Raffarin confident of Bolkestein directive review

11th February 2005, Comments 0 comments

BRUSSELS, Feb 10 (AFP) - French Prime Minister Jean-Pierre Raffarin said Thursday he was confident of obtaining a thorough review of the EU draft directive to open Europe's services sector to cross-border competition.

BRUSSELS, Feb 10 (AFP) - French Prime Minister Jean-Pierre Raffarin said Thursday he was confident of obtaining a thorough review of the EU draft directive to open Europe's services sector to cross-border competition.

"We have expressed our disagreements and we are very happy to see that the commission wants to have a profound discussion" on the plan, Raffarin said after a meeting with European Commission president Jose Manuel Barroso.

While not withdrawing the draft directive, which French President Jacques Chirac has said should "go back to the drawing board", the EU's executive commission said last week it was open to talks with member states on problems with its implementation.

"We are very confident," said Raffarin. "For us this is not a question of fine-tuning, but of a real dialogue about a vision of Europe that takes into account national specificities. For France, that is the case where services are concerned."

An EU spokeswoman admitted last week that there were "serious difficulties" in implementing the draft directive, which was originally proposed by a former Dutch interior market commissioner, Frits Bolkestein.

In particular problems focus on a so-called country of origin clause in the draft EU law, under which companies proposing services in a number of EU states can apply the legislation of their home country, and not that of their clients.

© AFP

Subject: French News

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