Johnny Munkhammar skrev på denna blogg från 2004 till sin död 2012. Bloggen är upprätthållen som ett minne och som referens till Johnnys arbete av Johnny Munkhammars minnesfond.

This blog was operated by Johnny Munkhammar from 2004 until 2012 when he passed away. This blog is now in a memorialized state and operated by the Johnny Munkhammar fund.
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Wednesday 24/04/2024, 01:03:14

15/02/2006 3:29:04 am
No Four Freedoms. The Economist recently wrote about the fact that the four freedoms, the foundation and best part of the EU, are all threatened. The freedom of movement for services has not been introduced in practice yet - the European Parliament will vote on a proposal on Thursday. Unfortunately, the proposal that the EP will be voting about is worthless.

They have removed the parts of the European society which would benefit the most from free trade in services; health care and education. And they have removed the important and simplifying principle of the country of origin. Even if there is a yes to this, it is a yes to a fragment of what we could and should have had. Alexander Graf Lambsdorff wrote in the Wall Street Journal Europe about the foolish obstacles that remain in Europe against free trade in services:

"In France, technicians need to be registered five days in advance, making it impossible for competitors from neighboring countries to fix a heating system or an elevator on short notice. Efficiency? In Rome and Athens, foreign tour-guides are not allowed at historic sites. Fairness? A German food delivery service could not sell its products in Luxembourg because it did not have a permanent establishment in that country. Competition? If you transport food in Belgium, your car has to have a Belgian license-plate. Flexibility?"

The gains could have been enormous: Independent studies point to 600 000 new jobs. Already, some 70 per cent of EU GDP comes from services. But no, protectionism, socialism and a regulated labour market all strike at once. Representatives of these ideas will demonstrate outside the Parliament for a no vote, even to this insignificant proposal. And to stop this, they will talk about justice and solidarity. Ironic and immoral. A bad day for Europe.

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