BusinessEurope Headlines No. 2017-02
President Marcegaglia at the World Economic Forum
“We need more investment in Europe to fight unemployment, the first cause of inequalities. The single market is essential to attract investors. We need more European unity and we need more openness to trade. EU leaders must work together to defend the collective interest of all Europeans”, BusinessEurope President, Emma Marcegaglia, said during the panel discussion 'The European Disunion' at the World Economic Forum annual meeting in Davos, on 18 January 2017. She was joined by European Commissioner Pierre Moscovici, the General Secretary of the European Trade Union Confederation, Luca Visentini and Nobel Prize winner Joseph E. Stiglitz.
Contact: Dominik Futschik
The single market is a crucial priority for Europe
Unlocking the full potential of the single market is a crucial priority for Europe and can deliver growth and competitiveness if the October 2015 single market strategy is followed up properly. Director General Markus J. Beyrer spoke about these issues with the director general of the European Commission’s DG GROW, Lowri Evans, during a meeting on 18 January 2017. Various ongoing initiatives like the single market information tool and geo-blocking were discussed. The meeting was also an opportunity to exchange views on the recently adopted services package. The need for an ambitious industrial policy strategy for the EU was also stressed.
Contact: Guido Lobrano
EU industrial sectors support CETA
The Alliance for a Competitive European Industry (ACEI) that includes BusinessEurope and key industrial sectors has sent a strong message to the European Parliament in support of the free-trade agreement between the EU and Canada, CETA: “The European manufacturing industry, represented by the ACEI, calls on you to endorse this highly ambitious and forward-looking trade agreement at your February 2017 plenary session”. The letter points out that CETA will strengthen the trade and investment relations between two of the world’s most advanced economies and like-minded partners, for the benefit of growth and jobs.
Contact: Luisa Santos
Why CETA is good for Europe
Contact: Luisa Santos
Hearing on common consolidated corporate tax base (CCCTB)
"It is paramount that the corporate tax system in Europe is conducive to investment, innovation, growth and the creation of high-skilled jobs", BusinessEurope’s Economics Director, James Watson, said during a hearing at the European Economic and Social Committee on 17 January on the European Commission’s recent corporate tax reforms package, including the common (consolidated) corporate tax base (CCCTB). BusinessEurope has not yet finalised its position regarding the CCCTB/CCTB. However, James suggested that, judging from the initial discussion in the Tax Policy Group, ensuring that losses can be fully consolidated between member states (as proposed in the CCCTB, but not the CCTB) is key to the initiative. In this way it will have the potential to improve the functioning of the single market and to make it easier and cheaper for cross-border companies to expand, to promote investment and jobs.
Contact: Pieter Baert
Companies are instrumental in making global supply chains more sustainable
"In today’s globalised world, companies operate in extremely complex supply chains and they need to build a business model that is competitive, while promoting high-level environmental and social standards" – this was the key message of Director General Markus J. Beyrer, as BusinessEurope showcases what companies are doing to manage supply chains. The brochure published by BusinessEurope today shows, through concrete company examples, both the benefits for business as well as the challenges. BusinessEurope will remain engaged in policy debates on sustainable development, continuing to communicate on businesses’ experiences in this field and actively promoting the participation of the private sector in the implementation of the Sustainable Development Goals.
Contact: Rebekah Smith
Consumer rights harmonisation: not at any cost
Harmonisation of consumer rights should be seen as a means to reach a goal rather than an end in itself. It is a tool to ensure an EU level playing field of consumer rules across the internal market whilst keeping a balance between consumer protection and business interest. Full targeted harmonisation is non-negotiable otherwise we replace fragmentation with fragmentation. Also, coherence with existing horizontal and sectoral legislation is essential. These messages were advocated by BusinessEurope at the Socialists&Democrats’ workshop on consumer rights in the digital world in the European Parliament on 12 January 2017.
Contact: Pedro Oliveira
VAT group meets European Commission
Following the recent proposals announced by the European Commission in December, BusinessEurope’s VAT Group, at its meeting on 16 January, welcomed Donato Raponi, Director of Indirect Taxation at the Commission’s DG Taxud. Mr Raponi presented the Commission’s proposals on e-commerce and on the general reverse charge mechanism, which has the potential to battle VAT fraud. The VAT Group voiced its support for the Commission's efforts to remove VAT obstacles in e-commerce, particularly through proposals to extend the one-stop shop and ensure a level playing field. However, while BusinessEurope supports the battle against VAT fraud, the reverse charge mechanism requires closer scrutiny to evaluate its effectiveness. The VAT Group is now working on a full position paper on both proposals.
Contact: Pieter Baert
- 17-20 January 2017: World Economic Forum Annual Meeting in Davos
- 20 January 2017: Donald Trump's inauguration as US President
- 23 January 2017: CETA vote in European Parliament INTA Committee
- 26 January 2017: meeting of the Eurogroup
- 27 January 2017: Economic and Financial Affairs Council
- 21 February 2017: "Is the European single market SME-friendly? What do SMEs actually need?" BusinessEurope conference, Brussels