Today marks the inauguration of Joe Biden as the 46th president of the United States of America. It should also mark a new era for transatlantic relations that hopefully will be more cooperative and less conflictive. An important signal, showing that a renewed dialogue has begun, would be the elimination or at least suspension of tariffs while the two administrations negotiate a solution to the long-standing Airbus-Boeing disputes. In the medium term, the objective should be developing a common agenda, including but not limited to cooperation on China, WTO reform, climate and digital. BusinessEurope President Pierre Gattaz said: "We now have a chance to make a fresh start and enter a new era. European business looks forward to a rekindled transatlantic partnership where the two sides jointly identify new opportunities for close cooperation in areas of common interest. European citizens and business look forward to early signs that the USA again see the European Union as an ally and partner." - Read more / Photo credit: lev radin | Shutterstock
BusinessEurope President Pierre Gattaz expresses his deepest regret at the sudden decease of Mr Hans de Boer, former President of VNO-NCW and Vice-President of BusinessEurope: “Hans de Boer was a highly appreciated and esteemed member in our circles. In our professional and personal contacts, he impressed with his extensive experience, profound knowledge, as well as his pleasant and witty personality. In meetings of our Council of Presidents his visionary and innovative contributions were highly valued and will be dearly missed. We are not only losing a great business leader but also, and foremost, a great friend.”
BusinessEurope, on behalf of the whole BusinessEurope family, would like to express our sincere sympathy to Hans’ family, our friends in VNO-NCW and the Dutch business community.
Portugal, which took over the rotating presidency of the Council of the EU on 1 January 2021, has a key role to play in putting the European Union on the right track to recover from the COVID-19 crisis and revitalise economic activity across the continent. In a letter to Prime Minister António Costa, the European business community expressed support for the 5 main priorities of the Portuguese Presidency to achieve a resilient, green, digital, social and global Europe. To allow business to fully play its role, we count on Portugal to focus on creating framework conditions that will enhance Europe’s long-term capacity to generate growth and employment and to encourage structural reforms. BusinessEurope is looking forward to working constructively with the Portuguese Presidency for the recovery in this enduring crisis, to bring long-term solutions to the economic and social challenges facing us.
- Read the letter
Today the European Union and the United Kingdom concluded a long-awaited agreement that will govern their future relationship. As we are approaching the end of the transition period, both sides should do the necessary to allow the deal to be applied as of 1 January 2021. BusinessEurope President Pierre Gattaz said: "This agreement has been difficult to achieve but it is very welcome by business. It brings legal certainty and mitigates the impact of the end of the transition period. This is particularly important at a time when companies are struggling with the pressing challenges of the COVID-19 pandemic. Negotiators have worked hard to deliver a deal. Since there is little time available, both sides must work to ensure the new framework that will govern EU-UK relations is applied as of 1 January 2021. As there is little time for companies to be aware and prepare for the deal, some disruptions will occur. It is important that both sides work together to mitigate them. The agreement must be a solid platform for future cooperation between the EU and the UK in a number of areas that have a strong impact on our competitive environment ranging from climate change to digital transformation, research and innovation, or standards."
Today’s agreement reached by the European Council and all EU Member States on the long-term EU budget (MFF 2021-2027) and the Next Generation EU recovery fund is a major step forward to support our economy during an unprecedented crisis and to avoid further delays when implementing the EU recovery plan across the EU as a whole. BusinessEurope President Pierre Gattaz said: "The EU leaders agreement is oxygen for Europe’s economic recovery. The endorsement by the European Council of the solution proposed on the Next Generation EU recovery fund as well as the long-term EU budget is a big relief. We urge the European Parliament now to back this deal to ensure that the recovery package can be swiftly implemented across the European Union as a whole and that focus can now shift to making sure that recovery plans are well designed, and money is well spent."
Photo copyright: European Union, 2020
The business confederations of the Mercosur countries and BusinessEurope, which represents 40 European business confederations, today called for the rapid ratification and implementation of the agreement between the European Union and Mercosur, warning that a delay could jeopardize the full potential of the opportunities offered by the agreement. Read the joint statement.