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NEW - AmCham EU German Presidency recommendations

2 Jul 2020
All Committees

AmCham EU welcomes the German Presidency of the Council of the European Union which kicked off on Wednesday, 1 July. Our recommendations to the German Presidency of the Council of the European Union aim to ensure we reach our common objectives of a stronger and more prosperous EU. In the recommendations, we highlight priorities we believe will make Europe more competitive and attractive for investment based on the original European Union work programme for 2020. However, the German Presidency comes at an unprecedented moment in the history of the European Union. Europe, like the world, has been rocked by the COVID-19 pandemic. Our dedicated economic recovery paper contains recommendations specific to the crisis context in which Germany takes over the presidency of the EU.

We look forward to working closely with Germany during its Presidency. AmCham EU had the opportunity to travel to Berlin on a Presidency Delegation, just before the lockdown in March 2020. We would like to thank all the stakeholders that we met while in Berlin and wish them a successful Presidency!


 

NEW - EU climate law: Forging Europe’s green future

1 Jul 2020
Transport, Energy & Climate

Earlier this year the European Commission presented a proposal for a European Climate Law that sets a legally binding target for climate neutrality by 2050. AmCham EU member companies have been have been researching, investing in and developing a wide range of low-carbon technologies in Europe for decades and are keen to support the establishment of a well-designed framework that fosters the development of efficient and cost-effective solutions to achieve the EU’s climate goals. For more on AmCham EU's position on the EU Climate Law, please see our position paper here.

The COVID-19 crisis has had a significant impact on the European economy and moving forward, the EU Climate Law, as a key pillar of the European Green Deal, will be essential to unlock the economic, social and environmental benefits of the green transition.  More climate friendly solutions, including investment in sustainable infrastructure will bring to bear the EU’s potential to be a leader in combatting climate change.

Roderick ‘Rory’ Macmillan's memorial service

30 Jun 2020
All Committees

Roderick ‘Rory’ Macmillan was a dear friend and colleague to many of us and he will be sorely missed. Many of our lives have been enriched by his friendship and supported by his professional dedication. We are very appreciative of Rory’s collegiality and commitment over the years as well as his friendship, sparkling sense of humour and his true kindness. Our thoughts and are with his husband Koenraad, his extensive family and loved ones around the world.

The memorial service will take place in Wexford, Ireland on Friday, 3 July at 12.30 GMT+1. You are invited to attend via this web link. Please share this link to friends and colleagues for them to participate in this tribute to our dear friend Rory with his family. Instead of flowers, you are kindly invited to make a donation to one of Rory’s favourite charities as listed below. On behalf of the staff, members and Board of AmCham EU, both past and present, we have made a contribution to both charities in his memory:

World Child Cancer
Belgium Alzheimer Association

 

AmCham EU hosts first virtual Annual General Meeting (AGM)

26 Jun 2020
All Committees

On Thursday, 25 June, AmCham EU held its first virtual Annual General Meeting, where members reviewed last year’s accomplishments and discussed future plans for the organisation in 2020 and beyond. The AGM included reporting and voting on the annual accounts and budgets for 2019 and 2020.

The members have approved the 2019 annual accounts and 2020 annual budget, discharged the Board and auditors of their responsibilities for the accounting year 2019, and confirmed the mandate of current Board members. Changes to the AmCham EU Board were also announced, with Joris Pollet (Procter & Gamble) confirmed for his second mandate as Chair of Operations Group. Two dedicated members presented their candidacy for the position of Vice-Chair (lawyer/consultant): Kaarli Eichhorn (Jones Day) and Pablo Muñiz (Van Bael & Bellis). The nominations for Chair of Board of Directors were also launched at the AGM. 

2020 Lizanne Scott Staff Excellence Award winners

26 Jun 2020
All Committees

On Thursday, 25 June, during our virtual Annual General Meeting, we presented the 2020 Lizanne Scott Staff Excellence Award to Roberta Brumana, Senior External Relations Adviser and Wendy Lopes, Senior Graphic Design Specialist.

