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Author: BusinessEurope

Uphold exemptions for non-financial companies to hedge risks

Do not change the European markets infrastructure regulation (EMIR) to set the clearing thresholds irrespective of the hedging or non-hedging nature of the underlying derivative transactions, BUSINESSEUROPE Director General, Markus J. Beyrer wrote to Financial Stability, Financial Services and Capital Markets Union Commissioner Lord Hill. It is crucial that the existing exemptions for non-financial companies are upheld. End-users should not be discouraged from entering into derivative transactions to mitigate underlying real economic risks from their operative businesses. Reduced hedging due to a sharp increase in costs would increase not only the risk for the single corporation concerned but also for the economy as a whole. It will also lead to a different risk assessment of the non-financial companies themselves by capital markets which will negatively affect the cost of equity and...

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Embracing technology is essential to make the most of the digital revolution

“In the digital revolution, the losers will be those who are unable to embrace digital technology and adapt to inevitable change”, Cecilia Zappala, Adviser on digital economy, emphasised at the event “Adopting cloud computing within European entrepreneurship” organised by the European Young Entrepreneurs on 28 September. One of the main challenges for European digital entrepreneurs is the fragmentation still existing in the EU digital single market, for instance on data protection and consumer legislation. But challenges are also related to access to finance and giving a second chance for failed entrepreneurs. Jobs will also profoundly change in the digital era. Our education systems need to be adapted to the new skills needed on the...

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How to include SMEs in the single market strategy efficiently

Facilitating the cross-border provision of services through enhanced points of single contact (PSCs) must be of high priority, BUSINESSEUROPE’s Director of Entrepreneurship and SMEs Daniel Cloquet said at the EP SME Intergroup meeting on 23 September devoted to the upcoming single market strategy. PSCs should function not only as databanks providing information on national rules, but also as support tools offering companies all the assistance they need to operate across borders. Today, the vast majority of PSCs are only providing a very basic assistance to SMEs interested in trading or investing on a foreign market. Most PSCs comply only with the rather elementary requirements laid down by the services directive in terms of assistance provision, and not with those included in the PSC quality charter published in 2013, which is currently open only to voluntary adoption by member states. A European Commission initiative is needed to progress that...

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Building a true single market for Europe

Making our single market work better is key to make Europe more competitive. Barriers to free movement represent an untapped economic potential of 5% of EU GDP. These obstacles hamper growth and job creation and harm European companies’ competitiveness. On 28 September BUSINESSEUROPE published ‘Building a true single market for Europe – Business priorities’, a strategy paper outlining our expectations from the upcoming internal market strategy for Europe, to present concrete proposals for improvement with a systematic focus on better application of existing rules in...

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Beyrer to EU ministers: improve competitiveness across the board

“In a changing world, with many emerging economies stalling, we urgently need to do our homework and make the European economy more competitive”, BUSINESSEUROPE Director General Markus J. Beyrer stressed in a letter to Deputy Prime Minister of Luxembourg Etienne Schneider, ahead of the Competitiveness Council meeting on 1 October. Competitiveness must be systematically mainstreamed and assessed in all policy areas, including data protection or energy and climate policy. BUSINESSEUROPE firmly endorses the EU Emissions Trading Scheme as the cornerstone of climate and energy policy, but we need to keep strong protection measures for industrial sectors exposed to international competition, until our main competitors have comparable carbon costs. A key tool to ensure competitiveness mainstreaming is also the better regulation agenda. Cutting red tape and devising proportionate legislation should be a mind-set of all policy and...

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Union Customs Code should continue to support the global supply chain, economic recovery and innovation

On 16 September BUSINESSEUROPE joined forces with several European sector associations and sent a letter on the Union Customs Code to the European Commission, Member States and European Parliament. The letter covers the areas where the Commission’s proposals fall short of expectations. The European Commission’s Taxation and Customs Union Directorate-General (DG TAXUD) is currently reviewing the fifth draft for the new Delegated Act (DA) and Implementing Act (IA) for the Union Customs Code (UCC). On 28 July, the European Commission adopted the DA which it said covers simplifications of customs procedures. In the view of European businesses, however, the adopted DA does not include real simplifications and innovative solutions which would strengthen the competitiveness of European companies. In its current form, it will also have some negative impacts. The letter serves as a call on the Council and the European Parliament to take the concerns of business on board in their assessments of the Delegated and Implementing...

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Discriminatory changes in tax law can negatively impact the single market

Governments should refrain from adopting measures that can disrupt bilateral trade with other member states. This was the message sent to the Greek government by BUSINESSEUROPE. In question is the recent introduction of a 26% withholding tax on corporate expenses paid to individuals or legal persons resident in countries with alleged “beneficial tax regimes” according to the Hellenic government, such as Bulgaria, Ireland and Cyprus. The business community is concerned about the discriminatory precedent in tax law towards other member states and the disproportionate consequences it can create for company cash-flow. BUSINESSEUROPE argues that countries should refrain from taking unilateral action ahead of the conclusion of the OECD Base Erosion and Profit Shifting (BEPS) project which is about how to address potential distortions regarding international taxation in a comprehensive manner. A harmonised global approach is needed when implementing the OECD-BEPS...

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Mobility package not about revising the posting of workers directive

Opening up the posting of workers directive would create uncertainty and instability for workers and employers. We should focus on achieving improvements by implementing the enforcement directive. This was one of the key messages made by employers at the social partner seminar on 10 June on the forthcoming European Commission mobility package. Commenting also on the possible revision of EU rules on coordination of social security, BUSINESSEUROPE Director for Social Affairs Maxime Cerutti stated that the aim should be to ensure the conditions in the future for all member states to see mobility in a positive way: ‘Maintaining political acceptance of mobility is important as people moving for work contribute to growth and employment in the...

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