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A Tale of Three Cities

Monday, December 22nd, 2014

Today I am pleased to welcome a guest blogger on my blog, Sir David King, The Foreign Secretary’s Special Representative on Climate Change. He recently visited Stockholm, Copenhagen and Oslo and shares his experiences of sustainable urban transport:

Sustainable Transport:  A Tale of Three Cities.  It was the worst of times for the climate; it was the best of times for low-carbon solutions.

I recently visited the three Scandinavia capitals and in every one was really impressed with the innovation underway to provide the cities with technology for more sustainable transport.  It was interesting to see where there are common challenges but different solutions and how policy is delivering the low-carbon mobility shift.

In Stockholm we were proudly taken on the first test drive of a new plug in electric hybrid bus.  The project is part of the EU Zero Emission Urban Bus System, which includes trials in London and Glasgow.  We’re use to seeing hybrid buses in the UK, but the Stockholm project aims to take the technology further to eliminate the need to use combustion engines by charging the bus on route.   The Stockholm project are using overhead chargers, whilst other projects such as Glasgow are using inductive chargers places under the road. Each type of charger has its own issues with planning and longevity.  Whilst the overhead structures take up space and may receive local objections, in-road chargers may be subject to interruption from road and pipe repairs.

In Copenhagen I got to try out their new daily hire bikes.  Copenhagen already has a huge bike community, with over 220 miles of cycle lanes as well as dedicated signs and lights. 36 % of Copenhageners commute by bike daily, travelling more than 600,000 miles in total.  The hire bikes make this even easier with built in dynamo electric engines and a GPS-enabled tablet on the handlebar.  It took a bit of getting use to, but once you start pedalling the motor kicks in and assists you.  You also have to get used to back pedalling for brakes. This stumped a couple of colleagues who regularly cycle to work in London with two handlebar brakes! Copenhagen aims to become the cycling capital of the world, making it even faster and easier to get around town on two wheels, as a key part of the strategy to become the first CO2-neutral capital by 2025.

A highlight for me was the world’s first Tesla taxi in Oslo.  Based on charging at home, these 100% electric taxis can give you a 300 mile capacity from an overnight 10 hour charge.  When superchargers are rolled out to public charging stations they will provide a 170 mile capacity in a 30 minute charge.  With Norway’s renewable electricity supply, the Tesla taxis in Oslo are truly sustainable and a symbol of a successful policy to stimulate consumer demand for low-carbon vehicles.  These cars have even impacted on the lives of the drivers.  One driver told us how, since having his Tesla, he’s looked at his own home heating.  He has now stopped used oil and wood and installed a heat pump.

These are excellent examples of how cities and policymakers are delivering more sustainable urban transport solutions.  The green technology shift is well under way in the three Scandinavian capitals.  But these successes cannot be looked at in isolation.  City planning needs to take a holistic approach and look at low carbon solutions across the spectrum, from lighting to rubbish to water management, and implement each in a coordinated way, ensuring minimum disruption.

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UK: AUTUMN STATEMENT: ECONOMIC SPRING

Friday, December 12th, 2014

Last week as Sweden debate its budget (with dramatic consequences) Britain’s Finance Minister delivered the so-called “Autumn Statement”. It’s a curious name for a semi-annual budget that emerges in December. But it confirmed the Spring-like tendencies in the UK economy, good news for Sweden given we’re one of your bigger export markets.

The Chancellor offered positive news on economic growth compared to expectations earlier in the year. He also announced: a new tax on multinationals who try to shift profit away from the UK; less generous tax allowances for banks;  and a number of investments aimed at improving the competitiveness of Northern England.

The main features of the statement were:

  • The UK economic recovery is now established. The independent Office for Budgetary Responsibility (OBR) revised up forecasts for 2014 growth by 0.3ppts, to 3.0%. Growth in 2014 is expected to be the strongest in 8 years and the UK to be the fastest growing economy in the G7. The OBR also revised up its forecast of expected growth in 2015, to 2.4%.  With all broad sectors growing by at least 3% year-on-year in Q3 the recovery is also increasingly broad based. External risks to the recovery remain, particularly from the euro area.
  • The labour market has continued to perform strongly. Over 2 million jobs have been added to the economy since 2010, with over five jobs created for every public sector job lost. The UK saw the fastest employment growth in the G7 over the last year.
  • The budget deficit is expected to have been halved as a share of GDP by 2014-15, to 5.0%, down from 10.2% in 2009-10. The OBR confirmed that the government remains on course to meet its fiscal targets, with a budget surplus of £4bn expected in 2018-19 and a declining ratio of debt to GDP from 2016-17.

