Today’s decision from President Donald Tusk to schedule a meeting of the European Council on the 25 November opens the way for an orderly exit of the UK from the EU. BusinessEurope President Pierre Gattaz said: “We welcome the support from the UK government for the draft Exit agreement reached with the EU and we also welcome today’s decision from President Tusk to schedule the European Council meeting for 25 November. This opens the path for an orderly Exit, a key request from the business community on both sides of the channel. The transition period foreseen in the Exit deal will give time to companies and citizens to prepare and adjust to the new reality. We now hope the draft agreement will be endorsed at political level by both sides and ratified by the respective Parliaments, paving the way for an orderly Brexit.”
The danger of escalating trade conflicts is a key risk for the economic grow. It could reduce global GDP by almost 1% in 2020. At the same time, digitalisation is rapidly increasing and the demand for digitally skilled workers is not met. These are key concerns reported by BusinessEurope member federations in the Economic Outlook Autumn 2018, published today. “We need more skilled labour to avoid harm to the EU economy. We also see that with digitalisation, more jobs will be added than lost”, Director General Markus J. Beyrer said at today’s Macroeconomic Dialogue meeting, referring to the Outlook. The analysis shows that we can expect EU growth of 2.2% for 2018 and 2% for 2019. “We need wide-ranging reforms in product and labour markets in order to raise the EU’s underlying capacity to grow”, Beyrer added. Watch the video message or download the report.
On 5 November, the European Parliament will vote on its interim report on the multiannual financial framework (MFF), also the Council must speed-up its work. Director General Markus J. Beyrer said: “All parties must work towards reaching a political agreement on MFF post-2020 before the European Parliament’s elections in May 2019. Failing to agree on the proposal by then can bring important consequences – a late agreement points to serious delays in the start of programmes in 2021, and a lost year of investment from the EU budget. Unfortunately, we have already faced this situation in the past. In the moment when all EU’s major competitors are putting forward aggressive strategies in terms of investment, we cannot risk delays in powerful investment incentives from the EU. All relevant decision-makers must understand the risks at stake during the negotiations.”
Today, business and government leaders from Asia and Europe gathered in Brussels for the 16th Asia-Europe Business Forum organised by BusinessEurope and held in the margins of the ASEM Summit. Nguyễn Xuân Phúc, Prime Minister of Vietnam, Erna Solberg, Prime Minister of Norway, Dato’ Lim Jock Hoi, Secretary-General of ASEAN, Violeta Bulc, European Commissioner for Transport and Pavel Telička, Vice-President of the European Parliament delivered their perspectives and visions for a further strengthening of the ties between Asia and Europe. Pierre Gattaz, President of BusinessEurope said “Europe and Asia want to intensify their economic cooperation and they agree that open and rules-based trade is a key priority for both regions. This is a very important signal from today’s meeting. Respecting market rules, transparency, open procurement and a level playing field for all companies is the basis to better connect Europe and Asia.” See the forum’s conclusions on deepening and expanding the Asia-Europe relationship. Read more - Photos
European business is keen to actively support any actions that create more trade and investment opportunities for both US and EU companies - was the main message given by Markus J. Beyrer in the meeting today with US Commerce Secretary Wilbur Ross. Eliminating tariffs and non-tariff barriers for all industrial goods would be an important step in this direction.
On the initiative of its new President, Pierre Gattaz, BusinessEurope has gathered its members for a seminar in Paris on 9 and 10 October to define their expectations on the evolution of the further construction of Europe, its key foundations and values, in view of the European elections in 2019. This seminar has united 85 top representatives of its 39 member federations. A wide and open survey was conducted beforehand to determine the strengths, weaknesses and opportunities of Europe and the risks it is facing. Pierre Gattaz commented: "This seminar is a first step to build a common vision of what European companies are expecting. While some people want to question the construction of Europe as we have known it for 60 years, companies have reiterated their commitment to further develop the Single Market and strengthen the Economic and Monetary Union. Europe is not an option but a necessity. It must evolve towards more efficiency and simplification but the direction is the right one. Do not give in to simplistic solutions." Read more