Swedish Enterprise visits the Slovak presidency of the EU

NEWS Published

The Confederation of Swedish Enterprise’s Brussels office visited the Slovak Presidency of the EU in Bratislava on October 3-5th. Meetings with the State Secretary of the Economy, the EU department on the Ministry of Labor, the Slovak Employers’ federation and the Swedish Embassy responsible for bilateral relations with Slovakia was on the agenda for the visit. The purpose was to deepen the understanding of the presidency’s interest in the Confederation’s key issues; trade, labor market, digitalization, better regulation and internal market with Slovak stakeholders.

Bratislava: från vänster Jens Hedström, Sophia Bengtsson, Karin Atthoff, Valérie Lefever, Emma Wiesner, Stefan Kvarfordt

Bratislava: from left Jens Hedström, Sophia Bengtsson, Karin Atthoff, Valérie Lefever, Emma Wiesner, Stefan Kvarfordt

It is clear that the CETA trade agreement is among the top priorities on the Slovak presidency’s agenda and is expected to be the biggest achievement of the presidency once it is adopted in the Council and the Parliament. The Ministry of Economy refers to the recent informal meeting in Bratislava as a turning point where many of the member states shifted towards a more positive approach to CETA. An extraordinary trade council meeting will be held the 18 October where the deal will, hopefully, be adopted, and subsequently officially signed by EU Commission President Juncker and Canadian Prime Minister Trudeau on October 27th.

The Slovak government does not have a clear stand on the European Social Pillar at this point, they are investigating with the aim form a national position on the social agenda. However, the Slovak parliament was one of 11 national parliament that gave the EU Commission a yellow card for the proposal on the revised posting of workers directive. Currently holding the Presidency of the Council, Slovakia must remain neutral on this issue but the Ministry of Labor & Social affairs expressed a deep concern about the Commission’s reluctance to adjust to the yellow cards presented by 11 national parliaments.  Both RUZ, the National Union of Employers and the Entrepreneurs association of Slovakia take a critical view of the Posting of Workers Directive. Slovakia has had problems with the implementation of the existing legislation in this area and are concerned by efforts to fight illegal, foreign workers because they often put heavy restraints on Slovak businesses and causes difficulties for Slovak workers to work across the borders of neighboring countries.

Other prioritized issues for the presidency are the Digital Single Market, Energy Union, Collaborative Economy, Better Regulation and Market Economy status for China. The steel industry in Slovakia is especially concerned about the Chinese steel market and are worried that the Maltese presidency won’t prioritize this matter. Another important topic is the geo-blocking proposal, where the goal is to form a common position in the council in November, and on the services passport, where there still is an ongoing debate at expert level in the council.

The debate about the future of the Union and Brexit has also characterized the Slovak presidency. Between 100 000-200 000 Slovakian workers are in the UK and their future role and positions in the UK are of major concern. In general Slovak businesses , share a lot of the Confederation of Swedish Enterprise’s views on EU policy. Additionally, approximately 80 Swedish companies with about 10 000 workers are located in Slovakia. To support a continuous open investment climate the open EU internal market is essential.

News

NEWS Published:

EU lose much of its attraction without the single market

EU A fully developed single market is central to fight climate change, promote sustainable development, to fully harness the potential of digitalisation and strengthen Europe’s competitiveness. Without the single market, the EU would lose much of its attraction.
NEWS Published:

Proposals for competitiveness

REPORT The Confederation of Swedish Enterprise, in co-operation with its experts and membership organizations, has produced concrete proposals for measures to ensure that Europe will maintain its competitiveness in the global arena.
NEWS Published:

How EU-decisions affect Swedish companies

REPORT The Confederation of Swedish Enterprise has evaluated how the major decisions taken within the EU during the last mandate period affect Swedish companies. Our evaluation shows that 24 of the 57 legal acts we have chosen to look at have been positive for Swedish companies.
NEWS Published:

SME-companies in the digital economy

EU 24 million small and mid-sized businesses are the greatest asset within EU. "Regulations must be dealt with to give SME-companies the opportunity to reach their full potential", says  Anna-Lena Bohm, chairman of BusinessEuropes SME:s and Entrepreneurship committee.
NEWS Published:

SME-companies in the digital economy

BUSINESS There are 24 million small and mid-sized businesses, so called SME businesses, in Europe. These companies are a great – if not the greatest – asset when it comes to tackling todays economical and social challenges.
NEWS Published:

The Nordic countries need to block EU assault on tax veto

TAX For countries with a common currency and a limited common budget, it is particularly important to be able to pursue an active national fiscal policy when an external shock is encountered, writes Claes Hammarstedt.
NEWS Published:

