28 feb 2018
BusinessEurope Day

BUSINESSEUROPE, 60 YEARS DEFENDING THE CRUCIAL ROLE OF ENTERPRISES WITHIN THE EUROPEAN SOCIETY

On the occasion of BusinessEurope Day 2018, which coincides with the organization’s 60th anniversary, this declaration of values highlights the crucial role of entrepreneurs in society.
  • Entrepreneurs invest, create jobs and create opportunities for the growth of the economy.
  • Companies confer to individuals the opportunity to develop their talent, improve their outlook in life and achieve their personal goals.
  • Entrepreneurs constantly innovate to find sustainable solutions to face current economic, social and environmental challenges while providing products and services to respond to the needs and desires of citizens and consumers.
  • Directly and indirectly, companies contribute towards the public resources needed to guarantee welfare and to invest in key infrastructures in areas such as education, health or transport.
BusinessEurope, 60 years defending the crucial role of enterprises
BusinessEurope, 60 years defending the crucial role of enterprises — ©BusinessEurope

In the last 60 years, European integration has been crucial to the success of companies. BusinessEurope has supported European integration and the objectives pursued by the Treaties of Rome from the beginning. The European business community has been present at the milestones of the European integration process. A thriving business community will always be essential to Europe's success and for this continent to remain one of the best places in the world to live and work.

The fundamental values of freedom and democracy, which are part of Europe’s DNA, are fully shared by the European business community. Respect for the Law, as well as the EU's freedoms and values, is what supports our market economy social model, in which economic progress acts as the basis of social progress. There can be no business freedom without freedom of thought and expression, and the freedoms that are at the core of the European Single Market are essential to optimize the contribution of entrepreneurs to society.

For BusinessEurope and its members, the following freedoms and values ​​are fundamental to guarantee prosperous economies and societies:

  • Freedom to create and run a company, protecting investment and property rights.
  • Freedom to trade in a global economy based on standards.
  • Freedom to innovate, with a balanced management of risks.
  • Freedom to contract in labour relations, under conditions established by mutual agreement.
  • Freedom of commitment in social dialogue, with full respect for the autonomy of social agents.
  • Free movement of capital, goods, services, people and data within the single market.
  • Respect for the legality principle, with rules that are easy to implement and a fair, effective and independent judicial system.
  • Respect for the diversity of national specificities, cultures and traditions in the European Union.
  • An adequate balance between camaraderie and responsibility among the Member States.
  • An adequate balance between individual rights and obligations, both for companies and for citizens.

Fulfilling the ethical requirements requires a daily effort from companies and, in real life, there is a lot of room for improvement when it comes to providing an answer to the citizenship’s concerns and queries. On the occasion of this celebration, we want to reaffirm the business ethic and the values ​​we defend:

  • The strive for excellence to achieve quality goods and services, at competitive prices for customers and a fair return for shareholders and investors, always respecting all legal obligations and contractual commitments.
  • The strive to innovate, converting science and research into new technologies, products and services while assuming reasonable risks.
  • The development of business models that are adaptable to changes and competitiveness.
  • Taking the necessary decisions in a timely manner with the aim of minimizing negative social and environmental effects and contributing to the achievement of sustainability objectives.
  • Providing a fair treatment at work, respecting the dignity of people and promoting the welfare of employees.
  • Valuing diversity and equal opportunities in talent management, with decisions in human resources being guided by skill levels.
  • Local commitment with the aim of optimizing the environmental and social benefits of business activity for communities.

Last but not least, BusinessEurope, together with its members, would also like to reiterate that they fulfil their mission as a business and employers’ organization in accordance with the following principles and values:

  • Our positions aim to identify the appropriate means to promote economic and social progress and strengthen Europe's competitiveness in the interest of society as a whole.
  • We are committed to European social dialogue to fulfil the mandates established by our members in good faith.
  • We defend the voluntary membership of legally constituted business organizations and the autonomy of employers and employers' organizations.
  • We seek to express the agreed upon vision of the European business community, taking into account the different needs of small and medium-sized companies in all activity sectors throughout Europe.
  • When consensus is not possible, we adopt the majority view and look for the appropriate ways to reflect the minority opinions.
  • Once agreements have been reached and conveyed to the European Union institutions, our positions are available to the general public.
  • We are transparent in the contracts we maintain with the European institutions and act in accordance with the European Transparency Register.

These are the three groups of values that BusinessEurope has defended and promoted since 1958, through our members’ actions at a national level. Convinced that these values continue to be valid in the digital era, we will continue to promote them, together with the European integration process in the years to come.