The Spanish business think tank of reference

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1 The Spanish business think tank of reference February 2015

2 Index 1. WHO WE ARE 3 2. GOVERNANCE MODEL 4 3. STAFF 5 4. PARTNERS 6 5. PRESENCE ON LINE CONTENT MEDIA EVENTS ORGANIZATION INTERNATIONAL FORUMS OUTPUTS POLICY PROPOSALS AND RECOMMENDATIONS PROGRAMS MEETINGS AND FORUMS PUBLICATIONS IMPACT 19 2

3 1. Who we are Círculo de Empresarios (CdE) was created in 1977 as a non-profit organization dedicated to promoting entrepreneurship, private initiative and a market economy. CdE acts as an independent think tank in Spanish society by expressing ideas, carrying out studies and issuing opinions to help improve economic and social development. CdE also serves as a center for discussion and debate by bringing together personalities from different sectors (government business, academia, media, civil society) and promoting a constructive dialogue about matters of general interest, particularly those involving the private business sector. CdE is action-focused: it operates a series of programs and activities that help promote cooperation and the transfer of knowledge between the business world and other sectors of society, and help increase general awareness about domestic economic issues. Main areas of action CdE s areas of action include: Domestic Economic Policy Collaboration with Private and Public institutions Networking Education Policy Funding model CdE is an independent, nonpartisan organization. Its activities are financed exclusively by members contributions. Its annual budget ensures stability and has reached amounts of between 1.5m and 1.8m in the last five years. The annual budget amounts to 1.65m in Members At the end of 2013, CdE had 196 members, representing some of the most important private companies operating in Spain such as Acciona, Alstom, Banco Popular, Banco Sabadell, BBVA, Caixa Bank, CLH, Deloitte, DKV Seguros, Enagas, Endesa, Ericsson, E&Y, Ferrovial, Fujitsu, Google, Grupo Calidad Pascual, Grupo Quirón, Hispasat, Iberdrola, IBM, Inditex, Indra, KPMG, McKinsey, Mercadona, Prosegur, PwC, Repsol, Santander, Siemens, Técnicas Reunidas,Telefónica or Vodafone, just to name a few. 3

4 2. Governance model CdE is an association of businessmen and top managers of some of the most important private companies operating in Spain but it has an autonomous management and governance structure. Organigram The top management is highly committed to Círculo de Empresarios mission The Board of Directors, composed of 27 members elected for three-year terms and currently chaired by Mónica de Oriol, ensures that financial and human resources are properly mobilized to fulfill CdE s mission. The Advisory Council is composed of former government officials and academics, currently comprised by: Jesús Fernández-Villaverde, Professor of Economics at the University of Pennsylvania. Javier Gómez-Navarro, former Minister of Commerce and Tourism. Jaime Requeijo, Professor Emmeritus of Applied Economics and former Counsellor of the Central Bank of Spain. Eduardo Serra, former Minister of Defense. The Advisory Council ensures independence and quality of CdE. It also ensures that its activities and output achieve the maximum impact. An Executive Committee was created in 2013 to increase agility in decision-making and improve the day-to-day management of the association. In order to efficiently and effectively manage the wide range of programs and initiatives, CdE has appointed managers for the main areas of action, namely: Jose María Alonso, Justice María Benjumea, Entrepreneurship Josu Jon Imaz, Energy Manuel Pérez-Sala, National Budget Elena Pisonero, Spanish Medium-Sized Companies Project Matías Rodríguez-Inciarte, Social Collaboration Programs Iñigo Sagardoy, Labor Reform Alberto Terol, Tax Reform Javier Vega de Seoane, Barometer of the Círculos 4

5 3. Staff CdE s internal team consists of highly skilled and experienced professionals who are specialized in the areas of: Economics Public Policy Administration Fiscal Affairs Labor Legislation International Relations Education Communication A highly skilled staff helps Círculo de Empresarios accomplish its goals CdE has the ability to recruit elite scholars and analysts. To give just a few examples: Juan Cacicedo, former lecturer at the Universidad Complutense de Madrid, Universidad Pontificia de Salamanca and Universidad Internacional Menéndez Pelayo de Santander Alicia Coronil, PhD, Director of the Department of Economics, Coordinator of the Academic Area and Lecturer at the ESIC Business and Marketing School Yolanda Fernández, lecturer at the Fundación Estudios Financieros Jesús Fernández-Villaverde, PhD in Economics, University of Minnesota and Professor of Economics at the University of Pennsylvania Emilio González, PhD, Lecturer at the Universidad Autónoma, Madrid. Petra Mateos, PhD, Professor at CUNEF Jaime Requeijo, PhD, Emeritus Professor of Applied Economics at UNED and IEB Jesús Sainz, former Lecturer in International Economics at ICADE. Business School, distinguised with New York University Presidential Medal 5

