This report was prepared by the Institute for Market Economics (IME) and is dedicated to the study of skills mismatches in the EU and their effect on the competitiveness of EU businesses. It includes a comprehensive review of existing literature on the issue and outlines some of the main conclusions regarding the relation of skill mismatches to education, personal and aggregate productivity, labour market dynamics and outcomes, innovation capacity and competitiveness.
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While the risk of cyber attacks is growing, most European companies are still unprepared and unaware of the risk. This was highlighted in a recent study commissioned by the European Economic and Social Committee. Small and medium-sized companies (SMEs) are the most exposed, as they often cannot afford to invest adequately in cybersecurity. The level of investment in cybersecurity overall is insufficient. Most businesses do not realise its importance until after experiencing a security breach.
A dynamic and competitive retail sector is important for consumers, businesses and hence the whole EU economy. A better performing retail sector will as a result generate spill-over effects on the entire economy. A well-funtioning Single Market and a modernised regulatory environment are indispensable for an EU retail sector fit for the 21st century.
For the next long-term EU budget 2021-2027, the Commission is proposing a new, dedicated €4 billion programme to empower and protect consumers and enable Europe's many small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) to take full advantage of a well-functioning Single Market.
The new programme will strengthen the governance of the EU's internal market. It will support businesses' – and in particular SMEs' – competitiveness and will promote human, animal and plant health and animal welfare, as well as establish the framework for financing European statistics.
This study examines the impact of cyber-related threats and challenges on corporate Europe and the degree of engagement of European businesses in tackling issues at stake. Although the new digitization era offers huge economic and social opportunities, it also changes the nature and magnitude of cyber risks and creates new vulnerabilities cyber attackers seek to exploit.
Aiming to modernise existing rules and provide better redress opportunities for consumers, the Commission's New Deal for Consumers also proposes increased cooperation with partner countries outside the EU, the equal treatment of consumers in the Single Market, improved communication and capacity-building. It also looks at future challenges for consumer policy (such as AI, the Internet of Things and the Circular Economy).
Brexit, the next EU budget and the future of the single market are the core interests of the European employers' organisations. On 14 March 2018, representatives of BusinessEurope, EuroChambres and CEEP presented the priorities of their organisations for 2018 and discussed the issues with the members of the employers' group.
The hearing was part of the EESC follow-up work related to its opinion on Improving the effectiveness of EU policies for SMEs, adopted in July 2017.
The main objective of the hearing was to debate the effectiveness and efficiency of EU policies for SMEs and gather valuable input and feedback from Lithuanian stakeholders on the matter with a view to finding ways in which they can be improved. Particular emphasis was put on the recommendations that have been outlined in the EESC opinion with the aim of implementing them at national level.