The British business federation CBI and its counterparts in Finland, Germany, France, Italy and other EU Member States – who together speak on behalf of over 2.5 million businesses, employing more than 50 million people – have published a joint letter backing reforms that will make the EU more competitive and outward-looking to deliver jobs, security and prosperity across Europe.
The 21 federations believe that while the referendum is a matter for the British people, they support the UK’s continued membership of a reformed EU.
“Business is an essential part of the solution to many of the challenges facing the EU but companies need a strong and globally competitive European economy. We therefore want to see a more competitive EU – a key pillar of the UK’s negotiations on its EU membership – which will be beneficial for citizens across the continent.”
“Looking ahead to the UK’s forthcoming referendum, it is for the British people to decide the outcome but European business strongly supports continued British membership of a European Union that takes the necessary reforms to be competitive, outward-looking and continue delivering growth, jobs, peace, security and prosperity for all.”
Jyri Häkämies, Director-General of the Confederation of Finnish Industries (EK), said:
“It is in the interests of the whole EU that its second largest economy remains within it. The EU must give priority to growth and jobs in all its actions, and thus make Europe competitive and attractive again.”
The European business groups call on the EU to reform to boost jobs and growth by improving the functioning of the Single Market; particularly in digital and services, sign more high-quality trade deals and to take a better approach to regulation. While progress has been made, the 21 business organisations want the next European Council to hardwire Europe’s competitive agenda for future prosperity across the Continent.
The full list of signatories to the letter are:
Carolyn Fairbairn, Director-General, CBI (United Kingdom)
Reinhard Gӧhner, Director-General, BDA (Germany)
Markus Kerber, Director-General, BDI (Germany)
Marcella Panucci, Director-General, Confindustria (Italy)
Michel Guilbaud, Director-General, MEDEF (France)
Christoph Neumayer, Director-General, IV (Austria)
Pieter Timmermans, CEO, FEB (Belgium)
Dagmar Kuchtová, Director-General, SPCR (Czech Republic)
Jyri Häkämies, Director-General, EK (Finland)
Akis Skertsos, Director-General, SEV (Greece)
Danny McCoy, CEO, IBEC (Ireland)
Vitalijs Gavrilovs, President of LDDK (Latvia)
Osvaldas Čiukšys, Director-General, LPK (Lithuania)
René Winkin, Director, FEDIL (Luxembourg)
Kevin J. Borg, Director-General, Malta Chamber of Commerce, Enterprise and Industry (Malta)
Lech Pilawski, Director-General, Polish Confederation Lewiatan, (Poland)
António Saraiva, President, CIP (Portugal)
Jan Oravec, Member of Presidium, RUZ (Slovakia)
Joze Smole, Secretary General, ZDS, (Slovenia)
Carola Lemne, Director-General, Swedish Enterprise (Sweden)
Niek Jan van Kesteren, Director-General, VNO-NCW (The Netherlands)
Read more on the European business federations’ petition.