The Luxembourg Business Community made their voice heard during the 5th EUROPEAN PARLIAMENT OF ENTERPRISES

The fifth edition of the European Parliament of Enterprises took place in Brussels on Wednesday 10 October 2018. The European Parliament of Enterprise is the largest event at EU level giving the floor directly to entrepreneurs. Over 750 business men and women, coming from 45 European countries, got a chance to become Members of the European Parliament for one day, debating and voting on some of the most crucial topics currently at the heart of the political debate.

Entrepreneurs debated and voted in sessions on skills, trade and the future of Europe in the presence of high-level institutional representatives, including European Parliament President Antonio Tajani; Trade Commissioner Cecilia Malmström; Chief Brexit Negotiator, Michel Barnier; and the Principal Advisor to the Austrian Presidency of the EU, Andrä Rupprechter.

During this event, the Grand Duchy of Luxembourg occupied its 6 seats in the Hemicycle of the European Parliament. The Luxembourg delegation, led by the Luxembourg Chamber of Commerce, was made up of the following companies:

  • Digital Devotion Group
  • NCR Biochemical Lux
  • Motor Development International
  • C2D System House Luxembourg
  • Eiwler Conseil
  • Wildgen

The discussions and votes revealed concerns among European entrepreneurs about skills mismatches, single market access and the direction of the global trade agenda. At the same time, the Members of the European Parliament of Enterprises expressed support for a strong, efficient and unified EU in order to tackle these challenges effectively.

Voting highlights from the European Parliament of Enterprises 2018 included:

  • An alarming 84% stated that the skills mismatch problem is more acute than 5 years ago
  • 93% voted that the integrity of the Single Market and EU unity take precedent over a favourable Brexit deal with the UK
  • 99% believe that the EU must do more to help SMEs benefit from free trade agreements
  • 69% do not believe that the Single Market is fit for business

On skills, Stany Wyrzykowski, Managing director of the Luxembourg company C2D System House Luxembourg said:

« Companies must keep or recover control of information technology. In this context, they must cooperate with the academic world in order to promote the learning of technological concepts more than products.
This knowledge also includes learning of programming languages. Indeed, if you know algorithms, you can create or validate software that can be developed in Europe on the basis of open source code and can be use in all the processes and objects that are around us.
The autonomy of the citizens and the economic world goes through the control of the software used and the best guarantee for this control is to having source code is available to everybody.

On trade, Monique Bertho, Director and General Manager of the Luxembourg company Motor Development International said:

“My concern as an SME manager, regarding the FTA, is to be aware of the possibilities such FTA can bring to my business. I think that EU has to launch an implementation action plan to make entrepreneurs and SMEs AWARE, first of the existence of such treaties, and then give them the keys to use them. Very often Entrepreneurs and SMEs are too busy with their daily business concerns to pay attention to global rules which could be of benefit for their business, which is clearly highlighted by the statistics on the number of SMEs present in international trades. EPE2018 gave me the opportunity to understand the opportunities trade agreements can offer to entrepreneurs like me. ”

On the future of Europe, EUROCHAMBRES President, Christoph Leitl stated: “Today’s event has demonstrated that business is open to the EU, but the EU must be open for business! As entrepreneurs, we want a solid single market, external strength, a stable economy and a skilled workforce. The EU is part of the solution to these challenges, not part of the problem, but it will only succeed if its policies reflect the needs of entrepreneurs.”

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