A euromyth is an
urban legendspecifically relating to the European Union(EU). Euromyths can be either wholly untrue or a deliberate distortion of the facts. Those who use the term allege that the Euroscepticpress distort stories about EU policies to portray the EU in a bad light.
Euromyths are in some case largely fictional but in other cases are based on a distorted version of what is truth (considered from the perspective of the person using the term). They may also stem from a misunderstanding. Yet other euromyths are drawn from working papers, policy suggestions or individual ideas, and are presented as a fixed decision being enacted when in fact they may simply be a mere proposal that has little chance of being realised as a piece of legislation.
Euromyths can also arise when the actions of an independent European organisation (e.g. the
European Committee for Standardization) are erroneously attributed to the EU and its power to make binding laws.
Euromyths are believable, because they are correlated with euroskepticism, where EU laws are represented, as been decreed by the unaccountable european commission (the EU executive), in an authoritarian and undemocratic fashion, while the EU legislature is dismissed as undemocratic, European parliament (the half of EU legislature, that represent EU people) is dismissed as weak and the council(the half of EU legislature that represents the states) is dismissed as unaccountable(despite being composed by national ministers).While the EU isn't perfect,the bulk of thies beliefs can be traced to various sources.
The supposition that EP is powerless is due to it's recent past as a consultative assembly and the implicit comparison with national parliaments, but this comparison leads to false conclusions. Important differences with national parliaments are the role of committees, bipartisan voting, decentralized political parties ,executive-legislative divide and absence of Government-opposition divide.All thies treats are considered as sings of weakness, but this very same treats are found in the US house of representatives, EP is more appropriately compared with the US house of representatives.
That EC decrees EU laws can be traced to the fact that legislative initiative in the EU rest only on the commission,while in member states it is shared between parliament and executive, but less then 15% of legislative initiatives from MPs become law when they don't have the backing of the executive. EP can only propose amendments, but unlike in national parliaments, the executive has no guaranteed majority to secure the passage of its legislation. In national parliaments, amendments are usually proposed by the opposition, who lack a majority for their approval and usually fail. But given the European Parliament's independence, and the need to get majority approval from it, proposals made by its many parties (none of which hold a majority alone) have an unusually high 80% success rate in the adoption of its amendments. Even in controversial proposals, its success rate is 30%, something not mirrored by national legislatures.cite web|first= Amie|last= Kreppel|title = Understanding the European Parliament from a Federalist Perspective: The Legislatures of the USA and EU Compared|publisher=Center for European Studies,
University of Florida|year=2006|url=http://web.clas.ufl.edu/users/kreppel/COMFEDFINAL.pdf|accessdate = 2008-09-26]
Euromyths in the media
On the 23 July 2003
The Timesran the following story; "Circus performer must walk tightrope in hard hat, says Brussels. A tightrope-walker says that his career has been placed in jeopardy by legislation originating in Brussels which dictates that he must wear a hard hat to perform". This story stemmed from new EU laws which were introduced to protect workers who operate at height but, in the legislation in question, there is no mention of hard hats or circus performers. [http://europa.eu.int/unitedkingdom/press/euromyths/myth125_en.htm]
Also in 2003 the
BBCreported that a council in Wiltshirehad had to remove swings from a village because, under EU regulations, they were considered "too high". [http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/england/2679637.stm] As with many Euromyths, there was both fact and fiction in the story: the BBC article continues to note that the EU did not in fact insist that the swings were removed but points out that the council itself chose to remove the swings as the framework itself was considered to be dangerously high under the new EU regulations.
Other examples follow a similar pattern:-
"Crackpot Euro chiefs have decreed British rhubarb must be straight. Farmers will have to throw away crooked stalks under barmy new rules. The order follows a review of community fruit and vegetable standards by the EU agricultural directorate". The Sun, 24 June 1996, page 11.
In fact the European Union has never planned to set, or recommend, any such marketing rules for rhubarb but it did set out grading standards for fruit and vegetables and an attempt was made to prosecute the British supermarket chain
Asdafor breaching grading standards. [http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/uk_politics/2066730.stm]
Truck Drivers to eat Muesli
According to the EU commission in Australia and New Zealand [http://www.delaus.ec.europa.eu/news@eu/45.htm] it was reported in several British newspapers that Truck drivers were going to be forced to stop eating 'fry-ups' and be forced to eat Muesli and Croissants by the EU.
In fact the EU was merely planning guidelines for truck drivers which focussed on health and safety issues such as diet. The legislation was mainly concerned with enforcing driver training and conveying information on the importance of rest and responsible driving. There was no mention of "being forced to eat muesli".
(This story also appears in the BBC quiz on the EU and "Euromyths" [http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/uk/2836621.stm] )
The EU condom regulation story was a highly successful April Fools' joke by
Radio Netherlandsthat used wide-spread suspicion of what many saw as the regulatory zeal of the European Commissionto make an impact. It was picked up by many newspapers and radio stations in Europe.
On 1 April 2007
Vanessa Mock, a journalist at the Brussels bureau of Radio Netherlands broke a story about a European Commission proposal to strictly regulate the size of condoms in the European Union. Amongst others, it included interviews with a Commission spokesman and a Member of the European Parliamentand credibly argued that regulation was necessary to ensure competition and a level playing field for small condom makers - an argument regularly made in real life by the European Commission, one of whose many roles is to regulate the EU's internal market and uphold competition. [http://www.radionetherlands.nl/currentaffairs/eu070401]
In fact the EU is not involved in setting condom standards. The
European Committee for Standardization(CEN) is a voluntary body made up of national standards agencies and affiliated industry/consumer organisations from nineteen European countries. It has nothing to do with the EU. [http://ec.europa.eu/unitedkingdom/press/euromyths/myth21_en.htm]
* [http://ec.europa.eu/unitedkingdom/press/euromyths/index_en.htm Euromyths from the European Commission]
* [http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/europe/6481969.stm Euromyths from the BBC]
Wikimedia Foundation. 2010.
Look at other dictionaries:
Brandy butter — is a sweet, rich sauce, usually consumed with traditional desserts during the Christmas and New Year period in the UK. Also known at Cambridge as Senior Wrangler sauce; the term is derived from the title given for the highest score in the Math… … Wikipedia
Central Europe — Central European states and historic lands at times associated with the region Central Europe or alternatively Middle Europe is a region of the European continent lying between the variously defined areas of Eastern and Western Europe. The term… … Wikipedia
Council of the European Union — Not to be confused with European Council or Council of Europe. Council of the European Union name in other official languages … Wikipedia
European Central Bank — European Central Bank … Wikipedia
European Coal and Steel Community — Danish: Det Europæiske Kul og Stålfællesskab Dutch … Wikipedia
European Economic Community — EEC redirects here. For other uses, see EEC (disambiguation). This article is about the multinational organization established in 1957 and became part of the first European Union pillar from 1993 to 2009. For the collective of the three European… … Wikipedia
European Parliament — For the statutory organ of the Council of Europe, see Parliamentary Assembly of the Council of Europe. European Parliament name in other official languages; … Wikipedia
European Council — Not to be confused with the Council of the European Union or the Council of Europe. European Council Bulgarian … Wikipedia
European Commission — Bulgarian: Европейска комисия Czech … Wikipedia
Euroscepticism — Eurosceptic redirects here. For the Jack Lucien album, see EuroSceptic. European Union This article is part of the series: Politic … Wikipedia