In his new policy announcements, the Chancellor took action to reduce the scope for businesses to avoid paying tax on UK activity and also halved the generosity of allowances on losses for financial institutions. Branded the Google tax by the UK media, this new ‘diverted profits tax’ will levy a 25% rate of tax on UK and foreign multinationals which manipulate international tax rules to divert profit abroad. The Chancellor also announced that tax allowances for historical losses by financial institutions will be halved to return more money to the public from those who helped cause the crisis.

The Autumn Statement was also about rebalancing the economic geography of Britain. It sets out a commitment to build a “Northern Powerhouse”, with investments in infrastructure and the science base. There is a £6bn investment programme in roads as part of a broader £15bn investment across the UK motorway system.

£1bn will be spent on the North, creating new centres of excellence in science and the creative industries across a number of cities.

The government also announced policies to reduce the tax burden for businesses creating apprenticeships across the country and introduced loan support to those individuals wishing to undertake postgraduate study.

The UK, like Sweden, is an export-oriented economy, heavily dependent on recovery in the eurozone in particular. But we’re also taking  big steps, despite the tightness of our public finances, to rebalance our modernise our economy, to meet the challenges and opportunities of this global century.

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Thursday, December 11th, 2014

On Tuesday, Ambassador Paul Johnston delivered a speech at an SKGS seminar on lessons from the UK energy market. The audience included members of industry and Swedish MPs. The transcript of the speech is reproduced below.

9th December 2014

Energy has come to the forefront of European policy debates, both as a Prosperity and Security issue. A combination of Fukushima, Shale Gas, and not least Putin have put energy questions at the top of our shared agenda.

Finding security of supply and stability has long been the holy grail of energy policy. Achieving this while moving towards a low carbon and price competitive future is even more difficult. As all European countries contemplate future of energy supply amid regional and global uncertainties, achieving a forward-thinking energy policy with clear targets is vital to security and sustainability.

The UK has sought to address this concern through the Electricity Market Reform launched in 2012.  Our policy is to reduce emissions at home while simultaneously adding long-term security and capacity – all the while relying on the private sector.

Overall UK Approach to climate goals – 80% by 2050

Addressing climate change at home and abroad has been a cornerstone of the British Government’s energy policy. We want to be a driver of ambitious action on the international stage and ensure that our own policies promote a secure energy supply based on low carbon solutions at home.

The Climate Change Act of 2012 is the framework to achieving the UK’s climate goals. This act imposes a legal obligation on the UK government to reduce greenhouse gas emissions by at least 80 percent by 2050, compared to 1990 levels.

It is ambitious and rightfully so. And its real bite is that it is not aspirational – it is a legal requirement. It is, in fact, the world’s first legally binding climate change target.

To underpin the rigour of the legislation and to ensure a future government won’t simply put off reducing emissions until some mad scramble in the last decade before the deadline – this government has introduced a carbon budgeting system that caps emissions over five-year periods.

The carbon budget acts as a cap on the domestic emissions over five years. The idea is to have a cost-effective path to achieving the 2050 requirement. Importantly, the first four carbon budgets have already been placed in legislation and now run up to 2027.

Our first carbon budget target required a 22% reduction in emissions to occur from 2008 to 2012. During those four years we actually reduced emissions by 26%.

The long term planning under the Climate Change Act and through the carbon budgets also benefits businesses. The 15 year time period provides stability and certainty around which companies can plan.

Our ambitious, yet clear, legislative backdrop has established a framework to develop an economically credible emissions reduction plan.

Why we need EMR – current energy mix

One of the core policies the UK has implemented to cut emissions is the Electricity Market Reform. The reform measures have been important in moving our energy system away from polluting fossil fuels towards renewable and low carbon technology.

Approximately 25% of the UK’s existing generation capacity – or 20 gigawatts – will be lost over the next ten years due to new regulations or due to age. Of course this will put pressure on our energy supply as our capacity margin will be significantly reduced.

Against this backdrop, the Electricity Market Reform is designed to bring about far-reaching changes to

(1) better deliver the investment needed to maintain security of supply,

(2) meet our renewable and decarbonisation targets,

and (3) minimise consumer bills.

