"Our manifesto for the European elections identifies for prospective
Members of the European Parliament the priorities for British business
over the next five years. We have always had good working relations
with our MEPs and we want to continue that constructive partnership to
boost jobs and trade for UK firms in the next Parliament.
"We believe that the EU should act
only where it can create benefits that could not be achieved at
national level and we need a Europe of nation states acting together
to deliver a more competitive economy, creating jobs and wealth,
grounded in security and stability.
"Business can get Europe working and
growing again but it needs to be backed up by governments and
politicians who understand the problems and wish to solve them."
BCC wants a Parliament that:
puts Lisbon agenda and economic reform
recognises that SMEs are the lifeblood
of the European economy
focuses on improving the quality of
regulation and reducing burdens on business
innovation and investment.
BCC policy priorities:
Economic reform: governments
must deliver on the Lisbon agenda.
Our top three priorities are:
labour market reform (reform of social
protection systems, labour market laws, improving employability
through upskilling etc)
better regulation (through
simplification of existing legislation and rigorous impact assessments
of forthcoming legislation)
Completing the single market and
making it work better (liberalise remaining protected markets; break
down barriers to trade in services etc).
Improving quality of regulation:
a uniform impact assessment system must be put in place to ensure a
lighter, better regulatory environment for business
Making Europe's labour markets more
responsive: key obstacle to meeting Lisbon target are Europe's
inflexible labour markets
Achieve a balance between quality
and competitiveness in the environment
Net environmental benefit
should be the driving premise of any new environmental legislation
Alterations need to be made to REACH
proposals to ensure competitiveness of European business, particularly
Managing Economic change in
Regions ceasing to receive Objective 1
funding should receive transitional aid
Objective 2 should be redesigned so
that they are available to all regions and can genuinely help improve
competitiveness on the ground
Chambers across Europe should be
involved in design and implementation of programmes due to their
closeness to business community at local level.
Europe must exercise leadership in
Talks should resume on the Doha round
Development must be a priority
WTO needs to be reformed.
Europe must be bigger and better
BCC supports enlargement: single
market of half a billion consumers with open borders across 25
But CAP needs urgent reform so that
more money can be spent on promoting competitiveness in the regions.
We need a durable and efficient
framework for 25 members.
Accession countries need to continue
their work on institution building and boosting administrative
capability so that they can implement and enforce the EU acquis.