BusinessEurope Headlines No. 2016-35
EU power market reform - helping or slowing down the industry?
“Energy is crucial for competitiveness. European companies have high expectations from the upcoming power market reform. It needs to re-incentivise investments in the power sector and take firm actions to reduce the power price differential with main competitors.” said Markus J. Beyrer, BusinessEurope Director General, at the high-level event organised at the Slovak Permanent Representation in Brussels on 24 October 2016. Attended by the Slovak Ambassador Alexandre Micovčin, Commissioner Arias Canete and many speakers from industry, member states and academia, the participants discussed key challenges of the power market today and tomorrow, and how to adapt it to a reality and ongoing transformation of the energy system.
Contact: Jan Bambas
Putting employability at the centre of education and training
“Education has a double purpose to contribute to personal development and prepare young people for adult working life. Because careers are less linear and jobs requirements are evolving, there is a need for education and training systems to adapt to rapidly changing labour market reality. Therefore, if we want to reduce unemployment related to skills mismatches, it is necessary to put more focus on employability and learning outcomes in education and training”. This was one of the main messages given by Social Affairs Director Maxime Cerutti during the European Education, Training and Youth Forum on 21 October. BusinessEurope considers apprenticeships to be the key priority to foster employability and achieve better employment outcomes for young people. As the Commission considers expanding the youth employment initiative, there is a need to focus the resources available to support member states and national social partners in countries where there is a desire to reform apprenticeship provision.
Contact: Robert Plummer
Macroeconomic discussions with EU institutions and social partners
“The economic recovery in the European Union is expected to continue despite an increasingly challenging international environment”, BusinessEurope Economics Director James Watson said at the Macroeconomic Dialogue (MED) at technical (working group) level on 25 October 2016. The MED provides a forum for exchanging views between the European Commission, Council, European Central Bank and social partners. The second part of the discussion focused on the European Fund for Strategic Investments (EFSI). The MED at political level will take place on 07 November.
BusinessEurope’s Autumn 2016 Economic Outlook can be downloaded here.
Contact: James Watson
A European partnership for reforms
For the first time, EMCO, the main committee supporting the work of the employment and social affairs Ministers in the context of the Employment and Social Affairs Council (EPSCO), organised a dedicated meeting to discuss the involvement of social partners in the European Semester at national level. “With this meeting we made progress towards an EU-wide partnership for reforms. Regular exchanges between national governments and social partners on employment and social policy issues is an important step to achieve, in the future, better implementation of labour market related country-specific recommendations”, Social Affairs Director Maxime Cerutti said. The meeting was held on 24 October 2016 in Brussels. This has been an opportunity to present the recent EU cross-industry employers joint statement on the employment and social affairs aspects of the 2017 Annual Growth Survey.
Contact: Guillaume Cravero
People with disabilities’ and companies’ needs
Inclusiveness and competitiveness can be mutually beneficial. As companies seek to employ the most talented individuals, they can tap into all talent pools available, including people with disabilities. Actually, everyone has abilities and should be encouraged to enter the labour market. Equipping people with disabilities with the appropriate skills and qualifications, and closing the education gap for them are important prerequisites. Companies also play a role for example through voluntary Diversity & Inclusion initiatives. These were the main messages given by Senior Adviser Guillaume Cravero, at the 20th anniversary conference of the European Association of Service Providers for Persons with Disabilities (EASPD), held in Brussels on 20 October 2016.
Contact: Guillaume Cravero
French Senate discusses single market rules with BusinessEurope
Member states have a key role to play in ensuring single market rules are applied and business needs are taken into account. They can help to remove remaining barriers and further streamline legislation in targeted areas, such as e-commerce, transport, consumer and data protection. These issues were raised by Deputy Director Guido Lobrano during a visit of a French Senate delegation led by Senator Élisabeth Lamure to BusinessEurope on 20 October. Addressing remaining obstacles does often not require new EU legislation but rather more consistent application of existing rules. Likewise, when new rules are needed they must be designed using better regulation principles to ensure proportionality, clarity and single-market added value.
Contact: Guido Lobrano
Clearer consumer rules for better implementation
BusinessEurope welcomes the ongoing Consumer and Marketing law Refit, as it focuses on one of the main body of laws that businesses face in their daily activity. In general, the current rules are still fit for purpose, offering an adequate level of protection. However, clarity and coherent interpretation by authorities and courts could be improved. This would lead to better implementation. Legislative changes should be of last resort and aim for full harmonisation. These were the messages of the Chair of BusinessEurope Consumer Marketing Working Group Jacek Barankiewicz at the 2016 European Consumer Summit on 17 October 2016.
Contact: Pedro Oliveira