Or: an example from the daily business of a progressive EU politician that may be of interest to you.
At the EP we are now starting the negotiations about the coordination of the competition authorities in the member states. Amongst other things, they have the important task of preventing major corporations from playing off their market power against small and medium-sized companies. This must be coordinated EU-wide across borders for it to work.
There is a suggestion by the commission as a basis and now we are working on our modification proposals at the EP. The negotiation leader is a German conservative who needs a majority for any change. I am on board as a representative of the Green Party.
The suggestion by the commission is basically a sensible working basis and now I have received the first modification suggestions from the conservatives. The devil is in the detail, so well-hidden that it is a real challenge (as it is so often) to find the loopholes.
In a concrete case for example the change on the photo: when setting the penalty, the size of the company and whether it only has a limited range of products should be taken into consideration. Sounds good, right? It sounds like protecting the small ones.
It means, however: if a major industrial corporation founds a subsidiary company for a product and then it then behaves as unfair competition, the measuring basis of the penalty is not the Europe-wide corporation but the little national subsidiary with a limited range of products. And there you go, it is much cheaper. A second modification application goes with this: the Commission wanted to prescribe a penalty of “at least 10 percent” of the damage for national authorities, no upper limits. The conservatives want to “at least” scrap this. 10 percent penalty. That is an invitation to abuse… If it is going well for the major corporations, then it is going well for the major corporations.

However, the negotiations are only just beginning. I will keep you updated…

Posted by Michel Reimon