BusinessEurope Headlines No. 2021-09
"The EU Recovery and Resilience Facility offers a once-in-a-generation opportunity to transform our economies by boosting productivity, growth and competitiveness. We must ensure the plans are well designed so that they deliver both growth-enhancing investments and reforms". That was the key message from BusinessEurope Director General Markus J. Beyrer on 15 March at the Macroeconomic Dialogue, a high-level forum for regular discussions between the European Central Bank, the European Commission, the Council of the EU and European social partners, with participation amongst others of ECB President Christine Lagarde, EU Executive Vice-President Valdis Dombrovskis, and Portuguese Finance Minister João Leão. Ensuring that social partners with their expertise and understanding of the situation on the ground are fully involved in the preparation of their national recovery and resilience plans, and their subsequent implementation, will be key to their success, Beyrer highlighted.
Contact: James Watson
Energy transition was at the center of discussion at our first interactive Climate Dialogues seminar organised by BusinessEurope. Moderated by Frits de Groot, Director Energy & Climate at VNO-NCW, the event took place on 16 March with distinguished speakers from the International Energy Agency (IEA), the European Commission DG Energy and Hydrogen Europe. Mechthild Wörsdörfer, Director for Sustainability, Technology, Outlooks at the IEA, stated that "the pandemic will leave lasting scars, but it is still open whether it represents a setback for a more secure and sustainable energy system, or a catalyst that accelerates the pace of change". Lukasz Kolinski, Head of Unit on economic analysis and foresight, recovery at DG Energy, gave a comprehensive overview of EU energy scenarios and policy initiatives aimed at reaching the EU 2030 climate target. The Commission will come up with detailed legislative proposals by June 2021. And finally, Hydrogen Europe's Secretary General Jorgo Chatzimarkakis spoke about hydrogen as a promising solution to accelerate energy transition. "Hydrogen has become real and even systemic for the success of the European Green Deal. It is time to scale up in order to achieve results and to make Europe competitive", he concluded.
Contact: Alexandre Affre
"As we all know, the 4th industrial revolution is well underway. Technological innovation already disrupts and benefits our economies and societies at a rapid pace. And this trend is only reinforced by the impact of the coronavirus", Markus J. Beyrer, Director General at BusinessEurope, said during a digital panel discussion at the EU Industry Week 2021. During the session on the industrial transition towards a digital economy, Mr Beyrer highlighted the importance of boosting and adequately regulating the platform economy, the importance of digital services for all aspects of the economy, and the enormous potential that Artificial Intelligence (AI) will be able to bring to businesses and their digital transformation. "As the digital economy is global by design, the EU and Japan should work together and engage in regulatory cooperation to ensure our rules are compatible and fair, so that they support the global rules-based market economy", Beyrer concluded.
Contact: Luisa Santos
Member States with well-developed apprenticeship systems have proven that apprenticeships play a key role in helping young people's transition from education and training into employment. This is true at all times. In the context of recovery from the COVID crisis, some Member States rightly prioritise improving their financial incentives to encourage employers to create or maintain apprenticeship placements. Thanks to this kind of measures, youth unemployment has not increased until today as much as during the 2008 financial crisis. The way forward is to continue to engage forcefully in the design and implementation of structural reforms of national apprenticeship systems, in particular in the countries where this is most needed. The goal is to support employers’ access to the relevant skills, and young people’s access to the labour market. These were the key messages of Maxime Cerutti, Director of Social Affairs, during a European Commission – International Labour Organisation conference on apprenticeships that took place on 15 March.
Contact: Maxime Cerutti
"Services are highly important for both the EU and the countries of the Caribbean Forum (CARIFORUM). The Economic Partnership Agreement (EPA) has improved market access and enhanced the business environment in the Caribbean for European services providers", said Benedikt Wiedenhofer, adviser at the international relations department of BusinessEurope at the webinar "How to unlock the full potential of the EU-CARIFORUM EPA?" on 11 March. The event was organised by the European Commission in collaboration with the Caribbean Export Agency as an awareness raising activity following the publication of the 10 years ex-post evaluation of the Economic Partnership Agreement. Participants discussed how the EPA's potential for trade, investment and development can be harnessed fully. Wiedenhofer spoke at a panel dedicated to EU-Caribbean trade and services and investment. "As services exporters and investors operate within the regulatory environment of the importing country, a favourable investment climate is a key factor to seize the opportunities offered by the EPA. The EU development policy thus needs to complement the EPA implementation by supporting reforms in our Caribbean partner countries", he added.
Contact: Benedikt Wiedenhofer
Photo copyright: European Union
- 24 March: Tripartite Social Summit
- 25 March: The economics of climate change: Towards a carbon-neutral economy - what role for economic policies?
- 25-26 March: Spring European Council
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