Ahead of the video conference of the members of the European Council on 26 March 2020, BusinessEurope President Pierre Gattaz commented that "European leaders have a historic opportunity this week to put EU solidarity, action and responsibility at the heart of our response to the crisis. Europe’s long-term prosperity can only be safeguarded if European leaders do everything it takes to preserve our Economic and Monetary Union and our Single Market. Both are fundamental to the prosperity of our economy, of our workers and of their companies." Director General Markus J. Beyrer added: "Ensuring that we preserve as many companies and jobs as possible through this massive crisis will be key to reducing its long-term economic impact. The ECB has taken decisive action to support financial stability and our common currency. The Council and member states must now follow the ECB’s lead, including through putting in place an ambitious and co-ordinated fiscal stimulus". - Read the press release or our full message
The immediate economic priority for the EU and its member states at the moment is to provide coordinated crisis response to the Covid-19 outbreak in order to maintain the essential functioning of our economy and preserve an intact business eco-system. But as we move from acute crisis management initiatives to the longer-term task of restarting growth and rebuilding our economy in the aftermath of the ongoing crisis, we will need to focus on economic and structural reforms that will unlock Europe’s economic potentials. BusinessEurope's 2020 Reform Barometer shows that the EU is lagging behind other major economies on a range of areas that are crucial to ensuring a strong and competitive economy. Concerningly, the impetus for economic reform has been dented. Our member federations estimate that member states have satisfactorily implemented only 13 % of the essential reforms agreed with the EU, down from 20% last year. - Read more
European society is facing an extraordinary challenge from the outbreak of COVID-19. Our sympathies are with the families of those who have already lost loved ones, and our gratitude is to the workers and businesses who are already showing exceptional courage and resilience, both to treat the sick and to maintain the vital goods and services upon which we all depend. It is clear that we are only at the beginning of this challenge. Protecting our society will require extraordinary responsibility, action and solidarity from all parties.
The global economy continues to change rapidly due to technological, demographic as well as environmental change. Economic times are not getting easier. The coronavirus outbreak could slash global economic growth to 1.5 per cent in 2020. Europe will not be spared as COVID-19 could push some member states into recession. Policy coordination and coherence is more important than ever to ensure that the European Union successfully tackles the short-term and long-term challenges it is facing. These were the key messages by Markus J. Beyrer, BusinessEurope Director General, in a meeting with the European Council President Charles Michel and the European social partners on 12 March. - Read more
Photo: © European Union
"In today’s world, where Europe is accelerating its green and digital transformations and where other parts of the world use aggressive policies, with some playing outside of the rules, Europe needs to act more strategically. The industrial ecosystems and strategic value chains like batteries, hydrogen or the Internet of Things will be key to pool public-private finance and bring new technologies to the market", BusinessEurope President Pierre Gattaz stressed at a meeting with European Commissioner for Internal Market Thierry Breton and Markus J. Beyrer, Director General of BusinessEurope. The meeting took place one day after the Commission published its new industrial strategy. In the context of the Green Deal, which BusinessEurope supports, Beyrer emphasised the importance of addressing the risk of carbon and investment leakage in order to maintain Europe’s attractiveness as a business location in the long run. - Read more
"European companies not only do care about prosperity but also about people and the planet. This is why Europe is one of the best places in which to live in the world. But if we want to fulfil our social and environmental ambitions and show to the world that our model is the best one, we must prove that it works economically", BusinessEurope President Pierre Gattaz said opening BusinessEurope Day. Ursula von der Leyen, President of the European Commission, delivered a keynote speech. Executive Vice-President Valdis Dombrovskis, Vice-President Maroš Šefčovič and Commissioners Paolo Gentiloni, Nicolas Schmit and Kadri Simson discussed with European business leaders how to ensure coherence between economic, environmental and social policies. "Europe needs successful companies and companies need a successful Europe. Our companies’ achievements will be your achievements. We look forward to working with you to deliver a better Europe for all”, President Gattaz concluded. More info, photos and videos on businesseuropeday.eu