Flash Newsletter No. 4 - November 2009 - Confindustria

Flash Newsletter No. 4 - November 2009 - Confindustria

Flash Newsletter No. 4 - November 2009 - Confindustria


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<strong>Confindustria</strong> Delegation to the European UnionFLASH NEWSLETTER<strong>No</strong>. 4 <strong>No</strong>vember <strong>2009</strong>IN FOCUSPresident Barroso announces thenew team of European Commissioners:Tajani gets the industryPortfolioOn 27 <strong>No</strong>vember, the President of theEuropean Commission, José ManuelBarroso, revealed the distribution ofportfolios of the new European Commissionersbased on the nominationsmade by the Member States; the ItalianCommissioner, Antonio Tajani, formerlyresponsible for Transport, has been appointedCommissioner for Industry andEntrepreneurship and Vice President ofthe European Commission.<strong>Confindustria</strong> President Emma Marcegagliawelcomed the fact that AntonioTajani had been given this importantportfolio, which will not only have abroader remit, covering tourism andspace policy, but represents an unqualifiedsuccess for the country and a signof recognition of the importance of Italianindustry for the European economy.Emma Marcegaglia wished Mr Tajaniand the entire Barroso team every successin their work, pledging to give theItalian Commissioner the support,commitment and cooperation of <strong>Confindustria</strong>in order to make the EUstronger and to give it a voice on theinternational stage, contributing to thegrowth and development of Europe as awhole.In a press release, the President saidthat, <strong>Confindustria</strong> had, for some timein fact, been calling for more to be doneto revive and promote industry, particularlythe manufacturing sector,which should be at the centre of thegrowth and employment strategy to bedrawn up by the European Union overthe next few months.The economic crisis has been a chanceto put paid to those who, even in Brussels,had overlooked the vitally importantheritage represented by the industrialand entrepreneurial fabric, whichhistorically has characterised our continentand which is the real driver ofgrowth and thus of affluence. Businessesshould be central to the growthand employment strategy of the EU andin this respect, the new powers that theLisbon Treaty gives the European Unionfor the tourism sector must be fully utilisedto promote another European asset,which features Italy and its tourismindustry in a lead role.The new College of Commissioners,which will have seven vice presidents,including Vice President CatherineAshton, who will hold the post of HighRepresentative of the Union for ForeignAffairs and Security Policy, will be composedof 27 members, nine of themwomen. Its members come from variouspolitical families, and more specifically11 from the Group of the EuropeanPeople’s Party (EPP), four fromthe Group of the Progressive Alliance ofSocialists & Democrats in the EuropeanParliament (S&D), nine from the Groupof the Alliance of Liberals and Democratsfor Europe (ALDE) and three independents.In total, 14 members, including thePresident, are members of the outgoingCommission, while 13 are new appointments.Among the changes, some portfolioshave been redesigned or created fromscratch, including Climate Action; HomeAffairs; Justice, Fundamental Rightsand Citizenship; Education, Culture,Multilingualism and Youth; Health andConsumer Policy; Industry and Entrepreneurship;Research, Innovation andScience; International Cooperation,2

