Decisive action needed to get European recovery on track
Ibec, the group that represents Irish business, today presented its priorities for the new European Commission to its Secretary General Catherine Day at a breakfast briefing for policy-makers and business leaders at Cercle de Lorraine, Brussels (see attached pdf). The document, A European Union that works, stresses the important role that the Commission will have in getting the European recovery back on track. It calls for much stronger engagement with business to reduce excessive red tape, promote investment and global trade, support a more competitive and innovative European economy, and secure an equitable and cost effective agreement on climate change.
Speaking at the launch Ibec CEO Danny McCoy said: “The European recovery is faltering and the Commission has a crucial role to play in getting it back on track. An EU that understands and responds to the needs of business is more important than ever. The new Commission must provide leadership and introduce real reform if we are to overcome the major economic challenges that still confront us.
“The new Commission plan to increase investment by leveraging private capital is a first step, but much more is needed. The quality of European regulation must improve and the ongoing problems accessing finance needs to be addressed. Cutting red tape is crucial. Europe is falling behind global competitors in the ease of doing business, according to the World Bank, Ireland is in 13th place but the EU as a whole is 36th in the ranking. Europe must do better or we will be left behind.
“We need an EU that promotes trade both within Europe and with our global trading partners. By concluding all its current trade negotiations, including an EU-US trade and investment deal, the EU could boost its GDP by €275 billion, and create 2.2 million jobs across Europe. A more innovative digital economy will ensure that Europe remains competitive. The failure to complete the EU’s digital market could cost 4.1% of GDP or €1000 per EU citizen between now and 2020. The EU needs a legal framework that balances privacy and enterprise needs for this to happen.
Finally on climate action, Mr McCoy concluded: “The EU looks set to have very ambitious carbon reduction targets over the coming years, regardless of whether a global deal is agreed at next year’s UN climate summit. This will undoubtedly present many challenges. It is important that the EU’s approach is flexible, equitable and cost-effective, so competitiveness and jobs are not adversely affected.”
‘A European Union that works’ is part of the wider Ibec campaign, An Ireland that works, which sets out the business priorities for the next phase of Ireland’s economic recovery.