The 4th European Family Business Summit took place in Amsterdam on the 30th of May. Over 180 family business entrepreneurs from 18 European countries came together to address important business and political developments that are affecting family businesses in Europe.
Mairead McGuinness, Vice-President of the European Parliament, addressed the audience through a video recording, recognising the concerns of family businesses about the future of Europe, Brexit and other major political events. Family business owners have concerns regarding Brexit, she noted, and the consequent uncertainty of the future of the single market. The access to markets, Mrs. McGuinness stated, is facilitated by the European single market and she acknowledged its importance for family businesses. Concerning Brexit and the future of Europe, Mrs. McGuiness stressed that “the European Union, for all the difficulties around its formation and its continuation, is an absolute necessity for the future of our continent. […] It is a unique structure to be nurtured and developed”.
In his address, the chairman of European Family Business, Alfonso Libano, mentioned that the single market has proven to be a platform for family businesses to prosper. With today’s political uncertainty, “we must do all we can to ensure that the framework and principles that we have fought so hard for are not undone by short-term reactionary politics”. On the importance of the family business sector, he noted that (family businesses) are the “real engines of continuity, renewal and growth in most countries”. Unstable rules on business transfers, disadvantageous tax regimes that penalize the use of equity are, Mr. Libano noted, key issues to be addressed by the EU and its member states. Speaking for family businesses, he urged members of the audience to “not shy away from telling the public that our values, our long-term vision, our local and regional engagement, […] are what drive EU economies”.
A full report and pictures covering all panel discussions and addresses of the summit can be found on our website: