July 03, 2005
EU Business Policy
Posted by Caroline Bradley

There's always a big fuss when the Presidency of the EU changes and this time Tony Blair's Labour Government is trying to making the most of its opportunity to set its mark on EU policy-making. There is a new White Paper on the EU. All of the big questions are on the table - including the future of enlargement, the common agricultural policy and the European social model. The White Paper seems to suggest that the UK wants to fix everything that is wrong with Europe. A big task.

The UK's Department of Trade and Industry is involved in many of the things Blair says he wants to achieve - the idea that the EU should focus on encouraging research and development and entrepreneurship is within the DTI's remit (there is to be a Council meeting on Competitiveness the week after next). And better regulation, especially better business regulation is also a matter of interest to the DTI (although financial regulation really belongs to Gordon Brown). So the DTI has some new web pages on the UK's Presidency and the DTI. 

The DTI is going to work with stakeholders in trying to achieve its aims, and so links from one of its web pages to web pages about Europe for the Institute of Directors and the Confederation of British Industry.  You have to hunt around a bit to find consumers but there is a Consumer and Competition Policy link. Other stakeholders don't really appear on these pages, although the DTI has some responsibilities in relation to employment and the Government wants to make sure that employees who want to will be free to work more than 48 hours per week. I guess some stakeholders have bigger stakes than others.

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