Today, the European Council confirmed that sufficient progress has been made pertaining to phase one of the Brexit negotiations. This will allow to start negotiations on the transition and the framework for the future EU-UK relation. Emma Marcegaglia, President of BusinessEurope, commented: “Today’s decision is a positive step but we are far from the final deal. Companies are under time pressure as they need to plan ahead. We must step up negotiations. We urge negotiators to make additional efforts as we enter phase two discussions.” Business needs certainty and a level playing field that allows trade and investment to remain stable. The worst case, a no-deal, cliff-edge Brexit, must be avoided. It would have severe economic consequences and would negatively affect companies’ business activities in the EU27 and in the UK. The months ahead will be critical and we count on strong political will on both sides to find the best solution for business and citizens.
The EU Single Market has enabled European and British companies to set up complex supply chains and close-knit partnerships that benefit competitiveness, growth and employment in both economies. With so much at stake, businesses are naturally concerned about the final outcome of the Brexit negotiations between the EU27 and the UK. BusinessEurope Director General Markus J. Beyrer said: “The worst possible outcome for business would be a no-deal “cliff-edge” Brexit. Business wants to avoid this. And companies need certainty and time to prepare and adjust to the post-Brexit situation. However, with time pressure rising, this possibility, although undesirable, is not entirely implausible. With today’s publication we aim to show what a cliff-edge scenario would mean for European businesses from the concrete perspective of individual companies”. More - Brochure
Ahead of the 11th Ministerial Conference of the World Trade Organisation (WTO) on 10-14 December in Buenos Aires, Argentina, the Council of Presidents of BusinessEurope adopted a Statement that reiterates the importance of the WTO as the guardian of multilateral trade. European businesses are alarmed by recent developments that pose obstacles to move negotiations forward and harm the ability of the WTO to effectively implement the rules through its dispute settlement system. For BusinessEurope the solution is twofold: WTO members need to consider the negotiation of new rules, adapted to today’s trading reality. But they should also take all the necessary measures to safeguard the institutional capacity of the WTO. The business community stands ready to support bridging existing differences. In a video statement, BusinessEurope President Emma Marcegaglia said: “We count on the meeting in Buenos Aires to have an outcome where the WTO will be even stronger than it is now and where it will continue to be a key pillar for free and fair trade”. Please find the Statement and the video.
CEOs of 28 leading companies this week signed a statement reaffirming their strong commitment to EU research and innovation (R&I) funding programmes. The statement was handed over to the European Commissioner for Research, Science and Innovation, Carlos Moedas, by BusinessEurope President Emma Marcegaglia and Director General Markus J. Beyrer. It supports the EU framework programmes (FP) and the importance of the role the private sector plays for the success of EU R&I financing and innovation ecosystem. Companies bring private capital, infrastructures, networks, know-how and skilled workforce, maximizing the positive impact of the EU programmes. Funded projects with EU-added value ultimately bring benefits to the European society at large. “The growing momentum with a view to the next programme (FP9)”, President Marcegaglia stressed, “offers an opportunity to increase the EU budget on R&I, reinforce the collaborative approach and overcome the innovation deficit in Europe”. More
On 21 November, President Emma Marcegaglia, Director General Markus J. Beyrer, three Vice-Presidents of BusinessEurope and CEOs of its Advisory and Support Group gathered in Brussels and met EU leaders. The group exchanged views with Vice-President Jyrki Katainen on the challenges the EU is facing and on how to support growth and job creation, trigger investment and make Europe more competitive. With Commissioner Günther Oettinger, the CEOs discussed the Multiannual Financial Framework (MFF) post 2020 and the budget, but also Europe’s position in the world. The group also met Deputy Director General Khalil Rouhana to discuss the digitalisation of industry and the development of the digital economy and exchanged with Vice-President Maroš Šefčovič on investment in the EU energy sector, electricity markets, mobility and moving towards a connected Energy Union in Europe. Research and innovation, and the 9th EU Framework Programme was discussed with Commissioner Carlos Moedas.
At the Gothenburg social summit for fair jobs and growth co-hosted today by the Swedish Prime Minister Stefan Löfven and the Commission President Jean-Claude Juncker, Emma Marcegaglia, BusinessEurope President, stressed that economic and social challenges need to be addressed in a coherent way, recognising that economic progress is the basis for social well-being. Europe must be competitive and do better in in terms of growth, employment and productivity to be able to finance social safety nets. If we do the necessary reforms, Europe can remain one of the best places in the world to live, work, and do business. Speech - Factsheet
The CBI and business groups from across Europe, representing millions of employees, met with UK Prime Minister Theresa May. They discussed the importance of positive progress in the UK-EU negotiations; the need for urgent agreement on a ‘status quo’ transition; and beginning discussions on a future economic relationship that draws on existing close economic ties. Emma Marcegaglia, President of BusinessEurope, leading an important delegation of European Business leaders in a meeting with PM Theresa May, said: “Businesses from across Europe welcomed the opportunity to meet with Theresa May, the UK Prime Minister, to emphasise the mutual importance of making urgent progress in the EU-UK talks.” Read more
A few weeks before Bulgaria takes its turn in holding the EU presidency, Markus J. Beyrer met Emil Karanikolov, Minister of Economy of the Republic of Bulgaria. The Council presidency comes at a decisive moment, when the EU has to roll out the necessary steps following the recent adoption of the EU’s industrial policy strategy. “The Competitiveness Council”, Beyrer stressed, “plays a pivotal role in making sure that the voice of industry is properly reflected in the EU policy-making process.” He also underlined some of the building blocks for successfully implementing the strategy, notably the need for a monitoring framework, long-term objectives and fit-for-purpose governance.
At today’s Macroeconomic Dialogue at political level, which provides a forum for exchanging views between the European Commission, Council, ECB and social partners, BusinessEurope Director General Markus J. Beyrer commented: “Businesses across the EU are benefiting from a strengthening EU economy. Our latest forecast for EU growth of 2.3% in 2017 is 0.4 percentage points higher than we expected in spring, with 2.1% growth expected in 2018. However, with the recovery supported by temporary factors, further reforms at both national and EU level are required to raise long-term growth.”
After the meeting, BusinessEurope released its Autumn Economic Outlook which underlines that the EU's economic recovery is picking up momentum. European business federations expect a continuation of the recovery, with indications that the business climate is likely to see further improvements. Consumer spending is forecast to remain the key driving factor behind growth, with rising consumer confidence bolstered by relatively strong job creation across the EU and increasing labour force participation.