BusinessEurope Headlines No. 2018-40
"In view of the European elections, the business community has a strong responsibility to speak up, explain why the European Union is so important for people’s future and to say what needs to be done to ensure that things are going in the right direction. Companies are the backbone of Europe’s economic stability and people’s prosperity. Let’s together build an EU we can be proud of." That was a key message of President Pierre Gattaz at BusinessEurope’s press conference on 11 December in Brussels. Together with Director General Markus J. Beyrer, Gattaz presented the Ambition for the European Union in 2030. In this paper the European business community sets out what is needed to create the right conditions to enhance competitiveness and enable business to play its role in society. Read more
Contact: Daniele Olivieri
Video message to this week's EU Summit
Ahead of the EU Summit on 13-14 December 2018, BusinessEurope President Pierre Gattaz draws attention on four areas where concrete decisions are urgently needed to strengthen our European Union and to meet key challenges facing Europe.
Heads of our member federations comment on the importance of the WTO and how we can make it more effective.
"Business across Europe fully stands behind the implementation of the Paris agreement and states there is no time to waste in investing heavily into zero and low carbon solutions by mobilizing private finance with government support", said BusinessEurope's Chair for the Energy and Climate Working Group Olivier Imbault at COP24 on 11 December in Katowice. He made his remarks during a side event jointly organised by BusinessEurope and the European Commission that looked for ways to mobilise more private sector financing to reach the objectives of the Paris Climate Agreement. Imbault explained that governments can help leverage more private finance by funding fundamental research with specific financial instruments and by setting stable and predictable regulations. This is crucial in order to create the necessary demand for low carbon solutions. Furthermore, mobilizing more private finance on low carbon investments requires a positive taxonomy scheme that defines what is a sustainable investment and what is not. The event also saw valuable inputs from Yvon Slingenberg, Director at the European Commission Directorate-General for Climate Action (DG CLIMA), as well as high-level representatives from BNP Paribas, the Club of Rome, Metsa Group and Solvay.
Contact: Leon de Graaf
This week the European Parliament voted overwhelmingly in favour of the EU-Japan Economic Partnership Agreement. BusinessEurope has long supported the negotiations and welcomed the conclusion of the ambitious agreement in late 2017. Exports between our two regions are projected to increase by 34% for the EU and 29% for Japan, and the agreement will remove most tariffs, non-tariff measures, enhance market access and public procurement, protect geographical indications and intellectual property rights, and facilitate services and investment flows. BusinessEurope is very positive and this week outlined its strong support for the agreement in a joint statement between European and Japanese business organisations.
Contact: Maurice Fermont
Only through a global consensus can we hope to reform the global tax system in a coherent and lasting way – this was the key-message of BusinessEurope’s Tax Policy Group when it welcomed Martin Kreienbaum, Chair of the Committee on Fiscal Affairs at the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD) and Director of International Taxation at the German Federal Ministry of Finance to its meeting on 11 December. During the meeting, the group discussed on-going developments in the EU, particularly in relation to digital taxation, as well as the OECD’s Base Erosion and Profit Shifting (BEPS) proposals.
Contact: Pieter Baert
Charging 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 Member States. This was the key message of Kristian Koktvedgaard, Chair of BusinessEurope’s VAT Policy Group, when he met with Adriana Nutu, Director of Indirect Taxation at the Permanent Representation of Romania to the EU, on 12 December. In view of the upcoming Romanian presidency of the Council of the European Union, Koktvedgaard discussed Romania’s priorities in VAT-files, such as the special VAT-scheme for small enterprises and the definitive VAT-system for cross-border trade. He also noted that the proposed Definitive VAT-system risks significantly impacting cash-flow and may not reduce overall VAT-fraud.
Contact: Pieter Baert
There is no blueprint for a well-functioning social dialogue at the national level. Industrial relations practices vary across Europe, as they reflect long established traditions. In the future, a key factor to encourage enterprises and their organisations to invest in social dialogue is to ensure that it positively contributes in terms of competitiveness. Essential in this respect is that the legal framework, and collective bargaining practices provide to companies enough flexibility to adapt their workforce to changing economic circumstances. These were the key messages by Maxime Cerutti, Social Affairs Director, at a conference organised by the Latvian social partners LDDK and LBAS in Riga, Latvia, on 6 December on “Sectoral collective bargaining and competitiveness of sectors: experience of social partner organisations in Europe”.
Contac: Robert Plummer
- 2-14 December: Katowice Climate Change Conference COP 24
- 18 December: 2nd Trilogue on Enforcement and Compliance Regulation
- 1 January: Romanian presidency of the Council of the EU