15 December 2004

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FOI delegation in Brussels for European Competitiveness Day

Hundreds of entrepreneurs and business leaders from all over Europe, including a strong delegation from the Malta Federation of Industry, came together in Brussels this week for the second EU Competitiveness Day organised by the Union of Industrial and Employers’ Confederations of Europe (UNICE).
Under the theme of ‘Play to Win!’ the Competitiveness Day presented business community’s demonstration in favour of a climate that allows companies to devote their energies to doing business instead of dealing with unnecessary red tape, and urging politicians at European and National level to implement the Lisbon strategy.
UNICE President Jürgen Strube stressed that the scope of this conference was for European Business Community to send out a message of hope “because we believe in the EU as strongly as ever, but also one of worry because the EU is not doing as well as it could in the Lisbon reform agenda. Therefore our message is above all a call for action – action that must be governed by what I call the C4 approach: clarity, commitment, courage and co-operation.”
The message was delivered to high-level political decision-makers such as President of the European Parliament Josep Borrell, Commission President José Manuel Barroso, Dutch Minister of Economics and President of the Competitiveness Council Laurens Jan Brinkhorst, Commission Vice-President Günter Verheugen, Commissioners Danuta Hübner and Jan Figel, European Central Bank President Jean-Claude Trichet and Chairman of the EP’s Industry Committee Giles Chichester.
Being a full and active member of UNICE, the Malta Federation of Industry (FOI) arranged for a high-level business delegation from Malta to participate at this important UNICE event.
Key priorities for UNICE in the new political cycle will be a reduction in burdensome red tape, implementation of better regulatory impact assessments, increased market access for goods and services through a successful conclusion of the Doha Development Agenda, besides undertaking important negotiations on the establishment of a truly global dimension on climate change, simplification of legislation, and adoption of a simple Community Patent with the English-only solution.
UNICE President Jürgen Strube: “It is like in sport. The more competitive the environment and the more attractive the gains, the more you are pushed towards outstanding results. But you need to take up the challenge, you need to be part of the competition, and not hide your head in the sand.”
The UNICE President concluded: “The European business community believes in the European Union. This is the reason why so many of us have come today to the capital of the EU. European companies have the potential to produce a world-class performance if they are allowed to do so. Given the right conditions, and with determination on all sides, Europe’s economy can also produce a winning performance and PLAY TO WIN.”
At the Competitiveness Day UNICE presented the brochure “Play to win”, which assesses policy messages from decision-makers at European and national level, and their implementation in economic reform initiatives.
Anyone wishing to obtain this brochure or any more information on this UNICE event, is to contact FOI Executive Cecilia Vella on tel: 21 234428, 21222074.

Copyright © Newsworks Ltd. Malta.
Editor: Saviour Balzan
The Malta Financial & Business Times, Newsworks Ltd, Vjal ir-Rihan, San Gwann
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