BusinessEurope Headlines No. 2020-08
BusinessEurope Day 2020: Prosperity, People, Planet
“European companies do not only care about prosperity but also about people and the planet. This is why Europe is one of the best places in which to live in the world. But if we want to fulfil our social and environmental ambitions and show to the world that our model is the best one, we must prove that it works economically”, said BusinessEurope President Pierre Gattaz at the opening of BusinessEurope Day on 5 March. Ursula von der Leyen, President of the European Commission, delivered a keynote speech as well. Executive Vice-President Valdis Dombrovskis, Vice-President Maroš Šefčovič and Commissioners Paolo Gentiloni, Nicolas Schmit and Kadri Simson discussed with European business leaders how to ensure coherence between economic, environmental and social policies. “Europe needs successful companies and companies need a successful Europe. Our companies’ achievements will be your achievements. We look forward to working with you to deliver a better Europe for all”, concluded President Gattaz.
Read more on the panel debate "A changing Europe in a changing world" with Dita Charanzová, Vice-President of the European Parliament, Carolyn Fairbairn, Director General of the Confederation of British Industry, Steffen Kampeter, CEO of the Confederation of German Employers’ Associations, Kazuo Kodama, Ambassador of Japan to the European Union, and Pekka Lundmark, President of the Confederation of Finnish Industries.
Read more on the panel debate "Ensuring industrial leadership and rewarding innovation in fast evolving value chains" with Wolfgang Burtscher, Deputy Director General of European Commission's Directorate General on Research and Innovation, Jean-Marc Ollagnier, CEO Europe at Accenture, Beat Weibel, Head of Corporate Intellectual Property Group at Siemens, and Heiko Willems, Permanent Delegate of the Federation of German Industries.
Read more on the panel debate "Implementing the Green Deal in partnership with industry" with Mrs Saori Dubourg, Member of the Board of Executive Directors at BASF SE, Emma Marcegaglia, President of ENI, Fredrik Persson, President of the Confederation of Swedish Enterprise, and Maciej Witucki, President of the Polish Confederation Lewiatan.
Read more on the panel debate "Meeting skills and social needs on changing labour markets" with Alain Dehaze, CEO of The Adecco Group, Peter Clever, Member of the Executive Board of the Confederation of German Employers’ Associations, Per Hilmersson, Deputy General Secretary of the European Trade Union Confederation.
See pictures of the event, including of the last panel debate on "Delivering the reforms needed to strengthen the Economic and Monetary Union" with Klaus Günter Deutsch, President of BusinessEurope Economic and Financial Affairs Committee and Director for Research Industry and Economic Policy at BDI, Danny McCoy, CEO of the Irish Business Organisation, José Leandro, Director at the European Commission's Directorate for Economic and Financial Affairs, and Boris Kisselevsky, Head of the ECB Representation in Brussels.
More information available on the event's website: http://www.businesseuropeday.eu/
Contact: Jasmin Ploner
Video message: BusinessEurope Day 2020
Prosperity, People and Planet are the three pillars of the agenda that BusinessEurope proposes for the European Union in 2019-2024. Together with the European Commission, the Council and the European Parliament, European companies are ready to play their role. But they can only play this role if public policies support their competitiveness and lead to economic sustainability.
Renewed focus on economic migration: a factor of competitiveness
Economic migration has an important role to play to support Europe’s capacity to grow in a context of shrinking working age population. The European Commission should pay stronger attention to the EU’s economic migration policy. This is an important instrument to improve Europe’s competitiveness by reducing the skills gaps and labour shortages on European labour markets. This was the key message given by Markus J. Beyrer during a meeting with European Commissioner for Home Affairs, Ylva Johansson, on 3 March. In the coming months, the Commission is expected to bring forward its proposal for a new EU migration policy in the form of a pact for migration and asylum. BusinessEurope considers that the EU’s future approach to migration should evolve into a model of stronger coordination of national immigration policies. Better coordination would give flexibility to EU Member States to address their varying needs for skilled migrant workers. As part of this, Europe’s support should focus on identifying and attracting third country nationals that are matching well our countries’ diversified needs and circumstances.
Contact: Robert Plummer
Building trust between the EU, China and the USA
Many European businesses operate globally and they are heavily present in China and the USA. A lack of trust and increasing tensions between the three main trading blocs increases uncertainty for companies”, said Luisa Santos, BusinessEurope Deputy Director General, at the 4th Annual Trust Summit 2020 organised by Edelman Brussels on 3 March. “Companies need stable and predictable rules that are equally respected by all parties. Taking unilateral measures, bending international rules or doing agreements that do not respect multilateral rules and lead to managed trade are not the best ways to create trust among companies”, she added. BusinessEurope has recently adopted a comprehensive strategy paper on China asking for a stronger and fairer economic partnership with the EU. The tensions between the EU and the USA have also increased and it is important to get the transatlantic relation back on track. Santos stated that the EU, the USA and China should be able to agree on ways to modernise the existing World Trade Organisation rule-book. “It is clear these rules do not address current challenges like e-commerce and digital trade and they are not fit to discipline industrial subsidies or the distortive practices generated by some State-Owned Enterprises. We need these rules to ensure a level playing field and avoid the temptation from some governments to use unilateralism and protectionism as response” she said.
Contacts: Eleonora Catella/Maurice Fermont
Water Framework Directive needs further examination
“In our view, improving implementation will not be enough to solve some of the challenges that industry is currently facing [...] As it stands now, it is limiting industrial improvements, including their ability to develop solutions to mitigate pressures on water bodies”, reads the letter that Markus Beyrer, BusinessEurope Director General sent to Croatian Minister Tomislav Coric in view of the 5 March Environment Council. The European Commission concluded that after twenty years in place, the Water Framework Directive is fit for purpose, with the exception of some challenges that could be improved through implementation. Industry is concerned about the effects that the interpretation of the directive has had on socioeconomic activities at large, and its ability to contribute to the directive’s objectives in order to achieve good status in Europe’s water bodies. Industrial permits are currently being rejected in different EU Member States, regardless of them bringing forward technological developments that can help reduce emissions. This proves particularly difficult in light of the needs of the European Green Deal. BusinessEurope’s letter can be found here.
Contact: Cecilia Serrano-Piedecasas
- 9 March: European Commission 100 days in office
- 10 March: European Commission adopts:
- Industrial Strategy
- SME strategy
- Single Market Barriers Report and Enforcement Action Plan
- New Circular Economy Action Plan