BusinessEurope Headlines No. 2019-31
“The European business community supports the World Trade Organisation (WTO) and has proposed ideas for its reform. We participate in trade dialogues, and are committed to ongoing negotiations at the WTO such as ecommerce and investment facilitation. We are nevertheless very concerned about the current crisis within the WTO – the difficulty of negotiating new agreements, new rules, and the lack of respect for existing rules”, Luisa Santos, Director for International Relations at BusinessEurope, said to Roberto Azevedo, Director-General of the WTO in a meeting at the WTO Public Forum on 9 October in Geneva. BusinessEurope and its member federations also shared these messages in meetings with the ambassadors of the EU, USA and Canada. “The impact is not merely theoretical - businesses now have to think much more carefully about where to invest”, Santos added. In support of the trade negotiations taking place at the WTO, BusinessEurope also organized a panel discussion on the link between services trade and manufacturing, in order to ensure that 21st century trade policy is fit for purpose.
Contact: Maurice Fermont
With the help of the EU, Varjo was able to bring an innovative product to the market. See the CEO's testimony on the importance of EU research and innovation funding to help start-ups scale up in Europe.
This brochure aims to raise awareness of the close interconnection of goods and services and on the implications this has for trade policy. Nine real-life examples of companies across different sectors illustrate the role that services and particularly services trade play in the operations of manufacturing companies and how they benefit from services trade liberalisation.
Contact: Benedikt Wiedenhofer
BusinessEurope, the European Trade Union Confederation, SMEunited and the European Centre of Employers and Enterprises providing Public Services (CEEP) jointly organised a conference on 9 October in Brussels to discuss the fundamental transition European economy is currently facing and why this makes the implementation of the cohesive EU industrial strategy of utmost importance. The European trade unions and employers are unitedly calling on the new European Commission and the newly elected Parliament for a proactive and ambitious EU industrial strategy. Only in the pursuit of a holistic policy approach to sustainable economic, environmental and social transformation, European industry will be able to continue its position as a global leader that will responsibly deliver prosperity by creating value for the people and the planet. BusinessEurope Director for Industrial Affairs Alexandre Affre said: “Climate change, digitalisation and the acceleration of the global innovation race are challenging Europe’s industrial base. Turning these challenges into opportunities is key for Europe’s industry. This is why Europe needs an ambitious strategy for its industry. It must be more proactive, more strategic and act faster than in the past.” Please find here our industrial strategy paper with a shortlist of policy actions.
Contact: Asdin El Habassi
Strong calls from all institutions continue about the importance of Europe leading in Artificial Intelligence (AI). This will boost our global strategic standing and improve our society. At the same time, those same institutions continue to further a disproportionate and legally uncertain ePrivacy Regulation which in its current form would have a catastrophic impact on our ability to compete in the global AI race. A decisive Council working party will determine the progress of this file on 11 October. BusinessEurope believes progress would be a premature step, if in reality, the text wouldn’t achieve greater privacy protection, innovative opportunities and Europe’s wider strategic goals. In its current form, ePrivacy will make us innovation takers rather than makers. It will confuse business support and investment in human-centric AI at a time when we are just implementing the EU’s AI Ethical Guidelines and the General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR). Great technological/legal changes have taken place since the proposal. We also await confirmation of the new Commission and in 2020, the GDPR will be reviewed. Wouldn’t it be better for Council to focus on shaping President-elect von der Leyen’s digital programme as a priority?
Contact: Patrick Grant
Photo credit: iStock.com | wenmei Zhou
BusinessEurope adopted its Legal Strategy for the upcoming political cycle matching the objectives set in its Ambition for 2030. It covers areas that keep legal departments in companies busy, for example: competition law, intellectual property, company law/reporting, insolvency and consumer law. Europe already has one of the most advanced legal systems in the world, often being the inspiration for others. It is essential that EU legal policies continue this trend and work towards improving the competitiveness both inside and outside EU borders. Europe needs a legal framework that is up to date with new technological developments and different business models; not only by legislating more, but rather in a smarter and more adaptive way to avoid that once rules are implemented they immediately become obsolete. Specific strategic papers on EU Competition law & State aid and on Intellectual property have also been published and can be found on BusinessEurope’s website.
Contact: Pedro Oliveira
- 13 October: Polish elections
- 16 October: Tripartite Social Summit
- 17-18 October: European Council
- 14-20 October: IMF general meeting
- 21 October: Canadian elections