There are already enormous pressures on the electricity market that EMR seeks to address. It is estimated that electricity demand will steadily increase – anything from 30-50% by 2050. As of now, the UK’s percentage of renewables is low compared to  Sweden – only 12% of UK electricity comes from renewable sources.

To meet the demand and to meet the 2050 target, it is estimated that we will need nearly 110 billion pounds in investment in renewable energy over the next ten years alone. A big opportunityfor business as well as a climate commitment fulfilled.

What EMR involves

EMR has been designed to incentivise private sector investment. The two principal features of the reform are (1) Contracts for Difference and (2) creation of the Capacity Market. I’ll take each in turn.

Quite simply, contracts for difference are legally binding, private law contracts between a government-owned limited company and an electricity generator.

In practice, an energy generator sells its electricity into the market normally. The difference is that the Contract for Difference will reflect the difference in the estimate of the market price and an estimate of the long term price – also known as the strike price. If the market price is higher than originally predicted, then the generator may have to pay back the difference. If the market price is lower the state will pay the generator.

The strike price is determined by the government (through a Limited Company owned by the government) and then agreed with a generator (who could be running offshore wind farms or a nuclear power station) in a long-term, private law contract. Private law contracts are important because they provide certainty and allow for normal contract rights, obligations and recourse.

Contracts for difference are designed to stimulate investment in low carbon technologies, including renewable resources, nuclear and Carbon Capture and Storage by providing predictable revenue streams.

Predictability helps to minimise risk and makes it easier and cheaper to secure finance. The government is putting almost £8bn – something like 90 billion kronor – into CFD between now and 2020 alone.

The system will initially be standardised and allocated across a wide-range of low carbon technologies, ie different technologies will receive different levels of subsidy to attract investment in these new technologies. The ultimate goal is to have a competitive, tech-neutral system of allocation, ie a free market in low carbon energy options.

Capacity market

The Capacity Market is designed to support the security of supply when necessary. As a product of government, private business and NGO collaboration, the capacity market will ensure that there is enough reliable capacity to meet in demand.

It is essentially composed of three parts: First there is a forecast of future peak demand, determined years in advance; Second, a prediction of the capacity needed to ensure supply for the future peak demand, which is then contracted through a competitive central auction and; Finally there’s the availability of providers to enter into capacity agreements.

The capacity agreements will cover 15 year periods. The contract will demonstrate the suppliers are committed to provide electricity when needed in the delivery year in exchange for a steady capacity payment. If the supplier fails to provide the agreed upon electricity when called, the party will face stiff penalties.

Providers of capacity will receive predictable revenue in exchange for reliable capacity supply. It is essentially an insurance policy against blackouts.

The first capacity market auction will be taking place later this month. There have been more than 500 applications with a combined electrical output level of 62 GW – something like 70% of current demand. This is a very encouraging signal of industry interest in this new approach.

Both the capacity market and the contracts for difference are supplemented by other institutional elements, though those two are the main elements of the reform package.

The key themes running through the reform architecture are predictability and security and a strong encouragement to invest in clean technology.

Where we are now

At the moment we are doing well in terms of the amount of investment in renewable energy and storage in the UK. Our approach has been to let the market dictate which technology is used for renewable electricity generation. We have no tech-specific targets and the result is a wide mix of cutting edge electricity generation.

The UK has some of the best offshore wind farms in the EU. There are over 20 sites, including four of the largest in the EU. The wind farms have over 3.3 gigawatt capacity.

We are one of the leaders in wave and tidal generation plants and have seen a steady increase in development of facilities.

The UK is responsible for roughly 27% of all tidal development projects and 23% of wave projects globally. We are also leading the way in the establishment of energy parks – facilities that bring together stakeholders from universities, researchers and private businesses in the field of marine energy. Through these groups, we are looking to become smarter and more innovative in marine energy sources.

Role of Swedish Investors

Swedish investors have played a large role in the development of the British energy markets. Vattenfall has invested over 2 billion pounds since entering the UK market in 2008. As a result, five major wind farms – on and offshore – have been developed along with other smaller but still important investments.

Electricity Market Reform will add incentive and opportunity for firms, including Swedish firms, to enter the British market and continue to develop the relationship. There is still so much potential in electricity generation that has yet to be realised.

At the moment the UK gets only 12% of its electricity from renewable sources. Estimates are that we will need that number to be closer to 20% by 2020 to meet our 2020 targets. So there is obviously room for, and a requirement to, develop further.

