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Relief And Recrimination Over Euro-Changes

  • June 24th, 2007
  • Posted by EUEditor

barroso-merkel.jpgFollowing settlement on a European reform treaty in the early hours of Saturday (23.6.07) (EUAustralia, “Breakthrough At Brussels” 24.6.07), at Brussels, friends and opponents of the changes have been taking stock.

Leaders in the British Conservative Opposition have objected that the so-called “red line” exemptions obtained by Prime Minister Tony Blair were too weak, “red herrings” they said, and have demanded a public referendum on such changes.

Spokespersons said that in legal terms the United Kingdom’s right to opt out on European foreign policy is only secured by a Declaration and it should have been by Protocol.

The European Commissioner responsible for competition policy, Neelie Kroes, has celebrated the survival of the European Union’s power to enforce competitiveness in the economy – following a challenge to the competition policy, at the European summit in Brussels, by the French President Nicolas Sarkozy.

“The Protocol on Internal Market and Competition agreed at the European Council clearly repeats that competition policy is fundamental to the Internal Market,” the Commissioner said (23.6.07).

“It retains the existing competition rules which have served us so well for 50 years.

“It re-confirms the European Commission’s duties as the independent competition enforcement authority for Europe.

“Now I would like to get back to the job.

“The Commission will continue to enforce Europe’s competition rules firmly and fairly: to bust cartels and monopolies, to vet mergers, to control state subsidies.

“That is in the interests of our Internal Market; it is in the interests of European citizens and consumers; it is what Europe’s business community quite rightly expects and deserves, and it is a firm foundation for Europe’s prosperity, notably by ensuring fair conditions for international investment.”