In The Press
EU and Protectionism (Letter to the Editor of The Telegraph)
8 December 2008
Sir - As business leaders who see the need for positive relations with the rest of Europe, we are attending the European business summit in London today. We write in a personal capacity to emphasise that the summit shows the key role of the European Union in the credit crunch.
The primary actors in responding to the financial crisis have been national governments, but the EU has played an important coordinating role. We believe the EU's economic recovery plan, which involves a fiscal stimulus of €200 billion, is timely and appropriate. We believe the institutions of the EU should resist moves toward protectionism by member states.
Early indications from the Ipsos Mori Captains of Industry survey show that 80 per cent of business leaders agree that the European Commission should play a greater role in stopping the protectionism of some member states. With a focus on innovation, skills and the knowledge economy, EU members can lead the world out of recession. Protectionism will only deepen it.
(Signed in a personal capacity)
Roland Rudd, Chairman, Business for New Europe
Sir John Parker, Chairman, National Grid
Sir Michael Rake, Chairman, BT Group
Stuart Popham, Senior partner, Clifford Chance
Bill Thomas, Executive Vice-president, EDS, Europe, Middle East & Africa