Making a real difference to European’s everyday lives

Our Working Group on the Economy, Jobs and the Environment deals with some very wide-ranging questions: from the future of the Economic and Monetary Union in the EU, the euro and financial stability to energy supply and security, climate policy, environmental protection and air quality. The Digital Single Market, telecommunications, research and development, support for SMEs, the social pillar of the EU and food safety also fall within the remit of this Working Group.

We have always been a driving force behind change, achieving significant results in many different areas. We abolished mobile roaming charges inside the EU. We mobilised nearly €200 billion of private investment in Europe and created more than 300,000 jobs through the European Fund for Strategic Investments (EFSI). And we pushed hard for the creation of a European Defence Union, securing €500 million of EU funding for joint R&D defence research.

Our priorities for the future are equally broad and noteworthy: reforming the eurozone, increasing the budget given to research and development in the upcoming Horizon Europe research and innovation framework programme, and strengthening the industrial defence programme.

Chair

Our position

Making Europe more competitive

We believe in the European single market; it’s essential for improving Europe’s competitiveness. Europe must complete the single market for services while pursuing the digital agenda to ensure it reaches its full potential as a global leader in the digital market.

At the same time, we believe in the re-industrialisation of Europe. Europe must enhance its industrial competitiveness, without placing an excessive regulatory burden on businesses.

Europe also needs a sustainable joint energy policy with a functioning common market for energy based on market principles that pool our purchasing power. Along with investment in cross-border energy infrastructure, this would lead to greater security, independence and diversity of our energy supply, while driving competitive and affordable energy prices that contribute to growth and jobs.

Investing in the future

Europe must create an environment that is friendly for SMEs, providing the best financial and legal conditions for start-up businesses. After all, companies and small businesses need access to credit at similar and affordable interest rates, including through modern financial instruments such as venture capital, crowdfunding and project bonds as well as EU-level and national public procurement and funding.

We also demand an EU framework that allows companies to invest more in research and development. The Multiannual Financial Framework (MFF), for instance, should focus further on innovation, investment, jobs and growth in Europe.

Europe's more than 350 billion Euro budget for structural policies until 2020 is key to providing investment, competitiveness and solidarity, and must be used to encourage growth. At the same time, Europe must act responsibly today to avoid overburdening future generations.

Supporting future generations

The European economy must be committed to the principle of the Social Market Economy, a model combining social awareness with dynamic market principles, which has, in the last decades, ensured high living standards and social/health benefits to all European citizens in need. Jobs, growth and business are the three pillars of the Social Market Economy.

The EU has to promote preventive measures to support the health of EU citizens – in particular fostering healthy lifestyles. Effective joint EU efforts are needed to decrease the financial and social burdens of non-communicable diseases such as cancer.