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Finding our voice in Europe to be heard: the call from French business leaders

From his campaign and since his election to the presidency of Medef, Patrick Martin has chosen Europe as one of the major axes of his mandate. This decision is the result of a triple analysis: 70% of the rules that govern our businesses have a European origin, 60% of our economy depends on the internal market, many of the questions that guide our future – artificial intelligence, decarbonization, technologies, industries, financing businesses, competition or international trade – are being discussed in Brussels and Strasbourg.

Europe’s crucial challenges


We must therefore strengthen our European presence and take determined action to make the voice of our companies heard. There is urgency: Europe is facing three challenges: productive, industrial and innovation. Faced with our competitors, the United States and China, we must react: growth rate, patent filings, savings trend, productivity per hour worked, GDP per capita, industrial investments, university rankings, technological leadership , demography… Europe must catch up.

Added to this is the war led by Russia in Ukraine which is destabilizing the entire continent and revealing European dependencies in terms of energy, critical materials and even defense. These vulnerabilities are found when it comes to critical materials necessary for decarbonization or electronic components useful in our daily lives. There is therefore an urgent need for Europe to accelerate to make our area of 450 million people the world’s leading economic power.

This is the challenge of the European elections of June 9 and of the new Commission which will take office in the second half of the year.

After two months of traveling across France, crossing all our regions, meeting leaders from all sectors, of all company sizes, interacting with dozens of MEPs and hundreds of members thanks to the mobilization of our 119 territorial Medefs , I remember the great desire to move Europe and quickly reorient it on an economic agenda. The messages are clear: we need Europe. Need for regulatory sobriety, need for fair competition, real reciprocity and protection of businesses and a more powerful internal market which opens up more opportunities and which further harmonizes the rules. We need to build a capital markets union that increases financing opportunities for businesses.

The urgency of concerted and determined action


We want simplicity, pragmatism and common sense in the content of regulations: technological neutrality, competition policy which leaves the possibility of building European champions, right to experimentation which allows us to innovate, European preference which supports our economic operators. On all these subjects, Medef will present proposals by April 18, the date on which a hearing with the heads of the list in the elections is organized to keep the economic debate alive and promote our positions.

After the tour of France, we are starting a tour of European capitals to strengthen dialogue with our employer counterparts, to prepare for the post-election to Parliament and the installation of the new European Commission. From Berlin to Rome, from Helsinki to Lisbon, we want now to influence the programs of the main parties, and the directions that will result from them for the next 5 years, and to build the necessary alliances in this sense. This is the whole purpose of European employers’ diplomacy that Patrick Martin wanted to revitalize and which Medef is currently deploying. This is being done in parallel with the strengthening of our movement in Brussels that the Medef Europe action plan presented last November had implemented: reinvestment within Business Europe, strengthening of our teams in Brussels and the Maison des Entreprises de France project in this area. same city to better coordinate all the vitality of actions of the French private sector with European institutions.

This article is originally published on latribune.fr

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