BusinessEurope Headlines No. 2015-35
Companies depend on efficient transport networks
“Europe must ensure sufficient investment in the infrastructure of tomorrow. The efficiency of our transport networks directly affects trade flows and the EU economy as a whole”, BusinessEurope Director General Markus J. Beyrer told Henrik Hololei, the new Director General of DG Mobility and Transport at the European Commission, on 30 October. It is also essential to foster more cross-border competition, for instance in rail through the 4th railway package. Moreover, new obstacles to road freight linked to introduction of national regulation need to be addressed urgently. ICT and digital solutions must be fully deployed to improve planning and logistics and relieve administrative burdens. There is a need to create an international level playing field in aviation, while safeguarding sufficient investment in European airlines.
Discussing the economic implications of climate policy
A few weeks ahead of the Paris climate summit in December, Alexandre Affre, BusinessEurope Director for Industrial Affairs, commented on the importance of carefully assessing how industrial sectors competing on global markets are going to contribute to emissions reductions in other major economies. The so-called INDCs - Intended Nationally Determined Contributions - published up to now in the run-up to COP21 lack clarity on this specific point, which is key to European industry’s competitiveness. Mr Affre spoke on 4 November at a conference sponsored by the Fundación Repsol in Madrid.
Contact: Alexandre Affre
Fostering productivity and engagement at the workplace
Tackling stress and psychosocial risks at work is important if we want workers to be productive and engaged. And both employers and workers have responsibilities here. This was the key message given by Kris de Meester, Chair of BusinessEurope's Health and Safety working group at the European Agency for Health and Safety campaign event on stress at work. As an official campaign partner, BusinessEurope has been looking at what helps to create a positive and productive work environment, in particular the need to take a holistic approach to tackling stress at work. Mr de Meester also highlighted that many companies already take action to tackle psychosocial issues at work. This campaign has helped to highlight this.
(Photo copyright: EU-OSHA)
Explaining concerns about the revision of the posting of workers directive
“It is disturbing that the European Commission has not respected its own better regulation principles when announcing a plan to revise the posting of workers directive” Daniel Cloquet, BusinessEurope’s Director of Entrepreneurship and SMEs, said on 28 October at the meeting of the Commission SBA (Small Business Act) Follow-up Group. The group heard a presentation by the Commission Secretariat General on the Commission 2016 work programme, which made it clear that the Commission’s recently announced plan to come up with a targeted revision of the posting of workers directive was not founded on an impact assessment analysis. BusinessEurope is against reopening the posting of workers directive, which would open a period of uncertainty for companies and workers and a divisive debate with limited chances to get to a common solution. There are some shortcomings in the enforcement of this directive, but these should be addressed through effective implementation of the 2014 enforcement directive.
Circular economy needs to be business-driven, yet involvement of all stakeholders necessary
“A joint effort of businesses with consumers, governments and the research community should drive and accelerate the circular model in the society”, BusinessEurope’s Jan Bambas stressed at a two-day workshop with a delegation of Italian businesses organised by Confindustria in Brussels on 28 October. The Italian employer organisation had invited representatives of regional offices and Italian companies to exchange views on a number of key EU topics with the European Commission, European Parliament and Brussels-based main industrial organisations. The debate confirmed that due to disparities among member states, replication of best practices and support to local businesses and SMEs to increase resource efficiency in all member states is crucial. Regarding local products, participants agreed that the EU should also pay attention to specificities at the local and regional levels and to direct implications on businesses.
Contact: Jan Bambas