BusinessEurope Headlines No. 2022-26
In a high-level panel discussion that followed the presentation of SpiritsEurope’s Trade Review for 2022 on 8 September, Luisa Santos, Deputy Director General at BusinessEurope, talked about the challenges that companies face when it comes to the global trading environment, exacerbated by the COVID-19 pandemic and the war in Ukraine. She also discussed the role of trade in the recovery and stabilisation of the economy. “There are three types of risks companies increasingly need to address: security questions and the weaponisation of trade policy with the use of economic coercion; reputational risks that affect not only multinationals but also SMEs; and economic risks that are particularly related to the cost of energy, raw materials and transportation”, Santos argued. Asked about how companies can maintain their competitiveness, especially at a moment when our efforts are concentrated towards achieving the objectives of the Green Deal and the digital transformation, she said: “A challenge that we see is that companies need to be trusted more as partners. We recognise the problems, and we are part of the solution. However, policy-makers also need to have a stronger understanding of the impact certain measures have”, she concluded.
Contact: Sofia Bournou
EU-China relations: Engaging with a systemic rival
The EU and China are mutually important trading partners, but EU-China relations have been facing many challenges. Watch our President Fredrik Persson talk more about it.
On 9 September, BusinessEurope hosted a webinar with Maria Teresa Fabregas Fernandez, Director of the European Commission’s Recovery and Resilience Taskforce, to present the current state of play of implementation of the Recovery and Resilience Facility (RFF), including the new REPowerEU chapters proposed by the European Commission in May 2022. As well as setting out the importance of full implementation of both the investment and reforms aspects of the plan to Europe’s long-term prosperity, members also used the opportunity to raise suggestions as to how businesses can help ensure effective implementation of the national recovery and resilience plans. BusinessEurope will continue to follow the implementation process closely to ensure that EU Member States are making effective use of these funds to transform the EU economy and boost long-term growth.
Contact: Lisa Kastner
Bold decisions to support business investment, competitiveness and growth through the tax system can pay dividends by strengthening long-term public finances. This was the message of BusinessEurope Chief Economist, James Watson, to EU Finance Ministers at the informal meeting of the Economic and Financial Affairs Council (ECOFIN) in Prague on Saturday 10 September. Opening the discussion on corporate tax at the invitation of the Czech Presidency of the Council of the EU, James noted that business strongly supports the fight against tax fraud and evasion, particularly regarding reporting requirements related to the significant amount of legislation in this area in recent years. However, this has nevertheless increased the complexity of the EU tax systems, and raised compliance costs for businesses. Looking forward, it will be important that we increase our focus on ensuring corporate tax systems support business competitiveness vis-à-vis other major economic regions.
Contact: James Watson
“In the 10 years since its entry into force, the EU-Central America Association Agreement has helped boost trade and investment between our regions by providing companies with a stable and predictable framework within which they can operate. The stable framework it sets is also key in the area of renewable energy”, said Benedikt Wiedenhofer, Adviser in the International Relations Department of BusinessEurope, at the EU-Central America Business Forum on Renewable Energies on 9 September. The forum was part of a series of events that the EU organises on the occasion of the 10th anniversary of the entry into force of the EU-Central America Association Agreement. It brought together policy-makers and business representatives from both regions to discuss how to create stronger synergies between the EU and Central America in the area of renewable energies. “The Global Gateway, which the EU launched in December 2021, promises to be another important tool to boost our interregional synergies in the area of energy. Today’s event is an ideal venue to discuss how we can make the most out of the combined potential these two tools offer to our companies,” Wiedenhofer added.
Contact: Benedikt Wiedenhofer
“The new ecodesign requirements will improve the sustainability of products and the transfer of information across value chains while market surveillance provisions will contribute towards a better compliance of products, enable a level playing field and strengthen the competitiveness of EU businesses”, reads BusinessEurope’s paper on the Ecodesign for Sustainable Products Regulation (ESPR) published on 12 September. BusinessEurope welcomes the European Commission’s proposal as it maintains the principle of the current Ecodesign Directive (i.e. tailored requirements per product group and consultation with experts and stakeholders) while removing current inconsistencies between the EU and the national levels. To ensure better enforceability of the proposed provisions, BusinessEurope paper further suggests to reflect on 10 specific areas, including requiring information on relevant substances of concern and setting a digital product passport which aims at the circularity objective and protects confidential business information. The annex of the paper includes a list of detailed amendment proposals.
Contact: Carolina Vigo
- 20 September: BusinessEurope event - EU-China relations: Engaging with a systemic rival
- 26-30 September: European Sustainable Energy Week 2022
- 27-30 September: WTO Public Forum 2022 - "Towards a sustainable and inclusive recovery: ambition to action"
- 12-14 October: European Forum for New Ideas 2022
Not yet a subscriber? Register here.