Myths about European Union - and the reality


Siim Einfeldt
Published under EU blog


While EU has forced quite many rather ridiculous laws upon the citizens of the countries in European Union, there are a number of things that are simply myths based on misinformation/misunderstanding offered by either inadequate communication by EU or the journalists.


  • In January 2000 The Times published an article stating saying "Brussels is to force the UK to change its emergency 999 telephone number." Fortunately, that was not true. In reality EU simple forced to make the 112 number available for emergencies as well.
  • In September 2007, the Daily Mail published an article "EU wants to get rid of the Queen from our passports." This is yet another myth.
  • And then, according to yet another journalist the EU banned the consumption of cakes and scones entered into competitions in country fairs and fetes. In reality EU Regulations on the hygiene of foodstuffs had only to do with food businesses. Agricultural shows are definitely allowed to have traditional cake exhibitions and competitions.
  • Brussels rules mean that tightrope walkers have to wear hard hats. Someone managed to be as misinformed as to say that circus performers must now wear hard hats. While in reality the ruling was made to construction workers.
  • EU forces farmers to provide toys for their pigs. In reality Farmers need to make sure that their pigs have access to straw, hay, wood, and sawdust to improve their welfare. And even that is up to the countries themselves.
  • EU wants to ban plasma TVs. In reality the EU simply adopted minimum standards for the energy efficiency of televisions.
  • Brussels will stop UK using miles and pints. In reality going metric has nothing to do with UK's EU membership. It's the idea of British government and was introduced more than 40 years ago.
  • Bananas must not be excessively curved. That's according The Sun in 4 March 1998, a magazine always to be taken seriously. "Bananas are classified according to quality and size for international trade. Individual governments and the industry have in the past had their own standards with the latter's, in particular, being very stringent. The European Commission was asked by national agriculture ministers and the industry to draft legislation in this area. Following extensive consultation with the industry, the proposed quality standards were adopted by national ministers in Council in 1994."
  • Brussels bans barmaids from baring chests. In reality the owners are required to assess the risk of skin and retina damage for employees who work in the sun all day. How it's done is up to the individual countries. Offering sun cream might be the most obvious solution.
  • EU to police drivers with black boxes like planes do. In reality there have been no such proposals.
  • Brussels to ban herbal cures. According to EU, in reality there has been no attempt to ban herbal remedies. However, ready-prepared medicinal products may only be placed on the market of a Member State if their quality, safety and efficacy have been proven in a marketing authorization procedure.
  • Politically correct Eurocrats say Santa must be a woman. All EU had to do to get someone to come out with this conclusion was to aim to prevent discrimination against female employees at work.

Are people stupid or simply misinformed, that remains the question.

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