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Business services crucial for keeping Europe's industry fit

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The importance of Business Services should be adequately reflected in the Europe 2020 Strategy according to a report of the High Level Group on Business Services.

European Commission Vice President Antonio Tajani responsible for Enterprise and Industry policy said: "Business services in Europe have a significant untapped growth potential, especially in terms of productivity and innovation uptake. The Group's Report has put the spotlight on the important role that business services play for the European economy. It demonstrates that high performing business services are crucial for our economic value chains and hence European competitiveness. Business services will be essential for achieving an industrial renaissance."

The group was launched by Vice-President Tajani and Commissioner Barnier in March 2013 to help define a European policy agenda for this important sector. Business services are services provided by businesses to other businesses. Typical examples include: management consultancies and legal services, design, engineering and technical maintenance services, recruitment, security and industrial cleaning. Business services are an integrated part of our industrial value chains and essential for European competitiveness, a strong Single Market and an industrial renaissance. The High level Group chaired by Professor Carlo Secchi of the Bocconi University was set up in order to study the shortcomings existing in this sector and help policy makers better understand the current challenges. The Group recommends actions along several lines. In addition to prioritising business services in the Europe 2020 strategy, these include the completion of the Single Market for services, seizing the international opportunities and developing the right skills and technological infrastructure needed by European companies. The recommendations are issued to the Commission, but also to Member States and industry (for the full recommendations, please see MEMO/14/265).

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