Today the European Commission has decided to maintain unchanged its proposal from 8 March 2016 to revise the EU posting of workers directive, which is in force since 1996. The European Commission has dismissed the concerns of national parliaments in more than one third of the EU Member States. They had urged the European Commission not to revise the 1996 posting of workers directive (“yellow card” procedure). Markus J. Beyrer, Director General of BusinessEurope said: “We regret the Commission’s decision, which doesn’t take into account the legitimate political concerns voiced by many national parliaments. Despite the warning, the Commission decided to maintain another divisive debate among EU Member States on posting of workers. We must focus on fighting illegal practices and abuses and use the existing rules for it - rather than adding uncertainty, bureaucracy and costs.”
The European Union and China have a multidimensional economic relationship—we trade over 1 billion euro per day, we are negotiating an investment agreement, and we look forward to China’s accession to the Government Procurement Agreement of the WTO-World Trade Organisation. It is in the interest of European business and trade unions that the EU strives for a balanced economic relationship with China. However, the question of how to treat China in anti-dumping investigations will feature prominently in our relationship this year. Read more
Today the EU launched a new case – the third – against China’s export restrictions policy in the area of raw materials, targeting graphite, cobalt, copper, lead, chromium, magnesia, talcum, tantalum, tin, antimony and indium. Reacting to this launch, Markus J. Beyrer, Director General of BusinessEurope stated: “Today the EU launched a new case against export duties and export quotas imposed by China on raw materials that are critical for the competitiveness of the European industry. BusinessEurope welcomes the move, which gives a strong signal to our partners that the respect of multilateral trading rules is incontestable and that the EU is ready to act to defend its interests.” If consultations between the EU and China fail after the completion of a period of 60 days, then the EU may request for a panel to be established, under the WTO Dispute Settlement Body procedures. BusinessEurope will continue to watch closely the development of the case.
“The EU has the potential to become one of the most dynamic digital growth regions in the world. To derive maximum for all, we need open, dynamic and mobile labour markets and a workforce with the right skills.” This was the main message of the Chair of BusinessEurope’s Social Affairs Committee, Mr José Maria Lacasa, at the EU’s Informal Employment and Social Affairs Council held in Bratislava on 14-15 July. Mr Lacasa also emphasised the need to deal with the challenges of demographic change, encouraging EU Member States to continue with labour market and pension system reforms, and the need for more dynamic growth in Europe. Read more (Photo: Handshake of Ján Richter, Slovak Minister for Labour, Social Affairs with José Maria Lacasa). Photos
“Small and medium sized enterprises (SMEs) are the backbone of the global economy. Increasing their participation in Global Value Chains (GVCs) means growth and employment”, argued Mrs Luisa Santos, BusinessEurope Director for International Relations during her intervention at the 15th Asia-Europe Business Forum, organised in Ulaanbaatar, Mongolia, 13 and 14 July.
“Economies in Asia – developed, emerging or developing – should support their SMEs to effectively integrate in GVCs, by creating the right business environment, conducive to the development and diversification of SMEs. Here, the work of international institutions such as the OECD and the WTO can provide useful guidance”, concluded Santos.
"China and the EU are indispensable and mature partners who should treat each other respectfully, on the basis of reciprocity, and speak directly and honestly with each other", Emma Marcegaglia, President of BusinessEurope said at the 11th EU-China Business Summit in Beijing. "There are numerous global challenges which affect both Europe and China, and tackling these global challenges begins at home, with sound policies to create sustainable and prosperous societies." President Marcegaglia continued by saying that "this requires a reduction of overcapacity affecting many industries, improved and reciprocal market access, and collaboration on multilateral issues such as digital trade and the implementation of the COP21 agreement." Speech - Photos - Interview with CCTV News
Today the European Commission adopted its adequacy decision enacting the new transatlantic framework for data flows, the “EU-US Privacy Shield.” This adoption will support innovation and growth, advance privacy and data protection and increase security. Markus J. Beyrer, Director General of BusinessEurope said: “The adoption of Privacy Shield will enhance legal certainty for thousands of businesses on both sides of the Atlantic while providing an adequate level of protection for citizens’ data. Transatlantic data flows are fundamental to the success of the European economy and today’s decision will support job creation across industry.” BusinessEurope has continuously stressed the urgent need for a reliable, durable and sustainable framework for international data transfers and has called on EU and national authorities to work constructively towards the creation of a new arrangement that will be applied consistently across the EU.
