April 18, 2012 - 19:23 AMT
PanARMENIAN.Net - The president of the European Union's executive Commission on Wednesday, April 18 slammed the bloc's 27 member states for not implementing laws designed to boost growth on the crisis-hit continent, AP reported.
"It is incomprehensible that member states are still not fully implementing growth-friendly legislation we have in place," European Commission President Jose Manuel Barroso told the European Parliament in Strasbourg, France.
The European Commission for years has been pushing states to get rid of administrative barriers that prevent workers from taking jobs and companies from offering services in other EU countries.
The EU's internal market "is probably the largest engine for growth within the European Union," Barroso said. "It gives European business unfettered access to other companies and half a billion consumers and allows them to develop the scale to compete globally."
The criticism comes as the Commission approved a series of initiatives to boost jobs and growth in the crisis-hit bloc. However, many of the proposals in the package have been made before but have failed to overcome resistance by governments reluctant to give up national prerogatives.
The Commission's proposals on further opening up Europe's service sector could boost growth on the continent by 1.5 percent, Barroso said.
He also said the EU should try to improve its trade relations with non-European countries, including the United States.
Talk of a free-trade agreement between the EU and the U.S. has been around for many years, but has been gaining more traction following the failure of global trade talks under the auspices of the World Trade Organization.
Officials in Brussels have said that they are actively exploring steps that would free up trade between the world's two largest economic powers, although they may fall short of a full-scale free-trade agreement.