Our economies are gradually recovering from the severe output falls seen in the spring, but a full recovery will only be possible once all sectors are able to resume activity and businesses once again have the confidence and means to invest. In the meantime, financial support must reach companies rapidly, to help workers retain their jobs and avoid unnecessary insolvencies. Delays in the adoption and implementation of the recovery plan agreed by the European Council in July would send a very bad signal to markets and the society, and this must be avoided. Europe urgently needs a recovery plan and must spend the funds responsibly, generating growth and employment, encouraging structural reforms and improving the earning capacity of the European economy, BusinessEurope wrote in a letter to Charles Michel ahead of the European Council meeting on 15-16 October. On the EU-UK relationship, strong political commitment to find a compromise that could lead us to a deal is key. Time is running out. Read our letter
Speaking at the Tripartite Social Summit today, President Pierre Gattaz said: "All the EU actions during the next year must focus on making sure that the financial package, agreed by the European Council in July to recover from the COVID-19 crisis, reaches enterprises and workers rapidly. Boosting investment to create new jobs and supporting viable businesses of all sizes, in particular SMEs, as well as their workers should be at the core of Europe’s crisis response. This requires investing in the right projects and implementing the necessary reforms to generate the growth necessary to recover from today's crisis, and make the life of future generations better. Besides the strong focus on the green and digital transitions, we welcome the strengthening of key industrial value chains and ecosystems as well as essential EU infrastructures and services of general interest. As European employers, our priority is to make sure that the financial support under the new MFF and Next Generation EU enables enterprises to invest, grow and create jobs." Read more
Ahead of the European Commission publishing its report on the implementation of the EU free-trade deals, BusinessEurope today published its analysis and positions on the implementation of free-trade agreements (FTAs) by the EU, with concrete recommendations on how to maximise the benefits of these agreements. The EU has the largest network of trade agreements in the world covering over 70 countries and regions. More than 36 million EU jobs depend on exports outside the EU, an increase of 66% since 2000. But as the number of trade agreements keeps growing, it is important they deliver new market opportunities and companies of all sizes can use them more and better. Our paper includes positions on simplifying administrative procedures; making companies, especially SMEs, more aware of the new market opportunities at an early stage; improving coordination and outreach activities with relevant stakeholders; and making sure the trade agreements are fully respected and implemented. - Read our paper here
Reacting to the first speech on the State of the Union by European Commission President Ursula von der Leyen, BusinessEurope welcomed her strong commitment to making Europe better, more competitive and able to lead but urged the Commission to focus much more on the “how” to achieve these goals. BusinessEurope Director General Markus J. Beyrer said: "All the Commission actions during the next year must focus on how to make sure that the financial package, agreed in July to recover from the COVID-19 crisis, reaches companies and workers rapidly, is invested in the right projects and is flanked by the necessary reforms to generate the growth necessary to recover from today's crisis, repay EU debt and make the life of future generations better." - Read more
How can the EU strengthen its foreign economic diplomacy and counter the extraterritorial impact of third-country sanctions? In a new position paper released today, the business community proposes measures in 5 key areas. The paper discusses a series of targeted, workable measures to help EU companies impacted by foreign sanctions regimes. Specifically, the EU Blocking Statute Regulation, the Instrument in Support of Trade Exchanges (INSTEX), as well as efforts to reinforce the international role of the euro in international payments. BusinessEurope Director General Markus J. Beyrer said: "Sanctions should remain a foreign policy tool to be used in exceptional cases. Unfortunately, sanctions are increasingly being used to pursue economic objectives. With this position paper BusinessEurope aims to launch a discussion on the tools the EU can use to effectively protect its interests and those of its companies in cases where sanctions by third countries undermine our economic interests."
On 16 July, BusinessEurope published its position paper "EU and USA: how to build a positive agenda". When releasing the paper Markus J. Beyrer, Director General said it is even more important for Europe and the USA, he added, to lay the foundation for a renewed and even stronger relationship. Having a formal, high-level platform for strategic dialogue on trade and economic cooperation, spanning across changing US administrations and EU institutional cycles. It is time for the EU to adopt a coherent and proactive strategy vis-à-vis the United States: our position paper presents concrete policy proposals that we hope will contribute to build a positive transatlantic agenda. The document outlines short-term and long-term objectives for three streams of work, focusing on the bilateral agenda, on how the European Union and the United States can work more closely together on multilateral issues, and finally, on the unilateral dimension - the impact that laws adopted on either side can have on transatlantic relations.