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Verhofstadt calls on Barroso to present his own Pact for Competitiveness

Date

10 Feb 2011

Sections

Euro & Finance

Guy Verhofstadt, leader of the Liberal and Democrat group in the European Parliament today has written to President Barroso, exactly one year since the new Commission mandate began, to urge him to seize back the initiative from the Member States on such important policy areas as economic governance and competitiveness that are vital to restoring Europe's future growth prospects.

Last week, ahead of the European Council meeting in Brussels, a Franco-German initiative launched proposals for strengthening economic policy coordination and strengthening competitiveness in the EU.

"Whilst such closer coordination on economic issues is clearly necessary, the chosen intergovernmental method marks a step backwards in the development of the Union.  Last minute changes may have ensured that a reference to the Treaty was included in the summit conclusions but this should be the basis for our decision-making, rather than an afterthought," said Verhofstadt. "The impression that Member States are seeking increasingly to bypass the Community method on important areas of policy is only reinforced by such experiences."

"The Commission must not be caught on the backfoot, but rather be at the forefront in tabling its own initiatives for discussion at European Council rather than simply executing a plan hatched in national capitals."

"Barroso may have been saved by opposition on Friday by a number of disgruntled smaller Member States who object to the steam-roller tactics of France and Germany. He should now prepare his own proposals in time for the March European Council."

The letter (attached) contains three main points to President Barroso:
- resist the slide towards intergovernmentalism where Member States take initiatives on their own and ignore the
  Community approach;
- present a bold and comprehensive package of proposals to boost competitiveness and governance for the March
   European Council, rather than leaving the space empty for Member States to fill;
- to assist Parliament in defending the inclusion of genuine and enforceable sanctions in the current legislative
   package on economic governance.

For more information, please contact:
Corlett Neil - Tel:+32 2 284 20 77 Mob:+32 478 78 22 84
Web: http://www.alde.eu

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