What are the main challenges in the EU Single Market? What's needed to revive it? Six major EU business associations – BusinessEurope, DigitalEurope, Eurochambres, EuroCommerce, ERT and SMEunited - joined forces to organise an event in Brussels to discuss these questions. We were happy to welcome former Italian Prime Minister Enrico Letta, responsible for a High-Level Report on Single Market to be presented at the March 2024 European Summit in Brussels. “This report, we hope, will focus on the removal of barriers to intra-EU trade and investment. Any additional regulation should guarantee the freedom to trade and invest across borders, without exceptions”, said our Director General Markus J. Beyrer at the event. To contribute to this debate, we also published our recommendations on the future of the EU Single Market: Reigniting the engine of Europe's global economic leadership.
Presidents of BusinessEurope’s member federations gathered in Brussels at the invitation of the Federation of Enterprises in Belgium (VBO-FEB). They presented business priorities for the upcoming Belgian EU Presidency to the Belgian government. "We urge the incoming Belgian Presidency to finalise the adoption of the proposals that are essential for the competitiveness and development of European SMEs", BusinessEurope President Fredrik Persson said. "We call on the Belgian Presidency to ensure that the EU creates regulatory breathing space for companies, strikes the right balance between security and openness, and flanks the Green Deal with an Industrial Deal." When steering negotiations on EU policies, the Belgian Presidency should promote a strategic agenda to strengthening the EU economy, so the EU can continue to act as a global anchor of peace, prosperity, security, and stability. Read more - Photo © Triptyque
Ahead of the European elections 2024, we urge European political parties to ensure that the European Union takes the necessary measures to strengthen Europe’s economy. During the next political cycle, the EU needs to put competitiveness at the forefront. Having a strong economy is necessary to defend our European way of life and European interests abroad. It enhances our ability to promote our values and reinforces our attractiveness as an investment destination and as a partner for free-trade agreements. After 5 years marked by permanent crisis, the European economy is falling behind. Between 2019 and 2021, foreign direct investment has decreased by two thirds in the EU while it has increased by two thirds in the USA. The number of greenfield investment projects in the EU fell by 15% between 2021 and 2022, compared to an 18% increase in the USA. Europe’s declining attractiveness for investment needs to be addressed. We propose 7 major actions to be taken to reach that goal. - Read more
At the Tripartite Social Summit, President Fredrik Persson talked about the importance of having the right answers to Europe’s competitiveness challenges. Europe should remain the place to be for investments, growth and quality jobs. "Competitiveness will certainly not be achieved by piling up legislation and increasing state intervention in the economy. The focus must be on making it easier to do business in Europe. This will help to release the full potential of European companies and workers”, Persson stated. Before the next European elections, the EU needs to adopt the Net-Zero Industry Act and the Critical Raw Materials Act, deliver a reform of the electricity market design, bring home new trade agreements, agree on an investment-friendly framework for economic governance, and adopt the long-awaited e-declaration for posting of workers. And, very importantly, the Commission needs to deliver on its commitment to reduce companies' reporting requirements by 25% and fully apply competitiveness checks on all EU regulatory initiatives. - Read more - Photos
Ahead of the U.S.-EU Summit later this week, the U.S. Chamber of Commerce and BusinessEurope jointly urge leaders to reaffirm the importance of robust transatlantic ties. The health of the $7.1 trillion EU-U.S. economic relationship is critical to millions of jobs and prosperity on both sides of the Atlantic. Successful cooperation between the U.S. and the EU is vital to tackle the geopolitical and economic challenges our nations face, enhance our competitiveness vis-à-vis the non-market practices of certain other economies, and increase economic growth on both sides of the Atlantic. Reaffirming our commitment to the rules-based trading system will deepen our shared prosperity. Our key priorities are: reject protectionism and avoid discrimination; resolve outstanding disputes; commit to averting the emergence of new disputes; guard against regulatory overreach; avoid divergent regulatory approaches, especially with respect to emerging and innovative products, processes, and technologies. - Read the joint statement