The Luxembourg Presidency of the Council of the European Union 2005URL (Internet address) : http://www.eu2005.lu/en/actualites/communiques/2005/05/10compet4/
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Competitiveness Council approves rapid implementation of national action plans to stimulate the Lisbon Process
Jeannot Krecké, Luxembourg Minister for the Economy and Foreign Trade, chaired the "Competitiveness" Council - Internal Market, Industry and Research, held in Brussels on 10 May 2005.
After a press conference closing the Council, Jeannot Krecké "welcomed the positive support of the Council for the recommendation by the Commission on the microeconomic framework of the integrated guidelines for growth and jobs."
In fact, the Competitiveness Council intensified the following priorities: to facilitate innovation in all its forms, to invest in research and development (the Barcelona objective of 3% of GDP was confirmed), to contribute to a strong industrial base, both in the traditional sectors and in cutting-edge sectors, to complete the internal market, which is a priority for the creation of jobs and to be able to rise to meet the challenges of globalisation, and finally, to create the framework conditions aimed at attracting investment. For this last objective, the goal is to improve the quality of legislation of the Member States, to facilitate access to financing and to stimulate the entrepreneurial spirit. On this subject, the Ministers also pointed out the key role of small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) in the European economy.
As regards the process of the integrated guidelines (IG), Jeannot Krecké stated that "the Council approved the rapid implementation of national action plans to stimulate the Lisbon Process".More precisely, he indicated that "the national action plans should be presented in autumn 2005 to allow the active collaboration of the national parliaments and the social partners."
The Ministers emphasised the importance of having mutually supportive national and Community programmes. From this perspective, the Council noted with interest the ideas of the Commission on the development of a common methodology on the structure of national action programmes (NAP). In addition, it also decided to assure regular follow-up on the new strategy, in particular as regards the national action plans, and, if necessary, to make adjustments to strengthen their collaboration with the ECOFIN Council in the framework of the IG.
During their discussions, the Ministers considered the microeconomic framework of the integrated guidelines to be an adequate base for the preparation of national reform programmes for generating growth and jobs. Minister Krecké then stated that he was "satisfied with the new dynamic developed by the Competitiveness Council."