BusinessEurope, Eurochambres, and SMEunited have joined forces to analyse the application of the SME Test across the European Commission services. 26 impact assessments have been checked against the European Commission’s own better regulation guidelines to assess whether and to what extent the SME Test, a mandatory tool in ensuring an SME-proofed regulatory regime, is carried out. The conclusions of our work provide a mixed picture. While better regulation principles have steadily grown in importance in the working procedures of the EU over the past two decades, the SME Test guidelines are still not applied consistently by all Commission services. BusinessEurope Director General Markus J. Beyrer said: "The impacts and costs created by Commission proposals on SMEs are too often neglected. This needs to be improved by consistently devising mitigating measures based on solid and reliable data. Not only direct but also indirect costs should be identified and reduced if not eliminated". - Read more
The Presidents of BusinessEurope’s 40 member federations gathered in Stockholm and discussed their priorities for the future Swedish Presidency of the Council of the European Union with Prime Minister Ulf Kristersson and Minister for European Affairs Jessika Roswall. They also discussed with European Commissioner Thierry Breton how the European Union should support industry during the energy crisis while preserving the Single Market. "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
BusinessEurope welcomes the focus of the proposed European Year of skills 2023 on lifelong learning, and with the aim of boosting competitiveness, participation in training and talent in line with changing labour market needs. Companies are facing significant labour and skills shortages, combined with the need to support up and re-skilling measures in view of the digital and green transitions. Access to an appropriately skilled workforce remains a key factor of a company’s competitiveness and needs to be strengthened. Increasing participation in STEM-related programmes is particularly important. This includes arousing pupils’ and students’ interest for STEM subjects early on, and increasing female participation in tertiary-level STEM subjects and their following job/career choice. The European year needs to be synchronised with broader efforts to underpin progress in the European semester context with investments, necessary reforms and effective social dialogue aiming to foster skills development. - Read more
BusinessEurope President Fredrik Persson, Director General Markus J. Beyrer and 30 business leaders from our Advisory and Support Group met with the political leadership of the European Commission in Brussels. They exchanged views with President von der Leyen, Executive Vice-Presidents Valdis Dombrovskis and Margrethe Vestager, as well as European Commissioners Gentiloni and Valean. Together they tackled a range of issues of pressing relevance for business such as the energy crisis, competitiveness, the economic and geopolitical situation and the twin climate and digital transition.
Photo © European Union
Business sentiment has declined rapidly after a strong first half year driven by post-Covid service sector reopening. Soaring energy bills and continuing supply chain disruptions mean costs for businesses are rising much faster than consumer inflation. EU leaders need to agree urgently on new measures to alleviate energy costs for businesses. These were the main messages from BusinessEurope Director General Markus J. Beyrer at the Macroeconomic Dialogue, which drew together social partners and European institutions representatives today. Policy-makers, Beyrer noted, should consider EU-wide measures to temporarily decouple electricity prices from gas prices and grant governments the necessary flexibility to support businesses while maintaining a level playing field on the single market. The outlook for the European economy and impact of energy prices on European business are discussed in detail in our Autumn Economic Outlook, released today.