<strong>Confindustria</strong> Delegation to the European UnionFLASH NEWSLETTER<strong>No</strong>. 4 <strong>No</strong>vember <strong>2009</strong>Humanitarian Aid and Crisis Response;Employment, Social Affairs and Inclusion.The new Commission must now win theapproval of the European Parliament.Once designated, Commissioners mustattend individual hearings before theEuropean Parliament, which will takeplace between 11 and 15 January inBrussels and 18 and 19 January inStrasbourg.Finally, an extraordinary plenary sessionis scheduled for 26 January, duringwhich the new College as a whole willbe approved. Depending on the consensusreached, the Commission will beappointed by the European Council andwill finally take office. The term of officeof the new Commission will end on 31October 2014.FOCUS ON THE DELEGATION’S PRIORITIESCarbon leakage: MEPs say yes tofree quotasMEPs from the European Parliament’sEnvironment Committee have rejecteda motion for a resolution aimed atblocking the adoption of the list of industrialsectors exposed to the risk ofcarbon leakage due to the costs linkedwith their participation in the EuropeanEmissions Trading System. The votewas necessary due to objections raisedby some MEPs, mainly members of theEuropean Green Party, the EuropeanUnited Left and some Liberals and Socialists.However, the majority of membersof the Environment Committeeconfirmed their support for the list ofsectors proposed by the EuropeanCommission last September, rejectingthe motion for a resolution by 39 votesto 19, with one abstention. The EPPGroup was united in voting against themotion, while the Socialist Group wasdivided.Since the sectors considered to be atrisk of carbon leakage could receiveCO2 emission allowances free ofcharge, rather than being forced to buythem at auction, <strong>Confindustria</strong> has echoedthe importance of confirming thelist drawn up by the European Commissionto protect the international competitivenessof these sectors. Duringthe vote, <strong>Confindustria</strong> again urgedItalian MEPs to support the list of the164 sectors at risk of carbon leakageand to vote against the motion for aresolution, a request that was welcomedby the MEPs themselves.Community patent: the Presidencytries to reach a political agreementwithin the CouncilSince the Community patent dossierwas revived around two years ago,each Presidency in turn has adopted astrategy of taking “small steps” in orderto quietly lay the foundations forachieving a political agreement withinthe Council without too much fuss.The next “small step”, however, couldnot go unnoticed: the Presidency hasconfirmed its intention to bring theCommunity patent and the entire patentlitigation system before ministerson 4 December in order to reach a politicalagreement.This would be the first concrete steptowards a Community patent for almost10 years (the proposal was first tabledin 2000). The draft conclusions of the3

<strong>Confindustria</strong> Delegation to the European UnionFLASH NEWSLETTER<strong>No</strong>. 4 <strong>No</strong>vember <strong>2009</strong>Council outline the general structure ofthe Court, which would be called the“European and EU Patents Court (EE-UPC)” and which would have two levels(central and regional/local), as frequentlydiscussed in this newsletter.The conclusions also contain recommendationson the composition of thepanel of judges, the language of theproceedings, and so on. Among otherthings, there will be a five-year transitionalperiod, which will commence afterthe entry into force of the Agreementon the EEUPC, which will bedrawn up after the December Council.As far as the Community patent is concerned,the Council text sets out thecriteria used to define patent fees andrelations between the European PatentOffice, which will manage the newCommunity patent, and the various nationalpatent offices.The Italian Government, which until recentlystill had reservations (which wecovered in previous issues), has revisedits position, accommodating requestsfrom industry, as confirmed by the Ministerfor European affairs, Andrea Ronchi,during a recent meeting with VicePresident Andrea Moltrasio.Although some resistance still remainsamong a small number of delegations,an agreement could finally be reachedon 4 December. We will take a closerlook at the results of the Council in thenext issue.Speaking on behalf of BusinessEurope,Matteo Borsani, from the <strong>Confindustria</strong>Delegation to the EU, explained thegravity of the problem, particularly interms of the amount and extent of delaysby public authorities, and underlinedhow important it was not to introduceany exceptions to the rule containedin the proposal which requirespublic authorities to settle invoiceswithin 30 days.On this point, representatives from theChambers of Commerce and theUEAPME, the European Association ofCraft, Small and Medium-sized Enterprises,said that they were in absoluteagreement. However, numerous doubtswere expressed by local authority representatives,who are opposed to theidea of a late payment penalty of 5% ofthe amount due, to be imposed on thepublic authorities themselves, and whoare generally against any difference intreatment between the public and privatesector.The rapporteur for the Committee onLegal Affairs, Raffaele Baldassarre,spoke out against including consumeragreements within the scope of the directive.In light of the results, the rapporteurfor the Internal Market Committee, responsiblefor the dossier, will preparean initial draft report to be discussed inJanuary.Hearing before the European Parliamenton the proposal for latepaymentOn 4 <strong>No</strong>vember, a hearing took placebefore the European Parliament’sCommittee on the Internal Market andConsumer Protection on the proposalfor a directive on combating late paymentin commercial transactions.Energy labelling: satisfaction withthe agreement reachedOn 17 <strong>No</strong>vember, during a final triloguemeeting, an agreement was reachedbetween the European Parliament, theCouncil and the Commission on theproposal for a recast of the Energy LabellingDirective.4

