Jyrki Katainen stresses the importance of EU values

Jyrki Katainen stresses the importance of EU values

BRUSSELS, 12 July 2018 - European Commission Vice-President Jyrki Katainen today called for continued openness and improved competitiveness in Europe in the global economy. Speaking at Global Counsel’s high-level policy event in Brussels, the VP said: “Today more than ever, the EU must continue to stand up for its fundamental values, including democracy and the rule of law, and promote an open, rules-based and fairer international trade order. At the same time, the EU must improve its competitiveness, by notably becoming a digital leader and a more circular economy. Finally, the EU must do more on defence, security and migration policy. If we do this, we will overcome the current challenges but also make the world a better place."

Under President Juncker and Vice-President Katainen, the Commission has pursued an ambitious programme of economic reforms not seen in Europe since the mid-2000s. In several member states, however, election results have revealed scepticism and disillusion creating a challenge for the future Commission. The EU’s political leadership therefore faces pressure to show how prosperity will be created and shared in the future. This challenge comes at a time when the United States and China offer competing models based on very different values to those held in Europe.

Peter Mandelson, Global Counsel Chairman and a former EU Trade Commissioner, and Jyrki Katainen, European Commission Vice-President for Jobs, Growth, Investment and Competitiveness, therefore discussed today the building blocks for this future model, such as market regulation, spending priorities, investment incentives and international trade policy, and what the priorities should be.

The state of Europe in the global economy and its future, which Vice-President Katainen commented on, is analysed in new Global Counsel research released today. The report Europe in the Global Economy assesses the key policy choices that will face the next Commission, including the future of the eurozone, EU climate change policy, capital markets reform, artificial intelligence policy and trade negotiations. The report analyses possible 2019 European Parliament composition, suggesting a weakened pro-EU majority which may pose a threat to the European Commission's ability to push through its agenda under a new president.

Peter Mandelson, Global Counsel Chairman, said:

“The Vice President and I have examined where and how the EU can continue to balance a realistic and clear-eyed focus on growth with a commitment to fairness and solidarity. These are judgments that only political leaders can make. In my view the last year of this Commission and the first of the next will set responses to policy challenges - such as the decarbonisation of industry, protecting a rules based international trading system, cybersecurity and harnessing the power of artificial intelligence – that will determine EU prosperity for future generations.

Global Counsel’s publication looks at these issues in more depth and also outlines how the declining vote share of centre-left parties, and a more organised far right grouping, could affect the EU’s proactive agenda, which must be a serious concern for anyone who believes in the EU as a force for good in the world.”

The full report Europe in the Global Economy by Global Counsel experts is available online: https://www.global-counsel.co.uk/analysis/insight/europe-global-economy

Notes to editors

Images from the event are available here: https://bit.ly/2uo6tKc

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Peter Mandelson is Co-Founder and Chairman of Global Counsel. He is a former European Trade Commissioner and British First Secretary of State. As Trade Commissioner between 2004 and 2008, he negotiated trade agreements with many countries and led European negotiations in the WTO Doha World Trade Round.

Prior to this, he held a number of Cabinet posts under Tony Blair and Gordon Brown including Secretary of State for Trade and Industry, Northern Ireland Secretary and Secretary of State for Business, Innovation and Skills. He was Member of Parliament for Hartlepool in the UK from 1992 until 2004 and Director of Campaigns and Communications for the Labour Party between 1985 and 1990.

As well as Chairman of Global Counsel, Peter is European Chairman of BlueVoyant, a cyber security company, and Senior Adviser to Lazard. He is President of the German-British Forum, the UK’s primary bilateral forum for promoting dialogue on German-British business, social and political issues and President of the Great Britain China Centre. Peter is Chairman of the Design Museum in London and Chancellor of Manchester Metropolitan University. He is also President of Policy Network.

Global Counsel helps businesses across a wide range of sectors anticipate the way in which politics, regulation and public policymaking create both risk and opportunity. Our advisers can interpret and anticipate the impacts of policy initiatives for businesses and other stakeholders, and help clients develop plans for shaping and adapting to them. Global Counsel advisers in Brussels and London, and our wider network of former policymakers in EU capitals, represent experience in every area of public policy and political communications. With sector specialisms including manufacturing, energy, financial services, technology, media and telecommunications, our practice leads combine decades of experience working with the European Commission, European Parliament and member states in the EU Council.