BusinessEurope Headlines No. 2016-12
Going digital is a necessity for Europe’s recovery and competitiveness
"Digital transformation is no longer an option, but a necessity to deliver growth to Europe. Innovation is its driving force", BusinessEurope Director General Markus J. Beyrer said at a high-level conference on digital economy on 5 April in Madrid. He stressed how European coordination is key to reaping the full benefits of digitalisation. Technology and information have the potential to transform companies of any size in all sectors. We need to avoid fragmentation and encourage the creation of digital hubs across the continent. This requires balanced regulation, education, and mind-set changes. Digital can truly be at the heart of Europe's recovery, but only in an innovation-friendly environment. The conference was organised by AMETIC, the Spanish Association of Electronics, Information and Communications Technologies, Telecommunications and Digital Content Companies - a member of our Spanish member federation CEOE.
Contact: Guido Lobrano
If well designed, the services passport can help businesses go across borders
BusinessEurope supports the European Commission’s plans to offer companies the possibility to ask for a "services passport" to operate more easily across borders. This voluntary passport should reduce administrative burdens for companies by allowing them, with the passport, to skip certain administrative procedures and formalities already fulfilled and completed in the home member state. While we support the concept, the passport will only be a success if it is well designed and truly saves time and costs for businesses, in particular for SMEs and start-ups. It is important that the passport also leads to regulatory simplification and streamlining as public authorities become more aware of each other’s procedures and follow best practices. It is crucial that policy-makers listen carefully to relevant stakeholders and companies operating in the construction and business services sectors to ensure that the passport actually meets business needs.
We need more Europe to overcome the current crisis, Beyrer told Austrian diplomats
"We don’t need less Europe to overcome the current crisis. Instead, we need more Europe to bring Europe back on track", Director General Markus J. Beyrer said at a meeting of Austrian diplomats in Brussels on 4 April. He further outlined the work of BusinessEurope and the need to strengthen the EU economy. The meeting brought diplomats dealing with European issues at the Austrian embassies in the different EU member states to Brussels. Aim of the meeting was to get the diplomats know high-level European policy-makers and other stakeholders working in Brussels.
Contact: Dominik Futschik
Worker mobility brings advantages for companies and workers
Worker mobility needs to be encouraged as it plays an important role in addressing companies' skills needs through enlarging the potential talent pool. It is also beneficial for workers as it opens up greater possibilities for finding employment opportunities that match their interests, skills and qualifications. This was the main message given by Robert Plummer, BusinessEurope Social Affairs Adviser, during the informal meeting of the Council’s Employment Committee held in Amsterdam on 31 March. Mobility needs to be fair in the sense that it is important to ensure the respect of the legal framework governing intra-EU mobility. Also part of this is to introduce the necessary changes in EU legislation to tackle abuse linked to mobile citizens who are not in work or not looking for work and who seek to exploit existing loopholes in EU or national regulatory frameworks. This is important to improve the political acceptance of mobility.
Contact: Robert Plummer
Visit to our Spanish member CEOE
Challenges faced by Europe, priorities for more growth and jobs, the international trade agenda, the need for reforms, taxation issues – these and other topics were discussed by BusinessEurope Director General Markus J. Beyrer on his visit in Madrid. Among other activities, he visited our Spanish member federation, where he met CEOE Secretary General Ana Plaza and Director of Economic and European Affairs Bernardo Aguilera, as well as the chairmen of several policy committees. Together with CEOE President Juan Rosell, Mr Beyrer then joined the AMETIC conference on digital transformation of Europe.
Contact: Markus J. Beyrer
Seniors too can take advantage of digital growth
Technology has a huge potential to improve the lives of older citizens. For example, introduction of ICT and telemedicine can improve efficiency of healthcare by 20%. Thanks to technology, smart houses will be able to respond better to the needs of older people and to improve their quality of life. To ensure that digitalisation will help Europe address the issue of ageing society and help people improve their lives, the legislative framework needs to be forward-looking. Fostering trust will be crucial. Europe will also need to ensure that the rules we put in place today will still be valid tomorrow. We need to focus on the opportunities rather than on threats and take reasonable risks, because without risk-taking, there can be no progress. These were the messages conveyed by BusinessEurope Adviser Cecilia Zappalà at the hearing on seniors in the digital era organised by the European Economic and Social Committee on 30 March.
Contact: Cecilia Zappalà
- 11-12 April: meeting of Directors-General of higher education, Amsterdam
- 11-14 April: European Parliament plenary sitting, Strasbourg
- 12 April: proposal on public tax transparency (country-by-country reporting)
- 13 April: Syrian parliamentary election
- 18 April: Consumer and Competition Day "Fading borders, shifting roles?", Amsterdam