“Traders’ decision not to sell cross-border is not motivated by discriminatory practices on consumer’s nationality or residence, but due to well thought business considerations”, stated MBB President John Vassallo during the European Parliament of Enterprises event, in reaction to the current European Commission proposal for a Regulation addressing geo-blocking in the Single Market.
On 13 October, a Maltese delegation composed of delegates from the Malta Business Bureau, the Malta Chamber of Commerce, Enterprise and Industry, and the Malta Hotels and Restaurants Association participated in the 4th edition of the European Enterprises for Enterprises event organised in Brussels by Eurochambres.
For one day, the European Parliament hemicycle hosted entrepreneurs from all over Europe in a mock plenary discussing most relevant topics on the EU agenda in four different sessions focusing on Trade, Internal Market, Circular Economy and Skills.
Malta Chamber Vice President Tonio Casapinta observed that as we compete in a global economy, who hosts the best skills, has a comparative advantage on the rest in terms of productivity and innovation. Mr Casapinta highlighted that “priority lies in having a labour force which is well equipped with Digital and STEM skills, ongoing professional development and active ageing”, when commenting on the New Skills Agenda that was published by the European Commission earlier in June.
The European Parliament for Enterprises event is very relevant for entrepreneurs who are presented with a platform to voice their thoughts, questions, frustrations and suggestions directly to the European institutions and senior EU officials. Among others, present at the event where European Commission Vice President Jyrki Katainen, European Parliament Vice-President Antonio Tajani, various Director Generals from the European Commission and Members of the European Parliament – who intervened and reacted to entrepreneurs’ comments.
The event also included a mock voting session on specific questions posed to entrepreneurs, with the most notable ones being: 94% agreeing that an effective EU coordinated trade policy matters for the competitiveness of their country; 88% believe that lack of information on rules and requirements presents a significant obstacle to do cross-border business; 71% agree that there should be more environmental criteria in public procurement; and 75% believe it is harder to recruit staff with the right skills than five years ago.