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
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.