Sir, The EU continues to face an unprecedented set of challenges, including migration, security and economic recovery, as well as the UK’s forthcoming referendum on its EU membership. Business is an essential part of the solution to many of the challenges facing the EU but companies need a strong and globally competitive European economy. We therefore want to see a more competitive EU — a key pillar of the UK’s negotiations on its EU membership — which will be beneficial for citizens across the continent.

There is a strong business consensus on the ambitious reforms needed at the EU level to boost jobs and growth, supplemented by ongoing structural reforms at the domestic level. The EU must improve the functioning of the single market, particularly in services and digital; sign more high-quality trade deals; and take a better approach to regulation.

It’s also in all our countries’ interest for the eurozone to prosper. However, we recognise that not all member states wish to be part of a drive towards further integration so non-eurozone countries should have their position in the wider single market safeguarded. The EU has shown signs of progress on reform and we are calling on Europe’s leaders to use the European Council on February 18 and 19 to hardwire Europe’s competitiveness agenda for future prosperity.

Looking ahead to the UK’s forthcoming referendum, it is for the British people to decide the outcome but European business strongly supports continued British membership of an EU that takes the necessary reforms to be competitive, outward-looking and continue delivering growth, jobs, peace, security and prosperity for all.

Carolyn Fairbairn

Director-General, CBI (UK)

Reinhard Göhner

Director-General, BDA (Germany)

Markus Kerber

Director-General, BDI (Germany)

Marcella Panucci

Director-General, Confindustria (Italy)

Michel Guilbaud

Director-General, MEDEF (France)

Christoph Neumayer

Director-General, IV (Austria)

Pieter Timmermans

CEO, FEB (Belgium)

Dagmar Kuchtová

Director-General, SPCR (Czech Republic)

Jyri Häkämies

Director-General, EK (Finland)

Akis Skertsos

Director-General, SEV (Greece)

Danny McCoy

CEO, IBEC (Ireland)

Vitalijs Gavrilovs

President of LDDK (Latvia)

Osvaldas Čiukšys

Director-General, LPK (Lithuania)

René Winkin

Director, FEDIL (Luxembourg)

Kevin J Borg

Director-General, Malta Chamber of

Commerce, Enterprise and Industry (Malta)

Lech Pilawski

Director-General, Polish Confederation

Lewiatan, (Poland)

António Saraiva

President, CIP (Portugal)

Jan Oravec

Member of Presidium, RUZ (Slovakia)

Joze Smole

Secretary-general, ZDS, (Slovenia)

Carola Lemne

Director-General, Swedish Enterprise (Sweden)

Niek Jan van Kesteren

Director-General, VNO-NCW (The Netherlands)

Letter in response to this:

Small companies want Britain to stay in the EU / From Andrew Burley

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