"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
“We are two weeks before crucial European elections. Europe’s achievements must not be taken for granted”, said BusinessEurope President Pierre Gattaz, speaking at a roundtable on day 2 of the European Business Summit in Brussels together with Bernard Gilliot, President of FEB-VBO, Henryka Bochniarz, President of Lewiatan, and Fredrik Persson, Chair of Swedish Enterprise. The EU single market, international trade, our common values, innovation, climate and the environment, employment, digitalisation… “We should be more engaged, communicate and explain Europe better”, he stressed, outlining the business ambition for 2030: an EU that is strong and setting the agenda in the world, an EU that is a global leader in innovation, digitalisation and sustainability; an EU that is functioning efficiently; an EU that is economically cohesive and socially inclusive. “We need Europe to transform threats in opportunities”, Gattaz underlined.
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.
“Europe retains many world-leading firms but Europe’s performance in developing more of them is insufficient. Since 2010, the EU has created only 29 Unicorns with market valuations of more than $1 Billion compared to 139 in the USA and 81 in China”, BusinessEurope President Pierre Gattaz said at a press breakfast ahead of the EU summit and the Tripartite Social Summit. He warned: “Europe today is home to only 24% of the global economy’s most profitable firms, compared to 36% in the late 1990s.” The EU should better support its companies in their efforts to invest, innovate, create jobs and upgrade labour skills. Presenting our Reform Barometer 2019, he indicated governments had failed to step up their reform efforts. Only 20% of essential economic reforms recommended by the EU would have been properly implemented. In view of the European elections in May 2019, BusinessEurope together with its EU Social Partners ETUC, CEEP and SMEunited published a joint statement, underlining that “the EU project has to remain resilient and strong and we, the European Social Partners, believe that it can continue to help us to face our challenges and design a brighter future for Europe, its citizens, workers and enterprises”. See also our business message for the 2019 European elections.
At B20 Summit in Tokyo, Japan, global business leaders of the private sector's voice of the G20 economies warned against the rise in protectionism around the world and the increasing opposition to trade. BusinessEurope Director General Markus J. Beyrer said: “We must avoid trade conflicts where each side tries to play by its own rules. A ‘winner takes it all’ attitude will end in a battlefield of losers on all sides. Trade wars are extremely dangerous for companies around the world, which are relying on global value chains and the ability to choose from the best and most competitive goods and services. We need to make sure that protectionism and unilateralism will not become the ‘new normal’. The World Trade Organisation is a central pillar of today’s rules-based trading order. We need to reform it, make it more effective and able to respond to challenges posed by state-centric economies, including subsidies and the prominent role of state-owned enterprises.” Read our press release and B20 Joint Recommendations "Society 5.0 for SDGs".
“Recent months have reminded us of the fragility of the EU economy, with lower business growth and confidence,” commented BusinessEurope Director General Markus J. Beyrer at the Macroeconomic Dialogue meeting at political level today. “This should be a wake-up call to EU leaders regarding the need to strengthen the resilience of the EU economy and raise our long-term growth potential. Businesses are looking to Member States to step up their implementation of growth-enhancing structural reforms.” The Macroeconomic Dialogue provides a forum for exchanging views between the European Commission, Council, European Central Bank and social partners. Council press release