PRIVATE WELFARE SERVICE PROVIDERS Swedish private welfare service providers are on the forefront, and are now looking across boarders for new markets. The EU should be a natural target, but few of these service providers have taken that step. There is still a ways to go to improve freedom of movement for services. These companies therefore ask for simpler regulatory frameworks, and the policies necessary to open doors.
New chair ”Sweden’s greatest challenge is exclusion, not least for our youth,” commented Jens Spendrup after he was elected new Chair of the Board of Directors for the Confederation of Swedish Enterprise today.
COMMENTARY Recent statistics show that the share of exports in Sweden’s GNP declined by 1.2% last year. An EU comparison shows that only Luxembourg performed worse. Moreover, these statistics show that Sweden is at best a mediocre exporter, and it is time for greater political awareness, states Björn Lindgren, Economist at the Confederation of Swedish Enterprise.
EQUALITY At auditors and consults Grant Thornton, the proportion of women managers has increased from 10 to 40%, a clear example demonstrating that companies wanting to change attitudes can do so on their own. ”Despite all the negative commentary, I think the private sector is moving forward,” states CEO Peter Bodin.
On the 16 May, representatives from business, EU institutions and other stakeholders met at the Brussels office of the Confederation of Swedish Enterprise to discuss how to avoid ”goldplating” and excessive administrative burdens for European companies.
COMMENTARY The EU Parliament refused to accept changes to the ETS. Now, the EU should focus on developing a long-term, competitive energy and climate policy, writes Maria Sunér Fleming, Energy and Climate Expert at the Confederation of Swedish Enterprise.
EU/USA The Confederation of Swedish Enterprise has had a primary role in bringing about discussions for a free-trade agreement between the EU and the USA. Opposition has been compact, but a breakthrough has enabled negotiations to start by the summer.
Reform Public procurement plays an essential role in the European economy, accounting for approximately 18 percent of the GDP. The public procurement reform as put forward by the European Commission and now under trilogue negotiations will have an important impact on economic growth in the EU.
Industrial Policy The manufacturing industry accounts for 80% of Europe’s export, but only for 16% of its GDP. The European Commission’s ambition is to see this figure raised to 20% by 2020. Its recently presented communication ”A strong European Industry for Growth and Economic Recovery” is now being discussed in the European Parliament. Their opinion is scheduled for the autumn.
Commentary The European Commission just published their Green Paper ‘A 2030 framework for climate and energy policies’. The EU currently has a programme for climate and energy policy that covers to 2020. The reason the Commission issued the proposed framework for 2030 is essentially to send an immediate signal to the business sector announcing their policy focus going forward in order to promote long-term, sustainable investment.
Commentary The current government’s integration related reform is going so slow that Sweden can take 78 years to bring about full integration, contends Li Jansson at the Confederation of Swedish Enterprise.
Gender Balance The share of women managers is growing steadily, as shown in new data collected by the Confederation of Swedish Enterprise. The largest increase is among newly appointed managers, where 39% where women in 2012. This brings the share of women among newly hired managers in line with the share of women employed in the private sector.
Initiative Watch the movie and learn more about one of those days when Sweden joins the race – for jobs and for prosperity.
R&D The Confederation of Swedish Enterprise conducted interviews with global heads of R&D at 31 major multinational companies on the factors that govern where the companies place their research investments. The survey indicates that, overall, research at the multinationals is set to increase in the coming years. However, it also shows that Sweden will not be a recipient of this increasing investment. Sweden is seen as no more than average in terms of attractiveness, compared with other countries.
Commentary The worst crisis is past say some European leaders. But for every hopeful Prime Minister, there is at least one more who is pessimistic. Economic growth in Europe has stagnated, and even though most leaders largely agree on what is needed, not all are prepared to take the action necessary, writes Sophia Bengtsson, Brussels Office for the Confederation of Swedish Enterprise.
Major shortcomings in the guidance and practice regarding the distinction between single and composite supplies
VAT Sweden Should a toy enclosed in the supply of a meal be taxed separately at a 25 % VAT rate or should it be deemed ancillary to the supplied meal and be taxed at the 12 % VAT rate for food? Should the supply of a spare part used in a repair be treated as a separate supply of a good or as ancillary to the repair service? Is the lunch served as a part of a conference arrangement to be taxed at the 12 % reduced VAT rate for food or at the 25 % standard VAT rate as for the conference arrangement?
Commentary Cooperation between the EU and USA will finally be reinvigorated if a free-trade agreement between us becomes reality, writes Olof Erixon, Trade Policy Expert at the Confederation of Swedish Enterprise.
Taxes The Confederation of Swedish Enterprise argues for reducing national tax rates in order to lower marginal taxes. This concept is detailed in a new reform proposal from the Confederation. ”Keeping high marginal taxes rates to fill tax coffers is short-sighted,” contends Johan Fall, Tax Expert.
Banking Union A Banking Union – building on a single supervisory mechanism, a resolution mechanism and a common safety net – is seen as a necessary solution to the debt crisis in the eurozone. It is supposed to reduce fragmentation of financial markets, stop deposit flight and reduce borrowing costs. A first step, the single supervisory mechanism (SSM) is on its way and the architecture of a common resolution system and deposit guarantee scheme are now taking shape. But the questions are many: Will it deliver the intended results? What will it mean for companies and banks inside and outside the eurozone? Is a two-speed financial market unavoidable? Against this backdrop, SPN, the Swedish Society for Politics and Business organised a seminar in the European Parliament.
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