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Hidden Treasures

Introduction by Donald Kalff, at the presentation of the project "HIDDEN TREASURES: Mapping Europe's Sources in Competitive Advantages for doing Business".
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BRUSSELS - Ideaslab CEPS

21 February 2019

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Today it is your turn to asses Europe's Hidden Treasures. We have not ranked them. You might find some more relevant than others. Moreover, as we do not pretend that our list is exhaustive, we hope that you will add items to the list for further analysis and development.

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The European Enterprise

Value creation for society

Large enterprises are an indispensable part of the fabric of modern economies. Donald Kalff draws attention to their poor and diminishing contributions to society. He proposes to reposition the large enterprise and to redesign its governance, organization structure and decision making, absorbing lessons learned by the most advanced European enterprises.

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Existing listed companies are difficult to turn around -- yet advanced enterprises, many of them Nordic, show the way forward.

-- from 'The European Enterprise'
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EU Agenda

The EU is well positioned to develop a new agenda for innovation and economic growth

The EU enjoys a number of competitive advantages compared to other trading blocks, advantages that have largely gone unrecognized to date.
A new agenda should be geared to the strengthening of what is already strong with a focus on the interests of both large and small enterprises.

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Europe’s economic fate will be decided by, and within, a circle of interlinked, innovative cities: Berlin, Munich, Milan, Turin, Lyon, Paris, Amsterdam, Hamburg, Copenhagen, and Stockholm. Coordination of policy development and implementation at EU27 level is called for.

-- from 'A new European innovation and growth agenda'
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Dutch governance landscape

Testing ground for enterprise models

The Netherlands hold a special place in the EU. Dutch listed companies have proven to be vulnerable to pressure from financial markets and Anglo-Saxon consultants.
At the same time, these companies operate in the context of many special interest groups, champions of the stakeholder model.

But Dutch law and culture support a plethora of alternative enterprise models for unlisted companies: societies, foundations and co-operatives running sizeable businesses.

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Tata IJmuiden is a spectacular example of what a board of directors, a supervisory board, and a works council can do together. The decision to develop a viable, tailor-made business model has ensured the creation of economic value that forms the basis for Tata’s continuity. We can only hope more companies will follow their example.

-- from 'Creating value at Tata Steel Europe'
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Entrepreneur and author

Donald Kalff

Donald Kalff is a former member of the executive committee of a large listed company and (co) founder of 6 companies, each pushing technological boundaries in their field. He is also the author of two books and numerous articles on the governance and management of large enterprises and on the competitiveness of Europe.

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