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Tuesday, October 08, 2013

Row alert: Germany and the Commission clash head on over EU migration

The European Commission isn't winning many popularity contests at the moment. The Italians are furious, and the Dutch aren't happy with it either. A recent Open Europe/Open Europe Berlin opinion poll showed that, out of 13 EU and national institutions, Germans trust the European Commission the least.

As we've noted previously, one now hears more rude things about the Commission in Berlin than in London. And sure enough, Germany is now heading for an almighty row with Brussels over EU migrants' access to benefits. 

EU Commissioner for Employment and Social Affairs, László Andor last week told Der Spiegel that migration to Germany from Bulgaria and Romania "only involves benefits for both sides." The fuss over access to benefits - and potential cost to the welfare state of EU migration - is overblown, claimed Andor.

German politicians have responded with an unusual degree of fury. The CDU/CSU faction’s spokesman for interior policy, Hans-Peter Uhl, labelled the claim “an outrageous denial of reality” and a “first-class frivolity.” In case people didn't get the message, he added that some Commissioners are as far removed from reality “as the moon from the earth” (which is about 384,000 km, so a considerable distance).

German Interior Minister Hans-Peter Friedrich also weighed in, telling Die Welt that
freedom of movement is not the freedom to change country because of higher benefits...The Commission needs to take this concern seriously.
Following a meeting of Interior Ministers this morning, interestingly, Friedrich has now demanded
a clear statement from the European Union whether we can send back those people who come to Germany to surreptitiously obtain benefits and also to prevent their re-entry
There are similar noises coming out of the Netherlands - and of course the UK. Issues related to free movement of persons are on Interior Ministers' agenda this afternoon. Expect this one to run and run.


Anonymous said...

Hans-Peter Uhl was spot on the unelected political failures who make up the commission of the corruption ridden democratically deficient eussr are living in cloud cuckoo land, they make edicts with no impact assessments, then deny that there is a problem when it goes belly up, maybe if they had responsibility and accountability for their stupid acts we would see less smugness and more considered ideas.

Rollo said...

Well, the only solution is to control our own borders: and only let in people who have a permit to work here from and established british company. If that employment ends, they return home. Those that come in via marriage should leave when the marriage is ended. Those that commit crimes are automatically sent back. And, yes, you are right, we can only do that out of the EU.

Anonymous said...

Blah. Blah. Blah.

Not a genuine dispute.

Only cosmetic "solutions" will emerge.

Deutschland Uber alles, and Deutschland = the EUSSR.

Anonymous said...

Rumanians and Bulgarians are already moving to parts of Germany to be situated and ready to claim benefits at the start of next year. The cost of looking after them (and paying child benefits) has been calculated by one town at 15 million Euros each year.

I feel sorry for these people but the real SCANDAL is that two countries unwilling or unable to offer their citizens a future were allowed to join the EU in the first place !

Olli Rehn was the commissioner responsible at the time. His incompetence was rewarded. He was promoted to Euro currency boss.

If you understand German, check out the Spiegel TV link.


John Moss said...

Nobody should be entitled to welfare welfare payments of any sort until they have made 6 month's tax payments at a rate equivalent to an income which would not entitle you to benefits.

Rik said...

Immigration is one of the epic failures of traditional Western European politics the last half century or so.
It is a big success at the same time however.

What I mean is that immigration has 2 faces. One 3rd world one and the other a talentpool.
And the distinction can easily be made if you look at the groups that are involved.
Immigration from countries similar to the UK works and works well. Basically you get more than average tax payers without the costs of educating them. It makes the City what it is a magnet for worldclass talent. Etc etc.

The other part is the immigration from less developed countries. In general that ends up as the groups involved being basketcases. It is as simple as that.
Basically caused by the fact that the selection process sucks.
Too many uneducated in potential (huge) nett receivers compared to worldclass talent.
Made clear for instance by the fact that in the US Indians do in average better than the average white (not even all population), while in the UK some of the groups from there have half of the working population on entitlements, with a lot of added problems as well.
basically it is if you donot get into cherrypicking from there and go basically for the general population of a 3rd world country you end up (logically) with the average 3rs world standard. Which is simply considerably lower than the Western one.

Very few exceptions to these rules especially in the UK and alike. Welfarestate is not very helpful in that respect. As it seems.

Getting back to politics . Two huge mistakes were made.
It was sold as the best thing in the world even decades after a blind horse could see it created huge problems. A bit like the Euro.
And it was sold as if any sceptic was a racist or even worse an UKip voter. You might get away with incompetence and well lies but not on issues that play in a headline way and over decades. People are stupid but not that stupid.
The other problem is that 90% of the media attention is on the uneducated part of it. While in numbers the 2 groups earlier described are roughly similar in size.

A (rough) quote by Mr Einstein:
Madness is doing the same thing and expect a different outcome.

That is what we see here. Rumenians and Co are simply much more similar to the earlier (failed) 'poor' uneducated immigration than to 'Western Expat' one.
This while 'poor' emigration hardly has been a success all over Europe. Eg the Swedes thought they would do a better job than the French and Brits before them, but failed in the same way.

Problem probably being that a huge part of the EU profits from it. Rumenia and Co likes probably shorter term people abroad that send money home. While on the other hand in a lot of countries it is still considered racist to doubt this part of immigration. And the folks in the EU are in general at least a decade behind local/national politicians that are exposed on a daily basis to people like Farage and Wilders.

In a nutshell this is simply asking for trouble by the EU. Earlier by accepting these rules by national politicians as well btw.
While making mistakes even stupid ones like these, is human to continue making the same ones is as Mr Einstein describes madness.
Well we are at that point on this issue.

