Reacting to the publication of the Fit-for-55 package by the European Commission, BusinessEurope President Pierre Gattaz commented: "European industry supports the European Union's climate ambition. It is ready to take its share of responsibility and has a lot of technological solutions and breakthrough innovations to provide. Today, we are starting a new phase. The direction set by the Fit-for-55 package is the right one and the legislative tools presented today help to pave the way to achieve the EU’s decarbonisation goal. This clarity is important to investment decisions by industry. While the overall direction is right, the devil is in the details with lots of extremely important details in finding the right balance between climate ambition and economic and technological challenges." - Read more or watch our video message
Business is in favour of actions to support and encourage companies in the transition towards more sustainability. However, at the end of the road, it is essential that all these initiatives (from taxonomy to corporate governance) fit together, do not overlap, take account of the needs of the real economy and do not place European companies under unsustainable expectations and obligations. On due diligence, the aim should be for a framework that is proportionate and workable; that will not simply force companies from disengaging from other markets. The future corporate governance rules should not harm companies’ ability to do business effectively nor weaken current corporate governance models by blurring directors’ duties. These messages were voiced by the President of BusinessEurope Pierre Gattaz during an exchange between European Commissioner for Justice Didier Reynders and several Presidents and Directors General of BusinessEurope member federations.
At the inaugural plenary of the Conference on the Future of Europe, Markus J. Beyrer laid out our expectations for this exercise. If we want to maintain our cherished European way of life, he argued, we need to be economically successful. Healthy and flourishing companies are the foundation for our global attractiveness. And it is the prerequisite to be able to pursue our societal, environmental, or social objectives. BusinessEurope and its members support this conference and its aim of listening to European citizens. We are however still uncertain about the process leading to the adoption of recommendations, and the political purpose of the recommendations. We have warned of them becoming a sort of new Commission work programme. The von der Leyen Commission has established a work programme which has been democratically adopted by leaders and the European Parliament. We also warn of overburdening citizens with expectations that cannot be met. We see a true political danger here: what if many suggestions are legally and politically not feasible? This could back-fire. We will publish our contribution later this year.
In this year's edition of its Reform Barometer, given the exception year we have had, BusinessEurope analyses the National Recovery and Resilience Plans (NRRPs) submitted by EU Member States to the European Commission. EU leaders had agreed in July 2020 on the historic €750 billion NextGenerationEU recovery instrument, based on common borrowing, to ensure all Member States have the means to rebuild and restructure their economies after this unprecedented crisis. Most of our national business federations think the NRRPs will have some positive impact, but only 11% of them believe funds will sufficiently focus on boosting the recovery and help long-term growth and job creation. More than half of our member federations believe their country’s national recovery and resilience plans put insufficient focus on competitiveness, research, development and innovation. - Check it here, or watch our video teaser
Europe is faced with the worst crisis since World War II. It is very important to have an effective roadmap to overcome this crisis and at the same time effectively strengthen the position of Europe in terms of global competitiveness. The EU and Member States need to focus on how best to respond to one single overarching challenge: ensuring that the green and digital transitions bring real growth. To help deliver the recovery, Europe’s social agenda must support companies in their efforts to generate growth and employment, because this is the basis for social well-being and for investing in the green and digital transitions. These were the key messages by BusinessEurope’s Director General Markus J. Beyrer in a video address that was presented during a plenary meeting of the Conference of Parliamentary Committees for Union Affairs of Parliaments of the European Union (COSAC) held on 31 May.