EPP Group Bureau Meeting in Palma de Mallorca

If we want to restore growth, improve competitiveness and create jobs, the answer is more Europe
08.03.2012 - 09:00
- 09.03.2012 - 12:30
Last Updated: 11.02.2013 - 17:55
Palma de Mallorca, Spain
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Welcome speeches
Jaime MAYOR OREJA, MEP, Head of the Spanish (Partido Popular) Delegation of the EPP Group in the EP, Vice-Chairman of the EPP Group in the EP responsible for the Political Strategy, European Ideas Network
Joseph DAUL, MEP, Chairman of the EPP Group in the European Parliament (EP)
Luis DE GUINDOS JURADO, Spanish Minister of economy and competitiveness
chaired by
Gunnar HÖKMARK, MEP, Vice-Chairman of the EPP Group in the European Parliament (EP) responsible for Neighbourhood Policy and Euronest
1) The Small Business Act: promoting SMEs’ growth by helping them tackle the remaining problems which hamper their development
Sergio ARZENI, Director of the OECD Centre for Entrepreneurship, SMEs and Local Development (CFE) and Head of the OECD LEED Programme
Pilar del CASTILLO VERA, MEP, EPP Group Coordinator in the Industry, Research and Energy Committee of the EP
Paul RÜBIG, MEP, EPP Group Coordinator in the Industry, Research and Energy Committee of the EP
Rosa ESTARÀS FERRAGUT, MEP, Member of the Regional Development Committee and of the Transport and Tourism Committee of the EP
Mario MAURO, MEP, Chair of the "Social Economy" Intergroup of the EP
2) Internal Market: Removing barriers to facilitate access to European markets for SMEs
Michel BARNIER, European Commissioner for Internal Market and Services
Iñigo MÉNDEZ DE VIGO, Spanish Secretary of State for the European Union
Philippe DE BUCK, Director-General of BusinessEurope
Andreas SCHWAB, MEP, EPP Group Coordinator in the Internal Market and Consumer Protection Committee of the EP
Pablo ARIAS ECHEVERRÍA, MEP, Member of the Internal Market and Consumer Protection Committee of the EP
Corien WORTMANN-KOOL, MEP, Member of the Internal Market and Consumer Protection Committee of the EP
Award of Schuman Medal to former Member of the EPP Group, Iñigo Méndez de Vigo, Spanish Secretary of State for the European Union
Intervention of Mariano Rajoy, Prime Minister of Spain
José Ramón BAUZÀ, Chairman of the Partido Popular in the Balearic Islands, President of the Autonomous Community of the Balearic Islands
Joseph DAUL, MEP, Chairman of the EPP Group in the EP
Mariano RAJOY, Prime Minister of Spain
Evening welcome speeches
Joseph DAUL, MEP, Chairman of the EPP Group in the EP
Mateo ISERN, Mayor of Palma
José Manuel GARCÍA-MARGALLO, Spanish Minister of Foreign Affairs and Cooperation
Official Conclusions


8-9 MARCH 2012

Palma de Mallorca - SPAIN





Theme I: Supporting small and medium-sized enterprises in order to boost growth and create jobs

The EPP Bureau considers SMEs which represent more than 99% of all European companies as the driving sector to overcome the economic crisis and to re-establish economic growth. The EPP Group is the driving force in the European Parliament to create a favourable environment for SMEs to innovate, develop their markets, to grow and employ. The EPP Group's Bureau underlined this political priority by concluding on concrete political guidelines of  actions:

1. We need to promote entrepreneurship & entrepreneurial spirit!

The European institutions as well as the Member States have to establish incentives for people, in particular young people and women, to create their own business as an alternative to employment. In an ageing society we need to exploit our human resources potential in the most flexible manner, in particular in key sectors such as social professions/healthcare.

Developing markets and creating entrepreneurship is the answer. For this purpose, the EPP Group will endeavour to:

  • promote business creation (e.g. by entrepreneurship in school curricula, easing administrative requirements), in particular in the field of the social economy
  • improve access to finance (not only through public funding and access to EU programmes but as well through SME-friendly tax provisions)
  • mitigate disincentives to growth (e.g. when administrative requirements are to be applied as from a certain business size)
  • promote the availability and mobility of skilled workforce (by improving training and education, improving mobility conditions, e.g. directives on mutual recognition of professional qualifications or posting of workers)

2. We need to enforce the Single Market and facilitate SMEs' access to markets

The European Union and the Single Market should be a key enabler in creating the best possible environment for SMEs. But in reality the Single Market has not been finalised in many areas, which constitutes one of the main obstacles to SMEs ability to grow. This is in particular true for the digital dimension of the single market which entails major business opportunities for SMEs in a knowledge society. The EPPGroup will thus undertake to push for the implementation of the Single Market Act, in particular by:

