Thursday, May 14, 2009, 14:08 - Commentary, Photo of the DayWe can joke that the European Union is nothing more than geography surrounded by bureaucracy but those arcane regulations which spring forth from Brussels by the thousands actually do have an impact on the lives of ordinary people, as the Washington Post explains.
Just fix it. Stuttgart 2007. © Damaso Reyes
“To the buttoned-down European Union bureaucrats in Brussels, the idea was simple: squeeze costs, conquer new markets, maximize profits. But to the vintners of Taradeau, a sun-splashed Provencal village 800 miles to the south -- and a world away, mentally -- it was an attack on their Mediterranean heritage, a crack in French civilization, a fraud against wine lovers everywhere.
“Never, they cried, can you mix a bucket of red wine into a barrel of white and call it rosé. Only the age-old process in which grape skins macerate in the juice for a finely calculated moment before fermentation, they protested, can produce the seductive color, fruity aromas and delicate structure of a true rosé. Mixing red and white, they sniffed, may make something pink to drink, but it is not rosé wine.”
If this new regulation is adopted it will surely impact those French farmers who up until now have had a monopoly on the Rosé brand. I am sure the framers of this new law never imagines the backlash which would occur but I am sure they also never held a public meeting about the new regulation or even spoke to a farmer about it. This is a clear example of just how far the European Union has to go before it is truly accepted by its people. When citizen only interact with government because of something they dislike there is a serious problem there. There needs to be a sea change in how the people in Brussels deal with those which they are charged with serving. Until then, the E.U. will always be “them” and never “us.”
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