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Competitiveness Council (Pre-Council Statement)

Volume 593: debated on Monday 23 February 2015

My noble Friend the Under-Secretary of State for Business, Innovation and Skills, Minister with responsibility for intellectual property (Baroness Neville-Rolfe) will today make the following statement:

The European Competitiveness Council will take place on Monday 2 March and Tuesday 3 March. I will represent the UK on day one (industry and internal market) and representation on day two (research, innovation and space) is to be confirmed.

The internal market and industry substantive agenda items are the EU single market and EU industrial competitiveness. Under the EU single market item the Commission will present on single market aspects of the “Annual Growth Survey 2015”, there will be a policy debate on the investment plan for Europe and the presidency is planning to present single market conclusions for adoption.

Under the EU industrial competitiveness item there will be a presentation from the Commission on the industrial policy aspects of the annual growth survey and a policy debate on industrial policy within future digital single market strategy.

There is one legislative proposal on the agenda presented for public deliberation—the trade mark package. This is an update on the proposal for amendment of the Regulation on the Community Trade Mark and a proposal to recast the directive approximating the laws of member states relating to trade marks.

Our objectives for the internal market and industry day are to:

Agree conclusions on the single market that reflect UK priorities;

Set out the UK’s position regarding industrial policy and the digital single market; and

Highlight our continued priorities for the trade mark dossier.

The research, innovation and space day has two substantial policy discussions. There will be a presentation by the Commission on the research and innovation aspects of the annual growth survey 2015 followed by a policy debate on fostering innovation and unlocking Europe’s potential for growth in the European research area.

The second discussion is on unlocking Europe’s digital potential, based on a communication from the Commission on “Towards a thriving data-driven economy”.

Our objectives for the research, innovation and space day are to:

Intervene to emphasise the importance of co-ordination of policies and investments to promote innovation and growth.

To emphasise the importance of issues such as open data and a dynamic and flexible digital single market to an innovative EU data-driven economy.