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Avoid over-regulation, says EU chief Barroso


brussels bureau

Avoid over-regulation, says EU chief Barroso

European Commission chief Jose Manuel Barroso has said that the EU should avoid over-regulating Europe’s economy.

He made the comments in his State of the Union at the European Parliament in Strasbourg.

“Europe must focus on where it can add most value. Where this is not the case, it should not meddle. The EU needs to be big on big things and smaller on smaller things – something we may occasionally have neglected in the past,” Barroso told MEPs.

Belgium’s Guy Verhofstadt, however, insisted that the answer to Europe’s problems is deeper, unfettered integration.

“It is true that the crisis was badly handled by EU leaders in power today. But to say that we should return towards nation states, as the eurosceptics do, is wrong. It’s a lie. Because the reality is that we need more Europe, a united Europe, and an economic vision,” he told euronews.

Not so, says British Conservative Martin Callanan, who found little substance amongst the rhetoric of Barroso’s address.

“That was an extremely long and boring speech! As usual with Mr Barroso it was very high on the rhetoric but, you know, very low on the actual actions,” he said.

“Concentrate on the bread & butter, you know: complete the single market, have a proper, impactful service directive – that are things that would make a real difference!”

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brussels bureau

José Manuel Barroso's State of the Union speech