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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  • 22 Jan 2015 Electromagnetic hypersensitivity – the Employers' Group supports counter opinion

    On 21 January 2014 the European Economic and Social Committee adopted the counter opinion on electromagnetic hypersensitivity, drafted by Richard Adams, Member of the Various Interests Group and co-signed by 12 Members of the Employers' Group. The result of the vote was as following: 138 for, 110 votes against and 19 abstaining. The adoption of counter opinion is a rare occurrence in the EESC and proves that the topic discussed raised serious controversies among the Members.

  • 21 Jan 2015 The 4th Industrial Revolution and Digital Society 4.0 – challenges and opportunities

    On 21 January 2015 the Members of the Employers' Group had a unique opportunity to discuss on new EU Industrial Policy with Norman Rose, Chairman of the European Business Services Round Table and Friedrich Vollmar from IBM. Please find below the presentations prepared by both guests.

  • 14 Jan 2015 New member of the Employers' Group

    We would like to welcome a new member of the Employers' Group, Gerhard Handke. Mr Handke is a Director-General of the Federation of German Wholesale, Foreign Trade and Services (BGA). He has worked for the organisation since 1996, serving as Managing Director of the department for tariff and social policy and Deputy Director-General.

  • 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.