2022 a year to make businesses more resilient and fit for the future

2022 a year to make businesses more resilient and fit for the future

10/01/2022

The continuing shadow of COVID-19 and the EU’s ambitious policy agenda provide the political backdrop for our 2022 work programme. EUROCHAMBRES priorities focus on ensuring a business-friendly approach to the pursuit of these ambitions and, more broadly, a regulatory and policy framework that enhances Europe’s economic competitiveness. This approach must be seen in the pursuit of the twin digital and green transition, and it must be reflected in the rollout of the ‘Next Generation EU’ recovery plan and the Recovery and Resilience Facility established to respond to economic crisis.

We will also continue to contribute actively to the rollout of  the Fitfor55 package, which includes energy-related files, ESG, CO2 pricing and accounting rules, as well as gas and hydrogen regulation, thus defining critical legislative parameters  for the energy transition and decarbonization of the economy. The expected Commission proposal on sustainable corporate governance and due diligence across the supply chain will remain high on our list of priorities. Global solutions must also continue to be prioritized to address climate change, while the CBAM should primarily aim to safeguard the competitiveness of the European economy and provide effective protection against carbon leakage, to help in the global fight against climate change. The recent rise in COVID-19 cases and the emergence of the Omicron variant pose downside risks to economic growth. For this reason, ECH will continue its advocacy efforts for a trade policy which aims to open international markets for European goods, services, investment, and public procurement.

Skills mismatches remain a major concern for Europe’s business community, heightened by the twin transition. We will continue to develop our work to ensure that digital skills provision is improved in line with needs of businesses. As the European Commission has designated 2022 as the Year of Youth, we will examine ways with our Chamber network to improve young people's access to the labour market, as well as work on two critical files – micro-credentials and recommendations for individual learning accounts.

Several legislative files integral to the ‘Digital Decade’ will progress during 2022, including the Digital Markets Act (DMA), the Digital Services Act (DSA) as well as the AI Act. The French and Czech Presidencies of the Council will be instrumental in advancing these negotiations and of course many others. Linked to the French Presidency semester in particular, EUROCHAMBRES will also follow closely the preparation of the Conference of the Future of Europe final report, reiterating our priorities submitted in late 2021.

This gives an overview of the topics that our policy committees will be working on during 2022 in line with our vision of an integrated, globally competitive Europe, where businesses can prosper and drive socio-economic progress. We look forward to working on these and other dossiers with EU policy-makers and partner organisations over the coming 12 months.

Lina Konstantinopoulou – EUROCHAMBRES Policy Director