Finland. in three respective capitals throughout April. More information and sign-up details will soon be available on the ANE’s website.
Why These Elections Matter for Engineers and STEM Professionals
For several reasons, the upcoming election holds particular significance for engineers and STEM professionals.
Firstly, the European Union has set an ambitious target of reducing net greenhouse gas emissions by at least 55% by 2030, compared to 1990 levels. This will pave the way for the EU to become the first climate-neutral continent by 2050. Engineers and STEM professionals are key in developing innovative solutions for reducing emissions, enhancing energy efficiency, and advancing renewable energy.
However, the shortage of engineers and STEM professionals is becoming increasingly apparent. “This is why a unified European approach is crucial to ensuring an adequate supply of skilled STEM graduates. We need the European Commission to introduce an EU STEM strategy,” says Inese Podgaiska, Secretary General of the Association of Nordic Engineers.
Secondly, the Internal Market’s competitiveness is closely tied to its climate tech solutions, which necessitate significant funding. Recent suggestions from the European Council to reduce financing for the Strategic Technologies for Europe Platform (STEP) are concerning. Inese emphasizes the importance of the EU maintaining its investment in strategic technologies and accelerating progress in clean technology innovation.
Thirdly, the rise of AI and new technologies has underscored the need for a robust and clear legal framework at the EU level. Engineers and STEM professionals are at the forefront of this digital revolution. They are not only developing these new technologies but are also grappling with the ethical dilemmas that arise from their use.
Inese emphasizes the pivotal role of policymakers in this context. “Engineers and STEM professionals require their assistance, direction, and governance to traverse the intricate terrain of AI and new technologies,” she says. “We anticipate the prompt adoption and implementation of the EU AI Act across member states. This will also cultivate trust among consumers and businesses in the Internal Market.”
In conclusion, Inese states, “Engineers and STEM professionals should consider engaging in this electoral process. Their voices and perspectives are crucial in shaping policies that will determine the future of Europe.”