BusinessEurope Headlines No. 2016-02
President Marcegaglia in Davos: "Fragmentation of Europe would be a total disaster"
“We need stronger political will to work together in Europe to address common challenges. Fragmentation of Europe would be a total disaster. The answer to migrant crisis is to act together, we need a European answer.” Speaking at the World Economic Forum session on “The future of Europe” on 21 January 2016, involving Prime Ministers Mark Rutte, Manuel Valls, Alexis Tsipras and Minister Wolfgang Schäuble, BusinessEurope President Emma Marcegaglia gave her views on the current overall business climate and key issues to be tackled in 2016. Economic governance of the Economic and Monetary Union must improve in Europe, she stressed. More ambitions to make international trade negotiations a success, in particular in ongoing transatlantic negotiations, are needed. And the ongoing fourth industrial revolution would increase Europe’s competitiveness if we can successfully manage the digital transformation. To Europe’s manufacturing industry it could add a gross value worth 1.25 trillion euros. But if we miss this revolution, the potential losses can be up to 600 billion euros by 2025. This would be like losing over 10% of Europe’s industrial base. “The answer to our problems is more Europe, not less Europe”, President Marcegaglia concluded.
Contact: Daniele Olivieri
Markus J. Beyrer meets Employers’ Group of the European Economic and Social Committee
“Europe is facing serious and tough challenges”, BusinessEurope Director General Markus J. Beyrer said at a meeting with the group of employers of the European Economic and Social Committee on 20 January. He added that we need strong political will of the member states to work together to succeed in solving common problems and more unity in Europe to achieve a stronger economy, a wealthier continent with more security in Europe and at our borders.
Contact: Dominik Futschik
2016 a decisive year for TTIP
In Davos, BusinessEurope President Emma Marcegaglia discussed with US Chamber President Tom Donohue how to advance negotiations on the Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership and ensure a political agreement during President Obama’s term. Both EU and US businesses want an ambitious outcome, effectively providing companies on both sides of the Atlantic new market opportunities. This needs full commitment from EU and US negotiators to address now sensitive issues like access to public procurement or financial services regulation. We also need rapid exchange of negotiating proposals that are still missing. Business will stay committed, actively supporting all efforts to bring our economies closer together, creating new prospects for trade and investment by promoting a modern and ambitious set of rules.
Contact: Luisa Santos
A working digital single market is key to deliver growth and jobs to Europe
The digital economy is crucial for EU competitiveness. European companies need to scale up and get the most from a market of potentially more than 500 million consumers to deliver growth and jobs to Europe and add 415 billion euros to Europe’s GDP. The first proposals of the digital single market strategy have already been tabled. Now it is time to focus on the swift launch of competitiveness-oriented initiatives, such as the digitalisation-of-industry roadmap. This is the message BusinessEurope Director General Markus J. Beyrer passed on to Roberto Viola, Director General of DG CNECT at the European Commission, on 19 January. But digitalisation of the industry will not be achieved without international data flows. Companies need a deal on a revised Safe Harbour framework as soon as possible. Networks are also the foundation of the digital ecosystem. BusinessEurope welcomes the upcoming review of the telecom regulation, underlining the need to promote investment in innovative infrastructure.
Contact: Cecilia Zappalà
Companies call for a long-term and sustainable framework for data flows between Europe and the United States
Political leaders in the EU and USA must support the efforts to negotiate a strengthened Safe Harbour and help establish a long-term, sustainable framework for data flows between Europe and the United States. BusinessEurope, together with other European and US organisations, voiced this message in a letter to Presidents Obama, Juncker and Tusk and all 28 European heads of state or government. The letter calls for rapid conclusion of the negotiations on a strengthened mechanism for transatlantic data transfers, while allowing companies to benefit from a transition period to comply with the revised framework. The EU and USA must also work to establish a legally sustainable framework that reflects shared principles on privacy and security, including on surveillance activities.
Company law and corporate governance: going digital
BusinessEurope supports further digitalisation of company law and corporate governance in Europe. This would yield immediate benefits in the form of red tape reduction as well as increased competitiveness of European start-ups. In a recently adopted paper, BusinessEurope presents its vision to implement this goal. It proposes a number of guiding principles and ideas for concrete actions in the short and medium term. One of the immediate actions would be the adoption of the single-member company proposal which will make online registration a widespread reality across the EU.
Enhancing the feedback from banks when declining SME loan applications
Under the capital requirements regulation, SMEs can request banks to explain their rating decisions when a loan application is declined. Effective implementation of this provision is essential to help SMEs improve their loan applications. As a follow-up to the Capital Markets Union action plan, the European Commission DG FISMA organised a meeting with BusinessEurope and other SME associations on 13 January to discuss how to strengthen and structure banks’ feedback better. Daniel Cloquet, BusinessEurope’s Director for Entrepreneurship and SMEs, welcomed the Commission’s initiative and illustrated recent progress made in some member states for strengthening and better structuring the feedback provided by banks. The Commission is also exploring pragmatic approaches for providing SMEs with information they can use to search for alternative finance when having failed to get a bank loan.
Contact: Daniel Cloquet
- 27 January: Informal meeting of Ministers responsible for Competitiveness (research), Amsterdam
- 28 January 2016: EU business in China: China's "new normal": what's in it for businesses?
- 28 January 2016: Dutch Presidency conference on the multiannual financial framework, Amsterdam
Contact: BusinessEurope Headlines