In 10 key messages to the Conference on the Future of Europe, we address decision-makers and explain how we can strengthen our European Union in a world of deep changes. "With the huge geopolitical and systemic economic challenges ahead of us, business as usual is not an option", said Director General Markus J. Beyrer. While fully supporting the general aim of strengthening the European Union, BusinessEurope believes that we should not over-burden the Conference with expectations that cannot be met. "Creating unrealistic expectations can back-fire and lead to disappointments. Instead, the EU should focus on strengthening its economy and its resilience", Beyrer added. "The basis for all our political and societal projects, such as environmental, social and human rights protection, is a vibrant economy which creates prosperity and jobs. This is the foundation for the European Model. Being attractive internationally is the prerequisite for our cherished European Way of Life. If we don’t achieve this, other players will dominate the global economy. And some of these players stand for the opposite of our European Social Model and Way of Life."- Read more
Speaking at the Tripartite Social Summit video conference on behalf of employers, BusinessEurope President Pierre Gattaz said: "As the EU emerges from the pandemic, the European Council should focus on how to transform Europe’s recovery into lasting growth, inclusive prosperity and employment. Europe is moving towards operationalising its climate and digital ambitions, with opportunities but also very concrete challenges for small, medium and large enterprises, who are faced with rising energy and raw material prices, shortages of microchips, lack of skilled workers, financing investments and innovation, etc. They need to be rapidly addressed if we want to remain competitive and keep pace with other global players. Unfortunately, there is not enough focus on bringing forward the necessary reforms to get a lasting recovery. The role of social partners has been crucial for the EU and Member States to design the labour market and social response to the Covid crisis. However, they were not properly consulted during the preparation of national recovery and resilience plans. Involving them is all the more important in the implementation phase. - Read the full speech
Today’s inaugural meeting of the U.S.-EU Trade and Technology Council in Pittsburgh is a welcome opportunity for transatlantic collaboration to set standards for new technologies, foster common approaches to global challenges like climate change, sustainable finance, WTO reform, and tackle overcapacity and unfair industrial subsidies. BusinessEurope and the U.S. Chamber of Commerce are committed to making this initiative a success and look forward to engaging with officials on both sides of the Atlantic through detailed stakeholder dialogue.
Prioritisation, business involvement, reciprocity, coherence are just a few business priorities for an effective EU connectivity strategy. These priorities have been detailed in a letter that BusinessEurope President Pierre Gattaz and Director General Markus J. Beyrer sent to Ursula von der Leyen, President of the European Commission, ahead of her speech on the state of the EU. The recent G7 pledge to develop a new partnership to build back better and the Council conclusions on a globally connected Europe have increased the momentum of the discussions about the EU connectivity strategy. - Read more
The EU economy is picking up strongly, but the path back towards a full recovery after the COVID19-induced recession will be long and fraught with downside risks, including from inflationary pressures and the spread of new more transmissible virus variants. Our Summer 2021 Economic Outlook published on 12 July notes that EU exports have bounced back strongly with our larger trading partners recuperating faster than Europe, and the roll-out of vaccines has recently allowed EU governments to begin reopening our economies, meaning we can finally begin to see a way forward back towards pre-crisis levels of economic activity. Reflecting these developments, BusinessEurope forecasts economic growth in the EU27 of 4.4% this year, followed by 4.6% next year. It is essential to avoid any premature unwinding of supportive measures to businesses and workers at this juncture. In the medium term, EU Member States must return to fiscally sustainable positions, reflecting the situation in the aftermath of the COVID-19 pandemic. - Read more