BusinessEurope Headlines No. 2017-33
Discussing the prospects of the transatlantic cooperation
“The digital economy is a good example of a field where close cooperation between the EU and the US holds high potential for growth, jobs and innovation”, said BusinessEurope Director General Markus J. Beyrer at a lunch event jointly organised with IBM on 10 October on the occasion of the visit of IBM’s Chair Ginni Rometty to Brussels. Beyrer highlighted that to counter the general scepticism towards trade and globalisation as well as the protectionist tendencies still on the rise, the EU and the US must further discuss the perspectives of their future cooperation. The rationale for a deep transatlantic economic relation remains strong. Developing common approaches on matters of common interest, including towards major trading partners like China, should also be further explored.
Contact: Eleonora Catella
Industrial collaboration is crucial to EU research programmes
“The collaboration between industry and research providers in EU research and innovation framework programmes is essential to turn ideas into impact-driven and innovative technologies, applications and solutions”, said Alexandre Affre, BusinessEurope Director of Industrial Affairs, at the European Association of Research and Technology Organisations (EARTO) policy event on 11 October in Brussels. Affre discussed ways to reinforce collaboration between research and technology organisations (RTOs) and industry and stressed the need to strengthen the EU industrial leadership to help overcome difficulties such as the gap between the demonstration and the commercialisation phases of innovative technologies.
Contact: Alexandre Affre
High unemployment must be addressed in the Euro-Mediterranean region
During the 3rd Social Dialogue Forum on 10 and 11 October in Brussels, BusinessEurope Social Affairs Director Maxime Cerutti highlighted that unemployment, especially among young people, remains too high in many countries on both shores of the Mediterranean. Other important challenges common to both regions are the labour market integration of refugees and skills shortages and/or mismatches. “It is clear that the context and solutions to labour market challenges vary across the 43 countries that are part of the Union for the Mediterranean (UfM). But fostering cooperation and information exchange between social partners across the region is important for them to learn from each other”, he stated.
Contact: Guillaume Cravero
International experts share good practices on trade
BusinessEurope organised a trade seminar gathering international experts to discuss current challenging trade issues and topics on 9 October at its headquarters in Brussels. “Trade will be enhanced through the engagement in a continued dialogue with international partners, in which we can learn from each other’s practices”, said Luisa Santos, Director of International Relations at BusinessEurope. The event was an opportunity for the participants to share their experience on anti-dumping and safeguard legislations, rules of origin and customs procedures. The United States administration’s views on international trade were also part of the discussion as a new policy is gradually taking shape and following up on announcements made during the electoral campaign.
Contact: Eleonora Catella
Taking the EU SME policy one level up
The EU policy for Micro, Small and Medium-Sized Enterprises (SMEs) should be renewed. This is the conclusion of a discussion on 10 October between BusinessEurope’s Entrepreneurship and SME Committee, chaired by Anna-Lena Bohm, and Klaus-Heiner Röhl, Senior Economist of the Cologne Institute for Economic Research. He presented a paper exploring options for EU actions aimed at enhancing the growth creation potential of SMEs. The Committee also discussed possible approaches for ensuring that SMEs take better advantage of the opportunities offered by the free trade agreements signed by the EU with third countries.
Contact: Daniel Cloquet
EU consumer law: work towards enforcement, not regulation
BusinessEurope considers EU Consumer law largely fit for purpose. We believe consumers are more confident, more aware of their rights and gladder with the way traders deal with their requests and complaints. Focus should therefore continue to be on enforcement and awareness. The almost finalised consumer protection cooperation network revision and ongoing training projects focusing on smaller companies are steps in the right direction. These and other messages are part of BusinessEurope’s reply to the European Commission consultation to consumer and marketing legislation (REFIT) process.
Contact: Pedro Oliveira
Celebrating higher life expectancy - not forgetting the challenges of an ageing population
“If social systems are to provide adequate support and benefits for future generations in a sustainable way, the political choices made now and in the future must ensure that demographic change does not have a negative impact on growth and employment”, stated Maxime Cerutti, BusinessEurope Director for Social Affairs, during the European Commission’s 2017 Employment and Social Developments in Europe conference held in Brussels on 10 October. BusinessEurope welcomed this year’s focus on intergenerational fairness and solidarity: “Of course we should celebrate higher life expectancy; at the same time, the challenges of an ageing population and the knock-on effect on the economy and solidarity between generations will be insurmountable without further labour markets and pension reforms”. European social partners are also active on these issues, as highlighted by our recent autonomous framework agreement on active ageing and an intergenerational approach.
Contact: Rebekah Smith
BusinessEurope publishes paper on "Compliance Package"
BusinessEurope published a position paper on 11 October on the European Commission Compliance Package ahead of discussions of the European Parliament Committee on Internal Market and Consumer Protection (IMCO). The Compliance Package that the European Commission presented earlier this year contains a number of concrete proposals that can make the EU Single Market work better. BusinessEurope supports the establishment of a Single Digital Gateway which offers accurate information, assistance, and the possibility to complete administrative procedures online. This will help companies to operate easier across borders. BusinessEurope also agrees with the strengthening of SOLVIT - a network funded by the European Commission to assist citizens and businesses to ascertain their EU rights - to support businesses when they suspect their Single Market rights have been breached. However, we strongly oppose the introduction of the Single Market Information Tool (SMIT) procedure. We also oppose additional obligations on companies to provide highly sensitive business information without a clear justification or explanation on how and for which precise objectives the European Commission intends to use this information, and under the threat of sanctions.
Contact: Jeroen Hardenbol
Engineers essential for Europe's productivity and competitiveness
“Engineers are a crucial element for Europe’s industrial strategy and are increasingly required across all areas of the economy and in different roles. This is why it is so important to increase the number of people studying engineering as well as science, technology and mathematics more broadly”, said Maxime Cerutti, BusinessEurope Social Affairs Director, at the 3rd European Engineers Day Conference held in Vienna on 5 October. Collaborative and innovative efforts are needed to raise the profile of engineering and to address skills shortages, he stated. Company-led or education-led initiatives as well as business-education partnerships would be ways of doing so.
Contact: Robert Plummer
- 13 October: Environment Council
- 15 October: Austrian elections
- 18-24 October: 19th National Congress of the Communist Party of China
- 19-20 October: European Council
- 20-21 October: Czech elections
- 22 October: Japan elections