COMPETITIVENESS OF EUROPEAN INDUSTRY
Letter from the Chairman to Melanie Johnson
MP, Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State for Competition Consumers
and Markets, Department of Trade and Industry
Thank you for your Explanatory Memorandum dated
25 July 2002 covering the Commission's 2002 working paper on the
competitiveness of European industry. This document was considered
by Sub-Committee B at its meeting on 14 October 2002.
As you are probably aware, the Scrutiny reserves
on the report for 2001 (13489/01 SEC(01) 1705) and an accompanying
document (13884/01 COM(2001) 641 finalCompetitiveness and
enterprise policy in the EU: Communication from the Commission
to the Council and the European Parliament entitled "Sustaining
the Commitments, Increasing the Pace") have been held in
the expectation that the Sub-Committee would conduct an inquiry
into aspects of competitiveness and enterprise policy. The programme
for the Sub-Committee did not allow this to happen before the
summer Recess, and, in view of the forthcoming Commission Green
Paper on Competitiveness and Enterprise Policy, there is no need
to hold these documents under the Scrutiny reserve. The Scrutiny
reserve is therefore lifted on the following documents: 13489/01
SEC(01) 1705; 13884/01 COM(2001) 641 final; and SEC(02) 528.
However, the issue of competitiveness of European
industry, particularly in the service sector, is an important
one as you have pointed out in your EM. It is gratifying to see
that the United Kingdom is one of the two exceptions to a decline
in productivity in this area during the period 1995-99. We welcome
the Government's continuing advocacy of full market liberalisation.
We agree with the Commission that this is an important factor
for improving competition.
21 October 2002