Former Medef boss Pierre Gattaz is preparing to hand over Sweden’s Fredrik Persson as director of BusinessEurope, the European employers’ organization announced in a press release on Friday. “During a meeting in Prague today (Friday), the BusinessEurope Board of Presidents unanimously elected Fredrik Persson,” the organization said.
The 54-year-old Swede will start a two-year term on July 1, renewable once. The only candidate in the race, he is preparing to succeed Frenchman Pierre Gattaz, president of BusinessEurope since 2018 and whose second term was notably marked by the covid-19 pandemic and the war in Ukraine. “Fredrik has been Vice President of BusinessEurope since 2020 and an active member of our Presidents’ Council since 2017,” the year he took over as head of Swedish employers, Pierre Gattaz was quoted as saying in the press release. “With his vast experience, he is the president that BusinessEurope needs in these difficult times,” said the former president of the Mouvement des entreprises de France.
In an interview with AFP, Pierre Gattaz invited his successor to make European leaders aware of the consequences of economic sanctions against Russia for European companies. “We agree on the sanctions, but we have to do it intelligently, find alternative suppliers. There is a collective intelligence to implement ”between political leaders and European bosses, he estimated.
Gattaz will focus on his company Radiall
In addition, “we need growth to develop businesses,” said Pierre Gattaz, a supporter of signing new trade agreements. “When it no longer comes from Russia and can be harmed by (sanitary restrictions in) China, we have to look for other avenues of growth: Latin America, India, Africa…”, he detailed.
From Brexit to the Ukraine war, “we have come a long way in crises. The patrons who wonder what Europe is for are not very many anymore”, rejoiced Pierre Gattaz, who will now dedicate himself to his company Radiall and to wine-growing activities in the Luberon.
“Taking on this important role at a critical moment in European history is a great responsibility and a true honour,” said Fredrik Persson. “It is essential that the European Union has an ambitious agenda in terms of competitiveness to ensure the prosperity of its citizens and to succeed in the transition towards a sustainable future”, added the future president. Headquartered in Brussels, BusinessEurope brings together 40 professional organizations from 35 countries, including Medef for France.