FEB committees and platforms

Belgian Association of Listed Companies
Belgian Business for Europe - BBE
Communication Committee
Company Safety Committee
Customs and Excise Platform
Digital Platform
Economic Committee
Energy and Climate Committee
European Environmental Policy Platform

Europe Platform
International Relations Committee
Legal Committee
Mobility and Logistics Platform
Occupational Health & Safety Committee
Packaging and Packaging Waste Platform
SME Committee
Social Affairs Committee

Supplementary Pensions Working Group
Tax Committee

Belgian Association of Listed Companies (non-profit)

Role and activities
The Listed Companies Committee has two objectives: - examining the difficulties encountered by listed companies and make their voice heard in order to influence applicable rules and regulations; - serving as an interface between a) listed companies and b) external authorities such as the Financial Services and Market Authority, the stock exchange authorities and FPS Finance. It comprises representatives from Belgian listed companies. The Association issues positions on Belgian and European initiatives, such as company audits, information listed companies have to provide and shareholder rights and obligations. In addition, it closely monitors the implementation of corporate governance.

Chairman
Koen Dejonckheere, Chief Executive Officer, GIMV
FEB  representative
Philippe Lambrecht, Director Secretary-General, sma@vbo-feb.be


Belgian Business for Europe - BBE

Role and activities
European legislation is increasingly impacting the daily lives of businesses of all sizes in all sectors. So monitoring it is crucial. BBE brings together specialists in European issues from our member federations and many companies active in Belgium. Without replacing other FEB forums where European technical dossiers are discussed, it serves a dual role. Thanks to numerous interventions made by representatives of Belgian or European authorities (the European Commission and European Parliament), BBE enables federations and member companies to keep up to date on recent or future legislative developments at European level and make the representatives of Belgian and European authorities more aware of their specific concerns.

Chairman
Philippe De Buck, Honorary Director General of BusinessEurope and Member of the European Economic and Social Committee
FEB representative
Olivier Joris, Executive Manager of the Competence Centre Europe & International - oj@vbo-feb.be


Communication Committee

Role and activities
The Communication Committee aims to:
- facilitate the sharing of information and experience between communication professionals;
- optimally involve the industry federations in FEB’s major communication initiatives;
- create a debate platform on communication strategies and tools to be deployed in an effort to tackle shared challenges via frequent contributions by outside speakers. The work done by the committee helps to promote a positive image of the business world. The committee comprises communication officers from FEB member federations and regional employer organisations. It also comprises communication managers from companies that are either Belgian or active in Belgium. Their expertise and experience are a major asset to the committee.

Chairman
Laurent Winnock, Chief Communications Officer & Director Corporate Responsibility, AXA Belgium
FEB representative
Stefan Maes, Head Communication, sm@vbo-feb.be


Company Safety Committee

Role and activities
The Company Safety Committee seeks to meet the needs and expectations of companies regarding protection from terrorism, organised crime, cybercrime, etc. This initiative dovetails with the agreement concluded in 2001 between FEB and FPS Justice promoting close collaboration with the relevant public services (Federal Police, State Security Service, Federal Public Prosecutor’s Office). The committee prepares FEB positions and serves as a spokesman in dealings with the Permanent Platform on Corporate Security, which reports to FPS Justice and on which sit representatives of the public authorities and FEB. It comprises representatives of the industry federations and experts from companies. Current issues include cybersurveillance, the protection of critical infrastructure, the Early Warning System and protecting companies from crime and related risks.

Chairman
Gilbert Geudens, Director Risk Management, Carrefour
FEB representative
Nathalie Ragheno,Senior Adviser in the Competence centre Law & Business, nr@vbo-feb.be


Customs and Excise Platform

Role and activities
The Customs and Excise Platform aims to exchange information on the activities of the Belgium's National Customs Forum, prepare meetings of the Forum's various working groups and determine common positions taken by private-sector stakeholders to be promoted within the Forum. It is composed of representatives of the Forum's member federations, members of the Forum's Steering Committee and business experts.

The Forum is a platform for consultations between the administration and businesses. It was set up by a specific protocol. Full information on the Forum is in the public domain, available (in French and Dutch) on the website www.naforna.be.

