Along with 11 other European leaders, David Cameron has signed a letter to European Commission President Jose Manuel Barosso and European Council President Herman van Rompuy suggesting priority areas for growth in Europe.
Even taking into account David Cameron’s masterful ability to look both ways on Europe and to call a spade a straight banana, the Prime Minister of Great Britain’s split rhetoric takes some beating. It’s one message at home and quite a different one in the EU.
Cameron’s policy at home, strongly reinforced by Chancellor Osborne, is unwavering austerity even to the extent of rail-roadng through a deeply unpopular NHS Bill.
However, it’s a different story in Europe. There is one particular paragraph in the letter which truly shows up Mr Cameron’s hypocrisy.
“…we [the EU] must act nationally and, respecting national competences, collectively to promote well functioning labour markets which deliver employment opportunities and, crucially, promote higher levels of labour market participation among young people, women and older workers. Special attention should also be given to vulnerable groups that have been absent from the labour market for long periods. We should foster labour mobility to create a more integrated and open European labour market, for example by advancing the acquisition and preservation of supplementary pension rights for migrating workers, while respecting the role of the social partners.”
Try doing this at home Mr Cameron before you lecture the European Union.
The other six areas outlined in the letter are:
- We must bring the single market to its next stage of development, by reinforcing governance and raising standards of implementation.
- We must step up our efforts to create a truly digital single market by 2015.
- We must deliver on our commitment to establish a genuine, efficient and effective internal market in energy by 2014.
- We must redouble our commitment to innovation by establishing the European Research Area, creating the best possible environment for entrepreneurs and innovators to commercialise their ideas and create jobs, and putting demand-led innovation at the heart of Europe’s research and development strategy.
- We need decisive action to deliver open global markets. This year we should conclude free trade agreements with India, Canada, countries of the Eastern neighbourhood and a number of ASEAN partners.
- We need to sustain and make more ambitious our programme to reduce the burden of EU regulation.
- We must take steps to build a robust, dynamic and competitive financial services sector that creates jobs and provides vital support to citizens and businesses
The 11 signatories with David Cameron were Mark Rutte, Mario Monti, Andrus Ansip, Valdis Dombrouskis, Jyrki Kataninen, Enda Kenny, Petr Necas, Iveta Raoilova, Mariano Rajoy, Fredrik Reinfeldt and Donald Tusk.