TRIBUNE. “I have decided to continue my union involvement on a political level,” said Éric Leung, former president of CPME Réunion.

After 3 years as president of the first multi-professional trade union for companies on Reunion Island, I decided to continue my union involvement on a political level.

I also submitted my resignation to the Board of Directors of CPME, which unanimously elected Gérard Lebon as my successor. I have no doubt that he will uphold the values ​​and ambitions of our organization like his predecessors for over 50 years.

He will continue the struggles and projects that I embodied in agreement with my administrative colleagues. Indeed, I had the honor of supporting, defending and representing our members at a time of crisis. After the post-yellow vest era, our economy faced an unprecedented health crisis that is in danger of becoming an economic and social crisis.

Based on my experience with the National Economic, Social and Environmental Council (CESE), whose overseas delegation I lead, I am convinced that foreign companies show incredible energy. We must congratulate them on their resilience and commitment to unemployment and the purchasing power of workers and consumers.

However, I know there is still room for improvement. The development gap between our territories and France is still too big and is not getting any smaller. More importantly, too many of our fellow citizens are still unaware of the societal role that corporations play in developing our communities and fulfilling our fellow citizens.

However, companies in the regions create activity, employment, added value and thus prosperity. To repair the evils that plague our society, our companies are key players in solving them.

I firmly believe that the answers to these questions can only be found through better social dialogue, but also through greater commitment on the part of our companies to inclusion and sustainable development. Does it make sense to remember that our business leaders are citizens too and that their decisions affect everyone’s lives?

Driven by this vision, I have decided that my union involvement, which is already a political commitment to society, makes me an actor in public life whose decisions have political effects.

Today I want to expand my engagement by focusing on other areas of influence. I want to take advantage of the doors that the President of the Republic opened in response to requests from our territories. I intend to embody these values ​​of progress and carry my ambitions for Reunion Island and overseas. I want to build bridges between the business world and all of our fellow citizens. I hope that the dynamism of foreign companies will find an echo in the national public space.

The problems facing our territories, and especially our businesses, have already been identified. Many solutions have been suggested and sometimes tested. The fact is that we have not always gone to the end of the adopted solutions. So I think that when it comes to decentralization we don’t need more or less state, but a better state. We need a strategic state that knows how to show consistency in its decisions and that supports local communities in their responsibility.

Our territories must make themselves heard better by those in power, especially at national and European level. We need to create a new dynamic to create new links both in our territories and in our relations with national authorities. Trust cannot be prescribed, it can be built. It needs to be restored today. Decentralization is only 40 years old in our territories. You don’t get what you don’t ask for. What proposals can we jointly make to the government?

Trust must also be cultivated within our company. “Work” should not be reduced to the idea of ​​salary, but rather react to the challenge of taking on a social role and building a future for the family. Business leaders know this and do it every day.

In conclusion, I would like to say that my entire trade union career and community engagement has shown me that by trusting the wealth and strength of Reunion Island society, we can help find solutions to workers’ expectations.

This will be the purpose of my increased political engagement in the service of the Réunionese and, in general, of all people overseas.

Our fate rests in our hands, in our responsibility, and will take place in a joint construction with the state and the European Union.