National Actions

VNO-NCW, Netherlands

A strong business community for a strong EU

“Restoring European competitiveness must be the central theme in the European Union over the next five years”. Business organisations VNO-NCW and MKB-Nederland are making this call in the context of their Europe campaign launched on 13 May and the accompanying vision of what entrepreneurs believe is needed in Europe after the elections.

Campaign with dozens of events and promotions
In the coming month, the business organisations have organised dozens of events and actions throughout the country. From podcasts, regional debates and a lead candidate debate, to an online campaign with young entrepreneurs. All this to draw attention to the importance of a strong EU for a healthy and sustainable, innovative and resilient economy. They also call on everyone to vote. Click here for an overview of all activities that VNO-NCW and MKB-Nederland organized.

Entrepreneurs Indispensable for a Strong EU

In their vision document, the business organisations write that without a strong European Union, there will be no strong European business community, just as no strong Europe can exist without entrepreneurs. To strengthen the EU’s competitive position – and enable entrepreneurs to play their role – urgent additional action is needed in a number of crucial areas.

Restore the Strength of the Internal Market

The European internal market is the cornerstone of the European business and investment climate. In recent years, however, we have seen that the completion of the internal market has stalled, and there are increasingly 27 national markets instead of one European market. In line with Enrico Letta’s report, an ambitious agenda is needed to reform and future-proof the internal market.

Active Industrial Policy and Strengthening Resilience

The EU will have to be more assertive towards other major powers such as China and the US and reduce its dependencies as quickly as possible, all without losing the benefits of free trade. This requires an active industrial policy with special attention to strengthening our economic resilience and defence industry.

Attention to SMEs and Better Regulation

For a stronger Europe, strong and competitive SMEs are essential. SMEs comprise approximately 99 per cent of all European companies and employ around 100 million people. A broad SME agenda is needed to increase the competitiveness of SMEs. Reducing the European regulatory burden is an essential part of this. Between 2017 and 2022 alone, 850 new laws were introduced. The Europe survey by Opinieblad Forum shows that 80 per cent of entrepreneurs think the regulatory burden in the EU is too high. This has to change. European legislation must focus on main issues rather than details, with special attention to feasibility for SMEs.