BusinessEurope Headlines No. 2017-41
Ahead of the 11th Ministerial Conference of the World Trade Organisation (WTO) on 10-14 December 2017 in Buenos Aires, Argentina, the Council of Presidents of BusinessEurope adopted a statement that reiterates the importance of the WTO as the guardian of multilateral trade. For BusinessEurope the solution is twofold: WTO members need to consider the negotiation of new rules, adapted to today’s trading reality. But they should also take all the necessary measures to safeguard the institutional capacity of the WTO. This requires the goodwill and active engagement of all WTO members. The business community stands ready to support bridging existing differences.
Contact: Sofia Bournou
Video message ahead of the WTO Ministerial Conference
BusinessEurope President Emma Marcegaglia comments on why we need a strong WTO, against protectionism, for the benefit of all.
BusinessEurope participated in a High-Level Consumer Dialogue kick-off event organised by European Commissioner for Justice, Consumers and Gender Equality Věra Jourová on 30 November 2017. The event brought together the Ministers of Economy of Estonia, Kadri Simson, and Bulgaria, Emil Karanikolov. It also gathered Members of the European Parliament that are part of the Committee on Internal Market and Consumer Protection (IMCO), business and consumer organisations to celebrate one of the strongest assets within EU consumer policy: consumer dialogue. “I want to make sure European consumers enjoy the best protection, which is why we need to have a genuine and open discussion about the new deal for consumers throughout the EU”, Jourová said.
Contact: Pedro Oliveira
Even though the way employee trainings are organised varies between Member States, they all face some common challenges such as digitisation, demographic change and the greening of economies. This was a key conclusion of the discussions that took place during the Second Cluster Seminar of the European Social Partners’ Project on employee training in Warsaw on 28 and 29 November 2017. BusinessEurope Social Affairs Director Maxime Cerutti stressed in particular the need to explore ways in which new technologies can be better used to widen access to training and to teach people the skills that companies need as occupational profiles evolve. The last cluster seminar of this project will take place in Stockholm in April 2018, before a final conference in Brussels in autumn 2018.
Contact: Robert Plummer
BusinessEurope organised a seminar on the EU’s long-term trade strategy on 4 December 2017. Kicked off by the presentation of a report drafted by Peter Chase, Transatlantic Fellow at the German Marshall Fund and with interventions by Hosuk Lee-Makiyama, Director at the European Centre for International Political Economy (ECIPE), and Dr. Reinhard Quick, Professor at the Saarland University, the event allowed a reflection on the results and deliverables that business wants the EU trade policy to achieve over the long term. Participants discussed if current rules are sufficient to address protectionist trends, and what rules are necessary to shape what trade will look like in the next ten years. Business representatives also debated how to ensure the EU remains a rule setter in key innovative areas and how to better cooperate to achieve its objectives. The aim is to prepare a position with business’ views on trade policy.
Contact : Eleonora Catella
Companies increasingly act on the basis that putting sustainability at the core of their business strategy can have a positive impact on their competitiveness. This is one of the key messages of BusinessEurope's recently published paper on sustainability. Companies are world leaders in delivering solutions to today’s social, societal and environmental challenges and therefore EU policies should focus on enabling business to achieve their sustainability goals. Europe must also approach sustainability policies in line with its need to remain globally competitive, focusing on where it can have added value.
Contact: Rebekah Smith
The European Social Fund’s (ESF) support to capacity building of EU Social Partners needs to improve. The complexity of this fund’s governance means that national Social Partners often have poor information and patchy access to ESF resources in the EU Member States. A dedicated approach to European and national social partners’ capacity building needs should be introduced. These were the key messages by Maxime Cerutti, BusinessEurope Social Affairs Director, during the second European Social Partners’ Regional Seminar, which took place in Rome on 4-5 December 2017 as part of their project to document how the ESF supports social dialogue. “The upcoming discussions on the future of the European Social Fund are an opportunity to draw lessons and introduce the necessary changes to meet the needs of social partners in their national contexts, having regard to the European dimension of their work”, Cerutti concluded.
Contact: Guillaume Cravero
The injunctions directive, which ensures the defence of consumers’ interests in the internal market, is an important piece of the EU Consumer Acquis, especially in matters related to enforcement. Its future revision should focus on how to make these procedures less costly and more efficient. BusinessEurope has serious concerns about extending the scope of this directive to collective compensation cases. Besides the lack of evidence to go for this option, we believe the nature of the injunctive procedure is in several instances not compatible with the compensatory one. In addition, we fear that the directive would not be able to encompass enough safeguards against unmerited and abusive litigation such as loser-pays principle, third party funding and contingency fees. These messages are part of BusinessEurope feedback to the European Commission Inception Impact Assessment on the EU Injunctions Directive published on October 2017.
Contact: Pedro Oliveira
- 10-13 December: WTO 11th Ministerial Conference
- 14-15 December: European Council & Eurozone Summit
- 18 December: Energy Council
- 20 December: SMS goods package
- 20 December: Capital Markets Union proposal
- 20 December: European Commission proposal for a revision of the Written Statement Directive