The spring BusinessEurope Council of Presidents for 2018 was held in Sofia in May and was hosted by the Bulgarian Industrial Association (BIA)
Leading the Maltese delegation, Chamber President Frank V. Farrugia and Mr Anton Borg had an exchange of views with the President of Bulgaria, H.E. Rumen Radev.
At the outset of the COPRES meeting held the following day, President Emma Marcegaglia acknowledged the contribution of Mr Anton Borg during his time in the COPRES and particularly during his two-year term in the Group of Vice Presidents. The COPRES joined Ms Marcegaglia in thanking Mr Borg for his active participation, in particular, during sensitive internal discussions on Brexit.
The meeting immediately went on to ratify the election of Mr Pierre Gattaz – President of the French Delegation (MEDEF) as incoming President for the forthcoming two-year period. The term of Mr Gattaz will commence on 1 July 2018.
The remainder of agenda for the Council meeting was characterised by intense and profound discussion on a number of prevailing issues in the European Union. These included the economic and political situation in a number of EU member States, international relations, the priorities for the forthcoming European Parliament elections and the next Commission and Brexit.
Throughout the meeting, various delegations spoke about skill shortages in their respective territories. At the same time, various delegations lamented higher uncertainty amongst their business communities which arose from the looming Brexit and from increasing trade hostilities emerging with the US, Russia and China. There was a call for BusinessEurope to adopt a more proactive approach in this regard showing greater leadership whilst maintaining open communication with business counterparts in the US. The meeting called on Europe not to escalate matters with the US and other trade blocs but to defend itself intelligently.
The meeting was also attended by Malta Chamber Director General Mr Kevin J. Borg.