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Author: BusinessEurope

Strengthening Small Business Act must be included in European Commission work programme

The Small Business Act (SBA) – the pro-SME action agenda defined in 2008 for EU and national policy-makers – has delivered valuable results. It is however vital to strengthen it to enhance SME competitiveness. A proposal for strengthening the SBA must be presented by the European Commission in 2015, BUSINESSEUROPE’s Entrepreneurship and SME Director Daniel Cloquet said at a meeting organised by DG GROW on January 21st to present the European Commission 2015 work programme (CWP) to SME-representative organisations. The European Commission is further developing the initial strategic objectives for the 2015 CWP, which it presented on December 16th 2014. Updating the SBA was absent from that initial document. Adding this strategic priority in the CWP is essential to unleash the growth and job-creating potential of...

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Financial transaction tax risks undermining the EU investment strategy

There is clear evidence that such a tax would significantly impact the investment and growth performance of all EU Member States, regardless of their participation in the financial transaction tax (FTT). To reiterate those concerns and insist on the need for investment and competitiveness to be placed at the heart of EU’s agenda, BUSINESSEUROPE sent a letter to the EU’s 28 Finance Ministers ahead of their meeting on January 27th. In addition, there is a great concern that pension fund holders across the EU will ultimately bear a large proportion of the cost of the FTT. European business is also concerned by the increase of the cost of raising finance for investment in the EU and the disrupt effect it will have on the single...

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Digitalisation, industrial competitiveness and investment key drivers for European success

Europe needs an integrated digital, investment and industrial competitiveness roadmap to restore growth and create jobs. This was the main message that BUSINESSEUROPE’s Economics Director James Watson and Deputy Director of the Internal Market department Guido Lobrano delivered to the Council Working Party on Competitiveness on January 26th 2015. Digital is a horizontal theme which hugely influences Europe’s industrial competitiveness. The approach in this area must be better aimed at seizing the innovation potential of the digital economy. With regard to the Commission’s recent investment plan, while supporting the new European Strategic Investment Fund, BUSINESSEUROPE considers fundamental to reduce barriers to business investment in Europe, in particular uncertainty, administrative burdens and high cost of doing business in...

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Confirming commitment to circular economy

Setting up the right enabling framework, driving uptake of circular economy, is a key task for the new European Commission and EU stakeholders. Industry is looking forward to a renewed approach, Markus J. Beyrer said at a meeting with European, Austrian and German waste management associations on January 21st 2015. This approach needs to address the whole life-cycle of products and materials as well as sector-specific interests, instead of a one-size-fits-all solution focused on high targets for recycling of municipal waste, reuse and landfilling. Moving from alinear model, including markets with secondary raw materials and removing obstacles preventing new business models, as well as ensuring a fair distribution of costs, were also stressed by...

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Better macroeconomic conditions should not reduce reform efforts

The now more growth-supportive macroeconomic environment, created by ECB’s recent efforts as well as by lower oil prices and a weaker euro exchange rate against the US dollar, must not lead to policy complacency. It must not come at the expense of Member States reducing their reform efforts, BUSINESSEUROPE’s Economics Director James Watson highlighted at the Macroeconomic Dialogue meeting at technical level on January 27th 2015. Economic recovery is still taking place only at a very slow pace with little momentum, with 1.2% real growth for the Euro-Area and 1.7% for the EU in 2015 (according to BUSINESSEUROPE’s Autumn Outlook). We should not forget that recent data have underlined the fragility of the recovery in the EU, and the Euro-Area especially, Watson...

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Making the European gas market fit for industrial competitiveness and growth

Europe needs to establish an integrated energy internal market, Markus J. Beyrer said at the 8th European Annual Gas Conference co-hosted by OMV. It needs to diversify its supplies, both externally and internally, and create an industry-friendly regulatory environment that makes the European gas market ready for the next centuries. Beyrer addressed the challenges of the European gas market from an industrial consumer perspective, such as high energy costs that reduce industrial competitiveness. The 8th European Annual Gas Conference on January 28th 2015 in Vienna featured senior representatives and experts from the gas industry, including...

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