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Tuesday, August 19, 2008

Tomorrow's news today

A friend got called up by Gallup as part of the Commission's Eurobarometer poll.

Its always interesting to know what they are asking, because Eurobarometer is mainly used to support new EU wheezes. Eurobarometer numbers are used to back up the claim that "European citizens are demanding that we take action" etc etc.

The results aren't always published in full either.

He reports:

They asked me to list two concerns at the moment from a fairly long list, of things like cost of raising children, cost of housing, cost of child care, access to flexible working.

They then posited a list of possible solutions to the cost of raising a family. which solutions were most appealing to me and then listing preferences on each particular policy area. On families/child care, the ones i remember were greater tax incentives for families, greater subsidy for child care (words to that effect) a right to part time work to look after a family. There were some other questions in a similar vein.

We suspect one of the things they are looking for here is a european right to some kind of flexible working (be interesting to see Dave Cameron's reaction to that) and a right to part time work for older people. They are thinking about those anyway as part of Barroso's re-election campaign.

They asked if I was concerned about access to justice; immigration and asylum; border control; international terrorism; drug dealing; human rights; the rights of children. They then asked if I thought that the European Union could add value to the above list.

We love it. The Commission asks whether the EU can "add value" (it's hard to say the EU cannot possibly add any value) - but it will then present the findings as "overwhelming support for EU action" in these areas.

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