BusinessEurope Headlines No. 2020-12
As the global COVID-19 crisis takes hold in Europe and continues to disrupt our societies and economy European industry has had to hastily reorganise itself in order to continue operating as normal as possible. This has been no easy task but has been aided by Europe's digital capacity which makes it a common thread in Europe's coordinated response. Technologies, networks and devices are enabling us to work at distance and stay in touch with one another. It is also paramount in the fight against COVID-19. Innovations are tracking medical supplies to manage resources in near-time. Processing health data sets are then locating and at getting supplies to areas most in need in advance of crisis peaks. New business models are freeing up much needed bandwidth to develop healthcare AI applications and empowering 3D printer users to join the ventilator and PPE (Personal Protective Equipment) supply effort. It is through this good will and ongoing respectful cooperation that we highlight crucial digital areas that can uphold and improve these efforts.
Contact: Patrick Grant
Sixteen business federations from around the world, members of the Global Business Coalition, published joint statements, on 25 and 26 March, calling G20 countries to ensure free movement of essential health products. They also call for measures to minimise the disruptions in global value chains and restrain from unnecessary regulations and trade barriers to preserve the world economy. The statements ask as well for a regular and transparent communication with the private sector for developing economic policies to the pandemic. Read the first and the second statement.
Contact: Luisa Santos
The COVID-19 outbreak and the measures taken by countries around the world in reaction to it have caused a considerable disruption on international trade and the supply chains of European companies. In this context, the European Commission consulted stakeholders on the availability of short-term export credit insurance for exports to EU countries and a small number of other countries (Australia, Canada, Iceland, Japan, New Zealand, Norway, Switzerland, and United States of America). For these countries, risk linked to export credits is in principle considered “marketable”, which is why the insurance of export credits must be left to private parties. Due to the disruptions caused by the COVID-19 outbreak, the Commission launched a consultation on whether the current market situation justified allowing publicly backed export credit insurances for exports to these countries for a limited period of time. As a reaction, BusinessEurope addressed a letter to the Directorate-General for Competition, warning that private export credit insurers were withdrawing from the market. BusinessEurope also called on the Commission to temporarily enable EU member states to provide insurance for short-term export-credit risk in respect to all countries as otherwise companies would soon face severe problems in insuring the financial risks of their export transactions. On Friday 27 March, the Commission reacted to the requests of BusinessEurope and other stakeholders by taking measures to make export credit insurance more widely available. As a result, public insurers will be able to provide insurance for short-term export-credit risk for all countries, without the need for the member state in question to demonstrate that the respective country is temporarily “non-marketable”. The new measures will be in place until 31 December 2020 and the Commission will re-assess the situation before that date.
Contact: Benedikt Wiedenhofer
- 1-5 June: EU Green Week 2020
- 5 June: BusinessEurope Council of Presidents
- 22-26 June: EU Sustainable Energy Week 2020