BusinessEurope Headlines No. 2017-01
Improving competitiveness of EU aviation
“Aviation plays a vital role in connecting Europe; it offers mobility and opportunities to citizens and businesses. It is important that the European aviation sector remains competitive in a fast-changing and developing global economy" Director General Markus J. Beyrer said at a meeting with the Managing Director of the European association Airlines for Europe (A4E), Thomas Reynaert. Effective coordination and management of the European airspace is key to ensure the safe and cost-efficient flow of air traffic, minimising fuel usage and costs, carbon emissions and flying times. Therefore, we need to make the Single European Sky a reality. It is also important to reduce tax and regulatory burdens and avoid introducing new measures that would increase unit costs disproportionately for European airlines, and thereby compromise connectivity. Another challenge is to address the looming airport capacity crunch in many member states. To address these issues we need to ensure swift and steady progress on the actions announced in the European Commission’s 2015 aviation strategy.
Contact: Jeroen Hardenbol
EU-Gulf Cooperation Council: closer cooperation means more investment
International Relations Director Luisa Santos represented BusinessEurope and moderated a high-level panel during the 2nd EU-Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) Business Forum that took place on 9 January 2017 in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia. The conference focused on the topics of public-private partnerships and infrastructure investment opportunities in the Gulf countries. During the panel debate on the increasing role of the private sector in infrastructure development and financing, Luisa stated: “Improving infrastructure and increasing investment opportunities are mutually reinforcing concepts. At a time when public finances are tight, the EU and the GCC face a common challenge: how to keep the right balance between public and private financing and ownership of infrastructure projects". The Business Forum took place in the framework of the EU-GCC Trade and Business Cooperation Facility, a project funded by the EU and led by the Confederation of Danish Industry.
Contact: Sofia Bournou
MEPs should find appropriate agreement on carcinogens directive
Reacting to the European Parliament Employment Committee’s draft report on a proposal to revise the carcinogens directive, BusinessEurope along with other EU employer organisations expressed strong concerns about a number of the rapporteur’s proposals: “proposing lower limit values for a number of substances and considerably extending the scope of the directive, will only lead to drawn-out and difficult discussions with the European Council and European Commission. This will not be good for worker protection, nor for the credibility of the EU and its decision-making process.” Employers highlighted that they fully share the objective to have an ambitious proposal to protect workers from exposure to carcinogens and mutagens at the workplace. They encouraged the Employment Committee to follow the approach of the Commission and Council to adopt the revised directive in good time.
Contact: Rebekah Smith
Tax Group discusses corporate tax reform proposals with European Commission
Following the package of corporate tax proposals announced by the European Commission in October, including a revised proposal for a common consolidated corporate tax base (CCCTB), BusinessEurope's Tax Policy Group at its meeting on 20 December welcomed Valère Moutarlier, Director at the Commission’s Directorate General for Taxation and Customs Unions, and his colleagues Reinhard Biebel and Uwe Ihli. Following a presentation on the corporate tax reform package, the group discussed in particular the Commission’s CCCTB proposal, which would have wide-ranging implications for many European businesses. The group welcomed the Commission’s recognition that the corporate tax system can have an impact in supporting investment and growth. They are now discussing the proposals in more detail with a full position paper to follow.
Contact: Pieter Baert
- 17-20 January 2017: World Economic Forum Annual Meeting in Davos
- 17 January 2017: Election of the European Parliament President
- 20 January 2017: Donald Trump's inauguration as US President
- 23 January 2017: CETA vote in European Parliament INTA Committee
- 21 February 2017: "Is the European single market SME-friendly? What do SMEs actually need?" BusinessEurope conference, Brussels