“The long-standing close cooperation of large French companies and DAX companies under the auspices of AFEP and Deutsches Aktieninstitut is a strong signal. Together we can make a difference – for Germany, for France and for Europe. We are offering political decision-makers our support in the dialogue to strengthen the economy,” emphasizes Melanie Kreis, President of Deutsches Aktieninstitut.
This year’s forum, hosted by Société Générale in Paris, is dedicated to finding common answers and solutions to current and long-term economic, geopolitical, and social challenges. In keynote speeches and panel discussions, more than 80 board members and high-ranking representatives of German and French companies will address issues such as Europe’s role in the global economy, when environmental, digital and supply-chain transformations are ramping up, and the tension between the Green Deal and competitiveness. Also, the new role of top executives in dealing with increasing regulation and various stakeholder interests will be discussed.
Strengthening Europe’s competitiveness
“The European economy has suffered massive shocks essentially due to Russia’s war of aggression in Ukraine and the pandemic. Germany and France are now both facing long-term and major challenges such as the cost of energy, the transition to a net-zero economy and digitalisation in a context of high interest rates. These call for very important private investments that must be supported by a competitive European regulation. Our two countries need to move even closer together to continue to be successful in global competition,” says AFEP President, Patricia Barbizet.
In addition to the aforementioned geopolitical and economic challenges, increasing regulation, often pushed through at a hurried pace, is weighing heavily on companies. Also, growing legal uncertainty due to diverging legislation and increasing bureaucracy are impacting Europe’s desirability as a business location. In order to survive amongst global competitors, the EU must now focus on lean, efficient legislation and attractive market-based framework conditions, according to the presidents. The announcement by EU Commission President Ursula von der Leyen that reporting obligations for companies will be reduced by 25 percent is an important first step. The idea must now be promptly followed by a corresponding reduction. Germany and France must work together for leaner and more tailored reporting requirements for companies.
“The Franco-German dialogue is a crucial step to finding answers to the most pressing challenges faced by companies on both sides of the Rhine. Also, taking into account next year’s European elections, the importance of today’s dialogue and discussions cannot be overemphasized,” the two presidents said.
The Franco-German Corporate Executives’ and Institutional Investors’ Forum gathers high-ranking personalities from the executive levels of companies, financial institutions, politics and European think tanks. It is aimed at listed and capital market-oriented companies and seeks to intensify Franco-German cooperation on capital market issues for the benefit of the European economy.
The Deutsches Aktieninstitut is committed to a strong capital market, so that companies can finance themselves properly and make their contribution to the prosperity of society. Its member companies account for around 90% of the market capitalisation of German public limited companies listed on the stock exchange. It represents them in dialogue with the political world and puts forward their positions in legislative processes via its capital office in Berlin and its European liaison office in Brussels. As a think-tank, it provides information to leaders and gives impetus to capital market policy. After all, a strong capital market benefits companies, investors and society as a whole.
Contact: Dr. Uta-Bettina von Altenbockum, Head of Communications and Sustainability Department, Phone +49 69 92915-47, firstname.lastname@example.org
Since 1982, AFEP brings together large companies operating in France. The Association, based in Paris and Brussels, aims to foster a business-friendly environment and to present the company members’ vision to French public authorities, European institutions and international organisations. Restoring business competitiveness to achieve growth and sustainable employment in Europe and tackle the challenges of globalisation is AFEP’s core priority. AFEP has around 117 members. More than 8 million people are employed by AFEP companies and their annual combined turnover amounts to €2,600 billion. AFEP is involved in drafting cross-sectoral legislation, at French and European level, in the following areas: economy, taxation, company law and corporate governance, corporate finance and financial markets, competition, intellectual property and consumer affairs, labour law and social protection, environment and energy, corporate social responsibility and trade.