Business lays down expectations for EU ‘birthday card’

Business representatives urged the EU to press on with the Lisbon targets of growth and jobs, further market integration and institutional reform, ahead of the Berlin Declaration on 25 March 2007.

Making the single market stronger, cutting red tape and opening world markets by abolishing trade barriers is what needs to be achieved, according to German Economy and Technology Secretary of State Joachim Wuermeling  at the European Business Summit on 16 March 2007.

Wuermeling said that for the past 50 years, Europe has been inward-looking and that the next 50 years should see outward-looking development, in order to shape globalisation.

Handing over the official business message on the EU’s anniversary declaration, Businesseurope President Ernest-Antoine Seillière called on EU leaders to continue the path of reform. 

He said that European business supported the implementation of reforms for growth and jobs, further market integration, and was against national protectionism. Other demands were for EU leaders to continue enlargement, make social systems sustainable and reform institutions.

Seillière stressed that EU institutional reform was “not that difficult a task” and underlined that it was the responsibility of governments to take care of it, as “without it, there will be no future”.

Enterprise and Industry Commissioner Günter Verheugen underlined that setting better economic framework conditions remained a “top priority” for the Barroso Commission. Concerning actions taken by member states to promote growth and jobs, he said: “I know it is not enough, but at least it is a beginning.”

Verheugen said that the “political framework conditions are not up to the 21st century”. He said that in order to face globalisation, “we need to improve decision-making and make sure Europe can speak with one voice internally and externally”.

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