Employers are main providers and, by and large, the main contributors to employee job-related trainings across Europe. The European Commission should partner with business to design a useful European policy initiative to improve skills training provision. The main purpose should be to strengthen the relevance of training provision to changing labour market needs. Before considering the shape of its upcoming initiative, the Commission should first map the landscape of training funds across Europe. Social partners are well placed to foster a diversified offer of training options for employees, and their autonomy needs to be respected. These were the key messages passed by BusinessEurope Director General Markus J. Beyrer in a meeting on 12 April with Commission Vice-President for Promoting our European Way of Life, Margaritis Schinas, and Commissioner for Jobs and Social Rights, Nicolas Schmit, on the Commission’s announced initiative on individual learning accounts.
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. Entreprises 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
Our first interactive Climate Dialogues seminar took place with speakers from the International Energy Agency - Mechthild Wörsdörfer, the European Commission DG ENER - Lukasz Kolinski and Hydrogen Europe's Jorgo Chatzimarkakis. We discussed what climate neutrality means in terms of energy scenarios and what credible pathways are. How can the EU ensure supply of affordable and low-carbon energy? How to best incentivise the expansion of alternative fuels and energy sources? What infrastructures and technologies are still missing? Central to energy supply scenarios towards 2030 and 2050 is the impact of Covid-19 on the energy sector and the prospects for an accelerated energy transition. Hydrogen is a promising solution in the energy transition and currently enjoys unprecedented political and business momentum. The webinar was organised with the support of BusinessEurope's Dutch member VNO-NCW and is a part of our Climate dialogues: HOW to reach climate neutrality.
BusinessEurope Director General Markus J. Beyrer participated in a roundtable to discuss the preparations for a Carbon Border Adjustment Mechanism (CBAM) with Commissioner Paolo Gentiloni, Director General Gerassimos Thomas (DG TAXUD) and representatives of business federations and NGOs. He underlined that given its unilateral nature, a CBAM risks to unlevel the playing field with international competitors. It is therefore of utmost importance to maintain existing mechanisms like the free allowances under the ETS to maintain European companies' competitiveness, specifically on third markets. "Removing free allowances before having put the CBAM to test and proven its effectiveness would be dangerous and irresponsible", he said. Beyrer further underlined the importance of WTO compatibility and early reach-out for a transparent dialogue with trading partners, especially in our immediate neighbourhood, to minimise the risk of harmful retaliatory measures.
Today, President Pierre Gattaz spoke at the EU Industry Days plenary debate "Green = growth, or how European companies can champion green transition". He welcomed the European Commission’s timely decision to update the European industrial strategy. It is a golden opportunity to not only accelerate the green and digital transformation, but also to rethink our economic, social, and industrial reality, especially considering the impact of Covid-19. Gattaz also stressed that we will only succeed making Europe the first climate-neutral continent with a strong and frank dialogue. The speed with which we will overcome the challenges and maximise the opportunities will be determined by our capacity to discuss and collectively answer the many "HOW questions" that are still unanswered today. That is why BusinessEurope today launched a new initiative called "Climate Dialogues". Gattaz invited policy-makers, civil society, scientists, industrialists and everyone interested to join our discussion on HOW to reach climate neutrality. More information here
A high-level meeting took place virtually between the Prime Minister of Ukraine Denys Shmyhal and representatives of the European business community. "BusinessEurope and the broader European business community appreciates the frank and comprehensive discussion that we held with the Prime Minister on the occasion of his visit to Brussels", said Markus J. Beyrer, Director General of BusinessEurope. "The EU and Ukraine are important trading partners and we consider that the bilateral Association Agreement, which contains a Deep and Comprehensive Free Trade Area (DCFTA), provides the right framework to help our political and economic relations to further and thrive". BusinessEurope advocates for and supports the efforts of the Ukrainian authorities towards the necessary reforms that will help Ukraine's economy to modernise and diversify.