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Eurosceptic Bloggers

Thursday, December 09, 2004

Who exactly are we working for?

EU employment ministers have failed to reach a deal on a revision of the working time directive. It is a prime example of a law that needs revision, or preferably abolition if Europe is to ever have more of a snowballs chance in hell of becoming a dynamic growth area. But:

The Council was divided on the issue of the opt-out and therefore failed to approve the complete revision of the Working Hours Directive, the Dutch presidency said in a statement. Germany, The Netherlands, Britain and the majority of member states backed a compromise package.

The subject is also a neat illustration of what is wrong with the concept of the European Union. The majority of members want to revise a directive, because they believe that a mistake has been made or that circumstances have changed. But it is incredibly difficult.
But a blocking minority made up of France, Belgium, Sweden, Greece and Spain remain fully committed to the permanent phase out of the opt-out, and voted against the proposals.

Which leads us to the questions. Why the hell do subjects like this have to be decided at European Union level? Let the French and the Swedes pass whatever rules they like whilst the UK and others do their own thing. Where is the problem? The proposal for revision was

Enabling employees to 'opt-out' through collective agreements between unions and employers.
Which raises another question entirely. What right has any government, national or otherwise, to dictate to consenting adults how many hours they can work? Why should any agreement be possible only through collective agreements? Why could they not simply leave decisions concerning our personal lives up to the individual?

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