Our objective must therefore be to ensure EU better regulation contributes towards delivering a modern European Union which relentlessly focuses on building a dynamic and innovative economy equipped to meet the challenges of the 21st century.
For too long nurses have been undervalued, restricted in what they could do, with too few career opportunities in clinical practice. For far too long, nurses have endured a pay system that has held them back - both professionally as well as financially.
But effective regulation at the European Union level can make a massive contribution to achieving our shared goals of improving competitiveness, jobs and growth.
The Civil Service is a vital economic asset to the UK - firstly, in the way it creates a framework for excellence in service delivery and secondly, in how it helps organise the best way to deliver modern public services on which both businesses and individuals depend.
From my time in Health I know that choice empowers people lives.
The challenge to our national economies and the collective economy of Europe will become - with the growth of China and the continuing productivity growth of the US - even more intense in the decades to come.
At the heart of these challenges lies the question of how the institutions of the European Union make laws, the types of laws they pass and the effectiveness with which those laws are implemented on civil society and the economy.
More than 50% of significant new regulations that impact on business in the UK now emanate from the EU.
But we can turn challenges into opportunities if we look outwards to the realities of the global economy and modernise our internal institutions in ways that will equip Europe to meet that challenge and create confidence amongst the public.
Greater personal choice, individually tailored services, stronger local accountability, greater efficiency - these are all central to the new direction of travel we have set for our public services.
Having decisions made not in midnight deals but in the light of objective evidence and after consulting those who will be affected should itself provide some reassurance that the EU is trying to reform itself.
If we took Chaucer's writings at face value, we'd have to conclude he was a complete drip.
Road testing the effects of regulation on European business must become second nature to the European Union.
There is no such thing as free regulation.
This call for a new culture is not a new idea.
And, in the past, it has been all too easy for legislators to load costs onto business in order to meet broader social goals. And costs for business means costs for consumers.
It is also right that we continue to consult with front line workers and the public to ensure that targets are reasonable and achievable, that measurement regimes are proportionate and that the targets take full account of the other reforms that are under way.
We must seek to persuade member states and institutions that better regulation in Europe does not mean cutting health and safety in the workplace, nor does it mean dismantling social standards.
Yet in order to make sure the European social model keeps up with the pace of economic change that is now necessary, the EU must embrace a new approach to lawmaking.
But let no one be under any doubt that the scale of the challenge that Europe faces in this emerging global economy is immense and the practical pace of our collective action to meet these challenge to date has just been too slow.