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EU Commissioner not up to the job, says MEP

Wednesday, 13th January 2010

At a Confirmation Hearing in the European parliament in Brussels today, the Commissioner-Designate for Employment, Laszlo Andor, came in for some tough questioning from East Midlands MEP Roger Helmer, who has served for many years on the parliament's Unemployment Committee.

Mr. Andor is an Hungarian economist with strong left-wing leanings. He fiercely denies ever having been a Communist, but he is the Editor of Hungary's leading hard-left magazine "Consciousness". He opposes globalisation, market economics and NATO, and condemns the "Anglo American economic model". The parliament is currently holding hearings for all 27 Commissioners-Designate, and Roger Helmer as a member of the Unemployment Committee spoke at this hearing on behalf of the recently-formed Group of European Conservatives.

Helmer's first question was about the damage that excessive EU employment regulation is doing to European competitiveness and employment. He also raised the ineffectiveness of the EU's so-called "Globalisation Adjustment Fund" -- which has subsidised the transfer of jobs from western EU countries to the East. Andor gave a very general reply in which he refused to recognise any link between excessive regulation and increased unemployment. In a follow-up question, Helmer regretted Ander's blind spot with regard to labour market dynamics and the effects of EU legislation, and asked if he understood that many MEPs would feel that his attitudes tended to disqualify him from the job.

After the hearing, Mr Helmer said:

"It is clear that Mr. Andor is wedded to the kind of thinking that stifled the British economy in the sixties and seventies, putting an inflated value on rights in the workplace and ignoring the impact on growth, employment and competitiveness. I am delighted that the Conservative Party is committed to getting the UK out from under the burden of EU social regulation".

See a video from the hearing