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European Union

Volume 450: debated on Monday 16 October 2006

To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs what the evidential basis is for her statement in Prospects for the EU in 2006 (Cm 6896), that the internal market has boosted EU gross domestic product by 875 billion euros over 10 years and generated 2.5 million jobs; and if she will make a statement. (89815)

The source is “The internal market: ten years without frontiers”, published by the European Commission. The correct figure for the increase in EU gross domestic product is €877 billion.

To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs what the evidential basis is for her statement in Prospects for the EU in 2006 (Cm 6896), that the Services Directive as agreed in the Competitiveness Council will create 600,000 new jobs and boost wages by 0.5 per cent. across the EU and will add 31 billion euros to EU gross domestic product; and if she will make a statement. (89816)

The source of these figures is a study conducted by Copenhagen Institute of Economics titled the ‘Economic Assessment of the barriers to the Internal Market for Services 2005’. The study was commissioned by the European Commission.

The analysis from consultants Copenhagen Economics found that all member states will benefit in terms of job creation and gross domestic product growth from the Services Directive. Specifically, for the EU, they estimate that the directive:

is worth around £30 billion annually;

could create up to 600,000 new jobs; and

could lead to an increase in real wages of up to 0.4 per cent.

The consultants' findings are broken down by projected impact per member state. For the UK, the consultants estimate that the directive:

will be worth £5 billion per year to UK business and consumers;

could create up to 135,000 new jobs; and

could increase real wages by up to 0.7 per cent.

Further details on the Copenhagen Economics study are set out in the Government's partial Regulatory Impact Assessment (RIA) on the Services Directive which was sent to the EU Scrutiny Committee by my right hon. Friend the Minister for Trade on 9 May. A copy of the RIA is available in the Library of the House.