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Eurosceptic Bloggers

Friday, March 04, 2005

Free Trade? Whatever gave you that idea?

Whenever a directive is proposed that favours the liberalisation of markets, it very quickly becomes a “controversial directive”. So it is with the Services Directive.
The European Commission on Wednesday agreed to water down proposals to open up Europe's market in services in an attempt to defuse the political row about the issue. The directive would have allowed companies from any member state to offer a service in another member operating under its own national legislation.
By any measure this is a gross overruling of the concept of national sovereignty. Europhilic countries such as Germany and France however, can hardly complain about this aspect of the idea. Instead they are incensed at the “social dumping” aspect.
The services directive was condemned in Germany as an invitation for companies based in Eastern Europe to promote cheap labour and reduced employment benefits elsewhere. France also wants public services protected from the legislation.
So it seems that overriding our national sovereignty is all well and good in the cause of the social model, but is a problem when it is done to increase the level of competition. Wasn’t the argument supposed to be going the other way?

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