BusinessEurope Headlines No. 2021-15
“BusinessEurope is a strong supporter of the EU-Mercosur trade agreement. It will generate new trade and investment opportunities, and advance the sustainable development goals”, said Director General Markus J. Beyrer at the online event “How the EU-Mercosur agreement can support the EU and Brazilian companies’ commitment to sustainability” on 30 April. The event was organised by BusinessEurope, the Confederation of Portuguese Business (CIP) and the Brazilian National Confederation of Industry (CNI), with the support of the Portuguese Presidency of the Council of the European Union. Companies from Brazil and the European Union presented concrete examples and actions regarding sustainability and how these could be further promoted with the EU-Mercosur agreement. “Business plays a key role in ensuring a sustainable and long-term transformation on the ground. The trade agreement offers a golden opportunity for both parties to demonstrate a strong and continuous commitment to implement high labour and environmental standards”, Beyrer highlighted. Read our joint statement and watch the event.
Contact: Eleonora Catella
European employers cannot absorb an additional burden on top of the crisis and we need a well-articulated European economic agenda for a successful economic recovery. The main priorities for European employers today are to recreate the conditions for job creation and ensure that as many people as possible can return to activity as soon as possible. It is also essential to make good use of the available resources to invest in improving people’s skills in close connection to labour market needs and with a view to underpin successful digital and green transitions. We also count on the future French Presidency of the Council of the EU to ensure that the ongoing EU debates on social legislative files fully respect national competences and social partner autonomy. These were the key messages given by BusinessEurope President Pierre Gattaz in a meeting with the French Labour Minister Elisabeth Borne on 30 April 2021.
Contact: Maxime Cerutti
On 5 May, BusinessEurope Director General Markus J. Beyrer met with the European Commission Vice-President for Interinstitutional Relations and Foresight Maroš Šefčovič to discuss EU-UK relations and other key issues in the current EU agenda. During the meeting, Beyrer pointed out that now that the EU-UK Trade and Cooperation Agreement is fully implemented, there is a need to ensure that all the relevant monitoring bodies are in place with a close involvement and participation from the business community. “Companies are still adjusting to the new reality of trading and together with European and national authorities we should work to ensure consistency and efficiency in the procedures”, he said. Beyrer also informed Šefčovič of some of the main problems the business community has encountered since the end of the transition period and highlighted some measures necessary to address these problems. Finally, he emphasised that BusinessEurope hopes that workable and pragmatic long-term solutions can be found for the situation in Northern Ireland.
Contact: Benedikt Wiedenhofer
The EU's Next Generation recovery instrument must lead to growth-enhancing reforms, as well as well targeted investment. This was the key message of BusinessEurope's Director of Economics James Watson at a European Policy Centre (EPC) event on 28 April. At the event entitled “Towards inclusive sustainable & digital transition: the role of the Recovery and Resilience Facility”, James noted that Member States' national recovery and resilience plans represent a once in a generation opportunity to boost investment in Europe and raise our competitiveness. BusinessEurope's annual Reform Barometer, to be published in June, will this year provide a detailed assessment of the draft plans.
Contact: James Watson
“The African Continental Free Trade Area (AfCFTA) promises to boost Africa's economic growth, promote industrialisation and combat extreme poverty in the long term. European business sees an enormous potential in this initiative and follows its implementation closely”, said Benedikt Wiedenhofer, Adviser in the International Relations Department of BusinessEurope, at a panel discussion on “EU-EPAs and their implications for AfCFTA implementation”. The discussion took place on 29 April and was part of a three-day event organised by the United Nations Economic Commission for Africa, which aimed at gathering the views of different stakeholders on external challenges to the implementation of the AfCFTA and the role of bilateral trade agreements. “European business considers the trade agreements between the EU and African countries and regions as important building blocks, both to freer trade between Europe and Africa and to increased economic integration on the African continent”, he added. Wiedenhofer concluded that if implemented properly, they can help integrate European and African value chains and make a major contribution towards improving the investment climate in Africa.
Contact: Benedikt Wiedenhofer
Europe and India have strong historic and economic ties and a tradition of close cooperation and mutual support that dates back many centuries. The European business community is extremely concerned by the recent COVID-19 developments in India and the extremely challenging health and humanitarian situation the country and its citizens are confronted with.
BusinessEurope President Pierre Gattaz said: "The health and humanitarian crisis that India is experiencing due to the exponential increase in COVID-19 infections is of great concern to us. This pandemic is a global challenge that needs global answers. If we are not able collectively to control the spread of the virus it will remain a huge risk for lives and economies around the world. As European business we stand behind all efforts, including those of our governments, in supporting India and its citizens to fight the pandemic and improve the health situation in the country. The companies we represent are ready to contribute to this effort making available supplies that India needs to overcome this difficult and challenging situation. The EU-India Summit on 8th May and the B7 Summit hosted by the Confederation of British Industry on 11th and 12th May will be crucial moments to show solidarity and strong support to our Indian friends in a moment of need.”
Contact: Elena Suárez
- 8 May: EU-India Business Round Table
- 25 May: Shaping Europe's Digital Future - Virtual Summit
- 26-27 May: European Social Economy Summit 2021
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