Enterprise - Related Opinions
The EESC supports the proposals that enhance the international competitiveness of SMEs, reduce cost, harmonise and simplify processes for registration, filing of company changes and conversions. It believes that guidance by the Commission to the Member States on transposition of the directives is useful.
The European maritime technology industry is an important sector in terms of employment, directly providing more than 500 000 jobs. Shipyards and firms manufacturing marine equipment make a significant contribution to the economic development of the regions where they are located, and across the entire supply chain, which is particularly important to SMEs. Each direct job in a European shipyard means, on average, seven jobs created in the region.
Illegal online content is a complex and cross-cutting issue that needs to be tackled from a range of perspectives, both in terms of assessing its impact and harmonising the way it is dealt with in the legal framework of the Member States.
With this opinion, the EESC welcomes the proposal to monitor and disseminate CO2 readings of HDVs newly registered in EU, and provides customers with clear information concerning consumption. A balance should be striked between targets that can be achieved in the short to medium-term and the longer-term goal of zero-emission road transport.
The EESC agrees with the Commission's proposal to develop the governance of the customs union, but believes that establishing it in a comprehensive way requires multilevel reform and resolute action on the technical front. It also considers that a switch to automated central clearance is needed.
A pro-active mindset in business is needed to open up to increasing flows of data and develop the ability to process big data. Flexible and more adaptable business models must be put in place in the context of the current transformation process.
The Commission should carry out a precise analysis of the state of play and of defensive attitudes to the free flow of data in the Member States in order to remove unjustified barriers by putting the right legal and technical provisions in place. Removing unjustified barriers to free flow of data should be an integral part of a Europe-wide industrial policy. Opening up of national markets should also be covered by the European Semester.
As a matter of principle, contractual freedom in the private sector should be respected. A general EU framework for standards is desirable but standards should in no way hamper innovation. Portability should be promoted.
The European economy is increasingly based on creativity and innovation. Intellectual property rights (IPR) intensive industries in Europe account for 39% of the EU's GDP and 26% of its employment. The EESC considers that businesses must enjoy a series of conditions that facilitate innovation, investment and employment.
According to estimates from the UN and OECD, counterfeit products represent 5-7% (UN) or up to 2.5% (OECD) of world trade. The majority of counterfeit products in Europe are produced outside the EU, but production is also on the rise in Member States. The internet has considerably simplified and massively increased the scope for selling counterfeit products online while the risk of being prosecuted remains very low.