European business is extremely disturbed by yesterday’s developments in the UK. The withdrawal agreement that includes a transition period is the only available option to avoid major disruption for citizens and businesses. It provides a stable framework to allow time for citizens and companies to properly prepare for the UK exit and the future relation. BusinessEurope Director General Markus J. Beyrer said: “Yesterday’s vote has unfortunately significantly increased the risk of no-deal. No-deal is absolutely unacceptable for the European business community. It will create chaos and disarray and must be avoided. Therefore, we urge the UK to come up with a credible plan of action. Both sides need to do their utmost to find the best solutions and timeline that give the necessary assurances to citizens and companies.” Read more
The 1st of January 2019 marks 20 years since the euro was introduced, with exchange rates being frozen and prices denoted in euros. Introduction of the euro has brought important benefits to businesses and citizens through reductions in exchange rate risks, greater price stability and transparency, more attractive financing conditions, and increased trade.
Completing the Economic and Monetary Union (EMU) and strengthening trust in the euro is both a priority and a matter of urgency for business. Business investment requires a safe and predictable environment based on a well-functioning EMU. Significant further progress is still required to strengthen the EMU, with priority issues including the completion of the banking union and the establishment of a stabilisation function.
Romania will hold the presidency of the Council of the EU for the first time since it joined the EU, from January to June 2019. This opens the trio of presidencies composed also of Finland and Croatia, and it will be the final presidency acting throughout the current legislative cycle of the European Parliament. During the semester, Bucharest will be charged with sealing agreements on a number of key policy issues, before May’s European Parliament election - as well as presiding over the UK’s departure from the EU. The upcoming months will shape the future of the EU, lengthy negotiations being foreseen on the EU long-term budget for 2021-2027. Romania’s presidency will also have to ensure the transitions at EU institutional level and wrap up the debate on the future of Europe, to be concluded with the Europe Day 2019 Summit in Sibiu.
The world is changing rapidly and profoundly as global alliances shift and populism rises. What we are witnessing is not just another era of change but a change of era. Business wants to be part of the solution and ensure that Europe can shape this new era according to its values. The European business community today presented its Ambition for the European Union in 2030. In this paper we set out what is needed to create the right conditions to enhance competitiveness and enable business to play its role in society. BusinessEurope President Pierre Gattaz said: "In view of the European elections, the business community has a strong responsibility to speak up, explain why the European Union is so important for people’s future and to say what needs to be done to ensure that things are going in the right direction. Companies are the backbone of Europe’s economic stability and people’s prosperity. Let’s together build an EU we can be proud of." - Read more
BusinessEurope hosted a conference on Better Regulation bringing together high-level speakers and guests from EU institutions, the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD), national administrations and the business community on 4 December in Brussels. BusinessEurope Director General Markus J. Beyrer, who opened the event, stressed the importance of better regulation for both businesses and citizens, linking it to the legitimacy of the EU Single Market governance. European Commission First Vice President Frans Timmermans then held an introductory speech. “We’ve come a long way, but we have not yet reached the point of no return”, he said. Timmermans emphasised that better regulation is the culture change in decision-making and more work is needed to ensure that it is a lasting one. The First Vice-President also stressed that continuation of the better regulation agenda under the next Commission is key for achieving this. Read more
Read our latest positions on Better Regulation here - Photos
On 27 November, President Pierre Gattaz, Director General Markus J. Beyrer, three Vice-Presidents of BusinessEurope and 20 CEOs of its Advisory and Support Group gathered in Brussels and met EU leaders. The group exchanged views with Vice-President Jyrki Katainen, Commissioner Pierre Moscovici, Commissioner Günther Oettinger and Commissioner Cecilia Malmström on a wide range of issues, including EMU, current trade issues, the MFF and the Future of Europe.