What is European Business?
By Lisbeth Kirk
European Business is not one single entity. It is composed of big companies such as Vodafone, BP, Unilever, Siemens and L'Oreal as well as 23 million more or less unknown small companies.
Small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) are often referred to as the backbone of the European economy. They represent around 99 % of all enterprises in the EU and the latest figures released from Eurostat show that 9 out of 10 enterprises in the EU employed fewer than 10 people.
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Whatever is making Brussels busy is of interest to these businesses.
For example, integrating the one million refugees who arrived in Europe in 2015 is only possible in co-operation with the continent's companies.
The malfunctioning Schengen area and re-introdution of border controls in Europe make business more complicated.
Also, massive document leaks like LuxLeaks and the Panama Papers surely affect business and may lead to new tax regimes.
This might be good news for small companies. They do not benefit from current cross-border tax-avoidance schemes, but they need to compete with multinationals, some of which get away with paying less than 1 percent tax on their profits.
In the UK, business has played a key role in funding both the Leave and Remain campaigns for the EU referendum.
There is simply a business angle to every topic that Brussels has to deal with.
EUobserver, in its new Business in Europe Magazine, looks at the business in the EU context. You can download a free PDF version of the magazine.
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