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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Thursday 18/07/2024, 03:32:15

09/11/2006 1:51:15 pm
Don′t Touch My Working Time! The Ministers for Labour Market in the EU failed to reach a compromise on the working-time directive the other day. This means that the current regulation will be a reality from January, which will have serious adverse consequences. For example, the "on call"-time that doctors and nurses sometimes have, is counted as working time. Thus, expenses for health care will suddenly have to rise because more staff will have to be hired. The main ingredient in the directive is a limit on working time in the EU at 48 hours per week.

This is both a matter of what issues the EU should deal with and - if the EU should deal with them - what the EU should do. If the EU should be a Union of liberation and not regulation, it follows that this is not an issue for the EU but for member countries. Then, there will be institutional competition between countries about what policies that work the best. But if the EU should engage in the matter, it should certainly not impose mroe regulation and more limits on people′s freedom. Which it does in this case.

I think it is an unacceptable limit on people′s freedom if the government forces people to work a maximum of 48 hours a week. If I want to work 88 hours a week, why on earth should the government prohibit that? But all right, if a national government wants to limit people′s freedom and indeed decrease national competitiveness - it is up to them. But now France tries to force such limits on everyone else - such as Britain. And worst of all: they do it for internal political reasons.

This all shows the advantages of an EU la carte, where you can pick which parts you want to have. Countries that don′t want part of damaging regulations shoudl be able in general to opt out. And with a union of soon 27 and after that probably more members, the EU is very heterogeneous. Then, the direction of the Union is likely to become towards a core of single market and then more free choice for countries about what areas of co-operation they want to engage in.

Read more in the FT - >

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