Google Ad

Eurosceptic Bloggers

Monday, November 01, 2004

Business turns against Europes single market

One of the things that nearly all of us, Pro or Anti can agree with is that a single market is a desirable thing. Ok, so we do not all understand the same thing from that phrase, but thats a different issue. Basically we all want to make European trade easier. The results of this Survey, brought to my attention by An Englishmans Castle and EU Referendum, is therefore very important indeed.

A MASSIVE slump in support for Europe's single market among international business leaders will be revealed in a new poll this week. Highlighting their mounting concern, an overwhelming 63% of top executives surveyed agreed that over-regulation was destroying European competitiveness.
So far, not a very suprising result, after all regulation is hardly an issue that is not regularly flagged as a problem. Besides many of them probably see the single market and regulation as two different issues.
One business leader said that, relative to the US, it took 12 times longer and cost four times as much to set up in business in Europe; another that it took twice as long and cost five times as much to get a patent in Europe as in the US.
So we make our entrepreneurs struggle with bureacracy but still want them to create the world most dynamic econmy. To those who are not familiar with Hernando de Soto, I can recommend his book, The Mystery of Capital. It describes in detail how things like the cost and difficulty of setting up businesses is such a major factor in keeping the developing world poor. It also plays a major part in keeping much of the economy unregistered. The standout for me in all these results was this.
Only 39% of business leaders believe the single market exists to a great extent in their industry and 38% to some extent, while 21% think that it is largely non existent in their sectors. As many as 88% of respondents believe that cultural diversity can exist in a single market, suggesting that they do not believe all European countries should be homogenous.
So after 12 years of developing a single market, with all the unnecessary regulations that Eurocrats felt they had to add to the mix, just 1 in 4 business leaders believe that there really is a single market in their sector. So the gain that was supposed to make all the pain worth it, does not even fully exist. We have been sold a lemon. During the referendum campaign, when some smug idiot like Robin Cook claims that the gains of the single market are at stake, remember this result.

1 comment:

Jason Frank said...

It was stupid to unify the currency and not unify the banking system. The banking system has not changed and it still takes several days to purchase items in other eu countries. For example, you want to purchase capital equipment in Germany. You must wire the funds, wait several days (providing there are no holidays) for the wire to be received, the bank to take its fee (not much different) and collect your goods. It would have made much more sense to unify the banking system and not even bother with the euro. As an American I find the banking system to be so primitive and expensive that I can only assume that it harms competitiveness.