<strong>Confindustria</strong> Delegation to the European UnionFLASH NEWSLETTER<strong>No</strong>. 4 <strong>No</strong>vember <strong>2009</strong>In terms of labelling, the results wereon the whole extremely satisfying forindustry. The Parliament’s proposal atfirst reading to impose a “closed A-Gscale” on all products covered by thelegislation, which would have led to thedeclassification of products which haverecently been classified as having highenergy efficiency (particularly domesticappliances), was rejected. Agreeing toextend the scale to include new categoriesof products (A+, A++, and A+++),legislators recognised that the “openscale” approach was easier to understandfor consumers and did not penaliseinvestments already made by firms.Italy led the talks on this dossier, effectivelyorganising a blocking minorityagainst supporters of the “closed scale”and making key contributions for thesuccess of the negotiations. <strong>Confindustria</strong>,which has been actively involved inthe process, was pleased with the outcomeof the negotiations.At the same time, talks also ended onthe proposal for a recast of the EnergyPerformance of Buildings Directive. Thiswill extend the scope of the current directive,with Member States having tointroduce minimum energy efficiencyrequirements whenever buildings undergomajor restructuring. In addition,from the end of 2020, new buildingswill have to meet very high energy efficiencystandards and will have to userenewable energy sources.On 7 December, the Energy Council isdue to confirm political agreements onthe two measures. The final vote ofParliament is expected to take place inMarch.Proposal for a directive on maternityleave: current situationOn 2 December, the European Parliament’sCommittee on Employment andSocial Affairs will hold a vote on thedraft opinion on the proposal for anamendment to Directive 92/85/EEC onmaternity leave, adopted by the EuropeanCommission on 3 October 2008.While welcoming the Commission’soriginal proposal, the rapporteur, RovanaPlumb (Romania, S&D Group), believesthat the amendments proposedby the Commission are insufficient. Therapporteur suggests increasing maternityleave from 14 to 20 weeks (theCommission’s proposal was for 18weeks) and introducing a series of incentivesaimed at fostering a betterreconciliation between work and familylife, including: payment of a full salaryfor the entire period of maternity leave,the possibility for the father, spouse orpartner to request measures to adjustworking hours and work organizationand the obligation for employers to takeinto consideration workers’ requests toswitch from full-time to part-time workin the first 12 months after the birth.On more pro-industry positions, theshadow rapporteurs from the EPPGroup and ALDE Group were more inclinedto support the Commission’samendment proposals.Within the lead committee on Women’sRights and Gender Equality (FEMM) –after the European Parliament decidedlast May not to vote and instead referback to the FEMM committee for an examinationof the proposal – the rapporteur,Mrs. Edite Estrela, urged theEMPL committee to remain ambitiousand confirmed her intention to pushforward the following amendments::the extension of leave to 20 weeks, theintroduction of paternity leave, currentlynot provided under Communitylegislation, and payment of a full salaryfor the entire period of leave. The FEMM5

