Ahead of this week’s summit in Brussels, David Cameron and leaders of other EU member state countries have sent a joint letter to the European Commission President, Jose Manuel Barroso, calling for a greater role for the free market within the EU, reports David Mentiply.
According to the group of nine, the EU must move beyond simply “fire-fighting” the eurozone crisis, or risk even higher levels of unemployment and economic peril.
The letter proposes four main priorities in what it labels its “post-crisis strategy”: the opening-up of the single market for services; liberalising international trade; reducing the burden of regulation on small businesses and start-up companies; and promoting innovation.
It is perhaps no coincidence that the letter was signed by leaders from the mostly non-eurozone, more economically liberal member states: the United Kingdom, the Netherlands, Poland, Sweden, Denmark, Estonia, Latvia, Lithuania and Finland.
All nine signatories call for the abolition of “opaque, disproportionate and disparate regulation” of the service-sector. They want trade and accessibility of services to be as free and open as commodity markets now are, in order to stimulate increased competition and drive down consumer prices. The letter estimates that the opening up of the EU service sector could benefit the economy by as much as 140 billion euro, or £122 billion.
It is interesting that David Cameron has once again, thrown his lot in with fellow EU member state leaders. Prior to the General Election, it was supposed by many analysts across the political spectrum that the Conservatives would retreat to the sidelines and not have much to do with European affairs. In fact, Cameron has appeared to revel in contradicting such preconceptions. He has struck up a good working relationship with Angela Merkel and a close bond with Nicolas Sarkozy – forged over issues relating to financial reform, security and defence.
Ahead of the summit, Cameron will meet Poland’s Prime Minister, Donald Tusk. It is likely that they will discuss the contents of the letter and also how to push forward with a more aggressive, free market approach within the EU.
Whether one likes Cameron’s politics or not, it cannot be denied that, he is quickly building a reputation for himself as a consummate political operator.
You can read more from David at www.greensen.wordpress.com and Twitter @DavidMentiply.