6 4. Partners Círculo de Empresarios counts on the support of a wide network of partners and think tanks National partners: Asociación para el Progreso de la Dirección (www.apd.es) Asociación Valenciana de Empresarios (www.ave.org) BBVA Research (www.bbvaresearch.com) Círculo de Economía (www.circuloeconomia.com) Círculo de Empresarios de Galicia (www.clubfinacierovigo.com) Círculo de Economía de Mallorca (www.cerclemallorca.com) Círculo de Empresarios Vascos (www.circuloempresariosvascos.org) Deusto Business School (www.dbs.deusto.es) Fundación Create (www.fundacioncreate.org) Fundación de Estudios Financieros FEF (www.fef.es) Fundación para la Innovación Bankinter (www.fundacionbankinter.org) Fundación Rafael del Pino (www.frdel pino.es) ICEX España Exportación e Inversiones (www.icex.es) IE Business School (www.ie.edu) IESE Business School (www.iese.edu) Institución Futuro (www.ifuturo.org) Observatorio Económico de Andalucía (www.oeandalucia.com) Universidad de Alcalá (www.uah.es) Universidad Autónoma de Madrid (www.uam.es) Universidad Complutense de Madrid (www.ucm.es) Universidad Pontificia Comillas-ICADE (www.upcomillas.es) International partners Business Administration Forum (Portugal) Business Council of Latin America (CEAL) Business Leadership South Africa (NBI) Center for Finnish Business and Policy Studies (EVA; Finland) CES-Ifo (Germany) China Institute for Reform and Development (CIRD) Committee for Economic Development of Australia (CEDA) Institut de l Entreprise (France) Japan Association of Corporate Executives (Kezai Doyukai) Society and Enterprise Foundation (SMO, Netherlands) The U.S. Committee for Economic Development (CED) 6

7 5. Presence 5.1. Online content CdE has an active Internet presence based on a dynamic website and an increasing participation in social networks, including Twitter and Linkedin. CdE s Squaring the circle, (Cuadrando el círculo) blog (http://circulodeempresarios.org/blog) allows members to post their opinions and comments. CdE uses new media tools such as YouTube, Flickr, SlideShare and Scribb to share knowledge and broaden the reach of its outputs. Its website (http://círculodeempresarios.org/) offers general information about the Association, programs, agenda with upcoming events and the latest news on its activities or on general matters that might be of interest for its members. Since CdE is a think tank that seeks to transfer knowledge, users of its website can access and download any of its publications, including market overviews, research reports, yearbooks, policy recommendations, etc. During the second semester of 2014, CdE s website received 38,523 visits and its most recent publications The Barometer (El Barómetro de los Círculos), Second edition Top50 of the medium-sized spanish company (Segunda Edición Top50 de la Empresa Mediana Española) and the document Achieving competitive, sustainable and guaranted energy ( Por una energía competitiva, sostenible y garantizada) recorded more than 29,031 downloads. Videos: CdE s website offers over 70 videos with speeches, press conferences, events, awards and interviews of business personalities. Just to name a few examples of the most recent speakers: Luis María Linde, Governor of the Bank of Spain. URL: Luis María Linde, Gobernador del Banco de España en el Foro Círculo Guntram Wolff, Director of Bruegel. URL: Foro Círculo con Guntram Wolff, director de Bruegel Alan D. Solomont, former United States Ambassador to Spain. URL: Desayuno con Alan D. Solomont, Embajador de Estados Unidos Satoru Satoh, Japan Ambassador to Spain. URL: Desayuno Círculo con el Embajador de Japón, Satoru Satoh Giles Paxman, former UK Ambassador to Spain. URL: Desayuno Círculo con Giles Paxman, Embajador del Reino Unido en España Jérôme Bonafont, French Ambassador to Spain. URL: Foro Círculo con Jérôme Bonnafont, Embajador de la República Francesa Reinhard Silberberg, German Ambassador to Spain. URL: Reinhard Silberberg, Embajador de Alemania en España Eduardo Torres-Dulce, Attorney General of Spain. URL: Eduardo Torres-Dulce, Fiscal General del Estado, en el Círculo de Empresarios 7

