EU dismissed over lack of common goals

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Series Details Vol.7, No.39, 25.10.01, p9
Publication Date 25/10/2001
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Date: 25/10/01

The EU has been dismissed as a "political dwarf" by the leader of a European bosses' organisation. Jörg Mittelsten Scheid, president of Eurochambres, said: "The fact that the European Union, while strong economically, is still a dwarf in political terms, has been made frighteningly clear in the past month. There is already one lesson we can draw from the events of recent weeks - solidarity makes an even greater impression than determination.Yet, after the horrors of 11 September, when a global political response was urgently needed, who did President Bush call first? Not the European Union, but individual member states." Scheid was addressing over 400 delegates in Bratislava at the annual conference of Eurochambres, which represents European chambers of commerce and industry.

He added: "The move away from a commonly agreed security and foreign policy is symptomatic of a wider problem: that EU member states still pursue purely national interests at the expense of a common European ideal."

He warned this will be detrimental to Europe and its people in years to come. "It will, once again, be very difficult for the EU to assert a united position in world trade policy. The political actions taken now will impact adversely on business and the European economy in the future."

He said events of recent weeks once again highlighted the urgent need for EU constitutional reform to give the institutions more credibility. "We look forward to enlargement as, regrettably, current EU member states display little real willingness to reform the Union," he said.

The EU has been dismissed as a 'political dwarf' by the leader of European business organisation Eurochambres.

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