La Unión Europea (UE) también es víctima del comportamiento hipócrita de sus Estados miembros.
Francia (Jacques Chirac) y Alemania (Gerhard Schröder) dinamitaron el Pacto de estabilidad y crecimiento económico en el que debían fundarse todos los proyectos de relanzamiento del crecimiento y la prosperidad comunes. Francia y Holanda hundieron el proyecto de Tratado constitucional. Francia y España avanzan los peones del “patriotismo” y los nacionalismos económicos, socavando los lejanos principios fundacionales de la Unión.
La Comisión recuerda que 17 Estados son “incapaces” de adoptar las legislaciones que debían crear el gran mercado común de la energía..
.. muy groseramente, recuerda el Wall Street Journal (www.wsj.com, “EU Moves to enforce Market Rules”), 21 de los 25 Estados miembros de la Unión violan de muchas maneras la legislación del mercado común, víctima de numerosas lacras estatales.
El WSJ estima que la Comisión intenta defender unas reglas amenazadas por unos Estados que están “balkanizando” la construcción política de Europa.
Esta es la crónica del WSJ:
EU Moves to Enforce
Warns It Will Sue Nations
Blocking Foreign Investment
In Energy and Other Sectors
By MARY JACOBY
April 5, 2006; Page A10
BRUSSELS – With countries from France to Poland near open revolt against rules establishing a common European economic market, European Union regulators launched a broad legal attack on nations they say are endangering the bloc's future by ignoring its laws.
The European Commission, the EU's executive arm, yesterday named 21 of 25 member countries in violation of at least one single-market rule in sectors ranging from energy to gambling to telecommunications. In most cases, the commission sent letters to countries warning them it would file lawsuits in the European Court of Justice if they don't quickly comply.
The regulators said they would file two suits against Spain and one against Luxembourg for trying to thwart foreign investment in their energy sectors, in cases dating back years. France was asked to justify a new law that restricts foreign investment in 11 sectors deemed to be of national strategic value — a move set in motion last year after rumors that PepsiCo Inc. of Purchase, N.Y., aimed to take over French food company Danone SA. The commission said it would sue France as well if regulators decided the antitakeover law is illegal.
The flurry of action, part of a quarterly review of compliance with EU laws, comes after the commission has been pummeled in the European press and by business leaders for appearing unwilling to face off with recalcitrant member states. "This shows that the commission is trying to get back on its feet and show member states its teeth," said Alvaro Ramos, an antitrust lawyer at Howrey LLP.
In reality, regulators in Brussels — where the EU is based — lack strong powers to force countries to abide by the various treaties intended to knit the nations of Europe into a single political and economic bloc. Even EU court orders don't guarantee results that satisfy Brussels, though by treaty they have the force of law in each member country.
For example, the EU court last June declared Italy to be illegally hampering investment in its energy sector through a 2001 law that restricts participation of investors in the management and control of Italian energy companies. But nearly a year after the court ruled, Italy still hasn't amended its laws effectively enough for the commission, even as it complains vociferously to the commission that France has been allowed to block energy takeovers. Yesterday the regulators said they would formally ask Italy to amend its laws again — or they would file a second lawsuit.
Commission President José Manuel Barroso warned in a speech Friday that spreading contempt for EU law was putting the future of the bloc, with its population of 460 million, at risk. "European law is not some alien imposition forced on unwilling nations; it is the key which has unlocked 50 years of peace and prosperity," Mr. Barroso said in Florence.
Most of the current merger fights involve foreign acquisitions in the banking and energy sectors, politically sensitive areas that typically involve issues of state control, jobs and national prestige. The commission has long had to battle member countries on such issues. But it had been reluctant to do so recently after voters in France and the Netherlands last year rejected a common EU constitution, casting doubt on Europeans' willingness to accept direction from EU institutions in Brussels.
"The pessimistic view is that the member states are ganging up on Brussels because Brussels has lost a lot of its legitimacy," said Antoine Winckler, an antitrust attorney at Cleary Gottlieb Steen & Hamilton LLP. "The optimistic view is that precisely because market integration is starting to bite, now you're having all these problems."
In the action involving the energy sector, the commission warned that 17 countries risked being referred to the EU court for failing to implement EU directives ordering integration of European gas and electricity markets by transposing them into their own national laws. Full deregulation of the bloc's energy market is slated to take effect by next year.
Separately, EU antitrust commissioner Neelie Kroes is weighing whether to declare Poland in immediate breach of EU laws over Warsaw's refusal to allow Italian lender UniCredit SpA to merge two Polish subsidiaries. She also will review a planned merger between Gaz de France SA and Suez SA, engineered by French officials to block a bid by Italy's Enel SpA. Neither case was addressed yesterday.
–Adam Cohen contributed to this article.