Chairman
Abram Op de Beeck, Customs and Foreign Trade Manager, BASF Antwerp
FEB representative
Jean Baeten, Executive Manager of the Competence centre Taxation & Investment, jb@vbo-feb.be

 
Digital Platform

The Digital Platform comprises participants from various FEB working groups and committees, plus several business leaders in the field. This approach provides a general, cross-sector overview of issues.

The purpose of the new Digital Platform is to promote Belgian companies' digitisation of their various business processes and relations with their customers, other companies and the authorities.

The aims in adopting such an approach are to improve exchanges of information on the various aspects of digitisation and to create synergies. To do this, it draws on an overview of digitally related issues, topics covered by FEB's existing, more technical and/or specific working groups (Data Protection, e-Invoicing, etc.).

Actions have been defined in five areas:

- serving as a platform where ideas about digitisation can be exchanged and fresh developments on digitisation can be explained;
- developing a vision on the digitisation of businesses and society and defining how it can best be promoted;
- monitoring, discussing and adjusting the existing and intended government policy in all domains (potentially) impacting the digitisation of businesses and society;
- serving as a sounding board for specific, multisector digitisation projects in which businesses are important stakeholders;
- raising awareness among Belgian businesses, entrepreneurs and employees of the opportunities presented by digitisation (practical tips, information meetings, training courses, etc.).

Six strategic topics have been defined: (i) Digital Infrastructure, (ii) Digital Confidence, (iii) Digital Skills, Jobs & Entrepreneurship, (iv) Digital Business, (v) Digital Government and (vi) Digital Security.

The Digital Platform will focus primarily on three actions:

- evaluating the 10-point plan for a digital economy after 2 years;
- defining digitisation;
- and updating the 10-point plan. 

Chairman
Benoît Degrève, President of the Federation of Business Consultants (Febuco) and Managing Partner of Global Business Services BeLux and Public Sector BeNeLux, IBM Belgium, Netherlands & Luxembourg
FEB representatives
Raf Van Bulck, Deputy Adviser in the Competence centre Economics & Business Cycle, rvb@vbo-feb.be

 
Economic Committee

Role and activities
The Economic Committee is a forum for dialogue between FEB and its members on economic issues. It comprises representatives of industry, but outside speakers are regularly invited to attend. Twice a year, the committee members review the business climate in their sector. This data is used to draw up FEB’s economic forecasts. Every year, the Economic Committee examines the Central Economic Council’s Belgian competitiveness report used as the basis for negotiating the biennial multi-industry agreement. It analyses the budget situation at least twice a year. The Economic Committee regularly tackles topics such as corporate financing, monitoring inflation, economic governance at European level, innovation, etc.

Chairman
Jan Van Hove, Chief economist, KBC Group
FEB representative
Edward Roosens, Chief Economist of the FEB, Executive Manager of the Competence centre Economics & Business Cycle, er@vbo-feb.be


Energy and Climate Committee

Role and activities

The Energy and Climate Committee comprises representatives of energy producers and consumers (electricity, gas, oil, etc.) from various industries. Its purpose is to monitor energy and climate developments, including the operation of the electricity and gas market; the competitiveness of energy prices; Belgium's greenhouse gas emission, renewable energy and energy efficiency targets; energy taxes; the EU Emissions Trading Scheme; and security of supply.
The Committee discusses and adopts the positions that FEB will advocate. It also organises meetings with key political and market players and deals with European issues.

Chairman
Michèle Sioen, Chief Executive Officer, Sioen Industries
FEB representative
Olivier Van der Maren, Executive Manager of the Competence centre Sustainable Development & Mobility, ovm@vbo-feb.be


European Environmental Policy Platform

Role and activities
The European Environmental Policy Platform – created by FEB, VOKA, BECI and UWE – prepares, promotes and coordinates positions that employer organisations wish to advocate in their dealings with the international, European, federal and regional authorities with regard to European and international environmental policy. This platform currently has around one hundred members, including federations and companies from various sectors. It is active across all issues covered at European and international level having an impact on regional and federal environmental policy. The topics currently covered are climate change, air, products (REACH, CLP), waste, management of materials and raw materials.

