Business Secretary Vince Cable visited Brussels today for the first time in his new role as Secretary of State for Business, Innovation and Skills. Representing the UK at the EU Competitiveness Council, Dr Cable met with his counterpart EU ministers and EU Commissioners to discuss the implementation of the Mario Monti Report, which focuses on proposals to help strengthen the EU’s global competitiveness.

The report offers recommendations to drive economic growth throughout the EU, such as supporting the low carbon industries, the removal of trade barriers in the services industry and the creation of a digital single market.

Vince Cable said:

“Competitive markets are essential to achieving long-term sustainable growth. This is why the UK Government strongly supports the need to cut red tape, resist protectionism and restore investor confidence in the EU.

“The Single Market is crucial for the economic growth and stability of Britain and all the member states. It is, in my view, the EU’s greatest success and I welcome further progress in its development.”

Additional information:

1. The EU Competitiveness Council takes place from the 25-26 May with the first day of the Council agenda on the Internal Market and Industry. Industrial issues under discussion include Green Vehicles, Construction Products, the re-launch of the internal market (Monti report), the future revision of EU trade mark system, the Services Directive and the Digital Agenda for Europe.

2. The Monti report was published on 10 May and this will be the first discussion at the Council following the publication of the report. The report is available at –

3. Bilateral meetings were conducted with Rainer Bruederle (German Federal Minister for Economics and Technology), Máire Geoghegan-Quinn (European Commissioner for Research, Innovation and Science), Antonio Tajani (European Commissioner for Industry and Entrepreneurship), Michel Barnier (European Commissioner for Internal Market and Services), Baroness Ashton of Upholland (High Representative of the Union for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy) and Malcolm Harbour MEP (Chair of the European Parliament Internal Market Committee).