BusinessEurope Headlines No. 2017-07
How to make the single market more SME-friendly?
"To remain competitive SMEs need to have the best access to the single market. We should not increase the high administrative burdens and uncertainties. In the digital single market for instance, many SMEs will struggle to cope with the European Commission’s geo-blocking proposal. Therefore, the proposal needs to be improved. Traders should be able to rely on their own country rules when 'de facto obliged' to sell to consumers they did not target", Director General Markus J. Beyrer said during the conference ‘Is the EU single market SME-friendly? What do SMEs actually need?’ on 21 February in Brussels. BusinessEurope organised the event to discuss the challenges and opportunities SMEs face in the European single market, e.g. in the digitalisation process and when dealing with complex taxation issues. Other panellists included the Maltese Minister for Economy, Investment and Small Business, and President of the EU Competitiveness Council Christian Cardona, entrepreneur Marta Marti Carrera and Deputy Director General of DG Growth Irmfried Schwimann.
Contact: Daniel Cloquet
Markus J. Beyrer stresses the need for more reforms at Macroeconomic Dialogue meeting
“While it is clear that the EU economy has picked up momentum in recent months, we are concerned that member states are not using this window of opportunity to step up reform efforts”, BusinessEurope Director General Markus J. Beyrer said at the Macroeconomic Dialogue (MED) meeting at political level on 21 February 2017. The MED provides a forum for exchanging views between the European Commission, Council, European Central Bank and social partners. Mr Beyrer welcomed the fact that last year growth was around 2% and three million jobs were created. Yet, he cautioned, “growth has been largely supported by temporary factors such as the ECB’s monetary support and a relatively low euro/dollar exchange rate, while underlying long-term growth prospects remain low so that more reforms are imperative”.
Contact: Frederik Lange
A wake-up call for Europe to rethink its industrial strategy
"Strong actions by EU’s main competitors to promote industrial policy objectives should be a wake-up call for Europe to rethink its own industrial strategy. We must do things better and look at competitiveness in all its dimensions", BusinessEurope Director General Markus J. Beyrer told ministers and state secretaries at the Competitiveness Council meeting on 20 February 2017. "Although there are diverging views on industrial policy, the conclusion cannot be to do nothing. We need a common way forward."
Photo copyright: Raymond Attard
Contact: Nicolas Rathauscher
Director General Beyrer meets Austrian State Secretary Mahrer
“We need a renewed comprehensive industrial strategy that looks at competitiveness in all its dimensions. One that addresses short-term trade-offs, but is also forward-looking. We need action now to fill the ambition gap”, BusinessEurope Director General Markus J. Beyrer discussed with Austrian State Secretary Harald Mahrer, who represented the Austrian Federal Ministry of Science, Research and Economy at the Competitiveness Council meeting on 20 February 2017. A long-term policy framework needs to be established, against which private-sector investment decisions can be made with confidence.
Contact: Dominik Futschik
New position paper on common consolidated corporate tax base
BusinessEurope this week released its position paper on the European Commission’s revised proposal for a common consolidated corporate tax base – the CCCTB. The position paper argues that a CCCTB has the potential, by improving the single market, to support growth. However, putting a CCTB in place (i.e. without consolidation and mandatory for large businesses), as the European Commission proposes in the first instance, will raise costs, without providing competitiveness benefits. We believe that major improvements on the common tax base are thus required to make it more competitive vis-a-vis the world. BusinessEurope also reacted to the proposal on the double taxation dispute resolution mechanism, which is part of October’s package on corporate tax reform. We particularly welcome the Commission’s proposal in this area as it would allow companies greater certainty regarding tax, and call on the European Council to adopt the proposal quickly.
Contact: Pieter Baert
Standardisation: first meeting of SMARRT
BusinessEurope participated in the first meeting of SMARRT (Standards Market Relevance Roundtable) on 17 February in Brussels. SMARRT was set up under action 6 of the joint initiative on standardisation, which was signed in June 2016. SMARRT meets prior to the Committee on Standards of Regulation 1025/2012 and is aimed at offering market-relevant opinions and input. The first meeting of SMARRT was a productive exchange of views between stakeholders and the European Commission concerning a number of draft standardisation requests and formal objections. BusinessEurope encourages its members to propose experts for participation in future SMARRT meetings.
Contact: Basje Bender
- 27 February 2017: Energy Council
- 28 February 2017: Environment Council
- 3 March 2017: Employment, Social Policy, Health and Consumer Affairs Council
- 8 March 2017: Tripartite Social Summit