<strong>Confindustria</strong> Delegation to the European UnionFLASH NEWSLETTER<strong>No</strong>. 4 <strong>No</strong>vember <strong>2009</strong>Committee will examine the new draftreport by Edite Estrela in January, whilethe plenary vote is expected to takeplace in February.Regarding the proposal to introduce paternity/co-maternityleave, <strong>Confindustria</strong>has on several occasions expressedmisgivings. It believes that the introductionof paid and compulsory paternityleave would not represent an appropriatemeasure able to ensure theright balance between companies’ andworkers/parents’ interests. The introductionof compulsory paid paternity/co-maternityleave would moreoverrepresent a new development formost legal systems in other EU countries,resulting in the same “unbalancing”effect in the protection of opposinginterests.A move by the European Parliamentfor a “Made in” RegulationOn 25 <strong>No</strong>vember, during the plenarysession in Strasbourg, the EuropeanParliament, by a large majority (529votes in favour, 27 against, 37 abstentions),ratified a resolution on originmarking, in which it calls on the Commissionto maintain unchanged its 2005proposal for a Council regulation “onthe indication of the country of origin ofcertain products imported from thirdcountries” and to resubmit it to Parliamentin accordance with the ordinarylegislative procedure introduced by theLisbon Treaty, in order to launch officiallya consultation between Parliamentand the Council.The procedure for a new “Made in” law,launched in 2003 by the Italian governmentwith the backing of <strong>Confindustria</strong>,resulted in a Commission proposalin 2005 which called for a mandatorycountry of origin marking system to beapplied to a limited number of importedproducts (such as textiles, jewellery,apparel, footwear, furniture, leather,lamps and light fittings, glassware, ceramicsand handbags).Despite the Commission's proposal andthe support demonstrated by the EuropeanParliament on various occasions(in this respect, we should mention the2006 Resolution and the 2007 writtendeclaration of Parliament on originmarking), the subsequent Council debatefailed to secure a majority for theapproval of the regulation, owing to theopposition of some Member States criticalof the pointlessness of the legislationand the costs that it would involve.After years of inactivity, the EuropeanCommission, partly as a result of pressurefrom the Italian government,submitted an options paper to the 133Committee on 23 October with the aimof bringing the dossier before the MemberStates once more.In consideration of this document, theEuropean Parliament’s Committee onInternational Trade, sensitive to the issue,took the opportunity to invite thethen European Commissioner for Trade,Catherine Ashton, during the plenarysession in Brussels on 11-12 <strong>No</strong>vember,to explain the content of the paper andthe actions that the Commission intendedto take in order to further thedossier.Following this debate, the EuropeanParliament, during the plenary sessionin Strasbourg on 23-26 <strong>No</strong>vember, approveda key resolution on origin marking,in which MEPs indicated how the“Made in” requirement would provide“valuable information for final consumerchoice”, enabling them to identify theproducts they buy “with the social, environmentaland safety standards generallyassociated” with the country oforigin of the products. In addition, itwas stressed that the absence of thislegislation would represent a strong6

