Nanny, please turn down the volume

Since the young in the West take peace between Germany and France for granted, and the young in the East got used to democracy without a fear of communism, the European Union and its institutions seems to be running out heroic missions. To be relevant to the “citizen” the EU needs to provide useful services that are making life easier for the businesses and improving the quality of life the people rather than make history.

The European institutions are permanently looking for ways to present themselves useful and relevant to the citizen, so that he or she would eventually improve its attitude towards the European project and look up to Brussels with a similar admiration as when the idea of a common market helped the continent out of the ashes.

And there are plenty of ways being offered by all kinds of NGOs, pressure groups and lobbysts. A few days ago Euractiv reported on dangers of iPods:

Consumer groups have asked the Commission to “revise existing safety standards” to protect users of personal music players (PMPs), such as Apple’s iPod, from the risk of hearing damage.

And being afraid of missing an opportunity to do something good for the citizen …

Commissioner Meglena Kuneva did not rule out imposing stricter regulation on personal music players.

I think this is exactly the kind of proposal that should be ruled out. The EU does have better things to do. In fact I wish for an EU where the commission president could say “Look guys, these gadgets do have volume control” and still hope for re-election. 

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