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.