Employers' Group

Who are we?

The Employers' Group brings together entrepreneurs and representatives of entrepreneur associations working in industry, commerce, services and agriculture in the 28 Member States of the European Union. Our members are active in the business world and in touch with the realities of everyday life. They are genuinely committed to putting their own experiences to good use to further the European venture.

What do we do?

We promote European integration by supporting the development of our businesses, which can play a key role in developing a prosperous society and creating jobs.

In these difficult economic times, the European Economic and Social Committee is the only European institution that brings together entrepreneurs and people fully involved in the economic and social life of their home country. We make the voice of business heard at European level.

The Employers' Group (Group I) has 117 members. We work closely with Europe's five major business organisations – BUSINESSEUROPE, CEEP, EUROCHAMBRES, EuroCommerce and UEAPME. Indeed, these organisations also include many of our own members among their ranks.



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  • 17 Dec 2014
    Business Round Table - Common declaration on the Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership

    On 16 December 2014 the Employers' Group of the European Economic and Social Committee organised the Round Table on TTIP. The representatives of the biggest European employers' organisations: Mr Markus Beyrer (BUSINESSEUROPE), Mr Arnaldo Abruzzini (EUROCHAMBRES), Mr Ralph Kamphoenen (EuroCommerce), Ms Valeria Ronzitti (CEEP), Mr Pekka Pesonen (Copa-Cogeca) and Mr Peter Faross (UEAPME) had an opportunity for open and deep discussion with the EU Chief Negotiatior on TTIP, Mr Ignacio Garcia Bercero. Please find below a joint statement on TTIP negotiations issued by the majority of the organisations participating in the meeting.

  • 11 Dec 2014 Representatives of Ukrainian business at the Employers' Group meeting

    On 10 December, a delegation of Ukrainian employers took part in the EESC Employers' Group meeting. Representatives of business organisations from Ukraine had an opportunity to have an exchange of views with Members of the Group and talk about their expectations and needs in terms of closer cooperation with EU countries.

  • 10 Dec 2014
    Airport capacity in the EU: lack of capacity or misplaced capacity?

    Estimates suggest that – unless the EU acts soon – most of the EU's largest airports will become completely blocked by 2030. Accordingly, at the request of the European Commission, the European Economic and Social Committee has prepared an opinion on Airport Capacity in the EU to identify possible solutions to the problem of capacity crunch in the near future. The opinion was adopted at the EESC's Plenary Session on 10 December 2014.

  • 11 Dec 2014
    An Action Plan to address "commercial-scale" infringements of intellectual property rights

    Commercial-scale infringements of intellectual property rights are particularly harmful to the EU economy, leading to lost tax revenue and undermining job creation and investment in innovation. The European Commission's Action Plan "Towards a renewed consensus on the enforcement of Intellectual Property Rights" outlines a new policy for creating and using tools to address IP-infringing activity. This policy is based on a multi-targeted approach. By "following the money", the EU seeks to prevent commercial-scale infringers from accessing the means to promote and distribute counterfeit goods and to deprive them of their revenue. At the same time, a communication strategy is being developed by the European Observatory on Infringements of Intellectual Property Rights to raise awareness among Europeans, especially young people, about the social and economic impact of these violations. Aware that the financial cost and complexity of judicial procedures often dissuade SMEs from enforcing their intellectual property rights, the EESC particularly welcomes the Commission's efforts to improve SMEs' access to means of judicial redress.

  • 11 Dec 2014 The future of shipping industry

    On 10 December 2014, Mr Thomas Rehder, President of the European Community Shipowners' Associations took part in the discussion with the Members of the Employers' Group on the future of shipping industry. Please find below the keynote speech he delivered.

  • 21 Nov 2014 Energy Union, interconnectivity, energy mix: the main tools to improve EU's energy security

    Europe is highly dependent on its energy resources. In order to increase the EU's energy security a genuine Energy Union is needed as well as major investments in infrastructure to provide full interconnectivity between Member States. Renewable energy remains an important part of the energy mix; however further development of renewables should take more account of the profitability of such projects, final energy price and its impact on jobs and R&D development. These are the main conclusions of the conference entitled "Securing essential imports for the EU – energy: new opportunities or new threats?" that took place on 14 November in Zagreb.

  • 18 Nov 2014
    In Memoriam of Tony Vandeputte

    It is with infinite sadness that we have learned that our colleague and friend Tony Vandeputte has died at the age of 68 years.

  • 11 Nov 2014 Czech priorities for the EU and the importance of technical education for industry

    Summary of the Employers' Group bureau meeting in Prague


    Active participation in Eurozone reform, better interconnection with the EU, support for the real economy and completing the Single Market – these are the Czech priorities for the European Union. During the Employers' Group bureau meeting in Prague, the members of the bureau had an opportunity to hold discussions with representatives of the Czech government and Czech Members of the European Parliament.

  • 30 Oct 2014 Reinforcing European Industrial Competitiveness

    European industry needs a complex, ambitious and tailored policy in order to reinforce its competitiveness. Industrial policy must be aligned with structural reforms and the creation of a friendly and stable legislative and financial environment for the companies. In order to effectively address industry's competitiveness, energy and climate policy must be balanced to enable economic growth. These are the main conclusions reached during the conference "Reinforcing European industrial competitiveness that took place in Rome on 28 October 2014.

  • 16 Oct 2014
    EU-Japan Free Trade Agreement: an ambitious deal to boost both growth and jobs

    Together, the EU and Japan account for more than one third of world trade. The Free Trade Agreement currently being negotiated between the EU and Japan creates an opportunity for growth and jobs for both sides. Expectations on both sides of this mega trade deal are high. EU exports to Japan are expected to increase by 30%, the EU's GDP by 0.8%, and up to 400 000 new jobs should be created. Japanese GDP should increase by 0.7%, and its exports to Europe by 24%. The agreement would also underline the major trade and investment role played by the EU in East Asia.  On 15 October 2015, the European Economic and Social Committee adopted an opinion entitled The role of civil society in the EU-Japan FTA.