European Industry Leaders Call For More Deregulation
06/25/2012| 01:24pm US/Eastern
By Franziska Scheven
BERLIN--As European governments prepare to debate new measures to spur economic growth, chief executives and chairmen of some of the biggest companies in the region have asked for a break on business regulation.
The appeal came in a letter to European leaders dated June 20, last Wednesday, and was written by Leif Johansson, chairman of the European Roundtable of Industrialists, which represents 20 multi-national companies based in Europe. ERT members include Peter Loescher of Siemens, Stephen Elop of Nokia and Gerhad Cromme of ThyssenKrupp.
The ERT calls for an "immediate moratorium on all business-related regulation, including the implementation of existing regulations."
The European Union is holding a summit in Brussels starting Thursday to negotiate detailed, long-term plans to stem the region's debt crisis and prop up a floundering economy.
Industry leaders are worried that in the name of lofty goals like improving the EU's ability to compete in the global economy, making it easier for banks to lend to households and business and improving the skills on offer in the work force, governments are restricting the freedom of companies to do business in Europe.
All three goals were among 10 issues listed in the letter. Another was improving the energy supply.
"Regulation should be following a screening mechanism," ERT spokesman Roeland Van der Stappen told the Wall Street Journal when asked about the letter.
He said the screening should take into account questions like: What are the implication for business? What is the cost for business?
The industry leaders want rules to be screened for efficiency. This will help "identify those which inhibit growth and could be discontinued without affecting fundamental protections," the letter says.
(Jan Hromadko contributed reporting)
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