February 22, 2007 7:41PM

The European Commission Is Free Market?!?

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.