The 7th of March the Confederation of Swedish Enterprise hosted a seminar together with the Swedish EU Presidency, at the Swedish permanent representation to the EU. Long term competitiveness with a focus on “a compass for competitiveness” was the topic of the seminar.
Participants in the high-level panel included Christian Danielsson, state secretary to the EU-minister, Elisa Roller, Director for Twin Transition, Economic and Social Affairs at the Secretariat General of the European Commission, Eva Maria Poptcheva (Renew Europe ), Member of the European Parliament and Vice-Chair Committee on Economic and Monetary Affairs (ECON), and Rasmus Ablidgaard Kristensen, Vice President for Group Public Affairs at Danfoss.
During the seminar Fredrik Erixon at ECIPE presented the key findings from the report “A competitiveness for the EU” that the Confederation of Swedish Enterprise tasked ECIPE to develop, with actionable policy recommendations which also served as the basis for the panel discussion.
During the panel discussion, the Swedish EU Presidency highlighted the importance of setting out a medium to long term strategy “We want the strategy to be important also for future presidencies, in view of EP elections and in the next mandate of a new European Commission. The conclusions from the European Council 23-24 March should be fairly direct and pointing clearly to what should be done, and how to move it forward.” said Christian Danielsson
At the request of the European Council, on March 16th the European Commission will present a long-term strategy for European competitiveness.
“Our proposal for a competitiveness strategy takes a medium-term perspective (2030 or 2035). We need to learn from the past, from the Lisbon and EU2020 strategies, and focus on the different drivers, where one is productivity.” Elisa Roller said.
During the same week the Critical Raw Material Act, Net Zero Industry Act and a reform of the Electricity Market Design will be presented.
“When we are talking about competitiveness and productivity, we also need to talk about energy. We have mostly talked about consumers and households, but we also need to consider general prices as other countries are becoming more attractive for businesses. We need to talk about the use of energy – there is a huge opportunity to focus on energy efficiency”, said Rasmus Ablidgaard Kristensen.
Eva Maria Poptcheva widened the discussion and highlighted in particular the role of state aid, investments, and the future orientation of EU’s competition policy.
“There is the whole discussion about investment. Do we achieve this via state aid, or do we need something more, while ensuring that the single market is not taking a hit? If we are to intensify use of state aid, do we need to make sure there is involvement of companies from more than one member state? Let us ensure that state aid, where used, will ensure spill-over effects on other member states and suppliers from more than one member state”, said Eva Maria Poptcheva.EU PresidencyCompetitiveness