8 5.2. Media CdE website is very active in printed media, including newspapers and specialized magazines. During 2014, CdE published more than 17 articles and granted several interviews in some of the most widely read national newspapers such as ABC, El Mundo, El Pais, Expansión, Cinco Días, La Razón, El Nuevo Lunes and El Correo; and magazines such as Actualidad Económica, Tiempo, Inversión and Capital. CdE gets public visibility through television and radio appearances. During 2013 and 2014, CdE appeared in 18 television programs in Antena 3 TV, TVE, Telemadrid, Cuatro and Intereconomía, among others, and issued 67 radio statements and interviews in RTVE, Cadena SER, Onda Cero, Cope, Intereconomía radio, esradio, etc. Participation of Alicia Coronil, CdE Director of Economics, in a public debate broadcasted in Espejo Público, Antena 3TV. URL: Alicia Coronil en la tertulia de Espejo Público de Antena3TV Interview to Mónica de Oriol in La Noche en 24 horas, RTVE (Spanish Radio and Television Corporation). URL: Entrevista a Mónica de Oriol en La noche en 24 horas de RTVE Interview to Alicia Coronil in Hoy por Hoy Cadena SER. URL: Alicia Coronil en Hoy por Hoy de la Cadena SER Participation of Jesús Sainz, CdE Secretary General, in a public debate on Labour Reform in Km. 0, Telemadrid. (Madrid regional TV channel). Interview to Mónica de Oriol in Capital, Intereconomía Radio URL: Entrevista a Mónica de Oriol en Intereconomía radio Interview to Mónica de Oriol in Las Mañanas, RNE URL: Entrevista a Mónica de Oriol en Las Mañanas de RNE Interview to Mónica de Oriol in Espejo Público, Antena3TV URL: Mónica de Oriol en Antena3TV Interview to Mónica de Oriol in La Brújula de la Economía, Onda Cero URL: Entrevista a Mónica de Oriol en Onda Cero Interview to Mónica de Oriol in La Tarde, Cadena Cope URL: Entrevista a Mónica de Oriol en la Cope 8

9 5.3. Events organization CdE organizes events not only for its members but also for government officials, civil society, academia and media. During 2013 and the first semester of 2014, CdE organized nine of such public events: The law of entrepreneurs that Spain needs. Debate with the participation of CdE s President, Mónica de Oriol; Javier Ulecia, Vice President of the Spanish Association of Venture Capital (ASCRI); Catalina Hoffman, founder of Vitalia; Maria Benjumea, President of Startup Spain; and Manuel Valle, Director General of Industry and SMEs. Financial support to business internationalization. Conference jointly organized with ICEX in Seville. The event was closed by CdE s President, Mónica de Oriol; the Andalusian Minister of Economy, Innovation, Science and Employment, Antonio Ávila; and the Secretary of State for Commerce, Jaime García-Legaz. 35 years of contribution to the Spanish society. Presentation of the book commemorating the 35th anniversary of the Círculo de Empresarios, with the participation of Luis de Guindos, Minister of Economy and Competitiveness. Pensions: a core reform. Book published together with the Foundation for Financial Studies and presented by the Presidents of both institutions, Mónica de Oriol and Juan Carlos Ureta, together with the Minister of Employment and Social Security, Fátima Báñez; the Director of the research team, José Antonio Herce; and the Chief Economist of BBVA Research, Rafael Domenech. Pensions: a core reform. Presentation in Barcelona with the participation of Jordi Oliva, Director of Financial Policy, Treasury and Insurance of the Government of Catalonia. The Entrepreneur as the driving force for growth. Debate jointly organized with Rafael del Pino Foundation. With the participation of CdE s President Mónica de Oriol, Antonio Fernández Ecker, Deputy Director of SMEs; Elsa González, President of the Federation of Press Associations of Spain; and Julio Martínez, President of Universidad Pontificia de Comillas ICAI-ICADE. Cre100do.es chooses 15 companies to help them grow. Presentation of the first 15 selected companies. Project promoted together with the Bankinter Innovation Foundation and ICEX. Participating in the presentation were the Chairman of Bankinter, Pedro Guerrero; the President and Vicepresident of Bankinter Innovation Foundation, José María Fernández-Sousa and Carlos Mira; the General Director for Business Internationalization of ICEX, Isaac D. Martín-Barbero, and CdE s Secretary General, Jesús Sainz. The Kingdom of Spain Award for Entrepreneurial Achievement. Award presented by King Juan Carlos I to Enrique de Sendagorta, Honorary President of SENER. This event was also attended by the Minister of Economy and Competitiveness Luis de Guindos. The change that Spain needs: Lessons from the Barometer. Conference by Jesús Fernández- Villaverde, Professor of Economics at the University of Pennsylvania and a member of the Advisory Board of CdE, during the presentation of the report published together with Círculo de Economía (Barcelona) and Círculo de Empresarios Vascos. 9

