May 14th 2024



CIP – the Portuguese Business Confederation – has published a document setting out its vision for the European Union over the next five years. Armindo Monteiro, president, addresses the key areas of action to restore competitiveness and confidence in the private sector and to leverage the capacity of European companies to react, innovate and invest.

‘The ongoing emergencies have taken the focus off the medium and long-term strategy that the EU must draw up quickly,’ he says in an introductory note, stating that it is urgent to ‘inject new dynamism into the European market and create the right conditions to stimulate private investment and innovation’.

According to data, there has been a loss of attractiveness and competitiveness in the European Union in recent years – ‘between 2019 and 2021, foreign direct investment fell by two-thirds in the EU’.

The document also states that European companies have identified the regulatory environment as one of the main factors threatening the attractiveness of the European Union as an investment location. ‘The proposals under the Green Deal in 2022 represent a total of almost two billion euros in additional administrative costs for Portuguese companies,’ it reads.

Another key issue addressed by CIP is the need for Europe to decarbonise, but without deindustrialising, as well as leveraging the single market and an industrial policy focused on competitiveness. This single market is divided with the subject of energy, where it is necessary to ‘move forward with the construction of effective energy interconnections’, and digital, where the EU ‘must be a leader in the adoption and development of appropriate technology and infrastructures’.

Attracting talent and promoting the acquisition of skills is also a major concern for CIP, given that ‘the labour force in the EU has decreased from 205 million in 2022 to 184 million people in 2025’. It is estimated that it could lose 50 million workers by 2050. The document can be read in full here.