EEF sets out European manifesto for growth

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UK manufacturers have called for a reduction in the number of European commissioners to help the EU focus on lifting the Eurozone out of the economic doldrums.

The proposals from EEF are contained in 'Europe – A Manifesto for Growth'. Proposals include the creation of a powerful new Brussels-based red tape taskforce similar to the Better Regulation Executive established in the UK. EEF wants the EU to re-focus the work of its 28 commissioners and their departments. It has argued that there is considerable scope for 'clustering' of EU directorates general. It said there were too many of them, "leading to a proliferation of policy development, often with significant conflict and development in silos". EEF said that, where there was policy overlap, a "board of commissioners" could oversee the work of directorates bringing together, "for example, the directorates general of climate action and energy. EEF believes this would deliver much greater integration of policy as well as reduced costs". EEF has also called on Britain to take a leading role in Europe and focus more on the lucrative multi-billion pound trade deals and extending the highly valuable single market. According to its latest survey 85% of manufacturers would vote to remain in the EU. Terry Scuoler, Chief Executive of EEF, said: "These elections come at a critical time for the EU. We need all UK parties to come forward with a positive message both about our role in Europe and, how they will seek to evolve its priorities and institutions. This will ensure it is fit for the future, more accountable and focused on growth, all of which are critical for business and for voters. "A major start would be a cull in the number of directorates, which all have a mandate to propose legislation and, 28 Commissioners who wish to use their term in office to deliver specific policies. This has created a policy and political machine which churns out new initiatives, directives and regulations which are often developed in isolation, without regard for their impact on competition and growth. "The Council should look to cut the number of commissioners and control their departments in a more co-ordinated and effective way. This would not only make them more accountable and growth focused but would provide EU taxpayers with better value for money."