As this year’s edition of our Reform Barometer shows, following the impact of the COVID-19 crisis on growth, investment and output in the EU, the Russian invasion of Ukraine clearly presents a further challenge for the EU economy. With increased pressure on energy prices, inflation, and public finance, it is essential that the EU's co-ordinated fiscal stimulus through the Recovery and Resilience Facility (RRF) is fully exploited as a once-in-a-generation opportunity to transform the EU economy and boost long-term growth in the EU. Last year, our members were concerned that the plans could have been more ambitious; but this year, they are more positive about the prospects for implementation, with an estimated 34% of CSRs satisfactorily implemented, and Member States increasingly turning to social partners to help ensure effective delivery. Read more, or watch our video teaser
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
On 24 March, speaking at the Tripartite Social Summit video conference on behalf of employers, BusinessEurope President Pierre Gattaz said: "Faced with the worst economic crisis since the second world war, the European Union has mobilised unprecedented financial resources. Now is the time to make the next steps to pave the way to a solid recovery. Enterprises are key to achieve Europe’s ambitions. Based on signals received from members, BusinessEurope has to issue a wake-up call: companies cannot absorb additional burden on top of the crisis! The EU Recovery and Resilience Facility offers a once-in-a-generation opportunity to transform our economies by boosting productivity, growth and competitiveness. To make sure we make optimal use of these funds, the EU must focus on three priorities: 1. putting in place a well-articulated European economic agenda, 2. pursuing effective better regulation policies, 3. accelerating roll out of vaccines and minimising restrictions at internal borders within our Single Market. Read the full speech here
The agreement reached on 10 December 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
BusinessEurope on 30 April proposed urgent actions to kick-start Europe’s weakened economy. The proposals for a European economic recovery plan include:
- an ambitious and coordinated fiscal stimulus to support demand and a rapid deployment of EU investment funds;
- a revitalised and open single market and a strengthened single currency;
- fair and free trade and investment, and support for multilateral solutions;
- strengthened EU governance to ensure EU financial support increases implementation by member states of growth and employment-enhancing structural reforms and upward convergence.
Read the full document - #UnitedAgainstCoronavirus #WhateverItTakes
The European society is facing an extraordinary challenge from the outbreak of COVID-19. Our sympathies are with the families of those who have already lost loved ones, and our gratitude is to the workers and businesses who are already showing exceptional courage and resilience, both to treat the sick and to maintain the vital goods and services upon which we all depend.
It is clear that we are only at the beginning of this challenge. Protecting our society will require extraordinary responsibility, action and solidarity from all parties:
- Responsibility as businesses, workers and citizens, to ensure everything we do helps address this crisis.
- Action both to maintain the essential functioning of our economy in the immediate future and to ensure that once the spread of the virus is addressed, we have maintained the business eco-system vital to fully restoring our treasured European way of life.
- Solidarity between businesses of all sizes, between businesses and governments and between all EU member states.
Read our full statement (16 March 2020) #UnitedAgainstCoronavirus #WhateverItTakes