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Respekt: Criticised EU directives often come from Czech bureaucrats

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Prague, June 23 (CTK) – The criticised “EU” directives often do not come from the workshop of “Brussels bureaucrats,” but from a clique of Czech clerks, Silvie Lauder writes in the latest issue of weekly Respekt under the title “The Czech, not Brussels diktat.”
Lauder writes that the mythical term “Brussels diktat” can veil anything even if it has nothing in common with “Brussels” or a “diktat.”
Unenforceable recommendations by professional groups, the European Parliament’s proposals that have not yet been approved, initiatives by the European Commission which member states reject and therefore will never take effect, all this is carefully registered in the Czech Republic as threats coming “from Europe,” Lauder writes.
She writes that particularly Czech politicians and clerks like this epithet because they easily hide themselves from voters’ anger behind it and they can shun responsibility for their doings in this way.
Lauder writes that a study by experts from the Faculty of Law of Charles University, which daily Lidove noviny (LN) highlighted last week, deserves exceptional attention in this connection.
The study authors analysed the way in which Czech offices have transposed EU directives into Czech law in 14 cases. They found out that Czech bodies either moderate, or tighten all-European decisions, Lauder writes.
The criticised directives often do not come from the “Brussels bureaucrats,” but from the clique of domestic clerks, which is much stronger, Lauder writes.
She mentions the example of the duty of flat owners to instal a gauge on every central heating radiator or on warm water risers, which can involve relatively high costs particularly in older flats, which offices ascribed to the EU.
However, the EU directive did not speak about a blanket duty. It said this should only be done where it is technically feasible and financially reasonable and in proportion with potential energy savings, Lauder writes.
She adds that it was only the Czech Industry and Trade Ministry that presented the duty as obligatory for all.
Lauder writes that a number of directives incorrectly ascribed to the EU have been introduced in the country, including the legendary duty to wrap every individual doughnut in plastic several years ago.
This was not ordered by Brussels, but by the Czech Health Ministry, she adds.
The national bureaucracy and the political establishment make additions to the European legislation in all EU countries. But they flourish more in the countries with a weaker public control because the practice creates an ideal hotbed for lobbyists of all kind, Lauder writes.
In a broader context, this phenomenon has another substantial consequence. It regularly undermines the Czechs’ trust in the EU, while EU membership is vital for the prosperity and security of the country, Lauder writes.

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