Tuesday, October 13, 2009

Options and national discretions

The EU commission, we learn, is discussing "harmonisation of national rules governing access to mortgages". This is in the wake of the beneficial financial crisis which "exposed the excessive risks taken by credit institutions in the housing market."

Faced with a worsening economic situation in Europe, internal market commissioner Charlie McCreevy sent member states and relevant market "actors" a document in July listing possible changes to EU capital requirement rules, aimed at reducing risk taken by credit institutions and reaching "maximum harmonisation" among EU nations in a number of areas.

The commission proposed a range of amendments to the current rules, meant to "remove options and national discretions," according to the text.

And that, ladies and gentlemen, is what the EU is all about ... removing "options and national discretions". The subject, the circumstances and the problems might change, but there is always only one solution, to "remove options and national discretions."

But it is done little bit by little bit, always for the best possible motives and reasons, we are told at the time. Until, one day, we wake up and find we have no "options and national discretions" left at all. That day is close at hand and comes closer when the constitutional Lisbon treaty comes into force.

And as we gaze upon the benign face of our oppressor (pictured), and find we are completely out of "options and national discretions", what do we do then?