FEB representative
Vanessa Biebel, Adviser in the Competence centre Sustainable Development & Mobility, vb@vbo-feb.be


Europe Platform

Role and activities
This platform, reserved exclusively for representatives of members (via FEBNet), promotes the sharing of information on European issues of importance to FEB and the industries it represents. This information covers the agendas of the European institutions (Commission, Council and European Parliament) as well as documentation and studies on key European issues (e.g., economic governance, relaunch of the Single Market, Europe 2020 Strategy.

FEB representative
Olivier Joris, Executive Manager of the Competence centre Europe & International, oj@vbo-feb.be


International Relations Committee

Role and activities
Comprising representatives of industry federations and exporting companies, the International Relations Committee meets three times a year and hosts renowned speakers from European institutions, FPS Foreign Affairs, the WTO and think tanks. It promotes Belgium’s economic presence abroad (access to markets, economic diplomacy, export financing, etc.). Since trade policy is largely determined by the European Union and the World Trade Organization, the committee closely monitors the work done by those institutions (free trade agreements, Doha Round, etc.).

Chairman
Lode Willems (honorary ambassador), Director External and Governmental Affairs, BNP Paribas Fortis
FEB representative
Benoit Monteyne, Deputy Adviser in the Competence centre Europe & International, bm@vbo-feb.be 

Legal Committee

Role and activities
The Legal Committee drafts FEB positions in all areas pertaining to business law and calling for action from FEB. It takes action either on its own initiative or in connection with regulatory initiatives at Belgian, European and international level. It is the stage right before the FEB’s decision-making bodies. It comprises representatives of the industry federations. Current issues include the Code of Econcomic Law, payment deadlines, business continuity, the dematerialisation of securities, smart regulation, class actions, the unitary patent, accounting law and reforms of competition law.

Chairman
Jean Eylenbosch, Vice-President European Government Relations, Coca-Cola European Partners
FEB representative
Philippe Lambrecht, Director Secretary-General, sma@vbo-feb.be

Mobility and Logistics Platform

Role and activities
The Mobility and Logistics Platform brings together the sectors that provide mobility and logistics services (public transport, hauliers, automotive manufacturers, ports, etc.) and the sectors that use them.
It deals with mobility, the transport of goods and logistics.
The dossiers covered include following up on the mileage tax for heavy goods vehicles (HGVs), rail freight policy, the development of e-commerce, rising volumes of transport flows and various European issues (vehicles' weight and dimensions, the Eurovignette, rules on road cabotage, etc.). It also tackles issues related to commuting, the mobility budget, the development of an interfederal mobility vision, rail policy, new mobility services and the introduction of a smart mileage tax for all vehicles.

The platform draws up FEB's positions and proposals, facilitates exchanges of information and experience between federations and informs its members of significant developments and innovations.

Chairman
Frank Witlox, Professor, UGent

FEB representatives
Eloïse de Villegas, Attaché in the Competence centre Sustainable Development & Mobility, elv@vbo-feb.be
Sofie Brutsaert, Advisor at FEB's Sustainable Development & Mobility Competence Centre, sbr@vbo-feb.be

Occupational Health & Safety Committee

Role and activities
The Occupational Health & Safety Committee is responsible for all issues having to do with worker well-being at the workplace. More specifically, it is a sounding board for preparing employer positions on draft legislation and royal decrees in the High Council for Prevention and Protection at Work. It also covers European issues relating to worker health and safety. This mainly involves drafting positions for the Occupational Health and Safety Committee of BUSINESSEUROPE and the Advisory Committee on Safety, Hygiene and Health Protection at Work, a Luxembourg-based advisory body to the European Commission. It comprises representatives of industry federations as well as experts appointed by companies. The issues covered include safety at work, protection of worker health at work, the psychosocial load caused by work (stress, harassment, etc.), ergonomics, occupational health, beautifying the workplace, corporate environmental measures and how they impact on the above-mentioned points.

Chairman
José Herbaux, Safety & Security Manager Total Petrochemicals

FEB representative
Kris De Meester, Senior Adviser in the Competence centre Labour & Social Security, kdm@vbo-feb.be


Packaging and Packaging Waste Platform

Role and activities
The Packaging and Packaging Waste Platform – created by FEB, VOKA, BECI and UWE – is a standing advisory body for coordinating positions on packaging to be advocated in dealings with the interregional, federal and European authorities. The platform currently has some 50 members, including federations, companies, packaging managers, manufacturers of materials, and approved bodies (FOST Plus and Valipac). The platform monitors legislation (health and safety plans, recycling targets, definitions, etc.) and deals with issues such as international standards and the prevention aspects of packaging management.

