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West Midlands Euro-MP calls for more cautious approach to EU law making

February 12, 2003 12:00 AM

West Midlands Euro-MP Liz Lynne today called for the European Union to redouble its efforts to streamline its existing legislation and adopt a more cautious approach in drafting new directives and regulations.

In 2000, EU Member States signed up to the "Lisbon Agenda" - a strategy designed to make Europe the most dynamic and competitive knowledge-based economy by 2010. Since then however, the EU has made a slow recovery from the global economic downturn. The Parliament will today be debating how best to get back on track.

The Liberal Democrat MEP, who is a member of the Employment and Social Affairs Committee, commented:

"If the EU is to be more competitive, we need to invest more and regulate less. The legislative arms of the EU can help this by being more stringent in streamlining existing regulations and far more cautious about introducing new ones."

"There seems to be a clear consensus now about the need to undertake comprehensive impact assessments on all new legislation. This is welcome, yet when the ELDR group proposed last year for the Commission to carry out such an exercise on the Temporary Agency Work Directive in its first reading late last year, the Parliament rejected this outright.

"Signing up to principles is all very well, but the main lesson learnt in the five years since Lisbon is that putting them into practice is another thing entirely."

"The EU is signed up to an agenda of reducing red tape by 25%. With enlargement now looming on the horizon and ten new Member States set to join in 2004, it is crucial that we set our minds to achieving this. Otherwise we will find ourselves in a mess, as the new Member States struggle to keep up."