Speaking at today's EU Industry Day 2018, BusinessEurope President Emma Marcegaglia highlighted that "Europe needs a true industry strategy, which focuses on its own industrial strengths. European companies are committed to bringing innovative products and solutions to address societal challenges". To support a consistent EU industrial strategy, BusinessEurope today also published
Photo: © European Union , 2018
a video with key voices from European business. Check her speech
Markus J. Beyrer at Macroeconomic Dialogue meeting
“The EU economy continues to gather strength with businesses increasingly confident to make long-term investments and create more jobs,” commented BusinessEurope Director General Markus J. Beyrer at the Macroeconomic Dialogue meeting at political level today. “But raising the EU’s long-term sustainable growth rate means undertaking reforms that can improve competitiveness. In order to achieve greater economic resilience, Member States must work with the EU to complete the single market, deepen EMU and ensure that carefully targeted investment in areas such as skills, infrastructure and R&D make more parts of the EU world class business locations.” The Macroeconomic Dialogue provides a forum for exchanging views between the European Commission, Council, European Central Bank and social partners.
Today, BusinessEurope Director General Markus J. Beyrer met the Secretary of US Treasury Steven Mnuchin, as part of the Global Business Coalition plenary meeting in Washington, D.C. He expressed the main messages of BusinessEurope: “Both the EU and the USA should remain committed to the international trading system. We are very concerned that the key role of the World Trade Organisation could be damaged or undermined if the dispute settlement body is no longer operational. We might need to reform the institutions and create new rules fit for today’s trade and investment reality. But this we should do together as like-minded partners. Equally, on international sanctions the EU and the USA need a coordinated approach to remain effective and avoid unwanted effects. The US remains Europe’s major trading and investment partner and transatlantic relations should remain strong and driven by a positive agenda. Read more
Markus J. Beyrer at the Informal Competitiveness Council in Sofia
The informal meeting of the EU ministers responsible for competitiveness takes place today in Sofia under the Bulgarian Presidency of the Council of the European Union. An industrial strategy for Europe is among the key topics discussed. BusinessEurope Director General Markus J. Beyrer, invited to speak at the meeting, underlined: “We must put industrial policy high on the political agenda in the coming months and keep up the pace of the progress achieved in the last months. One of the key points that still needs a thorough reflexion is the long-term vision for the EU’s industry. A key objective of a revised industrial strategy must be to ensure the EU policy can steer positive change and have the tools to handle difficult challenges ahead, be it job changes due to technological development, the effects of an ageing population, or the energy transition.” Photo copyright: Yordan Simeonov (EU2018BG)
We have an international order, and not only on trade, that is based on multilateralism. It is based on the assumption that countries will respect the rules and institutions that they helped to create. We have all benefited from trade liberalisation and it is important that we stay committed to the world trading system. “There are losers of globalisation and technological developments and we need to find solutions for them. But it is not by resorting to protectionism or by imposing unilateral measures that limit imports that a solution will be found. On the contrary, this kind of measures risk creating a flaw in the system that might hit back at those that are already suffering the most.” This was the core message conveyed by President Marcegaglia, speaking at the World Economic Forum in a session focusing on trade, with the Secretary of Commerce of the United States Wilbur L. Ross and the Director General of the World Trade Organisation (WTO) Roberto Azevedo. Pictures
“After five years of growth, we are now in the strongest period of post-crisis recovery, and we are witnessing an overall positive political situation in Europe. What is sure is that if we want this positive trend to last and consolidate we should not be lulled into complacency. On the contrary, we should use this window of opportunity created by a favourable economic and political situation to make further reforms, strengthen the EU’s capacity to face bad economic weather in the future and mobilise in strategic areas such as the common trade policy, the single market and industrial policy”. This was the core message President Emma Marcegaglia voiced during talks at the official dinner offered by the President of the French Republic Emmanuel Macron during the French International Business Summit “Choose France!” held on 22 January 2018 at the Château de Versailles.
The European Commission took an important step forward in the Circular Economy Action Plan with a publication of the Plastics Strategy on 16 January. The Strategy settles an ambitious target – by 2030, all plastics packaging placed on the EU market should be reusable or recyclable in a cost-effective manner. More than half of plastics waste in general should be recyclable by 2030 while today it is less than 30%. BusinessEurope Director General Markus J. Beyrer said: “European industry is fully committed to shifting to a more circular Europe, but the circular economy needs to make business sense. We welcome today’s Plastics Strategy, which is relatively balanced between environmental and economic considerations. We welcome the European Commission’s intention to look for voluntary pledges to boost recycled plastics rather than immediately jump to regulatory actions."
Deepening the Economic and Monetary Union and in particular completing the banking union is likely to be a key topic for discussion amongst EU policy-makers in 2018, and we hope that EU leaders will be able to make firm decisions to stengthen our common currency, as scheduled in June. In particular, a full banking union must be put in place, with rapid agreement and implementation of an EU deposit insurance scheme, alongside the existing supervision and resolution pillars, needed to address the continued fragmentation of EU savings and credit markets.
The chart on the left illustrates this fragmentation by showing the claims held by Euro-area banks in different countries. Read more