10 5.4. International forums CdE is considered a point of reference, as demonstrated by the numerous invitations that it receives to participate in international events. During 2013 and the first semester of 2014, president Mónica de Oriol has participated in several international meetings as a speaker: Forum Expresso XXI in Vidago, Portugal, organized by the Banco Espirito Santo: State and challenges of the Spanish economy. May 16 and 17, Spain Economic Forum 2014 in New York, organized by the Spain-U.S. Chamber of Commerce. May 7 and 8, LSE on Spain in the Global Economy; the Outlook for 2014 conference in the Ramón Areces Foundation in Madrid. Organised by LSE in Spain. November 25, IX Latin American Business Conference in Panama. October 16-18, International Meeting of Opposing Parties in Paris, organized by the Institut de L Entreprise, in the panel discussion The Changing Companies. June 18, Spain Summit Strategies for Global Growth in Madrid, organized by The Economist Panel. February 12,

11 6. Outputs 6.1. Policy proposal and recommendations Over these four decades since its inception, CdE has been making valuable and diverse contributions to the political debate. One of its main concerns is the creation of conditions that permit good performance of the market economy, where entrepreneurship and private initiative can flourish. With this aim, CdE has been issuing recommendations and proposals on subjects such as State regulation, political and economic freedom, improvement of infrastructures, modernization of Public Administration, and reform of the tax system and labor market. Many of those recommendations and proposals have been taken on board by different Spanish governments or by the political parties in their programs. Role of the State Although the values of pluralism and individual freedom have been achieved and are now part of today s Spanish society, the private sector has not yet reached its full potential, in part due to excessive State intervention and size of the public sector. CdE therefore proposes that: The role of the State is to create the conditions that help foster private initiative and promote pluralism and individual freedom. The State should fundamentally act in three areas: justice, security and protection of the underprivileged and marginalized groups. Economic freedom CdE believes that private initiative is an essential element in a democratic society and plays an irreplaceable role in economic, technological and social progress. CdE has always defended the liberalization and deregulation of the economy even when mainstream political thinking advocated increased State intervention. CdE has been striving to improve the regulatory framework and to achieve greater coordination between the different levels of Administration. Regional Autonomous Communities should refrain from creating local/regional regulations merely for the sake of political differentiation. CdE also advocate that regulatory bodies should be independent and not be influenced by politicians. 11

12 Modernization of infrastructures Although the values of pluralism and individual freedom have been achieved and are now part of today s Spanish society, the private sector has not yet reached its full potential, in part due to excessive State intervention and size of the public sector. CdE therefore proposes that: In order to avoid the lack of adequate infrastructures that can hinder competitiveness and economic growth: CdE advocates to keep investing in infrastructures, regardless of the macroeconomic situation. CdE calls for the reduction of public expenditure in certain areas so that resources can be reallocated to other areas without increasing the tax burden or the public debt. CdE calls for an effiicient management of infrastructures. CdE advocates the privatization of main infrastructures. Modernization of the Public Administration CdE defends that the Public Administration should adopt management criteria and incentive systems that are common practice in the private sector. CdE recommends a new service philosophy based on the concept of client and client s expectations. It advocates externalization in areas which are not considered pure public services. In order to avoid overlapping, CdE calls for a clear distribution of powers, between the Nation s goverment and the Regional and Local Administrations. Reform of the tax system Over the years CdE has proposed the modernization of the tax system, including: Reduction of the tax burden Tax consolidation Replacement of direct taxation by indirect taxation Elimination of the property tax Simplification of the personal income tax system Improvement of the efficiency of public expenditure Introduction of one single and reduced corporate tax rate 12

