BusinessEurope Headlines No. 2018-27
BusinessEurope member federations, together with guests from European associations and institutions, gathered on 12 July in Brussels to thank the outgoing President Emma Marcegaglia and welcome her successor, President Pierre Gattaz. During his first intervention as President of BusinessEurope, Gattaz stressed that we might be at a turning point concerning Europe’s future and place in the world. “Companies are the keystone to build a stronger Europe, a more united Europe, an open Europe, a human Europe. Defending our European Union is a worthy cause”, he said. In his keynote speech, the Vice-President of the European Commission, Jyrki Katainen, warmly thanked Emma Marcegaglia for her commitment to defending free trade and European values and welcomed the similarity of the European vision of President Gattaz. Read the speeches of Emma Marcegaglia and Pierre Gattaz.
Contact: Daniele Olivieri
By Luisa Santos, Director, International Relations
This year is particularly challenging for world trade. The wave of tariff increases, measures and countermeasures with far-reaching impact in global value chains is equally affecting the EU and China. Neither the EU nor China want a trade war but we are being forced to reply and sustain what we believe are our legitimate rights according to the World Trade Organisation (WTO) rules.
China and Europe have largely benefited from trade and open markets. We have a shared interest in opposing protectionism and maintaining the multilateral trading system that is not perfect but is best to avoid chaos. More than ever we have strong responsibilities in proposing reforms, convincing other important trading partners that the multilateral trading system can be improved for the benefit of all. China and the EU have a strong and mature relation but like the multilateral trading system it can also be improved.
We recognise China’s efforts to open its market to foreign investors and competition. But we are also concerned by long-standing and new barriers, for instance access to the internet and the new cybersecurity law, that prevent our relation from becoming more balanced and mutually beneficial.
China and the EU have been negotiating for some years a comprehensive agreement on investment that would solve some of these problems. We are eager to see these negotiations making real progress. A first market access offer exchange took place during the summit. This is a very positive sign to EU investors and to the markets.
China is implementing a far-reaching reform agenda that also includes strengthening its competitiveness in key manufacturing sectors through the China Manufacturing 2025 initiative and reinforcing China’s presence abroad through investments and the Belt and Road Initiative.
European business wants to contribute positively to this process. We are ready to engage with China and make these initiatives win-win. But China should involve European companies from an early stage using transparent processes and clear rules. Equal access and level playing field are key to make this reform a success.
There are opportunities for China and the EU to move closer. We just need to find ways of making our relation more balanced and beneficial for both sides.
Contact: Luisa Santos
Facts & Figures
Contact: Asdin El Habbassi
Photo copyright: P. J. Hartberger
Contact: Maurice Fermont
position paper, acknowledges the European Commission’s efforts to present an ambitious programme that builds upon Horizon 2020 lessons. However, we highlight ten points, in particular that the total budget proposed is not enough and €120 billion is the bare minimum. To live up to the high ambitions, an increase in the pillar 2 budget to a minimum of 60% of the total budget is required to strengthen economic leadership and address global challenges. Only then can the promotion and facilitation of a collaborative approach with all actors of the research and innovation value chain be secured.
Contact: Alexandre Affre
Contact: Rebekah Smith
Contact: Pieter Baert
- 24 July: ECOFIN Council (Budget)
- 25 July: European Commission President Juncker travels to Washington D.C.
- 21 August: End of 3rd Greek economic adjustment programme
- 6 September: Your next edition of Headlines