Wednesday, June 16, 2010

Populism and EU parliament

Something that has really impressed me in Europe is how the EU parliament has been much more willing to take up populist policies than the governments of member countries.

Recently they’ve proposed limiting the bonuses for bankers to no more than half their salary. The goes light-years beyond anything that has been proposed to date anywhere.

There’s also been capping roaming mobile rates, airline passenger rights, cutting charges for cross-border bank transfers among others.

Perhaps it’s because the EU parliament is new and hasn’t been entirely corrupted yet. Another theory is that small EU budget doesn’t really make it worthwhile target for lobbyists.


Graeme said...

I think it works both ways - there are some EU parliament members who take their job seriously and also show some independence from their parties. But there have also been all sorts of initiatives showing the influence of lobbying on not very accountable representatives. Sometimes it becomes a good place to float proposals that would create a storm if proposed in national parliaments.

santcugat said...

Most of the criticism I've seen has centered around fairly small scale corruption, expense accounts, questionable behavior of MEPs etc.

I find reports like this one quite amusing when you regularly see US corporations getting multi-million dollar contracts in exchange of a couple thousand dollar bribes err, campaign donations.