13 Efficient Labor market One of the main structural problems affecting Spain s economy is the high level of unemployment. In order to achieve an efficient labor market CdE advocates: Salary increases tied to increased productivity rather than to the rate of inflation Reduction of employers contributions to the Social Security Reform of employment policies Specific measures to improve youth employment Parity of dismissal costs of permanent contracts and temporary contracts to eliminate labor market duality Reduction to three types of labor contracts and reinforcement of part-time employment Promote competitiveness Some of CdE proposals include: Eliminate tax, labor and bureaucratic barriers that hinder business growth Educate young people in the values of entrepreneurship Promote business innovation and internationalization Improve the economic environment Promote reindustrialization 13

14 6.2. Programs CdE s commitment to Spanish society goes well beyond proposing ideas and recommendations to promote economic growth and social welfare. CdE is also action-oriented and manages various collaborative programs to strengthen ties between the business sector and the rest of the Spanish society, specifically the political sector. Programs for politicians and high officials Business and Parliament Scheme (Programa Empresas Parlamentarios) Under this program, deputies, senators and members of the European Parliament participate in a series of visits to CdE member-companies. This program has a double aim: on the one hand, it offers legislators an in-depth view of the business world; on the other, it provides business managers a view of parliamentary processes at national and European levels. Executive Management Program for Members of Parliament (Programa Ejecutivo de Gestión para Parlamentarios). A joint project of CdE and IE Business School, it was launched in 2001 and targeted at deputies, senators and other politicians interested in obtaining training on business management. As part of the program, trainees visit CdE member-companies. Judges Magistrates Business Program (Programa Empresas Magistrados Jueces) This program offers judges and magistrates an inside view of the business world. Simultaneously, it seeks to provide business managers with a better knowledge on the administration of justice. Diplomatic Career Business Program (Programa Empresas Carrera Diplomática) Under this program, members of the Diplomatic carrier, participate in training programs that are promoted by CdE member-companies. Defense Business Program (Programa Empresas Defensa) Under this program, students at the Centro Superior de Estudios de la Defensa Nacional (Center for Studies of National Defense) visit CdE member-companies. Ministry of Economy and Competitiveness Business Program (Programa Empresas-Funcionarios del Ministerio de Economía y Competitividad) Workshops in CdE member-companies targeted to high officials of the Ministry of Economy and Competitiveness. Public Leadership in Entrepreneurship and Innovation Program (Programa de Liderazgo público en emprendimiento e innovación) This joint project of CdE and Deusto Business School trains senior officials of the Administration so as to promote entrepreneurship and innovation in their departments. 14

15 Educational Programs Educational Cooperation Programs (Programas de Cooperación Educativa) CdE contributes to the training of university students at the Autonomous University of Madrid (Faculty of Business and Economics Science and Faculty of Psychology) and Comillas Pontifical University ICADE. Students have access to traineeship programs in CdE member-companies. Creating our Project Program (Programa Creamos nuestro proyecto) CdE participates in this program developed by Create Foundation to promote entrepreneurship values and attitudes in primary and secondary schools. European Business Program An international training program, created in 1986, and managed by Antonio de Nebrija University, with CdE providing its support and expertise. Programs for Entrepreneurs Business Managers Parliament Program (Programa Directivos Parlamento) This program offers business managers an in-depth view of how the Parliament works. Spanish Seniors for Technical Cooperation (Seniors Españoles para la Cooperación Técnica, SECOT) SECOT is a non-profit organization, created by the CdE and comprised by former business managers who offer their experience and know-how to society. SECOT s services are highly requested by small and medium-sized companies and by public and private institutions. 15

