BusinessEurope today called for a new kind of European governance to better coordinate national policies and reforms on employment and social protection through a deeper cooperation between social partners, the European Commission and member states. Presenting the latest strategic paper on the future of the social dimension in Europe, Director General Markus J. Beyrer said: “We can be proud of the European social model. The EU has the highest investment in social protection compared to other parts of the world. But only if our European companies can successfully compete globally, they will be able to carry on creating and sustaining good jobs, inclusive growth and wealth”.
BusinessEurope today published its Spring Economic Outlook 2019. Presenting the report, BusinessEurope Director General Markus J. Beyrer said: "EU finance ministers meeting today must demonstrate their commitment to enhancing the business environment, raising productivity growth and proving to our international partners that the EU has a growth model that can withstand a fall in global trade." According to BusinessEurope’s outlook, the recent downturn highlights the fragility of the EU economy:
- EU economic growth fell considerably in the second half of 2018;
- We expect for 2019 GDP growth of 1.6% in the EU and 1.3% in the euro area, considerably lower than our autumn forecast;
- Following tentative signs of a rebound in growth already in Q1 this year, we expect growth to pick up in 2020 to 1.7% in the EU and 1.5% in the euro area.
BusinessEurope and the entire European business community congratulate the new Members of the European Parliament on their election. This second biggest democratic election in the world has shown that citizens see Europe as their business! If these first results are accurate, it is also important that more European citizens have now participated in the vote than in 2014. This is a positive trend. We now call on the main political forces to form a pro-European majority in the European Parliament, to allow for the future EU leaders to be agreed upon on time. President Pierre Gattaz said: "The European Union needs a long-term, bold reform agenda. With our ‘Ambition for Europe 2030 – A Europe with opportunities for all’ we have made workable proposals in this direction. We stand ready to work with the new institutions, acting to help to make Europe fit for the future. Our citizens and enterprises expect us to work for our common better future." Watch here what Director General Markus J. Beyrer has to say.
"European countries today have to face challenges related to climate, health, demography. Business is a solution that can help to maintain the importance of Europe", BusinessEurope President Pierre Gattaz said during the debate ‘Europe is voting. Make it your business.’ organised today in Warsaw by Lewiatan, with the participation of Henryka Bochniarz, President of Lewiatan, and Jacek Krawczyk, President of the Employers Group of the European Economic and Social Committee. During a meeting with President Andrzej Duda, Gattaz underlined that "Europe's achievements cannot be taken for granted”, reiterating BusinessEurope’s call for the European elections: "We should all go and vote to help shape Europe's future. We want a strong and united Europe".
“The way forward regarding social policy is to reform education and training systems, employment policies and regulations and social protection systems in a coherent way”, said BusinessEurope Director General Markus J. Beyrer at the 14th Congress of the European Trade Union Confederation (ETUC) on 21 May in Vienna. National trade union delegates from 38 European countries and special guests from Europe and beyond, including Jean-Claude Juncker, President of the European Commission, and Alexander Van der Bellen, President of Austria, participated at the event, which takes place until Friday 24 May. “It is very important that the European social partners regularly discuss their respective visions and what they can do together to make sure that the EU delivers for companies and workers”, Beyrer pointed out.
Photo copyright: Erik Luntang
EU should rebalance trade and become climate neutral
Today, BusinessEurope published its two new strategy papers on energy and climate policies and on trade policy, proposing adjustments to current EU policies. BusinessEurope Director General Markus J. Beyrer said: “The European business community stands behind the EU ambition to achieve net-zero greenhouse gas emissions to reach the goals of the Paris Agreement. Whether climate neutrality is possible by around mid-century in order to limit global average temperature increases to 1.5°C will depend on meeting a set of crucial framework conditions and actions. In global trade, our top priorities are rebalancing the EU relations with China and the US, promoting a reformed and more effective World Trade Organisation and pursuing ambitious trade and investment negotiations that restore the level playing field for European companies while allowing more people to benefit from trade.”
Please see a short video statement and a press release.