Skip to main content

EU: Competitiveness Council

Volume 699: debated on Tuesday 19 February 2008

My honourable friend the Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State for Trade and Consumer Affairs (Gareth Thomas) has made the following Written Ministerial Statement.

I will be attending the EU Competitiveness Council in Brussels on 25 February.

The two main agenda items are likely to be the Lisbon economic reform process, and the single market review. The council will be invited to adopt a key issues paper on the renewed Lisbon strategy. This will form the Competitiveness Council’s contribution to the spring European Council. The council will then be invited to adopt conclusions on the Commission’s single market review. The review follows much of what the UK called for—a new flexible approach to single market policy that puts the emphasis on promoting competition, reducing the burden of regulation, and encouraging innovation. It is important that the UK builds on the success of the review by ensuring positive conclusions.

The only other substantive agenda item for which BERR is responsible will be:

Strategic energy technologies (SET) action plan (an exchange of views). The UK strongly supports the need at member state and EU level to increase the scale and impact of our investments in low-carbon technologies.

There will be seven further items taken under any other business for which BERR is responsible:

a presentation by the Commission on its recent package of proposals for the European defence industry;

information from the presidency on emissions of CO2 from passenger cars and light-commercial vehicles;

information from the Commission on a consumer markets scoreboard;

information from the presidency on the recent European Clusters Conference;

information from the presidency on the climate-energy legislative package;

information from the Commission on the single market scoreboard; and

information from the Commission on better regulation.