16 6.3. Meetings and forums During 2013 and 2014, CdE organized 30 events for its members with prestigious opinion leaders and renowned politicians. Topic Guest Position Date Economy Forum Cesar Alierta President of Telefónica December 2014 State of Justice in Spain Eduardo Torres - Dulce Attorney General of Spain June 2014 Spanish social and economic situation Antón Costas President of the Círculo de Economía May 2014 Current economic outlook in Spain Elvira Rodríguez President of CNMV, the regulatory body of the Spanish Stock Market April 2014 Current political, economic and media affairs Miguel Ángel Noceda Economics Correspondent in the newspaper El Pais April 2014 Current political and economic affairs in Spain Felipe González Former Prime Minister March 2014 Spanish crisis and economic recovery Cristóbal Montoro Minister of Finance and Public Administration March 2014 Social networks in our society Carolyn Everson Vice-President of Global Marketing Solutions at Facebook February 2014 Telecommunications in the world and in Europe José María Álvarez-Pallete CEO of Telefónica February 2014 Current economic outlook in Spain Luis María Linde Governor of the Bank of Spain February 2014 Collaboration between Spain and France: fighting terrorism and overcoming the economic crisis Jérôme Bonnafont French Ambassador to Spain January 2014 Arcano Report 2013: The case for Spain II, Spain 2014 = Germany 2004 Ignacio de la Torre Partner at Arcano December 2013 Media in Spain Fernando González Urbaneja Opinion leader and contributor to the journal ABC December 2013 Energy Forum Eduardo Montes President of UNESA November 2013 Presentation of the book There is life after the crisis José Carlos Díez Professor of Economics at the University Comillas-Icade October

17 Topic Guest Position Date Public Administration Reform Jaime Undersecretary of State October 2013 Pérez Renovales for the Prime Minister s Office Pensions and competitiveness John Müller Deputy Director of El Mundo September 2013 Competitiveness in the Euro area. Spain and Italy Guntram Wolff Director of Bruegel September 2013 Current political, economic and media affairs José Antonio Zarzalejos Renowned journalist and contributor to the digital journal El Confidencial July 2013 Media view Mariano Guindal Journalist, writer and contributor in the newspaper La Vanguardia June 2013 Pension System: Proposals for a necessary reform Carmelo Mesa Lago Professor of Social Policy and Social Security in Latin America June 2013 Spain and the United States in the economic and financial crisis Alan D. Solomont U.S. Ambassador to Spain June 2013 Spain and the UK in the economic and financial crisis Giles Paxman British Ambassador to Spain May 2013 Financial and economic crisis Satoru Satoh Japanese Ambassador to Spain May 2013 Current political affairs and media landscape analysis Miguel Ángel Aguilar Secretary General of the European Journalists Association May 2013 Presentation of the book We, the Markets. What they are, how they work and why they are essential Daniel Lacalle Columnist in the journal El Confidencial April 2013 Labor reform Engracia Hidalgo Secretary of State for Employment April 2013 Crisis and recovery of the Spanish economy Juan María Nin CEO of la Caixa April 2013 Econimic outlook in Spain, Europe and the US Reinhard Silberberg German Ambassador to Spain March 2013 Industry, energy and tourism in Spain José Manuel Soria Minister of Industry, Energy and Tourism January

18 6.4. Publications During the second semester of 2013 and 2014, CdE published the following reports: Title Achieving competitive, sustainable and guaranteed energy Description The search for competitive and sustainable energy from guaranteed supplies is doubtless a basic demand of any modern, competitive economy. February 2015 Date The challenges of financing in the business sector (Los retos de la financiación del sector empresarial) The access to financing January 2015 Second edition Top50 of the medium-sized spanish company (Segunda edición Top 50 de La empresa mediana española) VII Encounter The Economy and the Society. The institutions reforms cant be postponed This study falls within CdE s medium-sized Companies Project. Reforms must continue with the utmost determination. December 2014 December 2014 State Budget for 2015: More political than economic priorities (PGE-2015: Más prioridades políticas que económicas Critical analysis of the State Budget for October 2014 Medium-sized Spanish companies. Annual Report (La empresa mediana española) Overview of the Spanish business sector based on Eurostat data and research by CdE. June 2014 The Barometer (El Barómetro de los Círculos) The Barometer seeks to analyze the state of our economic environment and to define the changes needed to increase competitiveness June 2014 Top 50 Spanish medium-sized companies. Selected success stories (Top 50 de la empresa mediana española Selección de casos de éxito) Survey on entrepreneurs perception (Encuesta sobre la imagen del Empresario) This study falls within CdE s medium-sized Companies Project. Survey to learn the opinion of the Spanish society about entrepreneurs and entrepreneurship. April 2014 January 2014 Pensions. A core reform (Pensiones. Una reforma medular) An in-depth analysis on the reform of the pension system January years of contribution to the Spanish society (Círculo de Empresarios. 35 años de contribución a la sociedad española) Commemorative book on CdE s history since its inception in January 2014 State Budget for 2014: By slowing down the reformist impulse, recovery can be delayed (PGE-2014: La pérdida de impulso reformista podría retrasar la recuperación) Critical analysis of the State Budget for October 2013 The medium-sized Spanish companies (La empresa mediana española) Research on medium-sized Spanish companies. October

