Friday, June 17, 2005

EEC

I, like all of you, are subject to our media and we make our judgments. We are all sure, aren't we, that the Brussels based EEC bureaucracy is a almost immovable mammoth. This is a brief read and worth you while, I think.

EUROMYTH NO. 16: THE GREAT COMMISSION OCTOPUSThis time a Euromyth a little closer to home. The fallacy of the tentacle-like European bureaucracy as being oversized and unwieldy is one often trumpeted in the British media and therefore aped by some of the press down under. The most recent example comes from Janet Albrechtsen, columnist with The Australian. In an article (May 11) which labels the ‘grand utopian experiment' of the EU as a stealthy attempt to ‘dump the nation-state', Albrechtsen describes the EU's executive, the Brussels-based European Commission, as a ‘mammoth centralised bureaucracy'. In fact the Commission, with its 21,863 employees, is smaller than Australia's Centrelink, which has a total of 24,632 staff. What many tend to forget is that almost all EU regulations and legislation drafted by the Commission has to be voted on by both the European Parliament, the Council of Ministers which is made up of ministers from the EU Member States, and then often by the Heads of State and Government of EU countries via the European Council. The Commission has very little unchecked capacity to design and enforce rules from Brussels of its own volition. All up, the Commission is probably the same size as the combined policy divisions of the Australian federal government, yet it serves a truly ‘mammoth' 455 million people, as opposed to a mere 20 million.PS: Albrechtsen's article would surely win any award for Euro-drivel!Ah, right. “The fallacy of the tentacle-like European bureaucracy as being oversized and unwieldy is one often trumpeted in the British media and therefore aped by some of the press down under.” An Anglo-Saxon conspiracy, in other words? Good to see that the sprit of General de Gaulle has moved from the Quai d'Orsay to Brussels.

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