  • facilitate cross-border access to markets for SMEs, in particular by forcing Member States to properly implementing and applying internal market directives (i.e. services directive) and by revising the public procurement rules
  • realize a well-functioning digital single market by 2015 as a spearhead, in particular by fostering e-commerce with cross-border benefit
  • establishing EU internal market legislation where still needed, such as a proper regime on intellectual property rights
  • strengthen the access of EU SMEs to emerging markets outside Europe

3. We need to take concrete measures to cut red tape

Administrative burden remains one of the major obstacles to the development and growth particularly of smaller companies. The EPP Group is committed to address this problem. The Commission's progress on the SME test as inherent part of the impact assessment is welcomed, but this alone is by far not sufficient. About one third of administrative burden deriving from EU legislation stem from insufficient implementation at national level (such as gold-plating). The EPP Group is committed to:

  • further strengthen the systematic application of the SME test, both at EU and national level. Member Sates should implement legislation in accordance with the 'comply or
  • explain' principle, an SME test should be mandatory at national level
  • establish a new and ambitious target on reducing administrative burden. We need to further screen and simplify existing legislation with the objective of making SMEs
  • feel the difference.
  • encourage the college of Commissioners to compete for the best SME-friendly regulation and deregulation

Fight against corruption

74 % of European citizens believe that corruption is a major concern in their country (euro barometer 2012).

In 2011 the European Commission estimated that 120 billion Euros were lost due to corruption in the EU.

EPP speaker, Monica Macovei said: "corruption brings poverty, distorts competition, reduce money for education, pension or salaries and undermines the trust of people in politicians and institutions".

We need to cut the unhealthy relation between bankers, politicians and regulators. Otherwise bankers win and people loose.

Fighting corruption and recovery of assets produce through corruption and fraud are vital.

We need political commitment, and political will. We must regain the confidence of our citizens in their governments.

The EPP welcomes the new Spanish government efforts to fight corruption, to protect tax payer's money and transparency of public spending.

We must ensure that the corrupt go to prison and stolen money is returned to people. We trust the EPP governments to do this.

Our Group will take the lead and we strongly work following this line in the new special committee on fight organise crime, money laundering and corruption, to be set up in the EP.

Theme II: Reforming the CAP: Towards productive, competitive and environmentally friendly European Agriculture

The EPP Group considers it essential that the next agricultural reform will be a genuine step forward in fostering a strong, sustainable, competitive and fair agricultural policy, whichserves European farmers and consumers, promotes rural development and protects the environment. In order to maintain the multifunctional role of agriculture, the EPP Group is convinced that a strong Common Agricultural Policy, backed by a strong budget is elementary. It is vital to maintain direct payments in order to guarantee the long-term sustainability of agricultural activity throughout the EU, to ensure food security, to preserve our natural resources and to ensure growth and jobs in rural and less favoured areas. The EPP Group stresses further the need to support farmers' income, especially in the general context of massive price and income volatility, while focusing simultaneously on a fairer distributionof value-added along the supply chain. In reference to very volatile markets, the reinforcement of safety nets is of a high importance. In order for the future CAP to ensure the supply of high-quality and at the same time affordable food for Europeans, the EPP Group believes that a balanced approach towards the so-called “greening" of the CAP and agriculture’s fundamental role in safeguarding an efficient production is indispensable. Additionally, the EPP Group stresses the  fundamental role of both, innovation and knowledge based agriculture as well as support of young farmers as being essential for our economies and our future. Finally, it is important to simplify the CAP by reducing the administrative burden, thereby allowing farmers to do what they know best – farming.

Theme III: connecting Europe and developing the Trans-European

Transport Networks, road, rail and maritime –financial perspectives dimensions - the example of the Mediterranean Corridor

Transport remains, in time of budgetary restraints, one of the most important investment areas because it has double benefit for the regions concerned.

The step from today's patchwork of national networks and disconnected priority projects to a true European network is irrevocable.

The European Parliament should become the steam engine to achieve this goal.

The stronger prioritisation of projects, focussing on key elements of the TEN-T network, like bottlenecks, cross-border sections and multimodal notes can achieve a bigger European added value.

There are enormous needs for the TEN-T policy and these must be addressed properly. The experience of the last two decades makes clear that financial constraints hinder the completion of the network. The current financial crisis is putting additional pressure on national government budgets and private infrastructure finance, making the challenge even bigger.

The EPP strongly believes that the current difficult situation should be seen as an incentive to invest rather than as an obstacle.

National priorities have to be taken into consideration, but always having in mind that the TEN-T is first and foremost a European rather than a national question.

TEN-T is not only economic challenge for the European Union. Its a political challenge par excellence.


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