The British Embassy organised today a seminar entitled ‘Making the EU more Competitive’ stressing the need for a more competitive, flexible and democratically accountable Europe. The British Ambassador John Kittmer was joined by Greek Deputy Minister for Development and Competitiveness Notis Mitarachi, Deputy Minister for Administrative Reform and e-Governance Evi Christofilopoulou, Director-General Economic & Consular at the Foreign and Commonwealth Office Sir Julian King, Head of Europe Directorate Tim Hemmings and Raoul Ruparel, Head of Economic Research at Open Europe think-tank.
The aim of the seminar was to stimulate a discussion among British and Greek experts focusing on Growth and Competitiveness, Entrepreneurship and Innovation, and how best to communicate the need for Economic Reform. The discussion follows Foreign Secretary Philip Hammond’s message in July 2014 that action in these areas constitutes one of his top priorities.
The UK continues to support reforms that will make it easier for European businesses to trade across borders and increase competitiveness in a global market. Open markets are a crucial element and the UK is calling to keep trade central to the EU’s growth agenda and open up new opportunities for businesses and consumers. Along with its European counterparts, the UK is working to boost the single market, concentrating on the high-growth areas of services, energy and the digital economy, as well as supporting business and enterprise by removing regulatory burdens.
The reforms the UK is pursuing will be beneficial to the whole of the EU, including Greece.
In his opening speech the British Ambassador said:
The UK is arguing for economic reforms that will benefit everyone in Europe. On the important issues of free trade, of attracting Foreign Direct Investment (FDI) to Europe and of improving the European environment, we want Greece to work with us in the EU. We both have much to gain from this.
The Director-General Economic & Consular at the Foreign and Commonwealth Office Julian King added:
We are seeking reforms for all Member States and we are working with all our European partners to identify our common interests.
To achieve this, we need the EU to become more competitive, more flexible and more democratically accountable.
Τhe event included speeches by: George Pagoulatos, Professor of European Politics and Economy at Athens University, Michael Mitropoulos, Senior Advisor for Infrastructures and Business Environment at the Hellenic Federation of Enterprises, Paschos Mandravelis, commentator on politics, society and economics in the daily newspaper Kathimerini, Costas Mitropoulos, Executive Director at PwC Greece, Ilias Siakantaris, financial reporter at Alpha TV and Antigoni Lyberaki, Professor of Economics at Panteion University.
Notes for Editors:
In June 2013, Prime Minister David Cameron invited a Taskforce of six business leaders to suggest growth-enabling reforms to EU regulations, putting the voice of business at the heart of the debate. The Taskforce sought contributions from across the EU. Over 100 businesses and business groups responded, generating over 250 ideas. Read here the Better Regulation Task Force Report.
Read about the UK’s policy initiative of reducing regulation on businesses and making it easier to set up and grow your business.
Open Europe is an independent think tank, with offices in London and Brussels, set up by leading UK business people to contribute positive new thinking to the debate about the future direction of the European Union. Open Europe publishes original research on all aspects of EU policy, unearthing high-impact stories and organising events that are attended by policy makers throughout Europe.