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Monday, September 08, 2014

Attention new European Commission! This is how to save £200bn, kick-start growth and re-connect the EU with voters

This morning, Open Europe published a 'mandate' for the new European Commission - in short a series of proposals setting out what the Commission should - and shouldn't - be doing over its five year term of office. Our mandate idea was inspired by the reformist Dutch Foreign Minister Frans Timmermans, who last year proposed a 'European Governance Manifesto' in which national governments would identify a series of priorities for the Commission.

Our mandate, which we call on David Cameron and other EU leaders to adopt, contains a number of detailed proposals spanning a wide range of policy areas - from reforming the EU budget, increasing transparency and accountability to liberalising the single market in services - but its overarching theme is boosting the EU's capacity to create jobs and generate economic growth while ensuring the EU stays well clear of areas better handled nationally or locally. Our mandate would:
  • Save European taxpayers £200bn (€252bn) over a seven-year EU budget period by re-targeting and slimming down flawed spending programmes,
  • Cut the wages and perks of EU officials and scrap a number of EU quangos that add no value, saving taxpayers a total of £819m (€1bn) per year,
  • Boost the EU economy by £236bn (€294bn) by making it easier to export services to other EU member states,
  • Introduce a series of new checks on EU laws to ensure they boost jobs and growth whilst ending unnecessary EU meddling. 
With David Cameron's EU reform agenda often being accused of vagueness, having the Commission adopt such a mandate would be a big win. Of course this is not the limit of the reforms the UK ought to push for - our priorities relate to what falls within the Commission’s remit; many key issues will be debated between national governments with a limited role for the Commission. Although in the longer term we think EU Treaty change will be needed, all our proposals can be accommodated within the existing EU Treaties, so there is no excuse for foot-dragging.

We have commissioned George Roberts – an independent illustrator and animator – to draw a series of cartoons to accompany some of our key proposals. Over the next couple of days, we will be posting these cartoons on our blog along with a more detailed description of what the policy proposal entails and a discussion of why it is important.

In the meantime, you can read the press release here, the full mandate here and join the conversation on Twitter by using the hashtag #EUpriorities.


Peter van Leeuwen said...

For those who master Dutch, at the end of a 2-9-2014 lecture ( https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Es7C7hiyIXI) Frans Timmermans joked that the English were so ashamed of a certain Dutch invasion, that they called it “the glorious revolution” (1688).
Maybe now there will be a chance to invade the UK with some Dutch ideas and make its eurosceptic politicians more tolerant of the EU?
Rumours are that Timmermans will be charged with “better regulation” in the new European Commission. That will give him a chance to work on last year's Dutch 54 point proposal about subsidiarity ( “The Netherlands is convinced that the time of an ‘ever closer union’ in every possible policy area is behind us”)

Anonymous said...

Attention new European Commission! This is how to save £200bn, kick-start growth and re-connect the EU with voters

This is an easy one. DISBAND YOURSELVES - you have been abject failures, ruined a continent, given no hope to the children of Europe, stolen European democracy and now are starting wars that you cannot finish.

I propose a vote of NO CONFIDENCE in the EU and all of its useless chimp politicians.


Average Englishman said...

@Peter van Leeuwen

Not much chance of the Average Englishman mastering Dutch Peter, so I shall have to take your assessment of Mr. Timmerman's Speech at face value. However, you should both be aware that my memory of UK history (as confirmed just now by a check on Wikipedia) recalls that some Tories and Whigs joined together from the English Parliament to invite William of Orange to come to England and take over the monarchy and that his 'invasion' was well supported by the majority protestant English population when he arrived. So, a glorious revolution it truly was, combined with a little outside military assistance.

Anyway, enough of history; I am more concerned with the future and whilst any effort to get the commissars in Brussells to see sense is very welcome, whether that effort comes from Open Europe or a Dutch politician, the changes both parties have identified only scratch the surface of what is required.

At the risk of being boring due to repetition, the UK population signed up in 1975 to a Common Market; nothing more. So, when the EUSSR took on its current quasi totalitarian form, the Average Englishman initially wanted a return of the current EUSSR back to that originbal Common Market status. However, given the rise of the BRICS and other non-European countries, it would now be better for the UK not to be a member of even a Common European Market. The UK would now definitely be 'better off out' and no nibbling at the edges will do.

The Average Englishman wants his country back IN FULL and nothing else will do.