Speeches » Sept 2nd 2008 - Social Package (First Part)
Speech to Parliament Strasbourg Sept 2nd 2008 Key debate - Social Package (First Part) Mr President, the Lisbon Treaty was dismissed by the legitimate Irish referendum so of course, you need a big program to divert attention, hence this new package. Well, its not really new, it is a re-hash of earlier proposals. But is big. It has EU legislation, Social dialogue, Cooperation, EU funding, partnership, dialogue and communication, and that's from just one page.
Let me focus on Funding. A prosperous economy will provide the funds but you have lumbered yourselves with the Euro where the ECB's interest rate is trying to cover diverse economies. "One size fits all", some people say, actually it fits no one. In the UK the Bank of England can not get it right for all our regions Indeed, the week end papers remarked that the economic North- South divide in the UK is now greater than ever before. The EU is protectionist, you are afraid of "Globalisation".
Don't fight it, don't try to combat it, join it. Join the world market of an ever growing population. Encourage enterprise by slashing red tape, call a halt to the never ending stream of directives and regulations which only hinder businesses. Accept the rest of the world on even terms and the European economy will increase, bringing the greatest social package of all,- more and better jobs.
In conclusion one notes that it falls to the French Presidency to kick start this venture but will they? According to "EurActiv", 3rd July, "The Commission and the French Presidency... have both declared social policy a priority in 2008". But if you read De Deutsche Welle of 2nd July, "French President Nikolas Sarkozy has made it clear that social policy won't be a top priority, issues like immigration, climate change and energy will take centre stage".
So which statement do you believe? For my part I think the French will do as always, they will look after themselves. For that I congratulate them, I wish my government did the same.
Derek Clark MEP Sept 2nd 2008