The UK’s energy roadmap, produced in 2013, estimated that a realistic central range of wind power by 2020 is about 18 gigawatts. That number goes up to 40 gigawatts by 2030. EMR is helping to reduce costs to realise this massive potential.

Similarly, wave and tidal have the theoretical capacity to be able to comprise up to 20% of the UK’s current energy demand. Short term predictions are to produce 200 to 300 megawatts by 2020, but that could rise to 27 gigawatts by 2050. Based on our extensive shoreline, our wave and tidal energy potential is estimated at 25-30 gigawatts a year.

There is also a great opportunity to expand production in bioenergy. The government aims to reach 30% of the 2020 targets through biofuels and bio-refineries.

EMR has already helped unlock investment.

The UK’s renewable electricity sector has doubled in size since 2010. The first Contracts for Difference were awarded in April this year. The projects included offshore wind farms, coal to biomass conversions and a dedicated biomass plant with combined heat and power.

By 2020, the projects are expected to provide up to 12 billion pounds of private sector investment, 8500 jobs and 4.5 gigawatts of low-carbon electricity.

As I noted earlier, our government predicts that the UK will need a further 100 billion pounds of investment in electricity infrastructure between now and 2020 – of which 65 billion is needed in electricity generation capacity.

Nuclear power is also going to continue being important to British energy capacity and generation.

Last October, the key terms for an investment contract were agreed for Hinkley Point Centre. This will lead to 16 gigawatts of new power at Hinkley Point and Sizewell. Plans for development at Moorside will also lead to 3.6 gigawatts, and plans for two to three reactors at Wylfe in Anglesey and Oldbury will also help meet our needs further.

Conclusion

We are in the early stages of an ambitious project to diversify our energy sources to ensure security and capacity. Attracting investment is key to meeting the UK’s long term energy obligations. It is also key to the future of the British economy. Investment will stimulate the economy, support growth of UK supply chains and boost the job market.

Electricity Market Reform is the essential mechanism for encouraging investment. It includes innovative, competitive features, in particular Contracts for difference and the capacity market. Consumers will also benefit due to more stable supply and prices.

I hope my remarks have illustrated the scale of the potential in the UK and the scale of the ambition we have. Thank you for the opportunity to take part in your conference.

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OUR INNER GPS: A MORE THAN USUALLY BRAINY NOBEL LAUREATE

Wednesday, December 10th, 2014

This is the third year in a row the UK has won one of science’s Oscars, thanks to the work of British-American neuroscientist John O’Keefe.

Professor O’Keefe, of University College London, was jointly awarded this Prize for Physiology and Medicine with two Norwegian researchers for the discovery of cells that constitute a positioning system in the brain – an ‘inner GPS’ – that enables us to orient ourselves.  This is the latest in a long line of recent British winners, following Professors Higgs and Levitt in 2013, and Professor Gurdon the year before that.

Science matters to the UK.  With four of the world’s top ten universities, and more Nobel prizes per capita than any other large nation, the UK is internationally renowned for its research excellence. There is a strength, breadth and depth to our scientific activities that few countries can match.  That is why we place such emphasis on science & innovation at the embassy, led by our in house Science & Innovation team, with support from Trade & Investment colleagues.

Sweden is a key partner for us and one of my ambitions is for even greater collaboration between our two countries.

Sweden and the UK both have impressive records in securing EU funding, and as I have previously written, we are excited about exploring the potential synergies between the ESS facility in Lund and its counterpart in the UK.  We are always open to suggestions for other collaborative efforts, so please do contact us with your ideas!

As we gear up (literally, given the white tie and tails) for the Nobel ceremony this week and welcome our Science Minister, Greg Clark, we should reflect on the centrality of science and innovation to our future health and prosperity and to the work our governments are doing to support it.

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Corruption: the cancer of the body politics

Tuesday, December 9th, 2014

Corruption is a local problem and a global concern. Though corruption is more prevalent in societies with poorly functioning governments, the reality is that no society is immune.

The effects are real and devastating. It is estimated that total cost of corruption is $2.6 trillion – or 5% of global GDP.

That is why the British government is announcing later this month a new action Plan.

The plan will reinforce the UK’s commitment to ending corruption at home and abroad, building on our already extensive work.

No country is fully immune from corruption and corruption in one country can have a wider impact.

