Director General Markus J. Beyrer met Australian Trade Minister Steven Ciobo to discuss opportunities of the EU-Australia free-trade agreement, negotiations for which are expected to be launched in 2017. Australia is an important partner of the EU, a like-minded country that shares the EU’s approach to an open and fair trade and is already integrated in the strategic and fast-developing region of South-East Asia. A trade deal could open new opportunities for EU companies, but also poses challenges in the fields of public procurement, agriculture and geographical indications.
Present at the Hannover Messe this week, German Federal Chancellor Angela Merkel and US President Barack Obama talked about Europe’s digital future and challenges with Peter Köhler, Chair of BUSINESSEUROPE’s Industrial Affairs Committee and CEO of the Weidmüller group. The Committee, which met on the occasion in Hannover, discussed the forthcoming power market design reform, the on-going EU ETS reform and the action plan on digitising industry recently published by the European Commission. (Photo copyright: ZVEI.org)
How can the business environment be improved and revitalised between the EU and Turkey? Panel discussion with BUSINESSEUROPE Director General Markus J. Beyrer, European Commission Vice-President Jyrki Katainen, Turkey Deputy Prime Minister Mehmet Şimşek and TUSIAD President Cansen Symes at the EU-Turkey High Level Dialogue on 25 April in Istanbul.
At the B7 summit 2016 press conference in Tokyo, ahead of the G7 summit in May, BUSINESSEUROPE Director General Markus J. Beyrer stressed that strong political commitment is needed both from Japan and the EU to conclude an ambitious free-trade agreement this year. This was also a key message he conveyed to EU and Japanese officials on 20 April during the EU-Japan Business Round Table. BUSINESSEUROPE was present at the B7 summit that prepared recommendations from the business community to the G7 summit taking place end of May at Ise-Shima in Japan. Photos
"The most urgent social challenge for Europe is to boost job creation and employment participation to reduce unemployment. Labour ministers have an important role in achieving this as part of a renewed EU strategy on flexicurity. Moreover, because Europe’s economic and social challenges are interlinked, it is essential to integrate economic considerations better into social policy debates. This is the case in the context of the European pillar of social rights, for example by ensuring consistency with ongoing efforts of economic ministers to achieve a more effective and efficient use of public expenditure, or to reduce the tax wedge on labour. This is also true for other EU social initiatives. For example, BUSINESSEUROPE and all its members are against the revision of the posting of workers directive, which we consider to be an attack on the single market". These were the key messages of Social Affairs Director Maxime Cerutti addressing the informal meeting of employment and social affairs ministers in Amsterdam on 19-20 April 2016.
Today the European Commission published its strategy for digitising the European industry within a digital single market.
Markus J. Beyrer, Director General of BUSINESSEUROPE commented: "The strategy focuses on the right priorities. It aims at mobilising 50 billion euros of investment to help companies, especially small and medium-sized enterprises, to make much broader use of digital technologies. This is important to support European competitiveness, keeping jobs in Europe and creating new ones. The European Commission rightly provides an EU-coordinated approach to reduce the current legal fragmentation within the EU".
"The UK is a key player in the European single market. It has been playing a crucial role over the past forty years in helping Europe develop in a way that has trade and the single market at its core. I believe that both the UK and EU economy have benefitted from UK membership of the EU in recent years, particularly through trade and investment flows", BUSINESSEUROPE President Emma Marcegaglia told UK Prime Minister David Cameron at a meeting together with other major European business federations at 10 Downing Street. "Full access to the single market is a vital part of the UK's attractiveness as a place to invest and create jobs. All our members – 40 national business federations from 34 European countries – strongly hope that the UK will continue to remain an active and positive member of the EU", she added.
Statements at Downing Street (Photo copyright: Crown Copyright 2016)
Europe is at a crossroads. A robust industry is an indispensable basis to weather the multiple challenges facing us. The priority is to strengthen the economy and for that the regulatory business environment has to be improved to strengthen private investment and job creation. But business is concerned that further political instability could further slowdown the pace of reform in 2016. In this context, restarting the social dialogue can support the creation of growth and jobs. It can be a factor of unity for Europe at a time when there are growing signs of tensions. We count on the European Commission and Council to really engage in the restart of social dialogue by supporting the draft declaration on “a new start for a strong social dialogue”. These are the key messages BUSINESSEUROPE President Emma Marcegaglia conveyed in a speech at the Tripartite Social Summit in Brussels today. Photos
“The EU's slow economic recovery means lost ground in global markets. It would be dangerous if EU member states would allow ‘reform fatigue’ to set in”. This was a key message Emma Marcegaglia, President of BUSINESSEUROPE gave to an audience of 400 participants at BUSINESSEUROPE Day in Brussels. At the conference, Dutch Prime Minister Mark Rutte, Head of the rotating EU Presidency, European Commissioner Elżbieta Bieńkowska and other top level politicians met leaders of European industry and business from all over Europe. Marcegaglia highlighted results of the new EU Reform Barometer, BUSINESSEUROPE’s survey of reform results in EU member states. In their speeches both Rutte and Bieńkowska, and other top European decision-makers, called for rapid implementation of structural reforms and highlighted the importance of the Schengen zone for business. Europe should – among other important tasks ahead – give a European answer to the migrant crisis. Photos