BusinessEurope Headlines No. 2019-29
“EU leaders need to prioritise research and innovation in the next Multiannual Financial Framework. The budget for Horizon Europe will be a clear expression of the ambition”, stated BusinessEurope President Pierre Gattaz. He participated in the EU Research and Innovation Days on 26 September in Brussels, organised by the European Commission. The event gathered researchers, scientists, innovators and policy makers from all around Europe. Gattaz pointed out that for more than 30 years, the European research programmes have demonstrated their added-value in many fields, from climate to health projects. “Let’s be very ambitious and increase the Horizon Europe budget to at least €120 billion”, he said.
Contact: Carolina Vigo
Why Horizon Europe budget should be increased – the university point of view
KU Leuven Rector Luc Sels is convinced that Horizon Europe is key to build a stronger future, to develop excellence and to build more solid ties between academia, research organisations and business. See why.
EU-Canada agreement CETA is two years old!
By Luisa Santos, Director for International Relations
Even if two years is still a short period of time, we can already take stock of the main achievements of CETA and which areas need improvement. The benefits and loopholes of the agreement were discussed during a BusinessEurope event on 20 September, which had the participation of Trade Commissioner Cecilia Malmström.
Agreements only exist if they are used and if the opportunities they create become real. Otherwise, they are not more than good intentions.
The numbers seem to indicate that the agreement is being used and companies and citizens are benefiting from CETA in different areas. As an example, in 2018 the EU’s merchandise exports to Canada increased by 15% to reach € 5,3 billion compared to the average exports of the previous 3 years.
European companies are also winning public tenders in Canada. When negotiations started, not many thought it would be possible to open the public procurement market in Canada, which is mainly a competence of Canadian Provinces. In the end, Canadian Provinces came to the negotiation table and the results are now visible with increased opportunities for European economic operators.
CETA is in many ways a landmark agreement. It was the first agreement concluded with a developed economy that shares the same values as the EU, a close partner that believes in multilateralism and rules-based trade and is committed to a progressive trade agenda. CETA aims primarily at reducing barriers and eliminating duties but it can also help addressing climate change and promote high social and environmental standards through its sustainability chapter.
CETA is also a very important agreement because it was at the origin of important changes in the EU’s trade policy. We all remember how difficult it was to adopt this agreement, which is considered to be of mixed competence and therefore subject to ratification by national parliaments. CETA led to the separation of mandates for trade and investment. This approach should make the ratification process easier for the trade part but we need to ensure that the investment part is not undermined in the process
But CETA is still a child and it needs to grow up and become a mature adult.
For example, CETA offers a framework for regulatory cooperation but we need to bring this forward and look for concrete avenues of cooperation both in traditional and new sectors. Businesses on both sides are extremely interested in this exercise.
We are just at the beginning of what we hope will be a long-lasting cooperation between Canada and the EU to develop common approaches to shared challenges like the reform of the World Trade Organisation (WTO), climate change or the digital economy, just to name a few.
Contact: Luisa Santos
Contact: Alexandre Affre
Contact: Carolina Vigo
Single Market priorities beyond 2019 was presented. It was also highlighted that the Competitiveness Council and Member States should not get lost in small and narrow details, even if they need to be addressed, but should get the policy and law principles right. “First, the focus should be on better implementation and enforcement of rules we have today and professionalisation of public administrations. Second, return to basics, that is the principles-based Single Market legislation – if necessary - instead of being overly prescriptive”, Barysas stated. He also stressed openness of the business community to provide further input on concrete barriers.
Contact: Martynas Barysas
Contact: Pedro Oliveira
Contact: Maurice Fermont
- 29 September: Austrian elections
- 30 September: Trade for Her: Empowering Women through International Trade
- 2 October: BusinessEurope event "Reaching climate neutrality: Framework conditions and actions on how to get there"
- 4 October: Environment Council
- 6 October: Portugal elections