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Author: BusinessEurope

Strengthening implementation of reforms by social partners

In the context of the European semester, country-specific recommendations should become more focused on implementation. As part of this, we believe it is better if social partners themselves can agree on the reforms needed. They are the best placed to know the reality of enterprises and how to implement the agreed actions in practice, BUSINESSEUROPE’s Social Affairs Director Maxime Cerutti said at a seminar on the role of social dialogue in European economic and social governance organised by Confrontations Europe, a think-tank, on 8 October in Brussels. That is why we engage in efforts to increase mutual learning between national social partner organisations across Europe to promote more social partner-led labour market reforms. However, if social partners can’t agree member states need to act, he...

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Address Horizon 2020 low success rate, with many good proposals being rejected

Horizon 2020, the EU framework programme for research and innovation, is a key research-funding instrument. The second wave of inputs to further simplify it was discussed on 25 September at a meeting between the European Commission and a wide range of stakeholders. BUSINESSEUROPE raised the issues of oversubscription and low success rate of applications (down to 12%), which are key problems affecting the appetite of companies to apply for co-funding of their projects by the EU. A possible solution would be to limit the broadness of the topics covered by calls, and to extend the use of the two-stage procedure. This could guarantee that in the second stage, applicants have a fair chance of success, and especially SMEs would not waste their resources. On the basis of first results, participants in the meeting presented a number of concrete concerns and proposals to improve the Horizon 2020 programme further, notably in terms of funding, model grant agreements, success rate or synergies with structural...

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Helping EU company law going digital

Europe needs to step up its efforts to bring the benefits of digital technology to company law to compete better in the global digital economy. The adoption of the single-member company proposal and swift implementation of the new EU framework of business registers are concrete starting points in achieving this. A World Bank study covering 189 economies shows that 144 of them have introduced online platforms for business incorporation. These digital tools allow for a faster and cheaper incorporation, especially for small start-ups. These messages were emphasised by BUSINESSEUROPE Senior Adviser Pedro Oliveira at the conference “Company law in the digital age” organised by the European Commission on 2...

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TTIP and opportunities in health care

The Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership may increase the diversity and availability of health care services. The private sector is leader in bringing solutions, investing in research and development and innovating. Patients could benefit from all this, BUSINESSEUROPE said at the conference “Free trade agreements: What’s at stake for mutual health funds and health care?” organised at the European Parliament by the National Intermutualist College (Belgium) on 1 October. It is for governments at national and municipal level to decide how health care services are to be provided in their territory: completely publicly, or with participation of private companies. When private providers are allowed to operate, as in some cases already, TTIP will ensure that local and foreign service providers are treated equally in the EU and the...

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The European Commission should not reopen the posting of workers directive

Introducing a principle of “the same pay for the same job in the same place” would be an unacceptable and harmful interference from the EU level in national wage-setting mechanisms and in the role of social partners in many member states. Rather, the European Commission and member states should focus their efforts on effective implementation of the 2014 enforcement directive. The European Commission should not reopen the 1996 posting of workers directive as this would stop the ongoing work on implementing the enforcement directive and create a prolonged period of debate and uncertainty. These were the main messages sent by BUSINESSEUROPE Director General Markus J. Beyrer to EU Commissioner Marianne Thyssen in advance of a Commission’s orientation debate on the labour mobility...

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