How many EU countries does it take to change a lightbulb?

Apparently, all of them.

Green Party Minister for the Environment John Gormley discovered this today when he was told that his plans to ban incandescent lightbulbs might not go ahead - because they are not banned in the rest of the EU. According to RTÉ:

...under EU mutual recognition rules that govern the internal market, member states must allow the sale [of] any product that is legally for sale in another member state.

There are clearly some exceptions to this rule (cannabis and mifepristone come to mind), but the EU Commission seems to think that incandescent lightbulbs aren't one of them. So no ban unless Gormley can get every other member state to agree.

Whatever about the merits of the proposal, this rule strikes me as utterly mad and as confirmation of the unhealthy influence that business interests have over Brussels. It's also a warning signal about the loss of sovereignty that goes along with European integration. For all the Europhiles' insistence that we are not turning into a "United States of Europe", it's worth noting that a US state doesn't have to ask the permission of all 49 others before banning a product that it deems harmful.

Still, as I can't be arsed to research the regulation in detail, I'd very much welcome if someone wanted to explain to me exactly why it doesn't apply to mifepristone.

4 comments:

Stephie said...

the fools, the fools, the fools, they have left us our lightbulbs incandescant....

idiots ;)

Wednesday said...

Someone forgot to tell me they had a blog.

I'll overlook it this time...

Stephie said...

I don't really see it as a blog, more of a vehicle for venting hehe ;)
but i appreciate the forgiveness and shall link you!

WorldbyStom said...

My informants tell me that all will be sorted on this issue sooner rather than later. We'll see...

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