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Wednesday, 8 June 2005 - Strasbourg OJ edition

Strengthening European competitiveness

  John Attard-Montalto (PSE). Mr President, I am a believer in three things: the European economy, European industry and the ability of European industry to be competitive.

Unfortunately, however, we often applaud the notion of competitivity, while supporting initiatives which erode that very competitivity. For instance, the Commissioner has rightly indicated that we sometimes tend to be over-regulated and this adds to bureaucracy and to the cost of production. Sometimes we are not aware that we are eroding competitivity by our own ideas and legislation. Recently, we lowered the limit in the Working Time Directive. This is obviously something which is paradoxical to competitivity.

Sometimes we talk about investments in technological innovation and we are dependent on private-public partnership. That is the way the argument is put forward. Europe is not an ideal model for private-public partnership. We try to restrict research on the basis of vague moral issues.

Finally, as well as encouraging further investment in innovation and research, there is a trend against patents. We must realise that we have to choose our priorities.


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