The European Commission has today presented its contribution to the “Partnership for growth and jobs” plan for the EU, ahead of members states’ national plans, which are published in October. Commission Vice President for Enterprise and Industry Günter Verheugen said the plan would focus on eight key areas, from encouraging research to improve competitively, to creating a free market for services;“In Europe we are losing ground against the USA and the other dynamic regions like China, India, or Latin America. This leads to insufficient growth rates when you look at the GDP, insufficient productivity, and we also have employment levels that are too low. We have to reverse this trend. We are determined to do that, and take the necessary measures”. Apart from research and the services market the eight points include better treatment of the social consequences of industrial restructuring, a common approach to economic migrations, the conclusion of the WTO’s Doha round of talks, reforming state subsidies policies, the improvement and simplification of business regulations, and the recognition in any member state of another’s diplomas and qualifications. On Wednesday the controversial proposals on services were again criticised. The French prime minister said they should not threaten French rules or worker’s rights.