<strong>Confindustria</strong> Delegation to the European UnionFLASH NEWSLETTER<strong>No</strong>. 4 <strong>No</strong>vember <strong>2009</strong>competitive disadvantage for the EU, inconsideration of the fact that the majortrading partners of the European Union,such as the United States, China, Japan,and Canada, have had originmarking systems in place for sometime.Finally, MEPs called for the creation ofsuitable mechanisms to identify andcombat customs fraud, inviting theCommission “to strongly intervene, togetherwith the Member States, to defendconsumers’ legitimate rights andexpectations whenever there is evidenceof fraudulent or misleading originmarking by importers and non-EU producers”.<strong>Confindustria</strong>, in a memorandum circulatedby the Vice President for Internationalisation,Paolo Zegna, welcomedthe initiative of the European Parliament,which, through its actions, andparticularly those of MEPs CristianaMuscardini and Gianluca Susta, whohave always campaigned actively onthis dossier, and by Italian MEPs, tookanother step – backed by a large majority– towards the adoption of theregulation.<strong>Confindustria</strong>, which has always supportedthe need to adopt legislation onorigin marking at Community level, haspointed out how significant it is that theonly EU body elected by citizens hasagain shown that it is sensitive on thisissue and how the adoption of this resolutionthrows the spotlight back on thediscussion of this dossier, which is ofstrategic importance for Italy and moreimportantly European consumers.<strong>Confindustria</strong> hopes that the Italiangovernment will bring this significantvictory to bear in the EU Council, makingreal progress so that this key pieceof legislation, still blocked by years ofveto by <strong>No</strong>rdic countries, can finally beadopted. We look forward to seeingconcrete steps and actions.Anti-dumping: a final decision inthe footwear case in DecemberOn Thursday 19 <strong>No</strong>vember, the AntidumpingCommittee met to express anopinion on the extension of import dutieson footwear with leather uppersfrom China and Vietnam, on the basisof a European Commission’s proposalfor a 15-month extension.The results of the Commission’s inquiry,which took more than a year, revealedthat dumping was still taking place andcontinuing to damage European industry.Consequently, the contidions forextending the current import duties, asrequired under Community antidumpinglegislation, are fully met. Nevertheless,during the meeting, a majorityof Member States (15) expressed acompulsory, but not binding, opinionagainst the proposal, strongly backedby Italy.The final decision – which will be politicalrather than technical in nature – willbe taken at the December Council,when there is no guarantee that MemberStates will hold their present position..It would only take two of theMember States currently opposed tothe proposal to change sides over thenext month for the situation to be reversed.<strong>Confindustria</strong>, which has been carefullymonitoring the case and which backedthe proposal to extend duties, has lobbiedon various fronts, both at a bilateraland multilateral level, to convincethose Member States which are still undecidedto vote in favour of the Commission'sproposal.7

<strong>Confindustria</strong> Delegation to the European UnionFLASH NEWSLETTER<strong>No</strong>. 4 <strong>No</strong>vember <strong>2009</strong>EVENTSSeminar: “Community financingopportunities for energy and theenvironment”, Brussels, 13 January2010On 13 January 2010, as part of theprogramme of training seminars promotedby the <strong>Confindustria</strong> Delegation,a seminar will take place in Brussels on“Community financing opportunities inthe field of energy and the environment”.The seminar will present the main financingprogrammes and initiatives forfacilitating access to financial instrumentsfor projects in the environment,renewable energy, energy efficiencyand eco-innovation sectors.The seminar will open with a presentationof the Community’s main financingprogramme for the environment, LIFE,before going on to look at the financialinstruments and loans available as partof the CIP, the Community Competitiveness& Innovation Framework Programme,which is specifically aimed atsmall and medium-sized enterprises.This will be followed by a presentationon the Strategic Energy TechnologyPlan (SET Plan) and on the financial instrumentsassociated with its implementation.An analysis will also be carriedout of the support measures for investmentin the energy and environmentsectors as part of the extraordinaryplans for economic recovery.Officials from EU institutions and agencies,ENEA and the European InvestmentBank will take part in the seminar.For more information and to enrol, contact:<strong>Confindustria</strong> Delegation to the EUTel.: 0032 2 286 1211E-mail: seminari@confindustria.beSeminar: “The Lisbon Treaty: toolsfor effective lobbying in the EU”,Brussels, 25 and 26 February 2010As part of the programme of trainingseminars promoted by the <strong>Confindustria</strong>delegation, a seminar will takeplace in Brussels on the “Lisbon Treaty:tools for effective lobbying in the newEuropean institutional landscape”.The seminar will mainly examine thenew institutional framework resultingfrom the entry into force of the newTreaty on 1 December <strong>2009</strong> and anoverview of the main changes relevantto business.Much of the programme will concentrateon examining the new institutionalstructure resulting from the election ofParliament and the reappointment ofthe Commission, accompanied by an indepthlook at the internal functioning ofindividual institutions involved in theCommunity legislative process, withparticular attention to the changes usheredin by the Lisbon Treaty and theimpact that these changes will have onlobbying.Lobbying techniques and ways of influencingthe decision-making process willalso be examined and an illustrationgiven of how to lobby effectively, focusingon building alliances and coalitionsof interests, drafting communicationsand dealing with the media.For more information and to enrol, contact:<strong>Confindustria</strong> Delegation to the EUTel.: 0032 2 286 1211E-mail: seminari@confindustria.be8

