Recommendations for a Union that thrives: The Luxembourg Chamber of Commerce’s take on current European affairs
This Friday, 29 November, the Luxembourg Chamber of Commerce, represented by its President Luc Frieden and its Director General Carlo Thelen, met with Luxembourg’s Members of European Parliament (MEPs) in order to discuss European issues of importance for Luxembourg companies. Luc Frieden and Carlo Thelen also took this opportunity to launch the most recent publication from the Chamber of Commerce, the brochure, ‘Recommendations for a Union that thrives’, which focuses on promoting an efficient economic and political environment that allows companies to grow and the economy to flourish.
Just two days before the new European Commission takes office on 1 December under the leadership of the new President, Ursula von der Leyen, representatives from the Chamber of Commerce met with a number of Luxembourg MEPs Tilly Metz, Isabel Wiseler-Santos Lima, Charles Goerens, Marc Angel, and Christophe Hansen to discuss the challenges ahead for businesses and for the new European Commission, which is taking office in a critical period for the EU, with Brexit on the horizon, trade tensions, as well as the rise of populism.
During the meeting, Luc Frieden and Carlo Thelen announced the launch of the latest publication of the Chamber of Commerce, the ‘Recommendations for a Union that thrives’. The brochure is the result of extensive and thorough research and analysis of the current state of European affairs so as to identify the most pertinent issues for the European Union and its Member States in the coming years. The publication is made up of five chapters addressing: entrepreneurship; the Single Market; digitalisation and new technologies; a responsible economy; and, education, talent recruitment and diploma recognition. It addresses the needs of businesses, as well as, inter alia, the Chamber of Commerce’s concern for social and environmental standards.
After a brief introduction of the various chapters of the brochure, the parties fruitfully exchanged on the conditions necessary to deliver a Europe with opportunities for all.
The representatives of the Chamber of Commerce highlighted that today more than ever economic activities must be responsible – otherwise they won’t last.
In discussing the brochure in more detail, the representatives from the Chamber of Commerce stressed that conditions for a Europe that continues to thrive include an EU that works on its institutional issues, ensures sound policies regarding its macroeconomic governance, as well as efficient competition and fiscal policy rules that establish level playing fields. Europe must also speak with one voice externally, and defend free trade in order to ensure the best possible outcome for European companies.
According to the Chamber of Commerce, the European Union should provide an environment that helps companies thrive even more, multiplying and simplifying the ways in which they are able to conduct business. The Chamber of Commerce recalls the need to apply the ‘think small first principle’ throughout the legislative process, in order to come up with a simple, accessible and intelligible corpus of laws and requirements that minimises administrative burdens for businesses in general. The three pillars of corporate sustainability (economic, environmental, and social) must also be kept in mind when legislating.
To allow for the aforementioned thriving of companies, the Chamber of Commerce calls for a renewed commitment and stronger momentum to the Single Market, so that citizens and companies fully benefit from the advantages of one of the main achievements of the European integration process.
The Luxembourg Chamber of Commerce is convinced that the European Union should continue to further foster innovation regarding digitalisation and new technology, thereby accompanying and facilitating companies’ endeavours in improving Europe’s competitiveness in the global digital economy, which, in turn, ensures as well as increases the continent’s technological autonomy.
Parties also discussed the challenge of skills gaps and mismatches. In order to prepare Europe for its future as a source of talent – taking into account the needs of society and companies alike – a number of measures need to be taken. The way to foster qualifications across the European Union must be three-fold and therefore comprise education, talent recruitment, and diploma recognition.
The recommendations were very positively received. Parties welcomed the open and fruitful discussion on key issues in the current state of European affairs.
To download the the full text version of the brochure, please click here
To download the summary , please click here