UNICE outlines demands for British Presidency

AT a meeting in September 1997 with British Prime Minister, Tony Blair, UNICE outlined its demands for the UK Council Presidency, which falls in the first six months of 1998.

The British Prime Minister, Tony Blair, met François Perigot, president of the Union of Industrial and Employers' Confederations of Europe (UNICE) and Sir Colin Marshall, president of the UK employers' confederation, the CBI, in London on 4 September 1997. The employers presented their priorities for the UK Council Presidency, which will follow the Luxembourg Presidency in the first six months of 1998.

In relation to Economic and Monetary Union (EMU), UNICE stressed the vital link between EMU and the single market and called for a strict adherence to the proposed timetable.

Discussing the issue of enlargement, Mr Perigot assured the British government of its support during negotiations. These will most likely commence during the British Presidency. UNICE emphasised the need to respect the acquis communautaire and the integrity of the single market.

Reiterating one of the long-standing concerns of the European employers' federation, UNICE urged the British Presidency to press for the immediate application of the Amsterdam Treaty Protocol on subsidiarity (EU9707135F), and called for the EU to adopt improved impact-assessment and cost-benefit analysis of all legislative proposals.

On environmental issues, Mr Perigot spoke of UNICE's grave concern over the EU position for the International Climatic Change Conference and in particular the proposal to reduce greenhouse gas emissions by 15% from 1990 levels by 2010. He also expressed concerns over proposals aiming to introduce energy taxes in the EU.

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