During the French-German Business Forum 2018, Geoffroy Roux de Bézieux, President of the French Business Federation (MEDEF), shared his vision for Europe in an interview with the German newspaper, Handelsblatt.
“The question we have to ask ourselves is this: What does a functioning European market economy look like?”. Geoffroy Roux de Bézieux believes there are several prerequisites to achieve the creation of a constructive Europe: the convergence of tax systems and a common approach on the industrial and digital policy. “Between Germany and France, there are still many differences in terms of taxation, a regulatory framework for businesses, not to mention the social policy (…). That is why, unfortunately, Europe does not have digital giants. We need a real single market. It has to be easier to do business between the EU Member States,” he explained before underlining the need for an adjustment of competition policy.
Indeed, President of MEDEF believes that the competition policy must work “for both European producers and consumers”. The search for low prices for consumers is not enough. “Europe needs competitive companies worldwide, especially when it comes to the digital economy. This is why we have to advocate for a true single market”.
Mr. Roux de Bézieux declared he is a strong supporter of “a combative Europe that defends its interests against the United States and China.” He regrets that, “Europe has become ‘naïve’ against China. The United States is preparing for a trade war, China is pursuing state capitalism, Europe urgently needs answers,” he said.
Mr. Roux de Bézieux describes as “totally unacceptable” the application of the extraterritoriality of US laws and sanctions against Iran. “It is inconceivable that the US government could forbid European companies from doing business with Iran.” In this regard, he supports the creation of a clearinghouse to preserve trade with Iran. He also argues for an improvement in tax policy, “GAFA must pay taxes in Europe (…) We do not want to hinder these companies, but we want fair competition and tax systems adapted to the world of today.”
Finally, the President of Medef announced his intention to present before the European elections a manifesto entitled ‘Our vision of the market economy at the European level’.