Rik said...

The problem for the EU simply being that they are this way simply eroding popular support for it.

The EU has moved the last decade or so into people's daily lives. And people have become to realise that as well.
While as far as the democratic mandate for that has hardly moved.
The EP simply has no proper democratic mandate. Not even to mention the fact that the larger the group of people gets the more regional differences you get and the less in detail solutions are longer term sustainable.
Basically what we see here. There is no majority not even to mention a proper popular platform for this in major players in the EU, still it is pushed through.

Simply asking for trouble and they will get it. Support for the EU is eroding all over the place and the thing is set up in a way that makes it more stable in ordinary circumstances, but can and likely will lead to system failures when a line is crossed. If a country would want to leave the thing or the Euro basically directly an institutional problem arises as the rules to do that without harm for those involved are
a) not in place (not even remotely):
b) cannot be put in place when it happens as the decisionmaking process is that complicated. Basically the present completely dysfunctional rules re eg exit (but also on other issues) are written in stone.

Just look at the UK a country not in problems will find it difficult to get a reneg in place in 4 years time. Take Greece or Spain in deep manure demanding an EU or Euro exit. They probably have 4 days (or less) and not 4 years. While their situation is even more difficult as they are via the Euro much more integrated. A decade is probably a better guess, while the bottom is falling out tomorrow.
That is what I meant when saying that any large problem has the potential to become an institutional problem.

So overall in a nutshell.
-The EU is collision course with its taxpayers/electorate at least with large parts of that. And not only on immigration btw.
-While the signs are clear that this is likely to cause a problem. Effectively already does, with LePen leading the polls in France and Wilders being the largest party in the Netherlands in the polls.
-Seems unable to make the strategic switch necessary in order not to drive into the wall. Effectively they look 'to gear up' these things;
-PR being a disaster in the process;
-While the system is absolutely not equipped for institutional problems that will arise when things go wrong;
-And the same system basically cannot be adjusted to make it work when the institutional problems have arisen as it is totally unflexible.

In other words close to driving into a wall with steering unavailable and putting themselves the pedal to the metal in that process.
The kind of stuff William S liked to write his plays (the not comedy part) about.

Geoff said...

Why isn't greater prominence/publicity coverage given to the UK and others 'Doing a Norway' and exercising our right under Article 50 to continue to trade with Europe but not getting all the other costly legislative clutter which is strangling our country with red tape at huge costs.

Jesper said...

A recent speech by Mario Draghi:
"Europe’s pursuit of ‘a more perfect Union’"

A quote from it:
"Because a single market is universal and permanent, governments and parliaments forfeit, both in principle and by Treaty, the ability to reinstate border controls. This means that, unlike in a free trade area, they cannot act alone to protect their constituents from unfair or unlawful competition from abroad."

The speech is informative & might warrant a post on its own. There is mention of the subsidiarity principle. I was a bit surprised but then again this part of the subsidiarity principle:
"It ensures that decisions are taken as closely as possible to the citizen"
Can apparently be overruled/ignored as emphasis is on 'policy efficacy'.

Wilfred Aspinall said...

I spent 12 years between 1986 - 1998 as a member of the European Economic and Social Committee, a part of which I sat as an Independent.  Since then as an EU Strategy Adviser for various concerns. I can tell you that whether you were  / are eurosceptic or not but simply undertaking a legislative scrutiny, in effect probing to understand the implications for the UK, business concerns, and people in general, whether the subsidiarity principle is being applied, some of us have been looked on as evil to the whole EU project if you argue against any proposal or try to recommend any sensible amendments

I would attend the European Parliament and still do and find that the scrutiny process is not even half baked and has worsened over the years. No examination on a clause by clause basis, often no contributions from MEPs whilst attending Committee. Voting in Committee on a show of hands often on over a thousand amendments tabled that nobody understands. The decision on that voting taken by the Rapporteur and Shadow Rapporteurs for each political Group. Often advised by the Group secretariat who in turn are not experts. The same applies in Plenary.

The speaking time controlled by the political Groups so that anybody who opposes a specific legislative proposal can be frozen out.

Specific important legislative proposals debated by MEPs who have little knowledge of the subject who listen to the lobby through their Assistants who in turn have no knowledge of the issue and are often undertaking their first employed job.

The same tactics in the Council where departmental civil servants examine the legislative proposals and try to negotiate the art of the possible. Direct opposition looked on as anti European and therefore instead looking for a compromise even before a debate has taken place. Where Ministers follow their Departmental brief and only concentrate on the main principle of the legislative proposal and not the detail.

When we then come to the UK scrutiny in the House of Commons we find that hardly 25% of EU legislative proposals are given any attention, the rest just nodded through. Where MP's don't get the chance to examine even the principles of the legislation and implementation is undertaken by Orders in Council - which are nodded through without debate and controlled by civil servants. Often nothing done until the EU legislative procedure has taken place and the Directive or Regulation has been adopted.

This is a tragedy to a democratic examination of the rules by which we are governed.

I have to admit I have not read the report mentioned, I will however read it,  but let's be clear each EU Directive or Regulation, each Commission Decision and Communication has an impact somewhere in this country. We need a greater analysis of what we want, how we can stop it, amend it even give consolidated support to make it compatible with our UK practices.  Whether it is in the national interest and we can find friends in the Council to act as a blocking minority to the vote covered by qualified majority voting.

Remember once passed we have to adopt the legislation even if we as a country do not like it.

It is for that reason that the pro European's don't want change because they are happy with the current structure which all moves in their direction. 

Wilfred Aspinall