HOW to build a better Europe?
Reacting to the first speech on the State of the Union by European Commission President Ursula von der Leyen, BusinessEurope welcomed her strong commitment to making Europe better, more competitive and able to lead but urged the Commission to focus much more on the “how” to achieve these goals.
BusinessEurope Director General Markus J. Beyrer said: "All the Commission actions during the next year must focus on how to make sure that the financial package, agreed in July to recover from the COVID-19 crisis, reaches companies and workers rapidly, is invested in the right projects and is flanked by the necessary reforms to generate the growth necessary to recover from today's crisis, repay EU debt and make the life of future generations better."
"When implementing the key proposals announced this morning, this means in particular:
- underpinning the Green Deal and the new targets with a credible industrial strategy to mobilise the necessary investments in green technologies, become climate-neutral in a cost-effective way, ensure there is enough affordable green energy available and improve the global level playing field regarding CO2 emissions reductions;
- supporting the digital transformation of our economies and societies by creating the conditions for the safe deployment of new technology such as AI and 5G as well as for the industrial data economy by incentivising voluntary data sharing through collaborative European data spaces;
- tearing down all the barriers that weigh on the development of our Single Market, not only restoring pre-COVID free movement conditions as soon as possible but also tackling long-standing obstacles to the cross-border provision of services and avoiding over-prescriptive policy for harmonised European standards for goods;
- revitalising the multilateral system, embracing an ambitious trade and investment agenda and moving to qualified majority voting in external relations;
- guaranteeing that any EU framework on minimum wages fully respects national competences as well as the autonomy of social partners regarding wage setting", Beyrer added.