Thursday, September 15, 2005

EU confusion

After the expected but sad debacle of the UN reform, now as good as dead, the EU also is going through a difficult period. Barroso however, seems to be on the right track:

Europe's trade unions attacked José Manuel Barroso, European Commission president, yesterday over his plans to scrap more than 60 draft European Unions laws, including a measure to protect workers from exposure to sunshine.

They will feel lost without their regulations on bananas and cucumbers, but perhaps will gain some credibility:

Commission President Barroso and Competitiveness Commissioner Verheugen have asked their colleagues to examine over 200 proposals that are currently in the pipeline but have got stuck in the legislative process. On 27 September 2005, a list will be presented to the Competitiveness group, who will decide which of the proposals should be scrapped. Legally, the Commission can withdraw a proposal at any time in the legislative process without consulting the member states or Parliament.

On the other hand, the European Commission [is] flexing its muscles (ht Ingrid):

An unprecedented ruling yesterday by the supreme court in Europe gives Brussels the power to introduce harmonised criminal law across the EU, creating for the first time a body of European criminal law that all member states must adopt. The judgment by the European Court of Justice in Luxembourg was bitterly fought by 11 EU governments, including Britain, and marks a dramatic transfer of power from national capitals to Brussels.

One diplomat said: “This stuff is political dynamite in the UK, Holland, Italy, Scandinavia, and Eastern Europe, where they are as keen on their sovereignty as anyone.

The ruling means that the Commission can propose an EU crime that, if passed by the European Parliament and a qualified majority of member states, must be adopted by all member states.

This ruling could be used and abused in many ways; I doubt many countries will accept this transfer of power to Brussels.

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