19 7. Impact Throughout its four decades of history CdE has been a dynamic voice in the political debate in Spain. It has proposed ideas that, although initially considered avantgarde, ended up being implemented in the legislation by different governments. From the moment it was founded in 1977, the CdE advocated that Spain should develop a system of free market economy. Its ideas contributed to the Spanish Círculo de Empresarios has contributed to the recognition of free market economy and increasing business freedom Constitution of 1978, which recognized the market economy as the way of organizing the economic life of the country. For CdE, business freedom is a key element of a democratic society and plays an irreplaceable role in its economic, technological and social progress. CdE requests the State to simply create a framework and rules that facilitate their development. It also emphasizes the importance of regulatory quality and the existence of a rule of law guaranteed by the judiciary system. All these objectives have been achieved in different levels since the approval of the Constitution and its subsequent development through new legislation. Círculo de Empresarios has contributed to good corporate governance CdE has also contributed to bringing to Spain ideas about corporate governance. Encouraged by CdE, the government created a special committee, in which CdE participated actively, to develop a Corporate Governance code. CdE has always advocated the need to privatize public companies so that business and economic criteria would prevail over political criteria. CdE has also championed the importance of privatizing infrastructure management in order to boost Spanish economic competitiveness. The privatization of public companies began in 1990 and today very few companies remain under State ownership. CdE has been discussing the importance of promoting competition in the Spanish economy: Either by increasing the number of competitors in all sectors of economy, specially in those sectors which were public monopolies or oligopolies, such as the energy sector and telecommunications: Or by liberalizing and deregulating policies, such as the freedom of opening times of stores and shops or home rentals. Regarding the financial sector, CdE called for the reform of savings banks, the end of the political control and the elimination of the asymmetry between commercial and savings banks that distorted competition. This reform is under way. 19

20 Regarding taxation, CdE has always advocated the importance of reducing the tax burden on citizens and companies. CdE has repeatedly stressed the need to restructure the taxation system because the current one discourages savings and investment and encourages fraud. CdE has also asked for the suppression of the wealth tax. All these proposals are being addressed through successive tax reforms. Another CdE major concern is the public deficit. CdE proposed the establishment of a constitutional limit on the State s borrowing capacity. This proposal was adopted by means of a constitutional reform in August Regarding public policies, CdE has endorsed two proposals: First, the health reform, which began in 1998 and continues to receive proposals from the Círculo aimed at applying private management practices and incentives in the provision of these services. Secondly, the reform of the pension system. Improvements in this area have been limited. Reforms of the banking, tax and health systems, and of the labor market, were encouraged by Circulo de Empresarios Many CdE s recommendations for the labor market have been included in the labor market reforms that began in the mid-nineties (e.g., the proposal that salary negotiations be conducted at a company level, not on a sectorial level, was adopted in 2012). But much still needs to be done so as to achieve an efficient labor market. CdE also had an important role in defining the Entrepreneurs Act of Some of the proposals that were adopted include: Implementation of an entrepreneurial education at all levels Creation of a public venture capital fund for innovative start-ups Reduction in social security contributions for those who become self-employed Tax reduction to start-ups and self-employed people. Finally, CdE s efforts in improving the social perception about businessmen and entrepreneurs are beginning to show results. A recent poll by the prestigious Metroscopia Institute indicates that Spanish society has increasing confidence in employers and that the majority of Spaniards would want their children to be businessmen and entrepreneurs, as opposed to the traditional preference for being an employee, preferably in the public administration.

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