Richard North, 25/01/2006  

This is groundhog day with a vengeance. Yet again, EU Presidente José Manuel Barroso has called on EU member states to step up the pace of structural reforms to boost growth and jobs across the bloc.

Out of idle curiosity, I Googled the string "EU" and "reform" and got 19,300,000 hits. With "regulation", I got 15,300,000 but a repeat of the same exercise with "deregulation" yielded a mere 1,430,000. Says it all really.

Unaware of the growing revolt of the groundhogs, El Presidente says it is "time to move up a gear," a remark timed to coincide with its first update on the revised Lisbon strategy. He adds that there is a broader consensus in Europe about the need for reform. "Things are moving in the right direction, but still it is not enough," he concludes.

And guess what? The commission wants member states to improve investment in education, research and innovation, reduce bureaucratic obstacles hindering SMEs, enhance job-creation policies and guarantee a secure, sustainable energy supply.

Goundhogs! By the left…


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