EU must reform or risk being left behind: Cameron

31st March 2011, Comments 0 comments

British Prime Minister David Cameron Thursday warned the European Union that it could be "left behind" by emerging economies unless it reformed its business policies.

"It is clear that there is a growing urgency and need for action to secure long term sustainable growth in Europe," the British leader said in a pamphlet released Thursday.

"We need to take collective action to unleash the forces of enterprise across our continent," urged Cameron. "There is a real risk that if we don't work together Europe could be left behind."

Cameron, along with leaders of eight other EU nations, sent a letter on March 18 to Council President Herman Van Rompuy and Commission President Jose Manuel Barroso "calling for a new direction of economic policy".

The Conservative leader urged modernisation of the single market to take advantage of the technology sector, arguing that the creation of a digital single market could add 800 billion euros (1,130 billion dollars) to the bloc's economy.

Cameron also pushed for the reduction of trade barriers within the EU and between the bloc and foreign markets.

The pamphlet highlighted the prohibitive burden placed upon start-up businesses within the EU, citing World Bank data which showed it costs over three times more to launch a business in the EU than in the United States.

If reform wasn't undertaken, "by the middle of the century, leading EU nations could fall out of the world's top-10 most powerful economies," he warned.

The publication will be sent to the 27 leaders of EU member states and to Van Rompuy and Barroso.

© 2011 AFP

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