BusinessEurope Headlines No. 2018-01
Ahead of the European Commission’s conference on the Multiannual Financial Framework (MFF) post-2020 on 8 and 9 January, followed by an important debate at the college of Commissioners, BusinessEurope published its initial views on the subject. During the MFF negotiations it is fundamental to show unity and ensure swift agreement. The next MFF must reflect the EU’s future priorities and concentrate efforts on improving the EU’s competitiveness. It must focus on the areas with clear EU added value where it can deliver concrete benefits, address key concerns of citizens and businesses and prepare the EU for the megatrends ahead, like digitalisation, industrial policy and energy transition.
Photo copyright: European Union, 2018
Contact: Joana Valente
‘Economic, social and environmental sustainability can be mutually reinforcing, if companies’ competitiveness is put at the centre of the sustainability debate.’ This was the key message of BusinessEurope Director General Markus J. Beyrer at the first meeting on 10 January of the EU Multistakeholder Platform on the UN Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). Chaired by Commission Vice-President Frans Timmermans, the platform brings together key stakeholders to discuss how to integrate the global goals into EU policies and to exchange best practices. Beyrer emphasised that the platform should concentrate on the strategic issue of making sure that sustainability is reflected in a coherent way in the EU policy agenda. ‘We should avoid trying to integrate the SDGs in each and every EU policy, particularly where we already have existing processes and fora and the relevant stakeholders are already involved’. Another key message was that Europe’s approach to sustainability must be in line with its need to remain globally competitive. This means that policies should only be introduced where they have real added value and the EU should mobilise other global players to also implement the goals.
Contact: Rebekah Smith
BusinessEurope remains concerned about the European Commission’s proposal for a Single Market Information Tool (SMIT). This proposal was presented by the Commission as part of the Compliance Package last year and is currently under discussion in the European Parliament’s Committee on Internal Market and Consumer Protection (IMCO). While BusinessEurope agrees that improving the implementation and enforcement of the Single Market rules is an important objective, we strongly oppose to mandatory information requests under the threat of sanctions where there is no misbehaviour on the side of a company. This message was voiced by Basje Bender, Adviser at BusinessEurope, at the Socialists and Democrats IMCO Working Group on 9 January, chaired by MEP Nicola Danti.
Contact: Basje Bender
BusinessEurope recently published its position paper on the European Commission’s proposals for a Definitive VAT-system for Cross-Border Trade. We welcome the Commission’s commitment to the creation of a single VAT-area and in particular their efforts to further improve and broaden the One-Stop-Shop, as this can simplify the current highly complex and fragmented VAT-system. However, the Commission's intention to charge VAT on cross-border trade between businesses will significantly increase compliance costs as businesses will have to be continuously informed about the wide range of different VAT-rates in the different EU Member States. The position paper also argues that the Commission's proposals will significantly impact cash-flow and may not reduce overall VAT-fraud. You can read our position paper in full here.
Contact: Pieter Baert
- 13 January: New Eurogroup President Mário Centeno takes office
- 16 January: Fair taxation package 3
- 16 January: Circular economy package
- 23-26 January: World Economic Forum annual meeting 2018, Davos
- 26 January: EU industrial strategy: what headline indicators for a long-term vision?, Brussels