EU's east eyes bloc's competitiveness
(WARSAW) - Boosting the European Union's competitiveness and the prospect of Croatia joining the bloc topped Monday talks of central European leaders at an economic forum in Katowice, southern Poland.
"Competitiveness is key topic and the key challenge in the coming years is boosting competitiveness," centre-right Czech Prime Minister Petr Necas told the European Economic Congress 2011.
"I'm pleased that everyone has begun to agree that the key is not increasing taxes, transfers and the unconditional defence of the welfare state, but that competitiveness has become an important slogan," Necas said.
"Coordinating fiscal and economic policy among EU states" is central to improving competitiveness, he added.
Poland's liberal Prime Minister Donald Tusk said his country's upcoming presidency of the EU starting this July would focus on creating a "truly free" internal market within the 27-member EU.
Croatian Prime Minister Jadrank Kosor told delegates to the congress her country was set to complete it talks for EU entry by the end of June.
"This will be a real present marking 20 years of our country's independence," Kosor said.
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