This post might get me into trouble next time I want to deal with the European Union, but as I usually say “whatever”, I am never afraid to say the truth.
The President of the EU Commission José Barroso gave a speech at Princeton this Thursday, emphasizing great prospects of the EU economy and the EU-US cooperation. The speech was followed by a few questions from the audience, and I stepped up to address the question of regulation vs. deregulation in the EU. To be precise, I was wondering if the financial and debt crises influenced the EU in the direction of regulation or deregulation.
I wasn’t please by Barroso’s answer, to be honest. He simply replied as every eurocrat would have replied, addressing the issues of subsidiary and how the EU is making less regulations by taking responsibility from the country level onto its own level for making reforms. Technically, he didn’t really answer the question, so I’ll try to answer it on my on.
I’ve spent a week in the EU Parliament, and trust me, I couldn’t believe how much legislation the Parliament makes and amends every day. They do tons of work, lets give the parliamentarians some credit, but this workload sometimes have a footprint on the quality and, what’s more important, the quantity of laws. The MEPs make tons of laws, in many cases not even knowing the substance of the problem. The result is that their regulations actually do more harm than good in a free market society.
By creating regulations, the EU feels like it has more control of what’s going on in the society, but with the increasing amount of control their power increases too. In the end we get more a kind of an authoritarian regime, where the policy makers think they know better than people in the industry.
I wished Barroso gave me hope that the EU would be moving more towards deregulation in the future. But it is hard to say and implement certain policies, if you are an epitome of them.