Chairwoman
Nathalie De Greve, Comeos
FEB representative
Arnout Ecker, Attaché in the Competence centre Sustainable Development & Mobility, ae@vbo-feb.be


SME Committee

Role and activities
Via the SME Committee, FEB collects input regarding the specific characteristics and interests of Belgian SMEs. It can also be used to closely monitor the situation in the field. In the past, many topics have already been covered within the SME Committee, including:
- internationalisation
- investment financing
- innovation
- administrative simplification
- competitiveness.

Chairman
Leo Borms, Chief Executive Officer, La Confiance
FEB representative
Edward Roosens, Chief Economist of the FEB, Executive Manager of the Competence centre Economics & the Economy, er@vbo-feb.be

Social Affairs Committee

Role and activities
The Social Affairs Committee decides on the positions FEB will advocate on behalf of the business community in its dealings with the government, Parliament and the joint bodies on which it has a seat, such as the National Labour Council and management bodies responsible for social security. It comprises some 40 active members from member federations and companies. It deals with topics such as individual and collective labour law at national and European level, developments in social security and all aspects of health & safety policy and the labour market.

Chairman
Jean-Louis Bremer, Chief Executive Officer, Gondrexon
FEB representatives
Monica De Jonghe, Director-General, ivn@vbo-feb.be


Supplementary Pensions Working Group

Role and activities
The Supplementary Pensions Working Group examines the concerns of supplementary pension organisers – whether employers or employer representatives at sectoral level – and develops joint positions on various issues after discussing the relevant issues with representatives of pension companies, insurers and pension funds. External experts also provide their opinions, as they are very familiar with employer requirements and the implementation of pension plans. 

The issues covered pertain to the provisions of the law on supplementary pensions, and include  the impact of switching from one pension institution to another, what needs to be done when members leave the pension plan, how to design a standard information sheet, etc. The solutions developed on these issues are then defended within the Supplementary Pensions Committee. European activities are also closely monitored, such as the revision of the Institutions for Occupational Retirement Provision Directive (Pension Fund), the revival of the European Commission proposal on the acquisition and preservation of supplementary pension rights, etc. These positions are forwarded to BusinessEurope and the European authorities. Lastly, the working group deals with more general topics, such as access to  the second pillar for all workers and the differences in supplementary pensions plans for blue-collar and white-collar workers.

Chairman
Jo Vandeweghe, Belgian Petroleum Federation
FEB representative
Marie-Noëlle Vanderhoven, Senior Adviser in the Competence centre Labour & Social security, mnv@vbo-feb.be   


Tax Committee

Role and activities
The Tax Committee pinpoints companies’ tax-related concerns and issues, while also seeking to proactively improve their tax environment. The committee has standing working groups (VAT, green taxes, customs and excise, international agreements, etc.) as well as ad hoc groups, the conclusions of which are discussed in full sessions. By regularly sharing information with the public authorities and government the working groups aim, where possible, to influence the drafting of legislation planned by the government and to suggest constructive solutions to the problems facing businesses. The main issues currently under examination are the fight again tax fraud, administrative simplification for businesses, the promotion of appropriate, stable and competitive taxation for businesses (including discussions on establishing a consolidated and optional tax base at European level), SME taxes, tax incentives (especially for R&D), lower charges on earned income, discussions at European level on the future of the VAT system, the implementation of the European directive on electronic invoicing, green taxes (especially monitoring European efforts to revise the directive on the taxation of energy and electricity), the National Customs Forum, the case law of the European Court of Justice, improving the Belgian network of tax treaties and the work of the OECD.

Chairman
Hilde Wampers,Director Group Tax,Proximus
FEB representative
Jean Baeten, Executive Manager of the Competence centre Taxation & Investment, jb@vbo-feb.be



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Business Issues

An optimum business environment is vital for a sound economy and sustainable growth. FEB aims to help create and maintain such an environment by, among other things, closely monitoring all issues of direct relevance to businesses. Here, grouped into 17 themes, are the issues on which FEB focuses most of its attention and action.

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