Artificial intelligence on everybody’s mind

EVENT Artificial intelligence is on everybody’s mind in the EU capital. The European Commission recently launched its strategy for artificial intelligence, which focuses on promoting research and development of AI across European sectors.
NEWS Published:

AI made in EU

JOINT EFFORT The EU-commission has presented a joint effort with Member States to promote the development and use of artificial intelligence, AI, in Europe. To strengthen AI-technology and uptake in Europe is welcome. Swedish Enterprise believes that the conditions within Europe must be strengthened in order to successfully improve the global competitiveness of our companies. Here are our thoughts and proposals.
NEWS Published:

Swedish expert represents European industry in expert group on AI

ARTIFICIAL INTELLIGENCE The Confederation of Swedish Enterprise’s digital expert Carolina Brånby is representing BusinessEurope in the European Commission High Level Expert Group on Artificial Intelligence, AI HLEG. Their role is drafting ethical guidelines, and to create recommendations on how to strengthen the uptake of AI within the EU.
NEWS Published:

What impact of the Social Pillar on EU prosperity?

The EU’s approach to social policy is currently changing. In November 2017, the European Pillar of Social Rights (the Social Pillar) was proclaimed as a visionary document setting up goals for an upward convergence in this area. In this year’s State of Union address, the president of the EU-commission Jean-Claude Juncker asserted that “It is time we turned the good intentions that we proclaimed at the Gothenburg Social Summit into law”. And, as a matter of fact, this process is well under way.
NEWS Published:

The entrepreneurial perspective is being neglected in the EU digitalisation process

The digital single market is a hot topic in the EU right now. Sweden has plenty of confidence when it comes to digitalisation, which does by its nature transcends all borders. The government’s overall goal is for Sweden to be best in the world at using the opportunities offered by digitalisation. But unfortunately the entrepreneurial perspective usually comes second when the European countries attempts to create a digital inner market.
NEWS Published:

American tariffs hurt Swedish and European industry

"President Trump’s decision to impose tariffs on steel and aluminum imports is very unfortunate. It will hurt Swedish industry both directly and indirectly", says Carola Lemne, Director General of the Confederation of Swedish Enterprise.
NEWS Published:

The EU-commission wants to go big on AI

AI  The US and China are way ahead of Europe regarding development of autonomous computer systems. That disadvantage must change if European business and industry is to retain its competitive edge into the future, writes Olof Erixon, Senior legal counsel.
NEWS Published:

EU – the clearest voice for free trade

In the beginning of May, the Free Market Road Show (FMRS) took place in Stockholm. Jens Hedström, Head of Brussels Office, International Director, Swedish Enterprise, was one of the panellists together with PJ Anders Linder, CEO Axess Foundation, the British economist Richard Teather among others.
NEWS Published:

Sweden should oppose the digital tax proposals

TAXES The Swedish Government should oppose the controversial digital tax proposals from the EU Commission and work with the OECD to find an internationally acceptable solution.
NEWS Published:

Controversial EU tax proposal on digital services causes concern for small exporting economies

TAX The Director Generals for the Swedish, Danish and Finnish business federations have, in a joint letter addressed to the Finance Ministers of their respective countries, expressed their concern for the EU Commissions digital tax plan.
NEWS Published:

Protectionism only produces losers

The impact of globalisation has been positive for most of the world’s population. However, the economic integration of economies also accelerates change which puts increasing pressure on societies to be able to adapt to such change. We need to stand up for the clear advantages of globalisation, while making sure our societies have the flexibility necessary to adapt to rapid changes in technology and labor markets. These were the main conclusion at a seminar about free trade and globalization in times of protectionism, organized by The Society for Business and Politics in the European Parliament.
NEWS Published:

Let’s talk about the losers of protectionism

European politicians have a big role to play in communicating why globalisation matters. We need politicians that are brave enough to talk about the losers of protectionism, not just the losers of globalisation, writes Carola Lemne.
NEWS Published:

The European Commission: Swedish companies best at innovation

Within the framework for the European Commission’s EU Industry Day February 22-23 in Brussels, Teknikföretagen and RISE was chosen to present how Swedish enterprise and academy cooperate around invention under the headline TESTBED Europe, accelerating innovation and strengthening eco-systems. The seminar proved to be one of the events most popular, and gathered experts from all over Europe. The participants all agreed that Sweden is the leading example of innovation, but why?
NEWS Published:

OECDs ambassadors meeting – act for growth and prosperity

January 19th marked the date for BIACs annual meeting with the ambassadors of OECD. This year’s theme was ”Business priorities for OECD action: a call for growth and prosperity” and tackled subjects like entrepreneurship, multilateral framework for trade, tax and investments, creating opportunities for business to create the jobs of the future and developing high quality regulation that strengthens businesses competitiveness.