Not only does corruption erode a citizen’s trust in the nation, it also deters trade and investment by adding risks and costs for, and thus scaring off, investors. It stifles growth and development and even can support terrorist organisations and organised crime.

The wide-ranging effects have been the motivating factor behind the UK’s push to end evil.

In 2011, Parliament passed the UK Bribery Act – a world-leading piece of legislation that places high standards on British companies operating at home and abroad. We have been working with other countries to adopt similar legislation.

Our Government has also been using our presence and influence in international organisations like the United Nations, G7, G20 and OECD to push the anti-corruption agenda.

Sweden has been an important partner in our work, as evidenced in our collaboration on the Business Anti-Corruption Portal, to help companies adhere to UN norms and requirements.

Our approach on corruption is resolute, and will continue to be so, not least because it is so harmful to our global system. Economic growth suffers and resources are diverted from where they are needed most.

So as we head into the New Year, we’ll utilise our Anti-Corruption Plan and work in partnership with like-minded nations to help the global community prosper and to live free of stifling corruption.

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HOME THOUGHTS FROM ABROAD: HOW DO SWEDES SEE BRITAIN?

Friday, December 5th, 2014

2013 was a record year for the number of visitors from Sweden to the UK. There were at least 386,000 holiday visits, more than double compared to 2003.

A recent study sought to find out how countries like Sweden viewed Britain.  No country in Europe was more positive about the UK than Sweden.

We scored high in the categories ‘contemporary culture’ and ‘vibrant city life and urban attractions’. Amazingly, however, we were ranked only 24th of 50 countries by Swedish voters for natural beauty.

To my mind, that means Swedes need to get beyond London and explore the fantastic nature of the UK – from my home land in the borders of Scotland, to the Lake District, the stunning countryside of Northern Ireland,  or Pembrokeshire in Wales.

But, most satisfying of all, Sweden ranked the UK 2nd in the world in terms of being the most welcome and friendly people. If I may return the compliment, as I enter my last year here, I’ve never felt more welcome in any foreign city than I have in Stockholm! My wife and  I are and will continue to be Ambassadors for visiting this lovely country, wherever our travels take us next.

I’m so glad Swedes love the UK. Please do continue to visit. VisitBritain is full of wonderful ideas to inspire your next holiday.

Ni är välkomna!  Trevlig resa!

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St Andrew’s Day and the Way Forward for Scotland

Friday, November 28th, 2014

Sunday is St. Andrew’s Day – Scotland’s national day. It was great to be in Edinburgh this week, not least because it was a big week for Scotland. The new First Minister presented her new government and programme. And the cross-party commission published its far-reaching proposals on new powers for Scotland.

Immediately following the referendum on Scottish independence this past year, the UK Government established the independent Smith Commission to analyse a way forward for a further devolution of powers to the Scottish Parliament.

The Commission was a result of a promise by the Prime Minister to further devolve powers to the Scottish Parliament if Scotland voted to remain part of the United Kingdom.

After engaging with people across the political spectrum, the Commission has released its report on the way forward. This is the first time all five of Scotland’s political parties have come together to agree further powers for Scotland. It is an historic achievement.

The wide-ranging report calls for many new powers and inter-governmental reforms. Some of the highlights include expanded welfare powers to the Scottish Parliament, more say on matters related to income tax, and enhanced powers in other policy areas such as regulatory bodies and onshore oil and gas extraction. The Scottish Parliament will be given more responsibility and have more accountability – all good things.

Prime Minister Cameron has welcomed the report. “We are keeping our promises and we’re keeping our UK together. I always said that a no vote didn’t mean no change.”

The next step is for the Government to submit draft legislation to enact the proposed reforms by 25 January 2015.

So this Sunday, as we celebrate all that is great about Scotland, we can appreciate its important role as a part of the UK. Reforms and devolution will help ensure that our Union will continue to be strong.

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SEXUAL VIOLENCE: IT’S STILL TIME TO ACT

Tuesday, November 25th, 2014

In 2013, a World Health Organisation report found that 35% of all women in the world had experienced physical or sexual violence in their lifetime.

In some countries, that number is closer to 70%.

The latest manifestation, ISIS committing unspeakable atrocities against women in Iraq and Syria, including forced pregnancy and slavery, only serves to underscore the scale of the challenge.

