Having decisions made not in midnight deals but in the light of objective evidence and after consulting those who will be affected should itself provide some reassurance that the EU is trying to reform itself.
Our objective must therefore be to ensure EU better regulation contributes towards delivering a modern European Union which relentlessly focuses on building a dynamic and innovative economy equipped to meet the challenges of the 21st century.
But let no one be under any doubt that the scale of the challenge that Europe faces in this emerging global economy is immense and the practical pace of our collective action to meet these challenge to date has just been too slow.
Our aim, during our Presidency in the next six months will be to lead this challenge, to show that Europe can function in a mature and responsible way, to start delivering tangible results that show we are taking people’s concerns seriously.
Road testing the effects of regulation on European business must become second nature to the European Union.
Greater personal choice, individually tailored services, stronger local accountability, greater efficiency – these are all central to the new direction of travel we have set for our public services.
More than 50% of significant new regulations that impact on business in the UK now emanate from the EU.
It is also right that we continue to consult with front line workers and the public to ensure that targets are reasonable and achievable, that measurement regimes are proportionate and that the targets take full account of the other reforms that are under way.
Western Europe GDP per capita – not taking into account the new accession counties – was lower in 2001 relative to that of the US than any time since the 1960’s.
The challenge to our national economies and the collective economy of Europe will become – with the growth of China and the continuing productivity growth of the US – even more intense in the decades to come.