Today, BusinessEurope’s Council of Presidents met virtually in Lisbon by videoconference at the invitation of Mr Antonio Saraiva, President of the Confederation of Portuguese Business, CIP. Lithuanian Confederation of Industrialist (LPK) President Vidmantas Janulevicius participated first time in this event as a president of LPK. 

The Presidents and Directors General of its 40 national member federations had an exchange of views with Prime Minister António Costa on the priorities of the future Portuguese EU Presidency.

LPK President Vidmantas Janulevicius said:

“It is evident today that EU proves being a front-runner in climate ambition and already plays a key role in boosting the global ambition (look at US, Japan, even China). But to use its full potential and create concrete benefits to our companies, economies and citizens, the EU has to prove also being an economic front-runner. It is equally important!

For this to happen, the European Commission must move to Green Deal’s practical implementation in a way that is economically effective, making it a real driver for growth. We need to see a much stronger focus on EU competitiveness and to continue pushing for a global level-playing field.

In this regard, our members strongly support the Carbon Border Adjustment Mechanism (CBAM) that would charge imports the same carbon price as the EU producers under the ETS. We believe, this will contribute to reduction of global asymmetries and will minimise the risk of carbon and investment leakage outside the EU.”

BusinessEurope President Pierre Gattaz said:

“To build a European Union that is resilient, social, digital, green and global, you need competitive companies. Our companies are doing all they can to survive and save jobs during this unprecedented crisis. They need financial and non-financial support.

It is more important than ever to avoid imposing new costs and obligations that will undermine their recovery. And we urge all Member States to adopt the European recovery package without delay. This is not the time for political games.

It is time to deliver the compromise found for the common good of all Member States. Ensuring that basic rule of law requirements are respected is necessary for the smooth functioning of market economies and is in the interest of all Member States.”

CIP President António Saraiva said:

“An agreement on the MFF and Next Generation EU is the main priority. EU funds must be channelled into the real economy without further delays. Major competitors are doing all possible efforts in support of their economies. It is time to finalise the deal, the EU cannot risk lagging behind.

On their side, Member States must be ready to make the best out of these opportunities. National Recovery and Resilience Plans must focus on projects that can strengthen structural capacities and reinforce medium to long-term competitiveness. Involvement of national social partners will be fundamental in ensuring their success.

CIP agrees with the overall goals of the Portuguese Presidency. During this COPRES meeting, we shared views with Prime Minister António Costa on how to achieve them. We must not shy away from an ambitious agenda at European level. But this ambition must be checked against reality. Only with robust companies at its core, will we be able to achieve a sustainable and inclusive recovery.”