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The aim of the European economic policy
Europe United believes the key aim of economic policies should be to increase the living standard and opportunities available to Europeans. Our key challenge is to balance the economic growth, dynamism and efficiency of free market economies with the security, sustainability and cohesion only the state can guarantee.
As such we wish to promote healthy competition and see a role for the EU in setting guidelines, enforcing standards (e.g. of working conditions and environmental responsibility) and fostering cooperation in order to reduce destructive competition that threatens Europe’s social fabric and ability to function as a single market.
Strengthening of the EU’s competition policy
Considering that competition is identified as a major factor in increasing the Union’s economic growth, Europe United believes that the role and powers of the European Commission should be strengthened and effective anti-monopoly legislation adopted cross the EU.
Breaking up “natural” monopolies
Natural monopolies should be broken up by the European Union. Railroad, electricity networks and similar infrastructure need to be separated from former state monopoly companies to ensure a functional market, thereby decreasing costs for the economy and citizens through increased competition. The infrastructure should be under the control of independent public agencies.
Conditions for the internal services market
Europe United believes that opening up the internal market is a major step toward deeper European integration. This will foster fair competition between companies at EU-level and at the same time allow regional competitive advantages which will prevent the creation of monopolies. We favor the country of destination instead of the country of origin principle.
Europe United understands companies’ needs to be flexible in order to be competitive, but the need for security and the protection of workers and the environment is equally important. This flexicurity system provides a safety net for those who may be most exposed to the short-term negative effects of the increased competition level within the internal market.
By substantially reducing funds going to the Common Agricultural Policy (CAP), Europe United believes that we can increase the use of regional funds without increasing the burden of taxpayers.
Enlargement of the Euro zone and the role of the European Central Bank (ECB)
Europe United encourages Member States which do not use the Euro currently to reach for membership in the Euro-Zone too. This should result in a win-win situation by strengthening the Euro but also by giving another stabilizing factor to new members. Concerning the policies of the ECB, we see their aim not only in applying policies for controlling inflation but also in taking the economic situation of the Euro-Zone into consideration. This target should be symmetrical and the ECB should use all means at its disposal to keep inflation as close to the target as possible. Europe United welcomes the independence of the ECB from political influence and aims to further protect it.
Harmonisation of financial services
There should be a harmonisation of financial services within the eurozone and the EU. “Virtual borders” between member states should be torn down.
International cooperation within the WTO and other organizations and with third countries
The European Union’s global political influence is relatively small compared to its economic power. In international economic, trade, labour and environmental negotiations Europe should speak with one clear voice. This is not only limited to the World Trade Organisation (WTO), but all organizations in which EU Member States have a say.
Europe United wishes to see Europe become a role model for other countries in the world that share our objective of improving the living standards and the security of all citizens.
Foreign Direct Investment (FDI) and investments in Research and Development
Europe United believes that to achieve sustainable growth the EU needs to attract FDI and discourage companies from moving their operations to third countries. This goal will be achieved through the following objectives:
Europe United advocates economic incentives to companies for setting their bases within the EU.
Europe United will support the identification of areas for sustainable development and introduce economic incentives for developing sustainable projects and for companies to invest in much needed research and development (R&D).