BusinessEurope Headlines No. 2019-16
“Europe’s achievements should not be taken for granted. It is crucial to mobilise voters and we call on the business community and on citizens to cast their vote in the upcoming European elections”, said BusinessEurope President Pierre Gattaz, speaking at BusinessEurope’s high-level debate on 7 May at the European Business Summit (EBS) in Brussels. This two-day event counted 1740 attendees, 178 speakers, 44 sessions and 115 journalists. BusinessEurope organized the debate “Europe is Voting: Make it Your Business”, where President Gattaz spoke together with Henryka Bochniarz (President of Lewiatan), Bernard Gilliot (President of VBO-FEB), Fredrik Persson (President of the Confederation of Swedish Enterprise) and Ricardo Borges de Castro (Adviser at the European Political Strategy Centre of the European Commission) about the importance of the upcoming European elections in May 2019. In order to reach BusinessEurope’s Ambition for Europe in 2030, the speakers laid out priorities for Europe, such as the single market, trade system, financing, industrial strategy, research and innovation, as well as education and skills development.
Contact: Julia Luerzer
The United States: partner or rival?
By Eleonora Catella, Senior Adviser for International Relations
These choices confirm a general trend whereby the USA follows a unilateral path, careless of both the non-effectiveness of the measures in place in addressing actual root causes of problems and the impact said measures have on US allies and bilateral relationships. In fact, this Administration is not thinking or behaving in terms of “strategic allies”, something that makes Congress uneasy. The current state of play cannot be downplayed by being labelled as being “only narrative” as the US actions are quite real and impactful. Finally, the USA is also an economic competitor to the EU.
Time may have come for a more segmented analysis of our relationship with the United States. The EU needs to make a candid acknowledgement of irritants already in place, threats that may materialise in the future, and opportunities for better cooperation. This would allow crafting a positive agenda with objectives for both the short and the long term that are either attractive enough for the USA to refrain from imposing further measures or able to offset the negative impact of future measures - as it seems that even the renegotiation of an agreement like the United States–Mexico–Canada Agreement (USMCA) has not sheltered Canada and Mexico from unilateral US actions.
The challenge currently facing the EU is to devise a long-term strategy that goes beyond the search for shelter from immediate threats like Section 232 measures, or measures Washington may impose following the World Trade Organisation (WTO) disputes involving Airbus and Boeing. Economic operators are understandably extremely concerned with these possibilities. However, this must not prevent the EU from adopting a wider perspective that also includes a forward-looking strategy to the USA. The EU must be in for the long game.
The recent adoption of two mandates for two separate tracks of negotiations, one for an agreement on industrial tariffs and one for an agreement on conformity assessments, allow us for a cautious hope that an EU-USA dialogue would provide for a temporary push-back of further threats, and the decision to put off reciprocal measures in relation to Airbus and Boeing WTO disputes, something that would only benefit China.
There are two main hindrances: the first is that the USA and the EU mandates on industrial tariffs are very far apart, with unclear possibility of real success. The second is that there is a concrete possibility that as soon as the USA concludes its negotiations with China, and the USMCA passes Congress, the USA will have a renewed and increased capacity to redirect its attention to the EU and to the trade deficit that is still Trump’s main concern.
Rebalancing relations with the USA stands higher chances if a channel for dialogue is open, negotiations starting on conformity assessments have an incremental approach, and EU-USA cooperation on China is part of the discussions.
Contact: Eleonora Catella
Contact: Jasmin Ploner
Photo copyright: European Union, 2019
Contact: Sofia Bournou
trade strategy paper presents some innovative ideas, like open free trade agreements.” Santos said.
strategy paper on the priorities for the Single Market beyond 2019. Heads of EU Member State delegations, and the Chairman of the Council High-Level Group on Competitiveness and Growth reacted and held a further discussion on the Single Market governance.
Contact: Martynas Barysas
Photo copyright: Minitry of Economy of Romania
- 13-17 May: EU Green Week
- 16 May: Joint conference of the European Commission and the European Central Bank on European financial integration and stability
- 16-17 May: 4th Circular Change Conference
- 20 May: Annual convention for inclusive growth 2019