Reform of the internal market – speech in plenary
Gunnar Hökmark (PPE). – Mr President, the values of personal freedom – open societies and open markets – are the grounds for prosperity but also for the stability and growth we need. I think that wherever this has been neglected we have seen failures or disasters. This must be the common point of departure for the work of the Presidency of Cyprus.
I think it is important to state that, where we have had a market economy, we have seen an increase in prosperity all over the world and in Europe. You can certainly say one thing about the crisis economies in Europe: increased spending and deficits have not helped. If that had been the solution, we would have no problems. That is one thing. The other is that they are certainly not suffering from too much market economy – it is bureaucracy, regulations, monopolies and licences that are hindering growth. I think it is one of our most important tasks and duties to ensure that we can now achieve a fully-organised internal market opening up to entrepreneurship, investments and new jobs. That is the political course that can make Europe stronger again, and that must be the task for your Presidency.
This means that we need to push forward the reform of the internal market, which we have not achieved as we should have done. The European Union is the world’s biggest economy but still not the world’s biggest market. We need to proceed with the clarity and stability of banks, and with enlargement. That is the main task for this Presidency. I look forward to seeing the results.
(The speaker agreed to take a blue-card question under Rule 149(8))