The EU needs an ambitious trade agenda to support its international competitiveness. We need more and better access to key raw materials and more export opportunities for our companies to and from fast growing markets. Trade agreements are key in our diversification and risk mitigation efforts and therefore we need to speed up ratification of concluded agreements. Despite the current challenges the transatlantic relationship remains fundamental. We need to address current irritants including those created by the U.S. Inflation Reduction Act and continue to engage through the Trade and Technology Council to move our relationship further. These were some of the topics discussed at meeting between BusinessEurope President Fredrik Persson, Director General Markus J. Beyrer and European Commission Executive Vice-President Valdis Dombrovskis.
Photo © European Union, 2023
Many European companies are fighting for their very survival. Soaring energy bills, high inflation, disrupted supply chains, diminishing consumer demand are too many and too serious challenges to face all at once. There is no single silver bullet to solve all these numerous issues. We appreciate the efforts from the European Commission and European Council to address these challenges and find the best tools to support competitiveness and maintain investments in Europe. We believe that increasing diversification through new free-trade agreements would be one of the key actions to improve the situation and address many of the current challenges.
Sweden is taking over the Presidency of the Council of the EU at a time when the European Union is facing unprecedented challenges. It will have to give answers to the immediate risks of supply shortages and unbearable energy prices, create regulatory breathing space for companies and tackle the challenges weighing on Europe’s long-term competitiveness, growth and employment. The Council of Presidents of BusinessEurope gathered in Stockholm in November last, and adopted their priorities for the Swedish presidency. "The current crisis is dramatically exacerbating the risks of Europe’s deindustrialisation. We urgently need a game-changing solution at EU level to mitigate exceptionally high energy prices, and give regulatory breathing space to companies. The Swedish Presidency must join forces with the Commission and the European Parliament to ease the legislative burdens for companies", said BusinessEurope President Fredrik Persson - Read more
Labour and skills shortages across Member States are an acute policy challenge for the EU to help address today and in the future. The EU's economic migration policy can play an important complementary role in this respect. In particular, BusinessEurope supports the ongoing work to develop the full version of the EU talent pool. If well designed, the development of such a tool to match skilled third-country nationals with unfilled job vacancies across Europe on the basis of shortage occupation lists would help European employers to address their unmet skills needs. In parallel, it is important to improve labour market tests so that they serve their purpose in an effective way that does not put additional administrative burden onto employers. These were among the key messages given by BusinessEurope Director General Markus J. Beyrer during a lunch meeting with Commissioners Johansson and Schmit. Read the joint statement
“EU-China relations face one of the most challenging periods in recent history and the situation becomes ever more challenging for European companies. Nevertheless, China remains a necessary cooperation partner in certain areas where multilateral solutions are needed, and where we should continue to engage with China”, BusinessEurope President Fredrik Persson said at the 5th EU-China CEO and Former Senior Officials Dialogue this morning. The event, which is co-organised once a year by BusinessEurope and the China Centre for International Economic Exchanges (CCIEE), this year brought together 30 business leaders, top academics and former senior officials from the EU and China. For half a day, participants joined online to exchange views on EU-China economic relations and on ways to take them forward. - Read more
The 3rd Ministerial meeting of the U.S.-EU Trade and Technology Council (TTC) and the 1st Transatlantic Labour Dialogue will take place on 5 December. We welcome these platforms to discuss a coordinated EU-US approach on major bilateral and global challenges. "Finding a negotiated solution that addresses the discriminatory elements included in the US Inflation Reduction Act (IRA), ensuring that European companies and products are not put in a disadvantageous position, is indispensable", said Director General Markus J. Beyrer. "If implemented in a non-discriminatory way, the IRA can also bring about opportunities for EU-US cooperation, leading to more investment and employment across the pond. Increased climate ambition and adding investments in clean technologies and solutions are noble objectives that we share but they must not come at the expense of European interests and rather strengthen Transatlantic ties.” In prep for the TTC meeting, we also published a joint statement with the U.S. Chamber of Commerce. - Read more