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In order to discuss the consequences of the Nidec case, AK Steiermark President Josef Pesserl met with Competition Commissioner Margrethe Vestager on May 2nd 2019. Only a few weeks before, 400 jobs had been in danger in the Austrian region of Styria, following the initiated merger control proceedings of the Commission. However, thanks to its expertise and commitment, Chamber of Labour has been able to contribute to the matter. The Nidec case also shows a deeper need for reforming EU competition law.

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Based on its Spring Forecast 2019, the European Commission presented its forecast for the economic development of the EU and its individual Member States on May 7th. In doing so, it forecast a weakening of the economic growth in the European Union. Hence, it is necessary for Member States to take action, which promotes sustainable development.

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Die im Rahmen des Europäischen Semesters von der Europäischen Kommission erstellten Länderberichte sind eine wichtige Grundlage für die Ausarbeitung der nationalen Reformprogramme und der länderspezifischen Empfehlungen. Der letzte Länderbericht der amtierenden Kommission zu Österreich fällt umfassend aus. Er enthält eine Reihe wichtiger Feststellungen, aber auch Bereiche, wo die Analyse der EK aus BAK-Sicht nicht nachvollziehbar ist bzw wesentliche Aspekte ausgeklammert werden.

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Norbert Templ

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Competition policy is an important part of economic policy. In an economic system based on a market economy, competition policy has to determine the conditions for a competitive framework which ensure that competition between economic players functions and anti-competitive behaviour is stopped and penalised.

 

 

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Helmut Gahleitner

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Ulrike Ginner

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Eight percent of all households in the EU are unable to keep their homes warm. This shows that energy poverty is by no means a fringe issue. Hence, the EU institutions are required to take effective measures during the coming legislative period to ensure that energy remains accessible to all Europeans.

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On 26th March 2019, the European Parliament adopted the Report of the Special Committee on Financial Crimes, Tax Evasion and Tax Avoidance (TAX3) with a vast majority. The report includes many important demands against tax avoidance and tax evasion. In doing so, the EU Parliament once again sets high standards for the tax policy in the European Union and its Member States.

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In his latest book “Rewriting the Rules of the European Economy”, the winner of the Nobel Prize in Economics Joseph Stiglitz develops new ideas for the economic and social policy of the European Union. In doing so he proposes new rules for institutions and politics in the sectors employment, stability and growth.

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On 13th March 2019, the EU institutions reached an agreement on new regulations concerning cross-border company relocations in the EU. In this context, a necessary step has also been taken to combat tax avoidance and to safeguard the co-determination rights of employees.

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Against the background of initiated merger control proceedings by the European Commission and the anticipated sale of the Nidec plant in Fürstenfeld, 400 jobs might be lost. In a personal conversation with Cecilio Madero Villarejo, Deputy Director-General for Antitrust at the European Commission's Competition Directorate-General, AK Steiermark President Josef Pesserl has pressed for preserving the jobs at the Austrian location.

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Each year, the European Commission prepares a Country Report for each Member State within the framework of the European Semester. From the point of view of the Chamber of Labour, the current Report for Austria, which was published on 27 February 2019, includes several critical assessments by the Commission, but also contains a number of aspects, which have been raised by AK for years.