Euro politician wants hands-off Commission

A EUROPEAN commissioner has broken a Brussels taboo by calling on the European Commission to propose fewer regulations.

Frits Bolkestein, the Dutch internal market commissioner, told Dutch newspaper NRC Handelsblad that tougher safeguards should be written into the new EU constitution to curb his own institution’s “tendency to over-regulate”.

He even suggested new powers should be devolved to national parliaments to block legislation they deemed “excessive”.

Bolkestein, 70, told the newspaper: “Parliaments should not only be able to show a yellow card to call back the Commission, as is proposed in the draft constitution, they should also be able to show a red card.”

Despite admitting that he wants to serve a second term on the Commission, Bolkes-tein said his views are supported by only a few of his colleagues. This probably does not include current Comm-ission president Romano Prodi. Asked if his Italian boss wanted Brussels to be more hands-off, Bolkestein said cryptically: “As a whole board we have to be more alert.”

His comments come just a week after Mr Justice Davis issued a ruling in the High Court which for the first time suspended the application of a piece of Commission legislation in England.