marți, 27 mai 2014

The way of "small topics" in the EU

I often say that Brussels is important because it is the place where over 75% of the applicable legislation across Europe is decided. This is sometimes used in European elections as a reason to send the better prepared MEPs to Brussels, or in the Romanian version of the campaign: to "defend Romania"; to "elevate Romania"; to "put Europe in every home"; or simply to be "euro champions".

This figure, however, has both quantitative and qualitative significance. Not only does this mean that ¾ of European laws are decided in Brussels, and ¼ of the decision making process remains in Bucharest; it means that decisions regarding major issues such as trade policy, agriculture, energy, are made jointly by us, Europeans, leaving smaller issues like taxation, education, youth policy, health, rather national prerogatives. But these apparently “small topics” are actually very important in our daily lives as European citizens, and most likely the decisions will be increasingly coordinated in Brussels in the years to come, increasing its mandate even more.

Romania is theoretically the seventh biggest country when you look at the number of representatives in Brussels, and it must double its effective influence in the city. That means an affirmation of the combination of individual ambition and knowledge, as well as promotion of collective interest. Or, if we begin to mobilize for large dossiers, such as agriculture, where we have the Commissioner, it's time to look more closely also to the small issues. The debate on federalism will influence the so-called "small issues", as they will be attracted by the “EU magnet” step by step. Other issues such as consumer protection will be key in the months and years to come, and there is a market of 20 million people who could speak up. It is up to Romania to understand that is not a candidate state anymore and to promote a strong voice in Brussels.

Dan LUCA / Brussels

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