It was the most significant participation ever for the election of the governing bodies of CIP – Confederation of Portuguese Business. The ballot recorded the highest number of votes, and the number of members who voted was also the highest.

The massive participation in today’s election that chose CIP’s governing bodies for the next four years confirms the strength and dynamics of the business associative movement. The election of Armindo Monteiro based on the electoral programme “The Strength of the Economy is the Strength of Portugal” sends a clear message to the Government: after the signing of a social concertation agreement in September last year, classified as historic by the Prime Minister, the public policies that are being implemented not only fall short of the country’s needs but also cause counterproductive friction, exposing companies and workers to unnecessary economic risk.

There is only social cohesion with economic growth. There is only better employment with sustainable development of the country. There is only an economy with the severe involvement of entrepreneurs and workers. For this to happen most effectively and fruitfully, it is fundamental that all political parties – and especially the Government that currently holds executive power – recognise the central role of companies and understand that it is necessary to have a structural action on the economy, not just manage the immediate, as has happened too often.

It is only possible to negotiate wage increases for the private sector with companies and, on the sidelines, change labour legislation by assessing the costs and tangible impacts on competitiveness that they will have on the national economy. There are better ways to value social consultation, but this is not the way for the country to catch up with the more developed countries. On the contrary, Portugal will be subject to the work being done by the most recent members of the European Union.

Portugal has made a very relevant quantitative leap in the last decades but has lost ground or, when this is not the case, has yet to regain it with the necessary speed and solidity. The president of CIP and all the governing bodies have as a primary point on the agenda for this term of office to actively participate in the national debate on these issues and defend the policies that help Portugal to be more competitive, less bureaucratic, and socially more cohesive.

The election for the governing bodies of the CIP was widely participated, having registered the highest number of votes in similar acts. The strength of the associative movement led by CIP strengthens the legitimacy of the new president, Armindo Monteiro, and of the entire management and other governing bodies.

Armindo Monteiro: “I would like to thank the massive participation of the associations that make up CIP and give us more strength. I am fully aware of the huge responsibility entrusted to us by the associative movement, which, as we can see, has given new proof of the vitality and mobilising capacity. We will be up to the demanding circumstances we face. Our commitment to this mandate is very clear: to defend the progress of Portugal through the full participation of companies in the collective effort of economic transformation, social development, and State reform as an instrument to promote well-being and social cohesion. Our country must be focused on the challenges. It cannot waste any more time in sterile ideological discussions far removed from the real problems of people and companies. There is no time to lose. Companies will do their part. It is up to the elected political power to do its part. CIP will contribute with suggestions, openness to negotiation, and democratic vigilance”.