There is nothing terribly newsworthy in a story from the EU Observer about a move to the left by the European Commission, but it is revealing that the report indicates that the Brussels-based bureaucracy has a free market reputation.
This is, after all, the bureaucracy that pushes for tax harmonization between countries and operates a Soviet-style agricultural subsidy system. But, then again, maybe the bureaucrats are free market when compared to French and German politicians:
The European Commission on Wednesday appeared to be trying to shrug off its reputation as a free-market bulwark, releasing a vision on the future of the EU’s single market which is notably sensitive to social concerns.
…The current team of commissioners led by Jose Manuel Barroso generally has a pro-market reputation, not least in Germany and France.
…The paper also states that “many European citizens have raised concerns about the perceived disruptive impacts of globalisation,” adding that it is a “matter of social justice” to “anticipate and accompany change for the people and sectors directly affected by the market opening.” Brussels already runs the so-called Globalisation Adjustment Fund which was introduced by Mr. Barroso in 2005 after French president Jacques Chirac criticised the EU for failing to respond to massive lay-offs in France by U.S. computer maker Hewlett-Packard.