The Lizanne Scott Staff Excellence Award recognises outstanding work by members of the AmCham EU staff and is given annually to one or two members of the secretariat. Roberta and Wendy's dedication, professionalism and can-do spirit have been recognised and appreciated by staff and members alike. Congratulations to both winners!

The importance of the transatlantic economic relationship

23 Jun 2020
All Committees
Trade & External Affairs

Roger Coelho, Senior Policy Director, AmCham EU, gave a presentation on Tuesday, 16 June to the Council of American States in Europe (CASE) for its 'Virtual USA Investment Roundtable'.

In his presentation to an audience of representatives from US States and businesses from across Europe, Roger highlighted the importance of the transatlantic economic relationship with an emphasis on investment. As highlighted in AmCham EU’s annual Transatlantic Economy report, investment drives the transatlantic economy.

 

Town Hall with Dr Peter Liese, MEP

23 Jun 2020
All Committees

For the eleventh edition of its ‘Town Hall’ for members, AmCham EU connected with Dr Peter Liese, MEP, (EPP, DE) and EPP Coordinator in the Committee on the Environment, Public Health and Food Safety who engaged in a fireside chat with Zeger Vercouteren, Vice President Worldwide Government Affairs & Policy – Europe, Middle East, Africa (EMEA) and Global Supply Chain Initiatives, Johnson & Johnson. Dr Liese shared his insights on the COVID-19 emergency and on its impact on the EU’s public health policies.

According to him, the COVID-19 outbreak showed the importance of strategic sovereignty for the EU’s supply chains as well as the need for strong and trusting relationships with trade partners like the US and the UK. During the chat, we also covered topics including the European Economic Recovery Plan, supply chains, and the EU Beating Cancer Plan. The discussion was chaired by Ava Lloyd (FTI), Vice-Chair, Healthcare Committee, AmCham EU. 

 

Farm to Fork: Towards a sustainable agro-food system in Europe

23 Jun 2020
All Committees
Agriculture & Food

With the European Commission’s Farm to Fork strategy (F2F) now on the agenda, the future of the agro-food economy will look very different and more sustainable than it does today.  AmCham EU represents companies from across the agro-food supply chain and believes that the Farm to Fork strategy as part of the European Green Deal can bring lasting and fundamental change to the food and feed sector.

AmCham EU has identified key objectives in its position paper that can help contribute to achieving a more sustainable food system in Europe and help facilitate decarbonisation of the agro-food sector.

The objectives strive to ensure sustainable production, consumption, better regulation, trade and international cooperation as well as the required investment in research and innovation.

Pulling together today for the circular economy of tomorrow

15 Jun 2020
All Committees
Susan Danger, CEO, AmCham EU wrote an opinion piece on the circular economy last week. Susan makes the case for Europe’s transition to a circular economy and notes that such a change is compelling for the EU's leaders, its citizens, and in many respects for businesses. According to her, potential opportunities include: 'reduced pressures on the environment, as better waste management would imply both reduced use of resources such as energy, water, land and materials, and reduced emissions of greenhouse gases.
 
It would also mitigate the risks associated with the supply of raw materials, such as price volatility, availability and import dependency.' You can read the full piece here and for more details on AmCham EU’s member companies' actions towards sustainability, see our brochure ‘The Circular Economy: 15 innovative industry solutions that drive a sustainable future’

Fighting the economic impact of COVID-19 with a more united EU and a stronger EU-US relationship

15 Jun 2020
All Committees
For our last ‘Town Hall’ for members, AmCham EU connected with Peter Beyer, Member and Coordinator of Transatlantic Cooperation, German Bundestag.
 
During the meeting, Peter shared his insights on the COVID-19 emergency and its impact on the EU as well as on the EU-US relationship. He stressed that the COVID-19 outbreak showed the fragility of cross-border cooperation in times of crisis and the need for a stronger and more united EU. According to him, stronger competences at the EU level are needed to allow for an effective response to the crisis, especially with regard to its economic impact. Peter noted that the extent to which the EU will be able to do that depends on the willingness of the Member States which are still very divided with regard to the economic recovery plan. 
 
