Sunday, December 17, 2006

EU Commission: charming the citizen into unworkable rules

Last week we had an interesting analysis in the Financieele Dagblad by Mr Dekking. His view is that the Commission tries to sell the European concept by easy and straightforward rules to the benefit of the user. The example provided is the discussion on roaming fees for teleco. Those should be equal for phoning within and beteen countries. But, Dekking reminds the reader, one should always remember that such easy charm-concepts never make it fully into regulation. Member states will discuss and modify rules into a more complex set of rules. Leading to something which may be less easy to explain and less workable.

It would be interesting to draw up a list of regulation which suffers from the above European charm-tactic. That list might actually be quite a long list of symbol legislation. The funny thing is that, in order to sell the European concept of a competitive internal market, regulators choose to intervene severely in such a market. Such legislation may charm some European citizens. But do the politicians really think that all citizens will be fooled into the EU-concept? And that such symbol legislation will help?

Perhaps, the fact that EU-legislators and parliament really assume that citizens will be fooled so easily, may be at the heart of the Euroscepsis. Why would citizens transfer more rights to institutions that seek pearls and beads rather than policy-consistency to achieve a true competitive internal market ? And that, according to the transparant communication on the EU-website dismiss the NO-vote in 2 member states to continue making up a constitutional treaty that the EU-citizens really do not want?