Improving competitiveness and growth (Extract from: Background note for the Competitiveness Council of 10 Nov.)

November 10, 2003

Brussels, 07 Nov 2003

The Council will hold an exchange of views on the next steps for enhancing competitiveness and growth, in particular with regard to the "Initiative for Growth" presented by the European Commission to the last European Council (16/17 October).

In order to structure the debate, the Presidency prepared a set of questions to be addressed by Ministers.

Firstly, it is suggested to reflect on priority areas in relation to research and development projects that could be taken into account by the Commission when it makes its proposals to the next European Council in December.

Secondly, departing from the indication of the European Council on the horizontal role of the Competitiveness Council in ensuring coherence between the various bodies and issues at stake (economic, environmental, social) and conducting a thorough assessment of the impact on competitiveness of the various Commission proposals, the Presidency suggests to discuss on other sectors or areas in which it would be advisable to carry out an impact assessment, or other initiatives that could be taken in this area, with a view both to the European Council in December and that of next spring.

This debate will take place after the European Council of 16/17 October 2003 having stressed the pivotal role of the Competitiveness Council in ensuring an integrated strategy for European competitiveness. It was also recalled the importance of more research and innovation and an effective internal market for enhancing growth as well as the improvement of the industrial framework, taking into account the needs of specific sectors, especially the manufacturing sector. Finally, it underlined the importance of more effective regulation both at the European and national level, including through simplification of legislation and regulatory impact assessments.

14178/1/03 COMPET 52 IND 148 MI 265 RECH 187 ECO 215 REV 1

http:///ue.eu.int/pressData/en/intm/77852 .pdf

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