BUSINESSEUROPE President Emma Marcegaglia commented:
“The European business community continues to strongly believe in the European Union. Brexit opens up factors of uncertainty. We must now focus on the way forward. This set-back makes it only more important to make the necessary reforms in the European Union. We call on EU member states to send a strong signal reconfirming their commitment to the European Union and its three main economic pillars: the single market, the common trade policy and the Euro. At the same time, we need to find smart solutions for an orderly Brexit process. Keeping a cool head is essential to minimise the adverse consequences of this vote. We must keep calm and carry on.”
All the big challenges facing us today (security, migration, climate change, economic and social development, etc.) have an international dimension. Efficient solutions can only be found if we work together at European level. During the referendum campaign, the kind of Europe we want to build was debated in all the Member States of the European Union. The debate across Europe has revealed a feeling of belonging together, with a clear majority of Europeans wanting the United Kingdom to remain in the European Union.
However, the debate has also sent out strong messages about the urgent need to deliver a European Union adding value. It is therefore important to understand these signals. For BUSINESSEUROPE this means:
- Focussing on where Europe can really add value and stay away from matters better dealt with at national or regional level (“more Europe where needed and less where Europe does not add value”);
- Defining and implementing a truly coherent and outward-looking global strategy with a strong economic pillar (the EU must speak with one voice in external relations, security policy, and when negotiating trade and investment agreements);
- Implementing smart and less regulation and pro-competitiveness policies both at the EU and the national level, ensuring coherence between words and actions;
- Safeguarding Schengen, bringing real European answers to the refugee crisis as well as smart and efficient management of our external borders, which are genuine common challenges; and
- Improving governance of the Economic and Monetary Union (EMU), including by moving forward on issues raised in the “Five Presidents” report.
Director General Markus J. Beyrer concluded:
“We now call on EU and national politicians to live up to the challenges when putting in place the measures to follow on the decision of the UK voters. BUSINESSEUROPE and all its member federations believe in Europe. Now it is time to return to our common European interests. We are eager to contribute to moving our continent and its economy forward. At the same time, the UK is an important trading partner. Building a new and sustainable type of relationship with the UK is therefore in everybody’s interest.”