At a conference organised by UNICE on 14 November, Europe’s business leaders repeated their call for urgent implementation of the Lisbon goals to boost EU competitiveness.
The debate centred around the challenges facing the EU’s economy and the measures required to bring it back on track. Participants called for an urgent implementation of theLisbonobjectives. Michael Rogowski reminded the audience that three years after Lisbon, the EU had not only failed to catch up with the US, but even lost ground.
The speakers emphasised that the regulatory burden on European business must urgently be eased to prevent companies moving out of Europe into more entrepreneur-friendly environments such as the US. Moreover, the business community called for continued reforms of the social security and tax systems, more flexibility in the national labour markets, a strict implementation of the Stability and Growth Pact, renewed effort to complete the Doha development agenda and more investment in research and development activities. However,Daniel Janssenfrom Solvay warned that the
3 per cent R&D objectivewas unrealistic without substantial prior changes in the framework conditions for R&D in Europe.