<strong>Confindustria</strong> Delegation to the European UnionFLASH NEWSLETTER<strong>No</strong>. 4 <strong>No</strong>vember <strong>2009</strong>OTHER EVENTSBusiness: “Intercluster '09” Conference,Brussels, 3-4 December<strong>2009</strong>On 3 and 4 December, the Intercluster'09 Conference will take place in Brusselson the cooperation and creation ofplatforms for the sharing of information.The main aim of the event will beto bring together representatives frommajor European clusters. The conferencewill include a round table sessionentitled as the "World Café". At the endof the conference, the key ideas will besummarised in a plenary session, whenthe possibilities for a follow-up will bediscussed. Any subsequent session willbe a chance to make short presentationsor to share tools, initiatives andbest practice on cluster-related issues.For further information:http://intercluster.eu/index.php?option=com_content&task=view&id=117&Itemid=337EESC: European prize for the fightagainst mafia activities goes to<strong>Confindustria</strong> Sicilia and to DonCiotti’s Association, Libera .On 4 <strong>No</strong>vember, the European Economicand Social Committee (EESC)decided to award the European prize forcivil society to <strong>Confindustria</strong> Sicilia andto Libera, the association headed byDon Ciotti, which have taken up arms inthe war on the mafia. The award ceremonytook place in Brussels during thelast plenary session of the Committee.The EESC has always been committedto the issue of development and forsome time has been involved in submittingproposals and solutions involvingkey players in civil society. The mafiaproblem is not exclusive to Italy; it affectsthe growth of European society asa whole, since organised crime has increasedits presence in key sectors ofthe economy such as waste, constructionand public procurement.By awarding the prize to Libera and<strong>Confindustria</strong> Sicilia, EESC PresidentMario Sepi wanted to acknowledge thevaluable contribution of civil society organisationsactively involved in the fightagainst the mafia.Conference on climate change: industrycalls for a global commitmentand say no to the EU shiftingthe goalpostsOn 28 October, a conference took placeat BusinessEurope in Brussels on thechallenges linked with economic recoveryand climate change, during whichthe commitment of European industrytowards the fight against climatechange was confirmed, while warningagainst the risk of shifting the goalpostsahead of the international talks that willtake place in Copenhagen in December.Attending the event, Aldo FumagalliRomario, Chairman of <strong>Confindustria</strong>’sSustainable Development Committee,stressed that for Italian and Europeanindustry, reaching an agreement in Copenhagenwas not in itself sufficientjustification for the EU to accept a unilateraltarget which was more ambitiousthan the current target of 20%, as thiswould add to the strain that Italian andEuropean firms are already under. Inaddition, the EU should ensure in Copenhagenthat the major pollutingcountries accept responsibility for reducingemissions to avoid further distortion,as this is detrimental to Europeanfirms, which already have to com-9

<strong>Confindustria</strong> Delegation to the European UnionFLASH NEWSLETTER<strong>No</strong>. 4 <strong>No</strong>vember <strong>2009</strong>pete with firms which have no bindingemissions targets, with CO 2 costingaround EUR 15 a tonne on the currentmarket.<strong>Confindustria</strong> and BusinessEurope urgeall industrialised countries to set targetsfor reducing emissions which are quivalentand comparable to those adoptedby the European Union. At the sametime, newly industrialised countrieswhich have now reached levels of developmentand GDP per capita comparableto those of industrialised countriesshould adopt clear objectives and targetsin line with their respective nationalsituations.For further information Official Tel. E-mail<strong>Confindustria</strong> Delegation tothe European UnionDaniele Olivieri 0032 2 2861211 delegazione@confindustria.be10

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