The EU High Level Group on Business Services emphasizes the importance of business services for the European competitiveness. Consequently the Group recommends in its final report – delivered 9th April 2014 – that these services should be adequately reflected in the Europe 2020 Strategy. Business services, which support their client organizations in technical, marketing, financial, legal and managerial issues as well as in the infrastructure maintenance, are an integral part of industrial value chains. There are, however, deficiencies in the procurement skills regarding these services in private companies and in the public sector. Strengthening these skills is an urgent task both at the EU level and in the member states.
The High Level Group on Business Services was launched by Vice-President Antonio Tajani and Commissioner Michel Barnier in March 2013 to help define a European policy agenda for this important sector. The Group was chaired by Professor Carlo Secchi from Bocconi University, Italy. The group members represented both the academic world and companies. Five sub-groups were established to carry out the practical work. The sub-group handling the topic of innovation was led by Research Professor Marja Toivonen from VTT.
The final report of the Groups is available on the following website http://ec.europa.eu/enterprise/policies/industrial-competitiveness/industrial-policy/hlg-business-services/index_en.htm
The policy recommendations of the Group can be found on the site http://europa.eu/rapid/press-release_MEMO-14-265_en.htm