In 2017, the looming threat of communism has not vanished completely. According to a poll conducted by the Victims of Communism Memorial Foundation, 44% of American youth would prefer living under socialism, 7% under communism, and only 42% chose capitalism.
Indeed, binding European funds with clear commitments from recipient countries sounds like a good idea. The big problem of a number of European policies and institutes is precisely the lack of an enforcement mechanisms, for example real penalties, which could help as a correction to a “misbehaving” member state.
Since the great expansion of the EU in 2004, we are constantly hearing concerns about so-called social dumping from hard-core, traditional EU members. What at first seems to be an action against imminent threats to social standards in Western Europe is in fact a sophisticated instrument to eliminate competition from new EU members.
Possibility to set statutory VAT rate below 15% for a wider set of different goods and services may lead to lower effective VAT rates in various Member States. Therefore, countries, which have fewer exemptions and/or reduced rates, may maintain the same principles of taxation but lower their standard VAT rate.
Despite Brexit, we are trying to move forward and keep working on other initiatives that would help European companies to expand their businesses. In June, I organised a breakfast debate with the European Internet Forum to discuss taxation in the digital economy.
Friedrich Naumann Foundation for Freedom proudly presents its latest publication: The European Union – Catalyst for Economic Freedom? As the name itself suggests, the collection of papers, including contributions by by Steffen Hentrich, Emmanuel Martin, Danko Tarabar and Andrew Young, is devoted to the issue of economic freedom within the EU.
European politicians try to sell their ambitious climate goals and the proposed regulations to their citizens as a nice fairy tale: Policy driven investments in green technologies that cut emissions will not only save the world but also boost the economy, create jobs and strengthen Europe’s competitiveness.
At the beginning the TTIP was received positively almost everywhere, but now many issues have stirred up the negative attitudes that result in attempts to make the TTIP seem unaccountable and undemocratic. Recently, the question “Is the European Commission doing its best to keep the greatest possible transparency?” has been gaining ground.
Brussels occasionally gets sober from the intoxication of spectacular goals and strategies, paid by citizens. But sobering means that the goal is slightly less grandiose but in the end, likely purposeless and economically harmless.