The European Business Summit (EBS) is an initiative of BUSINESSEUROPE and the Federation of Enterprises in Belgium (FEB). The EBS has become the key meeting place for business leaders and decision makers in Europe. At the last summit, it welcomed 1700 participants, 120 speakers across 22 sessions, including President Barroso and President Van Rompuy, European Commissioners and CEOs, and more than 200 journalists and broadcasters.
This year's summit took place on the 14th and 15th of May 2014 and looked at Rebuilding a Competitive Europe: The Business Agenda 2014 - 2019. The aim of EBS 2014 was to serve as a platform for the business community to present their agenda for the next 5 years to the next European Parliament and European Commission - looking beyond the crisis and towards a more competitive and better-functioning Europe. It was a chance to reflect on the European project and to propose ways of renewing its momentum
The Summit was divided into 12 Sessions and I spoke during the 8th one titled “How Can Business Maintain Citizen's Trust? (Corporate Social Responsibility)”. I talked about the lack of confidence and trust in business in the EU because there is a lack of respect for politicians and EU affairs due to the fact that there are more words and less action. Furthermore the lack of leadership and vision in EU was not supporting te image of European business to the detriment of EU growth and jobs.
As I pointed out, the issue of entrepreneurship is not being supported and there is little support for social entrepreneurs or female entrepreneurs. The power of big business also came out, as well as the EU Commission’s interference in Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) and the failure of the EU Commission to act on ECI. All of which were distorting the trust in the EU political leaders , and hence politics in general in the EU – sadly this was now leading to a despondency within EU citizens, especially the young.
During the debate I received questions from young people which aimed around the little support they receive politically or from businesses, while there were also questions around the banking sector and what could be done to restore the faith in banking within the EU.
The debate also covered the area of social entrepreneurship and a need to have a more inclusive Europe, including its business sector. Building on what Mr Barosso had said at the start of the conference, that there was a need for more collaboration between the Council, Commission and Parliament , I highlighted that greater collaboration with impact could be delivered with Platforms which brought all stakeholder around the table with those being present around the stakeholder table to be responsible for evaluated actions and not just words. The diet and nutrition platform was a good example of this. Tis linked also to the overall purpose of the Business Summit.
Please do not hesitate to contact me for any further information firstname.lastname@example.org.
Thank you for this great opportunity to introduce the EESC’s efforts in supporting the business and entrepreneurship..