The EU ELECTION My last Outlook and Debate article from 25 October discussing how extreme parties are benefited by a kind of ‘somebody-else-ism’ in debate about the EU attracted many encouraging comments – thank you for all of them!
Education ”Lax attitudes among Swedish students; teachers with entirely too low demands.” Thus, a female Master’s student at one of Sweden’s larger universities summarises her experiences, writes Mikaela Almerud, expert on tertiary education.
EU EU has committed itself to promote the role of industry and its competitiveness. Which target or targets for energy and climate policy should be set – only one for CO2 emissions or do we also need a renewables target? Do we need targets for competitiveness and security of supply? These and other questions were on the table at a seminar in the European Parliament organised by the Swedish Society for Business and Politics (SPN).
Commentary Many recent analyses show that the EU Directive on maritime fuel sulphur content will lead to significantly higher costs for many industries reliant on maritime transport. The Swedish government has promised that the directive will not negatively impact Swedish industrial competitiveness. The Confederation of Swedish Enterprise questions how this promise can be kept.
Research and Development Foreign higher education institutions have difficulty entering the Swedish market to establish branch campuses. This should get policy-makers to rethink and concentrate on simplifying the regulatory framework involved, pursuing active marketing, and implementing coordinated efforts for this. Thus argue, Tobias Krantz, Head of Education, Research and Innovation at the Confederation of Swedish Enterprise, and Maria Rankka CEO of the Stockholm Chamber of Commerce.
The Swedish Election Cycle When journalists grill politicians in mid-campaign, jobs issues are always highlighted as an important point. But is the correct question ever asked? To give journalists a helping hand, the Confederation of Swedish Enterprise has kicked-off a new campaign: Ask the right question!
Climate Swedish companies take climate issues very seriously. Much is already being done to cut greenhouse gas emissions. But these efforts must be stepped up and improved; this must be done in collaboration with policy makers and researchers, writes Maria Sunér Fleming, Climate and Energy Manager for the Confederation of Swedish Enterprise.
Market Surveillance In February the European Commission presented its proposal for a regulation on market surveillance of products. The proposal, aimed at simplifying the EU framework and making it more efficient, is now being discussed in the European Parliament. Business has largely welcomed the proposal. Market surveillance is key to the functioning of a Single Market where products are allowed to circulate freely through 28 Member States. But it has also raised concern with some of the proposals.
Entrepreneurship Sweden needs more women running businesses, but a ban on profits for companies providing public welfare services can be a significant obstacle for these kinds of start-ups. ”Some people believe they can have complete freedom of choice even when they limit entrepreneurship”, noted Solveig Sunnebo, CEO and founder of pre-school provider Helianthus, at a seminar held by the Confederation of Swedish Enterprise, Almega and the Center for Business History.
Commentary Secure access to energy at competitive prices is a requirement for the survival of European industry, and an important issue for household budgets. Alas, current trends are towards higher prices and a less stabile system, especially for electrical power. This should worry policymakers, writes Maria Sunér Fleming, Energy and Climat Expert at the Confederation of Swedish Enterprise.
Commentary Swedish technical universities Chalmers University of Technology and The Royal Institute of Technology, KTH, were recently recognised in the international ranking published by Leiden University. Especially, when considering industry collaboration, these two Swedish institutions were ranked in the top ten.
CONFERENCE ON TAXATION How should tax systems be designed to ensure tax revenues from international businesses? This was the theme of a conference on international taxation held by the Confederation of Swedish Enterprise, and attended by 190 global tax experts.
European integration The EU seems to be at a crossroads. The economic crisis has led to a previously unseen transfer of sovereignty to the EU level to improve governance integration. The European Commission is talking about building a new architecture for Europe. At the same time scepticism among member states and citizens in ceding more powers to the EU is growing.
Product safety Consumer products must be safe to use – a self-evident assumption for both companies and legislators. But just how the EU Commission proposal to impose mandatory labelling for county of origin will contribute to this objective is highly uncertain.
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.
2013-12-05 PublicationAdvantage Europe - program for a Competitive European Union
2013-03-15 PublicationStatutory and collective insurance schemes for the Swedish labour market 2013
2013-02-08 PublicationStill in the game? Sweden and the new geography of business R&D
2012-12-13 PublicationDemand for talent enhances
2012-06-08 PublicationAdvantage Sweden
2012-04-02 PublicationStatutory and collective insurance schemes for the Swedish labour market 2012
2010-12-15 PublicationEmployers' view on studies abroad
2010-12-10 PublicationOur Environment 1930-2030 A shortened version of the report Our Environment 1930-2030 - The long - term view
2010-11-15 PublicationReform to Perform: A Real European Growth Agenda for the 21st Century
2010-10-01 PublicationA Transatlantic Zero Agreement - Estimating the Gains from Transatlantic Free Trade in Goods
2010-07-30 PublicationThe voice of Sweden´s employers and companies
2010-03-22 PublicationOwnership transfer – Critical Tax Issues
2010-03-22 PublicationFive years with no inheritance and gift taxes
2010-03-12 PublicationSEConomics - Security of Economics
2010-01-22 PublicationA Presidency: Business reporting on Sweden at the EU helm 2009
- More publications...