On Wednesday 27 and Thursday 28 January, the informal meeting of the European Competitiveness Council was held in Amsterdam. This time the council, that deals with issues such as strengthening the Single Market and Digital Single Market for companies, citizens and consumers, came together in a unique setting.
Minister of Economic affairs Henk Kamp chaired the meeting and invited each minister to be accompanied by a high-profile digital entrepreneur from their member state. As a result, entrepreneurs from across Europe took part in the free and frank exchange of thoughts on questions like: How can the EU ensure that European businesses remain successful and can compete at global level? How can our citizens get the best services and products? How can we continue to protect consumers? And how can we help EU citizens, companies and industry get the most from innovation, new technologies and digitisation?
Minister Kamp: 'The European economy is looking up. In 2016 the European Commission expects EU GDP to grow by 2%, the highest figure for six years. The challenge now is to turn this budding growth into a full recovery, by enhancing our competitiveness. Entrepreneurs and businesses play a major role in meeting this challenge. That’s why we hav invited them here today to exchange views on what strategic decisions should be taken for the future of Europe.' He added: 'The aim of this informal meeting is to provide input for the European Commission on several crucial Single Market dossiers on which proposals are expected soon. I felt it was extremely valuable to involve the private sector in this Process and I know my colleagues and Eurocommissioners share this sentiment.'
Minister Kamp and his fellow ministers were joined by Vice-President Katainen,Vice-President Ansip, Commissioner Bieńkowska and Commissioner Oettinger. Their presence underlining the importance of the issues that were discussed during this informal Council.