French president Nicolas Sarkozy seems pleased with the new EU treaty proposal. Speaking in Le Bourget he proudly said that the EU would no longer primarily focus on free competition and that it would now allow a lot more internal protectionism. As if that was a good thing.
It is good, of course, for big business that has fallen behind, failing to produce goods that people would be willing to buy for prices they are willing to pay. But this means it is bad news for everybody who actually buy things, which would be most of us. When competition is non-existent, or at least not fair, the forces that drive innovation and that ensures that prices can’t be set too high are taken out of play, and the result will be goods and services of lower quality, combined with higher prices. As competition is increasing globally with companies from East Asia and elsewhere entering the markets (also to our benefit, by the way) this is not good even for the domestic companies, as they will be less efficient and less ready to face the new competition having been allowed laziness at home.
The inner market was one of the really good things with the EU. As it gets more and more regulated and seen as an annoyance, the EU loses one of its great advantages.