The theme of the upcoming 5th European Business Summit is 'Reform to perform: Europe is our Business'. This year's edition of the 'alternative Davos' is organised by the Belgian Federation of Enterprises (VBO-FEB) and the recently revamped Business Europe (formerly UNICE). In four high-level plenary sessions and 12 workshops, European business leaders will have the opportunity to network and debate about some of the main EU policies (science and research, innovation, CSR, demographics, energy, better regulation, health and entrepreneurship).
As knowledge-partner for this event, EurActiv will moderate two workshops (see full programme).
At a press conference on 26 February, VBO/FEB CEO Rudi Thomaes and Business Europe Secretary-General Philippe de Buck explained why their organisations believe in a strong business-minded Europe. Both said that this year's EBS will bring a more positive message underlining how European entrepreneurs are doing their bit to create new jobs. But the signs of renewed optimism should not lead to complacency, according to both business leaders. Europe needs to take the positive economic climate to continue its reforms, De Buck underlined.
Torsten Oltmanns, global marketing director of Roland Berger Strategy Consultants, presented the first results of a pan-European CEO survey undertaken exclusively for the EBS. The survey shows that most European CEOs think that the EU brings positive effects for their companies, although Italian and UK CEOs are more critical. More than 45% of European CEO's, on the other hand, believe further enlargement would weaken the EU. A large majority of business leaders want "more Europe", especially in the areas of sustainable development, energy and climate change.
The fifth European Business Summit will take place between 15-16 March in Brussels.