The Alliance for a Competitive European Industry (ACEI) that includes BusinessEurope and key industrial sectors has sent a strong message to the European Parliament in support of the free trade agreement between the EU and Canada, CETA: “The European manufacturing industry, represented by the ACEI, calls on you to endorse this highly ambitious and forward-looking trade agreement at your February 2017 plenary session”. The letter points out that CETA will strengthen the trade and investment relations between two of the world’s most advanced economies and like-minded partners, for the benefit of growth and jobs.
Lift national restrictions, unleash the data-driven economy
Today’s communication of the European Commission “Building a European Data Economy” concerns Europe’s success in data-driven digital transformation. It concerns data localisation, access to data, ownership of data and liability. It should support businesses to be free to move data within Europe to benefit from the digital single market. EU member states and stakeholders will now discuss the justifications for and proportionality of data localisation measures. If the right conditions are set for Europe’s data economy to flourish it could be worth 3% of EU GDP by 2020. Read the press release
The single market is one of Europe’s greatest assets, but businesses still experience barriers when providing services in another Member State. Services account for over 70% of EU GDP and employment, yet cross-border services only make up 5% of EU GDP compared with about 20% for goods. BusinessEurope Director General Markus J. Beyrer said: "The growth potential for services must be unleashed. We especially need more competitive business services as these are crucial to support European manufacturing and industry. Actions to meet these objectives are welcome. We must ensure that the European Services e-Card really adds value for the construction and business services sectors. The card, which is rightly voluntary, needs to save time and costs, and make life easier for companies, otherwise this new approach will not work." Read more
We are approaching the end of a challenging year. Terrorism, migration or political instability near our borders have contributed to generate a sense of fear in our citizens, giving rise to populism or anti-trade feelings. Closing borders and becoming inward looking is not the solution. “Business cannot replace politicians. Our main task is to invest, create jobs and innovate. But we can remind politicians of their duty to develop policies that promote a more sustainable and competitive business environment in Europe.“ said Markus J. Beyrer during a breakfast meeting organised by the Confederation of Norwegian Enterprise in Oslo on 13 December. He was joined by State Secretary of the Norwegian ministry of Foreign Affairs, Elsbeth Tronstad. Photos
“Digital transformation is no longer an option but a necessity for companies of all kinds of business”. During a panel debate co-organised by GE and BusinessEurope on 12 December in Brussels, Markus J. Beyrer highlighted how one of the fundamental pillars of the digitalisation in Europe will be the development of our data economy. “The regulatory choices Europe will take in the coming months will be decisive for its success or failure”, added Beyrer. While data ownership issues do not seem to require legislative intervention for the time being, BusinessEurope sees the need for resolute EU action in order to ban existing and future data localisation requirements that can harm the single market.
BusinessEurope urged the December EU Council meeting to back the agreement on the extension of the European Fund for Strategic Investment and, at the same time, use the flexibility in the Stability and Growth Pact, focusing fiscal consolidation on cutting unproductive public spending rather than on tax increases, and make real progress in removing obstacles to investment. Underlining that open trade policies and effective trade defence instruments are essential, BusinessEurope also asked to pursue effort to ensure a swift implementation of the agreements signed with Canada. “It is mainly enterprises that create jobs. To optimise growth and employment for young people and all citizens, we need commitment to open markets as well as policies that will boost investment and support the competitiveness of European companies”, said President Marcegaglia. Read more