October 8, 2013 8:29 pm

Add Germany to EU services push

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From Mr John Springford.

Sir, Guntram Wolff is right to propose liberalisation of Germany’s sclerotic services sector (“Germany needs a service sector to match its makers”, October 7). It should also be in Germany’s strategic interest, if it is combined with another EU push to extend the single market to services. Angela Merkel has been friendly to David Cameron’s EU overtures, and is willing to countenance EU reform that does not amount to unilateral opt-outs for Britain. As the UK has been pushing for more integration in the services sector, German backing would do much to keep Britain in the Union.

Some suggest that a small group of liberal-minded countries – in essence, the Nordics and the Dutch – should go it alone, and use the EU’s enhanced co-operation procedure to build a mini single market for services. It would be far better to include Germany, and for the EU as a whole to push for further integration in those services sectors that are most tradable, such as professional services, construction and transport.

John Springford, Research Fellow, Centre for European Reform, London SW1, UK

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