December 09, 2004

A Good Start

A Man With a Mission

New EU Enterprise Commissioner Günter Verheugen is busy making friends. Promises to cut red tape are always popular, through we are sceptical of how this will be implemented. However, there are two priorities that have direct relevance to the nanotechnology community.

Firstly Verheugen wants to judge each proposed European Union law by how it would affect medium-sized businesses, including seeking ways to “cut the burden on industry of the EU's controversial chemicals directive.” Europe has a history of over regulation, and dumping the burden of this on SMEs which can adversely affect the competitiveness of anyone working in nanotechnologies. While regulation to protect the public and the environment is necessary, getting the level of regulation right is crucial. We will be seeing a number of discussions in both the European and national parliaments in the coming years and we need to avoid strangling European industry at birth.

Verheugen’s second proposal seems to be a more difficult task; putting pressure on Jacques Chirac, French president, to stop blocking a single European patent by insisting on registrations in multiple languages. Its a crazy situation and benefits nobody except the legions of translators.

Given Europe's total failure to make any progress on the Lisbon Declaration, i.e. To become the worlds most competitive knowledge based economy by 2010, Commissioner Verheugen has his work cut out. So far, he can count on the support of the European nanotechnology community.

Posted by Cientifica at December 9, 2004 08:25 AM | TrackBack
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