As for the impact on the EU-US relationship, Peter indicated that the pandemic showed the need for more intensified transatlantic cooperation. Being natural allies, he added, the EU and the US need to start discussing a free trade agreement without further delay.   

AmCham Bulgaria webinar on the EU’s Next Generation economic recovery plan

15 Jun 2020
All Committees
On Wednesday, 10 June 2020, AmCham Bulgaria hosted a webinar focused on EU’s Next Generation economic recovery plan. Eva Maydell, MEP (EPP, BG), European Parliament was the keynote speaker and she presented the plan and engaged in an in-depth Q&A session with AmCham Bulgaria's members. The webinar focused on the importance of cross country coordination and cooperation on the EU's economic recovery strategy as well as the role that digitalisation will play in the economic recovery in the coming days, weeks and months in the EU and the world.  
 
Susan Danger, CEO, AmCham EU and Chair, AmChams in Europe, joined the webinar as a guest speaker to provide her input to the discussion. Susan presented AmCham EU’s economic recovery paper, read it here.

Security, defence and space edition of American Hour series

15 Jun 2020
All Committees
Security, Defence & Space Committee
On Thursday, 11 June, AmCham EU hosted a security, defence and space edition of the American Hour, members only series and welcomed Gordon B. (Skip) Davis, Deputy Assistant Secretary General for Defence Investment at NATO. Roger Coelho, Senior Policy Director, AmCham EU provided opening remarks and the fireside chat was moderated by Rudy Priem (Raytheon Technologies), Chair, Security, Defence and Space Committee. Susan Danger, CEO, AmCham EU, closed the session.
 
The guest speaker gave an overview of NATO's efforts to combat COVID-19 so as to prevent the health crisis from becoming a security crisis and to ensure that NATO can continue to provide effective deterrence and defence. Some of the support that NATO has provided to civil authorities includes: setting up a crisis response team to coordinate and respond to requests from allies and partners, supporting regular information sharing, collection of best practices, building hospitals and providing strategic airlift for logistic support and for transporting critical medical equipment, personnel and patients. NATO has also worked together with the EU and the EU’s European Response Coordination Center to exchange information, provide logistic support and coordinate efforts, as well as on communication efforts to address the spread of disinformation which has targeted both NATO and the EU.

Town Hall with Valdis Dombrovskis, European Commission

10 Jun 2020
All Committees
Last week, during our Town Hall meeting for members, we connected with Valdis Dombrovskis, Executive Vice-President for an Economy that works for People, European Commission.
 
The Executive Vice-President shared his insights on the COVID-19 emergency and highlighted that national lockdowns are affecting world trade, hitting the transatlantic supply chains as well as EU-US trade investment flows and that open markets and trade opportunities are the best way to revitalise the economy following the COVID-19 health crisis.
 
Further on the issue of trade, he stressed that resolving bilateral trade disputes has become even more urgent against the COVID-19 landscape. You can read his full remarks here

American Hour with the Peterson Institute for International Economics

10 Jun 2020
All Committees
For our last American Hour, members-only fireside chat series that took place on Wednesday, 3 June, we had the pleasure of welcoming Chad Bown, Economist, Peterson Institute for International Economics and Reginald Jones, Senior Fellow, Peterson Institute for International Economics. The conversation was moderated by Taggart Davis (JP Morgan), Chair, Transatlantic Task Force and Vice-Chair, Board, AmCham EU.
 
Chad Bown described the difference between the 2008 financial crisis and today’s pandemic. He insisted that there is a stark difference in the response by the international community shown during the two crises. Participants also discussed trade remedies and how these tend to be used by governments during economic recessions. It was concluded that there is a strong possibility that many governments will start using countervailing duties (ie, anti-subsidies tariffs) and raise tariffs between countries worldwide to counter the upcoming recession.

Finalists selected for the AmCham EU Youth Entrepreneurship Award 2020

10 Jun 2020
All Committees
AmCham EU and Junior Achievement Europe (JA Europe) are delighted to announce the finalists of the 2020 Youth Entrepreneurship Award. Candidates from across Europe were in the running for the award after participating in a JA Europe programme, making it past the initial start-up phase and creating a business concept that showed potential. The theme this year focused on female entrepreneurship.
 
