The blood has not finally reached the river in the CEOE employers due to the change in its statutes to reform the internal election process, at least for the moment. His president, Antonio Garamendi, has today achieved the majority support of his leadership to reform the electoral rules in the business organization, despite the discomfort that he generated in a part of this organization when his intentions became known.

Among the changes proposed and supported this Wednesday by the governing bodies of the employer is the controversial elimination of the two-term limit that has been in force since 2014 and that prevented Garamendi himself from running for office again. This proposal had aroused criticism, among others, from the president of the Catalan employers’ association, Foment del Treball, Josep Sánchez-Llibre, who, however, has now supported these changes and has even embraced the president of CEOE between applause from those present, as he has advanced The vanguard and employer sources have confirmed.

The executive committee of CEOE, with only one vote against and one abstention, has proposed to the General Assembly of the employers —to be held on July 19— to discuss the change in the statutes of the organization to reform its internal electoral process . These changes have been subsequently ratified in the Board of Directors, where the significant hug between Garamendi and Sánchez-Llibre has taken place.

Thus, the changes to the statutes that have been formally proposed this Wednesday by the Internal Regime Commission have received, among others, the explicit support of the Madrid employers’ association Ceim; the Catalan Foment del Treball and the Valencian CEV; in addition to the employers’ association of small and medium-sized companies and a natural member of CEOE, Cepyme and the association of self-employed workers ATA; and some sectorial employers such as the AEB bank: the Unespa insurance company; those of Seopan and CNC construction and that of Confemetal metal.

In addition to the elimination of the term limit in the CEOE presidency, Garamendi – who has insisted that this change is not to present himself again, something that he has not even decided yet because he has just been re-elected for his second term in November past— also intends to extend from 15 to 40 days the maximum period prior to the date of the elections in which candidacies for the presidency of the employers’ association can be presented.

Likewise, this reform will include a change that also aroused numerous suspicions among its critics, and not only from the Catalan employers’ association, which consists in the fact that, if there is only one candidacy and the candidate is elected by acclamation, the possibility of voting disappears if so claims a single vowel, something that does exist today. This last change will mean that, if there are not several candidacies, it will be impossible to assess the degree of internal opposition existing in the organization.

The fourth change proposed by the CEOE leader is also aimed at making the presentation of candidacies for the presidency more demanding, since it intends to expand the volume of guarantees necessary, going from the current 20 members and four organizations to the need to present 10 % of the members (between 70 and 80 endorsements approximately) and the support of six organizations.

The critics of this reform within the employers assured that these changes could somehow undermine the degree of internal democracy of the organization, however, in the meeting held this Wednesday by the employers’ leadership there was no trace of this reproach. From the Garamendi environment they argue the need to eliminate the mandates because “85% of the organizations that make up CEOE no longer have term limits for their presidents”, so it is logical that the leadership of the organization does not have them either. In addition, they add that, historically, this type of limitation has never existed – it has only existed since 2014 – to the point that the president of the employers’ association between 1984 and 2007, José María Cuevas, was the leader who had been in an institution for the longest time .

Although there are few organizations that still maintain the limitation of mandates, there are several that could also be interested in the employer’s statutes eliminating that cap, since that would make it easier for these associations to remove them as well. This is the case, for example, of the territorial organizations of the Valencian Community, Murcia or the Balearic Islands; or the metal sector employers’ association (Confemetal).

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