Thursday, October 23, 2003

The European Union at its' Worst

This is insane! In which pencil-pushing Enarque or Beamter's head did this ridiculous proposal originate?
Employers fear proposed EU merger rules

British companies taking part in cross-border mergers could be forced to adopt German-style union consultation and boardroom representation under European rules due to be proposed next month.

Business leaders are to mount a lobbying campaign against what they say is a creeping extension of the principle of co-determination, which grants employees a powerful voice in the running of companies in countries such as Germany.

But European Commission officials are determined to press ahead. After considering less divisive options they concluded that wider reforms of company law, designed to encourage cross-border consolidation, would otherwise be impossible.

[............]

n a letter seen by the FT, Frits Bolkestein, the EU commissioner for the internal market, told a European business leader that "the only solution" in a cross-border merger which would balance employee rights and be politically acceptable is for the more extensive form of worker representation to take precedence.

Under the proposed 10th and 14th company law directives, a minority of employees could insist that two European companies joining forces must adopt this principle.

The CBI fears this will deter consolidation among companies, with directors reluctant to adopt what they consider to be the more interventionist governance standards.

This is just the sort of nonsensical idea that makes the idea of Europe as more than a free-market so unattractive. If the choice is to be between a politically fragmented Europe and a Europe in which the lowest common denominator is forced on all member states, then far better that the former should come to pass than the latter. Why should German voters have the power to force their own economic rigidities on British citizens?