During its meeting in Sofia today, the Council of Presidents of BusinessEurope unanimously elected Pierre Gattaz, current President of the French business federation MEDEF and CEO of Radiall, to succeed Emma Marcegaglia as President of BusinessEurope from 5 July 2018. He is elected for a period of two years, renewable once. Pierre Gattaz said: “I will do my utmost to fulfil the expectations of the 39 member federations of BusinessEurope. Taking up this important responsibility is an honour and a challenge. Emma Marcegaglia has set the bar very high and we are at a turning point in the global economic order. European business has to speak up. I am looking forward to contributing to increasing employment and growth across Europe and will fight protectionism with all my determination.”
“The focus of the EU budget after 2020 should be on growth and employment-enhancing expenditures as part of a reform-oriented budget supporting the involvement of social partners in the delivery of labour market reforms, notably through an improved European Social Fund.” This was the key message of BusinessEurope Director General Markus J. Beyrer at a meeting with Commission Vice-President Valdis Dombrovskis, Commissioners Günther Oettinger and Marianne Thyssen, and social partners on the Multiannual Financial Framework (MFF) beyond 2020. On the same day, Janica Ylikarjula, Chair of BusinessEurope’s MFF Task Force, also presented our initial reactions on the Commission’s 2 May package at a conference of the European Economic and Social Committee, adding that “while business acknowledges the Commission’s increased focus on future-oriented investment in its recent MFF proposal, more ambition is needed to foster EU long-term growth and competitiveness.” For more detailed information, please read BusinessEurope’s position on MFF. © European Union, 2018 Photo: Lukasz Kobus
President Trump announced his decision to effectively pull out of the 2015 Iran nuclear deal signed between China, France, Germany, the Russian Federation, the United Kingdom, the United States, the European Union and the Islamic Republic of Iran. The deal formally known as the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA) aims at haltering Iran’s nuclear ambitions in exchange of the gradual lift of economic sanctions. BusinessEurope President Emma Marcegaglia commented: “President Trump’s unilateral decision not to renew waivers of key U.S. sanctions on Iran, is a clear step back and risks creating political and economic instability in the region and beyond. BusinessEurope underlines the value of joint, multilateral efforts in the field of sanctions. We believe this is the most effective way to achieve policy objectives while ensuring harmonious and coordinated implementation of the measures by governments, institutions and economic operators.” Read more
The U.S. Administration yesterday announced that the EU’s temporary exemption from the decision to impose 25% additional duties on steel and 10% on aluminium will be extended until 1 June. Commenting on the decision Markus J. Beyrer said: “We consider this decision as positive but not enough for business. We still hope that at the end the USZ will recognise the EU as its natural ally in addressing overcapacity on steel and aluminium by granting a permanent exemption.” Read more
Today, the European Commission released its proposal on a new Multiannual Financial Framework (MFF), the EU’s budget for 2021-2027. BusinessEurope Director General Markus J. Beyrer made the following comments: “Businesses believe that the EU's post-2020 budget must concentrate efforts on improving the EU’s competitiveness. We acknowledge the Commission’s efforts to increase spending on research and innovation activities but would have liked to see even more ambition. We now urge all political decision-makers to prioritise and build on the Commission’s increased emphasis on EU competitiveness, especially research and innovation, in the forthcoming negotiations.” Read more
The business contribution to research and innovation, the role EU research and innovation programmes play to leverage private investment, and the importance of a strong 9th EU Framework Programme (FP9) were some of the main topics discussed during a breakfast debate today at the European Parliament in Brussels. Carlos Moedas, European Commissioner for Research, Science and Innovation, as well as Paul Rübig, Christian Ehler and Lieve Wierinck, Members of the European Parliament, participated in the discussion on how to best design the FP9 to make it impactful. BusinessEurope’s Director General Markus J. Beyrer stressed that "the EU needs a robust programme with increased budget and a stronger role of the private sector to address societal challenges and Europe’s competitiveness. Putting into question the ‘industrial leadership’ pillar that exists under the current programme (Horizon 2020) is not the right signal for companies and the EU". Beyrer also re-confirmed that companies across Europe are strongly committed to making the FP9 a success. Pictures
EU and U.S. business leaders met in Washington D.C. for the ‘Transatlantic Business Works’ Summit jointly organised by BusinessEurope and the U.S. Chamber of Commerce on 16 April. The summit highlighted the benefits of the trade and investment relationship between the U.S. and Europe and aimed to foster the dialogue about new opportunities for advancement and growth. BusinessEurope Director General Markus J. Beyrer said: “The EU and the U.S. share opportunities and concerns and are equally affected by trade distortions. A trade war is not the answer to address shortcomings in the international trading system. Neither is recurring to disguised protectionism. We rather need concrete proposals building a positive agenda for change. We need a strong multilateral trading system and a functional WTO. Concerted actions have proven to be more effective in the long-term and are critical to the stability and the growth of transatlantic ties.” Watch the Summit discussions
Photo by Ian Wagreich / © U.S. Chamber of Commerce
In the coming years, many billions of investment will be made in mobility, in particular relating to low-emission, connected and automated driving and other innovations. "We must make sure that a large share of these investments happen in Europe", BusinessEurope Director General Markus J. Beyrer said at a social partner roundtable organised by European Commisson Vice-President Maroš Šefčovič. For that to happen, he added, we need a sensible roll-out of digital solutions and help companies scale up their initiatives. We must also allow all technologies to compete with each other, as there is no silver bullet to reduce emissions and improve safety. Finally, it is crucial that regulation enables rather than stifles research and innovation to prevent an ‘innovation leakage’ out of Europe.
The B7 Summit 2018 takes place on 4-6 April in Quebec, Canada. BusinessEurope is present with its Director General, Markus J. Beyrer, and its Director for International Relations, Luisa Santos. Gathering business leaders from the G7 countries, the B7 offers recommendations to the G7 leaders on key global issues. This year, the agenda of the B7 Summit will focus on promoting inclusive growth and resource efficiency. You may read more here.