BusinessEurope Headlines No. 2015-34
EU member states should bring single market barriers down
The EU single market strategy presented by the European Commission is a step in the right direction. It can help make the EU single market work better. “Our single market is one of Europe’s greatest assets, but is still not living up to its full potential. We need to remove remaining obstacles and must ensure that existing rules work in practice”, BusinessEurope’s Director General Markus J. Beyrer commented. European citizens and companies will benefit from an easier flow of goods and services across the EU. The single market strategy rightly focuses on better application and stronger enforcement of EU legislation on the ground.
Impact of trade and industrialisation
Trade has contributed to ensuring that the EU remains the largest economy in the world, even in times of slow growth. The European Commission recently presented its revised trade and investment strategy under the motto “Trade for all”. Against this background, the European Economic and Social Committee organised an event in Milan on 26 October to take stock of the EU trade policy and its impact on industrialisation. Openness of the EU market stimulated companies to be more innovative and creative so they could retain market leadership. There are, however, other factors not directly pertaining to trade policy that have an impact on the competitiveness of EU companies, and therefore also on their ability to invest and trade in Europe. For BusinessEurope trade does not work in a vacuum and needs to be supported and support other policy areas that have a strong impact on EU industry, ranging from energy to the digital economy, without forgetting social policy.
Contact: Luisa Santos
Call for business engagement in the Paris agreement
The last draft text for COP21 will be the basis of a new international agreement on climate change to be signed in Paris at the end of the year. This draft lacks references to business engagement, BusinessEurope Director General Markus J. Beyrer wrote in a letter to European Commissioner Arias Cañete. Decision-makers should not miss the opportunity to harness the expertise of the business community by including the importance of engaging with business stakeholders in an institutionalised manner within the UNFCCC process. This is one of the ten key recommendations BusinessEurope produced for COP21.
EU to secure proper implementation and robust framework on circular economy
“Disparities among the members states need to be addressed, and the existing environmental acquis should be better enforced”, BusinessEurope’s Jan Bambas stressed on 21 October at a high-level conference on circular economy at the European Parliament. This should be a precondition to further drive ‘circularity’ with new measures and proposals. Business expects a new and more robust proposal on circular economy by the end of the year. Speaking on the panel focusing on extraction, production and consumption, Jan Bambas commented on different parts of the circle and stressed the need for joint efforts of businesses, consumers, governments and the research community. The EU should also raise public awareness and seek to use other instruments as public procurement to accelerate the circular model. Stronger demand should also be a true facilitator of this necessary concept in the society.
Contact: Jan Bambas
Fixing the funding ladder for high-growth companies
Funding action at EU and national levels should be combined, Daniel Cloquet said at a high-level dinner hosted by Moody’s on 20 October in Brussels. BusinessEurope’s Director for Entrepreneurship and SMEs highlighted the conditions to be fulfilled to reach the Capital Markets Union objective of strengthening equity markets in Europe, which should play a bigger role in funding high-growth companies. The planned revision of the EU prospectus directive should reduce the cost of listing and be a true simplification exercise. At the same time, innovative national policy approaches are needed to channel more savings to high-growth companies and start-ups. This should be done in particular through fiscal incentives focusing not only on business angel finance and venture capital, but also on long-term lending.
Assessing the proposal for a new investment court system
On 23 October, BusinessEurope adopted its position on the new Investment Court System, that was proposed by the European Commission to replace the Investor-to-State Dispute Settlement (ISDS). BusinessEurope recognises that the existing system needs to be modernised in order to become more effective and transparent. Nevertheless, BusinessEurope is concerned that certain elements of the proposal may jeopardise investors' access to the system, especially SMEs. For instance, the relationship between the Right to Regulate and the investment protection principles (Fair & Equitable Treatment, Indirect Expropriation) needs to be further clarified.
- 1 November 2015: elections in Turkey
- 4-6 November 2015: “Shaping the future of Europe” - TATRA summit
- 11-12 November 2015: summit on migration, La Valletta (Malta)
- 15-16 November 2015: G20 summit, Antalya (Turkey)
- 30 November-11 December 2015: United Nations climate change conference, Paris
Contact: BusinessEurope Headlines