Captains of industry and figures from the world of culture criticize politicians’ lack of vision

23 captains of industry, academics and leading figures from the world of culture have written an open letter in which they criticise politicians’ lack of a long term vision. In the letter that appears in Saturday’s edition of the business daily ‘De Tijd’ they call on those standing in the forthcoming elections to define in broad terms the direction they feel we should be heading during the next few decades. 

The 23 CEOs, entrepreneurs, university rectors, professors and directors of cultural institutions say in the letter that no long term vision has been set out by the parties on important issues such as climate, immigration, integration, energy or pensions.

"No clear goals have been set for where we want to be in 10 or 20 year nor is there a detailed costed plan of action”, the letter reads.

Among those that have signed the letter are the former boss of the Belgian post office Johnny Thijs, the CEO of Sioen Industry Michèle Sioen and the Director of the Brussels Palace of Fine Arts Paul Dujardin. They are concerned about what the they see as the stagnation and the lack of vision and ambition in Belgium.

They say that their concerns are shared by many throughout society and point to the many demonstration and reactions on social media as confirmation of this. “Their reactions show how urgent change is required”. 

“Time for a new kind of politics”

The writers of the letter go on to say that that it is high time “to re-think the future in a positive way around which all citizens in Belgium can unite in inspiring and progressive ambition”.

They want politicians to come up with a vision for the next 10, 15 or 20 years. “That will produced projects and plans of action the length of which will extend far beyond of a single legislature. Elections bring with them political change, however this doesn’t mean that the big picture has to be completely overturned every time”.

In order to achieve this the writers of the open letter say that politics and politicians need to change.

"They need to learn to work together to tackle the big challenges faced by society. Critical but above all constructive too. They should surpass the presumed interests of their party, their region or the level at which they are politically active, be they in the coalition or in the opposition”, the letter concludes.