Wednesday 20 September 2017
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Wednesday 20 September 2017

The Union of Black Sea and Caspian Confederation of Enterprises held a series of meetings with EU Commissioners under a SEV initiative, October 15, 2007

15 October 2007

At the initiative of SEV, the Union of Black Sea and Caspian Confederation of Enterprises (UBCCE) held a series of meetings on 10 October 2007 with EU officials in Brussels. The UBCCE representatives met with the Energy, Environment and Social Affairs Commissioners, with the heads of the EU’s European Neighbourhood Policy, and with BUSINESSEUROPE.

SEV, a founding member and Vice President of the UBCCE, has undertaken the development of relations with the European Union and cooperation with business communities from both sides. Through consolidating its network with business organisation in these countries, SEV is endeavouring to facilitate the entry of its members into these developing markets –where Greek business currently have a limited presence– by identifying reliable partners so that Greek businesses can carry out their assessments and proceed to timely investment and commercial agreements.

Mr. Athanassios Lavidas, SEV Secretary General and Head of International Operations and also UBCCE Vice President, underlined that these meetings pointed to the interest of the private sector in these countries in developing investment and trade cooperation with European countries, and provided an opportunity for discussion with European agencies of the individual EU policies that can contribute to regional growth, sustainable development and social cohesion. Mr. Lavidas stressed that the abundance of energy resources in the wider Black Sea and Caspian region, the major energy infrastructure projects and related economic activities they are expected to generate, are creating a new state of affairs that is attracting ever-increasing interest from European enterprises. Moreover, there are significant prospects for development in non-petroleum related sectors –such as construction, telecommunications, new technology products, agricultural production and transport– in which a ground-floor, competitive presence is necessary to optimise business potential.

During the meeting with Mr. Fabrizio Barbaso, Deputy Director General of the Directorate General for Energy and Transport of the European Commission, there was a discussion on various aspects of European energy policy –which is aimed at ensuring the availability of energy sources from alternative providers, where the private sector has its own role to play– the emphasis on renewable energy sources, reduction of carbon dioxide emissions by 20% by 2020, the promotion of new, clean technologies.

Greek Environment Commissioner Mr. Stavros Dimas stressed the new, prevailing outlook that environmental protection policies are consistent with economic development, while he noted that societies are becoming interested in environmentally friendly products. Referring to the need to support the Kyoto Protocol, he requested the collaboration of UBCCE members in influencing their governments so that an international agreement might be achieved by 2012.

The meeting with Social Affairs Commissioner Mr. Vladimir Spidla focused on the European social model and how it can be implemented in the developing countries of the Black Sea. He referred to the usefulness of social dialogue, ensuring proper working conditions, proper management of worker mobility, and the need to combat illegal migration.

The European Neighbourhood Policy is aimed at cultivating relations with the European Union’s neighbouring countries and contributing to the resolution of differences that exist and impact the activities of European enterprises. At the same time, through a variety of programmes it is funding, the EU is providing assistance and guidance in the implementation of the necessary economic reforms, so as to create fertile ground for European investments, reduce obstacles to commercial transactions, ensure equal treatment for foreign businesses and reduce bureaucracy.

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