The Times is thrilled at the European Union’s “bonfire of the diktats”. Apparently the EU Competitiveness Council — that’s the meeting of trade ministers to you and me — is planning to “simplify and abolish items of legislation, rather than multiplying and complicating them”. The spin is predictable, though:
With the EU having produced 101,811 regulations since Britain joined in 1973, the scale of U-turn is small: just 15 directives will be affected — from an original list of 300 — and most are relatively arcane. But after years of talking about more flexible economies and doing nothing, the fact that any deregulation at all is taking place is seen by British diplomats as an historic turning point.</p>
The Guardian says that EU governments “demonstrated a rare united front” in expressing concern over the elections in Ukraine. The Netherlands EU presidency plans to send an envoy, Niek Biegman, to speak to the Kremlin-backed candidate, Viktor Yanukovich.
The Guardian also reports that tracking down war criminals in Bosnia will be one of the tasks of Eufor, the new European Union force which will take over peacekeeping duties from NATO on D2 December. For the Times, the emphasis is on the fact that a British general will be in charge. Major-General David Leakey will have 7,000 troops under his command.
Bo Vesterdorf, president of the European Court of First Instance in Luxembourg, has called for a closed-door meeting to discover why the Computer and Communications Industry ssociation and Novell have withdrawn support for the European Commission’s record €497m anti-trust fine on Microsoft.
Various papers report that controversial EU competition commissioner, Neelie Kroes, has already recused herself from five cases dues to conflicts of interest caused by her extensive business links.
The Daily Telegraph has a whole different set of stories. They report that Sam Younger, the chairman of the UK’s Electoral Commission, believes the Yes campaign for the European Constitution referendum has an unfair advantage. The the anti-constitution campaign, Vote No, has said that it intends challenge the spending rules in the courts.
The Telegraph also notes that more than 1 million Christans have signed a petition calling for amendements to the European constitution to acknowledge “Europe’s Christian heritage”.