BusinessEurope Headlines No. 2020-19
BusinessEurope Director General Markus J. Beyrer on 20 May participated in the European Parliament’s Internal Market and Consumer Protection (IMCO) Committee meeting to exchange views with Members of European Parliament about the COVID-19 crisis impact on the Single Market and preparations of the European Recovery Plan.
Reviewing the unprecedented impact of the present crisis on the European economy and the Single Market, Beyrer referred to BusinessEurope’s Spring Economic Outlook forecasting a fall of the EU economy by nearly 8% this year, and the economy operating just slightly below its pre-crisis level towards the end of 2021. He shared many examples of the impact on businesses and blockages in the Single Market due to uncoordinated, unilateral decisions by Member States, which significantly disrupted value chains.
While appreciating efforts by the European Commission and Parliament to address these issues to date, Beyrer stressed there were still many problems on the ground remaining, while Europe needs an unprecedented response to this crisis. He introduced BusinessEurope’s suggestions for the Recovery Plan, based on four pillars: a strong investment package also backed by the new multiannual financial framework (MFF), a strengthened and open Single Market, fair and free trade and investment, as well as strengthened EU governance to aid the growth and employment enhancing structural reforms.
Beyrer briefed IMCO MEPs on BusinessEurope's suggestions on the Single Market agenda for recovery, including actions to further open services markets, strengthen digital Single Market and address bottlenecks in the goods area. “We think it’s important that the Single Market measures will be adequately financed under the MFF”, he said, speaking of necessary measures to accompany the policy agenda. The whole economic ecosystem is heavily hit by this crisis, so a comprehensive response based on the four pillars is needed. “The cut is deep, but if we do the right things we have a chance to only lose two years, and not many more - and the Single Market will be key”, Beyrer concluded.
The exchange with MEPs focused on additional measures that could help address the crisis impact at EU level and get the economy back on track, including the state aid policy coordination, support to SMEs, focus on the industrial sectors or ecosystems, different situations across the Member States and the international trade context. There were also questions on the consumer policy which were addressed by the Director General of BEUC.
Contact: Martynas Barysas
BusinessEurope and the U.S. Chamber of Commerce on 18 May organised a joint webinar on transatlantic trade in the context of the COVID-19 crisis. EU and US companies discussed the impact of the pandemic on their operations and supply chains across the Atlantic. Business representatives also shared their views on how to address the challenges associated with reopening the economy and the way forward for EU-US trade relations. Companies in the EU and the USA are working to develop a responsible re-opening strategy, ensuring safety of workers and consumers and maintaining long-term viability. As countries ease restrictions, businesses call for clear guidelines to ease complexities of operating in multiple jurisdictions.
Contact: Eleonora Catella
BusinessEurope on 19 May participated in the Trade Dialogues with business, organised by the World Trade Organisation (WTO), in collaboration with the B20 and the International Chamber of Commerce (ICC). Trade Dialogues were an opportunity for a high-level discussion between business and political leaders on the challenges faced by companies all over the world during the COVID-19 pandemic and the solutions they would like to promote for a rapid and sustainable recovery of the global economy. Business leaders stressed the need for measures in the area of trade to be transparent, proportionate and temporary. They also highlighted the role of e-commerce as an enabler during the current crisis and the need for developing global rules in this area. Political leaders committed to continue engaging with businesses.
Contact: Sofia Bournou
“Research and Innovation is crucial for shaping a better European future, where success depends on the conversion of knowledge into innovation, creating market and society impact”, highlighted BusinessEurope’s Director General, Markus J. Beyrer, in a letter sent on 18 May to the European Commission Executive Vice President Margrethe Vestager and Commissioner for Innovation, Research, Culture, Education and Youth, Mariya Gabriel. Beyrer stressed that the upcoming Communication on the Future Research & Innovation and the European Research Area is an opportunity to further develop the EU policy landscape and bring research closer to markets. “R&I has little value to society unless inventions are translated into innovations with beneficial impacts for European citizens, and companies are the key driver of this translation”, he wrote. For this reason, Beyrer recommended that the future Communication mobilises all R&I stakeholders, stimulates R&D ecosystems and skills development, promotes innovation-friendly legislation and adopts a flexible approach to Open Research Data.
Contact: Carolina Vigo
The publication of primary research data (Open Research Data) has the potential to improve the efficiency, impact and effectiveness of research and to accelerate innovation. For companies, the question is not whether they are in favour or against Open Research Data, but to understand what kind of data may be the best path to realise the full commercial potential of their research. BusinessEurope’s position paper aims to overcome the current simplistic dichotomy (i.e. open vs closed) and calls for a framework that ensures flexibility, building upon the “as open as possible, as closed as necessary principle”. The position paper – published on 14 May – puts forward a set of principles for Open Research Data, which should lead to smart provisions for research data sharing.
Contact: Carolina Vigo
BusinessEurope on 20 May published its position paper on the adoption of an International Procurement Instrument (IPI) by the EU. The EU is considered one of the most open procurement markets in the world, but often the EU’s trading partners don’t allow reciprocal access to their procurement markets. The core objective of the IPI should be to give leverage to the European Commission to negotiate opening-up third country public procurement markets that are closed to EU companies. Furthermore, commenting on the changing situation in the EU's public procurement market, BusinessEurope’s Director General Markus J. Beyrer said: “We need to level the playing field, for instance, by mitigating the disruptions caused by unfairly subsidised State Owned Enterprises from countries that are not open for EU companies". Public procurement is an important engine for economic growth, with over 250.000 public authorities in the EU purchasing goods, services, works and supplies, amounting to around EUR 2 trillion every year, accounting for approximately 14% of the EU’s GDP (in 2017).
Contact: Sofia Bournou
- 5 June: BusinessEurope Council of Presidents
- 22-26 June: EU Sustainable Energy Week 2020
- 9-10 September: 8th International Conference on Sustainable Development