On Monday, December 1, 2014 MEP Paul Rübig hosted a discussion dinner in cooperation with SME Europe and Chamber of Commerce and Industry of Serbia in the European Parliament on the topic ‘’Serbian Business meets EU’’.
After the official photo appointment, Dr. Horst Heitz, Executive Director of SME EUROPE, opened the network cocktail and welcomed the honorable guests, officials and especially the Minister of Economy of Serbia Mr. Željko Sertić. This assembly was a great opportunity for all representatives of Economy, Politics and Industry sectors to specify the chances and synergies with a special focus on small and medium sized enterprises.
During his opening speech Dr. Heitz highlighted the importance of the progressively developing economic negotiations and relationships between Serbia and European Union. “SME EUROPE of the EPP is very delighted to support the initiative of the Chambers of Commerce of Serbia and to have this dinner discussion about “Serbian Business meets EU” tonight. Not only because it is an honour to have Mr. Sertic, Minister of Economy of Serbia, as honorable guest here, in him we also welcome a good old friend and supporter in Brussels.”, he said.
Dr. Heitz further elaborated the long, successful collaboration between SME EUROPE and the Serbian Business Associations and its Chambers of Commerce. He emphasized that SME EUROPE will continue helping Serbia and its companies on their way to the European Union
On the 24th of September 2014, MEP Paul Rübig hosted a dinner debate in cooperation with SME Europe and EUROMINES on “Sustainable Industrial Renaissance” at the European Parliament.
In the introduction, Mr. Rübig pointed out that the European Union is still the most important and biggest market in the world. The EU currently still holds 25% of the worldwide production and also about 50% of the social contribution being made in the European internal market. In times of economic and international instability, it is important to have a credible commitment to economic policies. Mr. Rübig drew the attention to energy independence which is, as he described, one of the most important things for a successful and prosper future of the European Union. Furthermore, Mr. Rübig stated that raw materials approximately worth 200 billion Euros are imported to Europe. He underlined that a directive on Europe 2050 would be a possibility to make sure that areas for mining, industry and infrastructure have a secure space to develop.
On Wednesday, June 25, 2014, SME Europe hosted the Working Lunch: “Emerging conflicts between Extended Producer Responsibility and European competition policy” in the Salon des Membres of the European Parliament.
Dr. Paul Rübig MEP, Committee on Industry, Research and Energy and Honorary President of SME Europe, opened the discussion and introduced the speakers and the subject of the Working Lunch with further questions. He questioned how Europe and the Member States will handle energy and waste in the future and how they could be even more effective in environmental areas and in recycling. The European People Party (EPP) will follow a strong line to achieve more efficiency in the future.
Dr. Paul RÜBIG MEP, honorary President of SME Europe and Member of the EP Committee on Industry, Research and Energy welcomed all participants by indicating the significance of a lively discussion about the current situation and the importance of informing people about the options. He stated that “we now have the chance to create a new situation, which should be a win-win solution for all of us.”
David O’SULLIVAN, Chief Operating Officer of the European External Action Service was the first keynote speaker. He emphasised that “Switzerland is a hugely important partner for the EU”, including economic, cultural and family ties. Nevertheless, the referendum on February 9th 2014, in which 50.3 percent of Swiss voters supported the introduction of quantitative limits to immigration, has “potentially far reaching consequences”. The vote requires the Swiss government to unravel the present agreement, and to request its adjustment from the EU in order to be in consistence with the new article introduced into the Swiss constitution through the referendum. O’Sullivan pointed out, that “this is not going to be an easy conversation to manage”, in particular as long as Switzerland fails to extend the freedom of movement to Croatian citizens. As long as this problem is not solved through the signature of the relevant protocol, the EU suspends negotiations on Swiss full participation in the research programme Horizon 2020 and the exchange programme Erasmus+. Finally, he highlighted that we should not forget that close relations with Switzerland are beneficial to both Switzerland and the EU, and that it is therefore in mutual interest to find a solution to the challenge created by the vote.
Mr. Klaus KEHREIN from the German permanent representation, Head of Division for Food, Agriculture and Consumer Protection, gave an introduction to the topic. Firstly he wanted to mention that Germany, as an exporting economy is highly in favor of Free Trade, while he also wanted to highlight the risks. Firstly, he is concerned that the high level of consumer protection in Europe will not be the same after the agreement. His other concerns are for the quality of the goods. While the use of hormones is accepted in the USA, in Europe, for reasons of uncertainty for health, it is forbidden. Also the meat from cloned animals is not accepted in Europe, due to animal protection and ethical reasons. Last but not least he mentioned the use of chlorine to sanitize chickens. He thinks that chemicals should not make up missing hygiene. These topics should be addressed before we can enter an agreement. (read more…)