"The European Social Dialogue exists for around thirty years. It has evolved with the different stages of European integration. Today, with the recent quadri-partite statement of the EU Commission, Council and social partners, there is a chance for social dialogue to play a stronger role in policy-making at EU and national levels. What is essential from an enterprise perspective is that Social Dialogue positively contributes in terms of competitiveness. We would like to discuss this key challenge more with the trade unions at all levels to make progress together on that front, thereby creating the conditions for job creation and good working conditions across Europe." said Markus J. Beyrer at the conference organised by the European social partners on “Promoting and reinforcing the European Social Dialogue” on 5 and 6 July in Brussels.
Following today’s release of the strategic note Opportunity Now: Europe’s Mission to Innovate by the European Political Strategy Centre (EPSC) of the European Commission, the European business community welcomes the strategic recommendations to foster innovation in Europe. BusinessEurope Director General Markus J. Beyrer said: “It is essential to push a pro-innovation environment as well as a sound regulatory framework conducive to research and innovation to boost Europe's ability to attract and mobilise investments. The status quo is not an option. In particular, the acknowledged contribution of the Innovation Principle is an important step forward. Systemic problems require systemic solutions”. The path shaped by the European Commission and by the Competitiveness Council is promising. This is a step in the right direction and should represent now a priority of the European Commission in the second part of its mandate. Please find an opinion article of our Director General Markus on the Innovation Principle here.
“The EU is going through one of the most difficult moments in its history. BusinessEurope regrets that the United Kingdom chose to leave the European Union. All our member federations were strongly in favour of “remain”. Our future together is in the EU. Let’s focus on our common interests and reduce uncertainty, the enemy of growth”. (...) “The EU must show unity and commitment to its three main economic pillars: the single market, the common trade policy and the Euro”. These were the points stressed by BusinessEurope President Emma Marcegaglia during the conference on the Future of Industry in Europe organised by its Portuguese member CIP, on 1 July, in Lisbon. Director General Markus J. Beyrer, also participating in the conference, added: “Solutions for the big challenges facing us today – be it security, migration, climate change, economic and social developments – can only be found if we work together at European level. One thing is certain: industry is part of the solution because a strong industrial base is essential for the future of Europe, a key innovator with strong spill-over effects, a motor of internationalisation and a high-quality employer. Europe simply cannot be successful without industry”. More - Photos
On the occasion of signing a quadri-partite statement on European social dialogue today BusinessEurope Director General Markus J. Beyrer said: “Only a few days after the UK decision to leave the EU, the quadri-partite statement we are signing today is an important and positive outcome for the future of the European social dialogue. This can foster trust and unity at a time when Europe is put to a decisive test. This is the first time we agree on such a shared roadmap between Commission, Council and the European social partners. We now need to translate this into real actions, to really strengthen the capacity of social partners to fully play their role, in particular in countries where they need support. We also count on the Commission to take further steps to associate the social partners more closely into its work, in particular when it comes to the definition of its work programmes priorities.” Photos
Photo © European Union, 2016
BusinessEurope respects the decision of the voters but regrets that the United Kingdom chose to leave the European Union.
BusinessEurope President Emma Marcegaglia commented: "The European business community continues to strongly believe in the European Union. Brexit opens up factors of uncertainty. We must now focus on the way forward. This set-back makes it only more important to make the necessary reforms in the European Union. We call on EU member states to send a strong signal reconfirming their commitment to the European Union and its three main economic pillars: the single market, the common trade policy and the euro. At the same time, we need to find smart solutions for an orderly Brexit process. Keeping a cool head is essential to minimise the adverse consequences of this vote. We must keep calm and carry on." - Read the full statement here