The shortlisted start-ups pitched their companies to a high-level jury panel during an online finale on Thursday, 11 June
 
The five outstanding finalists are Kirija KandiahSara Green BrodersenCécilia MzayekStéphanie Roland and Dominika Podolanová

An integrated strategy for Life Sciences in Europe

9 Jun 2020
All Committees
On Thursday, 4 June, AmCham EU’s Healthcare Committee hosted an online debate on its report 'Life Sciences in Europe – An integrated strategy for healthcare innovation (2019-2024)'. The panellists discussed the importance of building the resistance of health systems in Europe following the COVID-19 outbreak. A video recording of the event is available here
 
The event was opened by Susan Danger, CEO, AmCham EU. She spoke about the importance of the life sciences sector and its role in Europe’s economic recovery.

Queen Elisabeth Competition donations

9 Jun 2020
All Committees
The Queen Elisabeth Competition has been active since 1937 as one of the main music competitions of world-renowned importance. Only WWII had imposed a pause to the event prior to the COVID-19  postponement of the 2020 edition. The competition is relying mainly on private donations and needs financial support more than ever to go through this exceptional ordeal. Donations are vital and will make it possible for the Queen Elisabeth Competition to organise an outstanding and awaited piano edition next year, maintaining its standard of excellence.
 
Donations are tax-deductible and can be made here. For all details please visit the Queen Elisabeth Competition website
 
If you wish for your donation to be used be used to facilitate the participation of US candidates and jury members to the next competition edition in 2021, add ‘AmCham EU’ in the payment description. 

The passing of Roderick ‘Rory’ Macmillan

4 Jun 2020
All Committees
It is with the utmost sadness that we announce the sudden death of Roderick ‘Rory’ Macmillan. Rory was a valued member of AmCham EU for more than 20 years. He was also well known and highly respected in wider Brussels EU circles. Importantly, he was a dear friend and colleague to many of us and he will be sorely missed. Many of our lives have been enriched by his friendship and supported by his professional dedication.  
 
A private service will take place in line with current UK government COVID restrictions. A fitting memorial service to celebrate Rory’s life will take place at a future date to be finalised. Those who would have liked to attend, but due to the current restrictions cannot, are invited to make a donation. Instead of flowers, you are kindly invited to make a donation to one of Rory’s favourite charities as listed here: World Child Cancer and the Belgium Alzheimer Association.

Joint Business Statement on the Proposal on Representative Actions (Collective Redress)

4 Jun 2020
All Committees
Consumer affairs
AmCham EU joined representatives of Europe’s business community to caution EU Member State governments and the European Parliament against rushing to conclude trilogue discussions on the representative actions proposal and urge them to take due time to consider the complex issues still unresolved.
 
Trilogue parties have not met - even at technical level - for several months. Yet there are reports that the Croatian Presidency intends to discuss a Commission compromise text with Member States in the hope of concluding discussions at Coreper in just one week, on 10 June. This piece of legislation is of utmost importance for the proper functioning of private enforcement mechanisms in and between Member States and we are extremely concerned by any efforts to rush the examination of this new framework.

 

AmCham Bulgaria’s Executive Club: Virtual Meeting with Mariya Gabriel, Commissioner for Innovation, Research, Culture, Education and Youth

3 Jun 2020
All Committees
On Friday, 29 May 2020, Mariya Gabriel, Commissioner for Innovation, Research, Culture, Education and Youth, European Commission was the guest speaker at an online event organised by AmCham Bulgaria. Susan Danger, CEO, AmCham EU provided welcome remarks in her capacity as Chair of AmChams in Europe.

Commissioner Gabriel spoke about the importance of cross-country cooperation as well as the need for synergy and upskilling. She also outlined the required next steps that will allow Europe to successfully tackle the current COVID-19 crisis. We would like to thank Petar T. Ivanov, CEO, AmCham Bulgaria and Olivier Marquette, President, AmCham Bulgaria for hosting the event.

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