In June, London hosted the Global Summit to End Sexual Violence . More than 120 countries were represented and thousands of experts, youth organisations and NGOs attended making it the largest ever conference on the subject.  Sweden  made a substantial contribution, as they have always done in this field, including through the excellent work of Margot Wallström in her earlier role as UN Special Representative on Sexual Violence in Conflict.

Four key objectives emerged from the conference. We need to:

(1)    improve accountability at the national and international level for the crime of sexual violence;

(2)    provide greater support and protection to survivors of sexual violence, including children;

(3)    ensure sexual and gender-based violence responses and the promotion of gender equality are fully integrated into all peace and security efforts; and

(4)    improve international cooperation.

The UK’s Department for International Development (DFID) is putting our vision and commitment into practice through a multitude of programmes to help girls and women improve opportunities and give them more voice, choice and control. Millions of women and girls have been helped by these programmes. We are committed to continuing this.

We have to make clear, in our words and in our actions, that it is unacceptable that more than a third of women will experience such violence in their lives. During the 16 days of international activism beginning on 25 November we should spread awareness and demand change.

Our commitment to end gender based violence is clear.

No woman or child should have to live in fear.

We could have no better partner than Sweden in this endeavour.

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The Duty to Remember and to Recall

Wednesday, November 12th, 2014

You could have heard a pin drop.

Hundreds of people at Kulturhuset last night sat, silent and transfixed, as a frail, elderly woman, sipping occasionally from a water glass, and speaking without notes, told her story.

Hedi Fried is 90. And she is a Holocaust survivor.

Born in Romania in 1924, she was taken to Auschwitz with her family at the age of 20. She said goodbye, forever, to her mother at the camp gates.

There were other speakers at the seminar last night. Margot Wallström spoke of the new face of war and the importance of a feminist foreign policy. The German and Ambassador and I spoke about European security in the summers of 1914 and 2014 respectively.

But there was only really one voice, and one message.  That of an elderly lady, and of the obligation to remember, to recount, to explain.

I can understand why some people don’t believe what happened, she said. That’s why I tell my story.

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Green Light to Cut Red Tape

Friday, November 7th, 2014

Across Europe, Governments recognise that reducing the cost of regulation is crucial for growth. Cutting unnecessary EU burdens is also vital to maintaining European competitiveness. We need a regulatory framework which fosters innovation, skilled jobs, and access to world markets.

The Commission has made progress over the last five years. We particularly welcome recent efforts to lighten the load on the smallest business (exempting micro-businesses from new EU legislation wherever possible), and to institute a more systematic approach to reform (the Regulatory Fitness or ‘REFIT’ programme). In other areas, such as financial services where the pace of reforms has been particularly intense, we have seen legislation that could have been better designed.

We need wide consultation and evidence-based and transparent policy-making to produce policy which is fit for purpose and which removes barriers to competitiveness and growth. We are pleased that President Juncker has created a new Vice Presidency to push for better regulation. And we welcome the commitment from Commissioner Timmermans to improve the quality of Commission Impact Assessments and achieve a meaningful reduction in regulation.

We have also been making a national contribution to this debate. Just one year ago our Prime Minister launched the report of his Business Taskforce on cutting EU red tape. This week the Government has published a ‘One Year On’ report, which highlights the progress that has been made and the wide ranging support for improving EU regulation.

The new report highlights that 10 of 30 recommendations from last year have already been achieved. These include removing unnecessary bureaucracy around clinical trials, the exploitation of shale gas, non-financial reporting, and environmental impact assessments. This has already prevented billions of Euros of additional costs to the European economy.

The Taskforce’s principles have also gained considerable support around Europe – they would ensure that all new EU proposals face tough tests to ensure they do not hold back growth, job creation and innovation. Major European business organisations, the European Parliament and the Commission’s own Better Regulation Advisory Group (the ‘Stoiber Group’) have supported the principles, including calls for a ‘One-in, One-out’ policy at the EU level; a target to reduce the overall burden of EU regulation; and exclusions for the smallest firms from new EU legislation.

We have made a good start, but we need to continue. So we hope we can continue to work together with member states and the new Commission to produce regulations in Europe that protect consumers but also crucially help producers, not least SMEs, to flourish and grow, bringing much needed jobs and growth to our countries.

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Editor’s Blog, December 23rd (The Local Sweden) »

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A Tale of Three Cities (The Diplomatic Dispatch) »

"Today I am pleased to welcome a guest blogger on my blog, Sir David King, The..." READ »

 
 
 
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