Bureaucratic EU Monolith Proves Unable To do Enough, Fast Enough, To Be Of Use To Anyone.

Graham Charles Lear
3 min readMar 15, 2020


Bureaucratic EU monolith proves unable to do enough, fast enough, to be of use to anyone.

We live in strange times. The reaction of the entire world to the COVID-19 virus has transformed almost every aspect of our lives. One of the many — as yet unreported — consequences of the virus has been its effect on the EU machine and its reputation.

All anyone really needs to know about the mentality of the Brussels-dwelling bureaucrats and ideologues is contained in the opening to the EU’s latest statement.

EU’s response to the COVID-19 crisis

“The Commission will use all the instruments at its disposal to mitigate the consequences of the pandemic, in particular:”

  1. To ensure the necessary supplies to our health systems by preserving the integrity of the Single Market and of production and distribution of value chains;
  2. To support people so that income and jobs are not affected disproportionally and to avoid the permanent effect of this crisis;
  3. To support firms and ensure that the liquidity of our financial sector can continue to support the economy
  4. And to allow the Member States to act decisively in a coordinated way, through using the full flexibility of our State Aid and Stability and Growth Pact Frameworks.”
  • EU Commission statement 13 Mar 2020

Readers will note that in the midst of global health, societal and economic crisis, the EU’s first thought is “preserving the integrity of the Single Market”.


Below are some of the clear demonstrations of the irrelevancy of the EU at a time of crisis. The governments of the member countries of the EU have acted individually to protect the interests of their citizens and their nations. The EU Commission is currently behind the curve, trying to play catch-up.

  1. The EU’s ‘open borders’, already a myth because of the EU’s migrant crisis, have now almost all been closed

2. EU member countries have taken unilateral action, ignoring the EU Commission

3. To all intents and purposes the EU’s ‘Schengen Zone’ is now non-existent

4. The main fiscal response to the Coronavirus will come from Member States’ national budgets

5. Wage subsidies, suspension of corporate taxes and VAT and N.I. contributions — all are now allowed

5.EU countries can give direct financial support to consumers

6. EU State Aid rules have gone out of the window — everything is possible if it can be linked to COVID-19

7. In effect, this means it’s open season for all State Aid

8. The EU’s fiscal and borrowing rules have followed the State Aid rules out of the window

9. The EU’s rules for quality approval on products — its ‘CE mark’ — are about to be abandoned for health products

10. This is because countries have already started importing non-approved products, so the EU had no choice

11. Some key laws for airlines are being put aside

Every important decision that has been taken by individual EU countries, not by the EU

All the EU can do is pretend to be leading, when in fact it is following everyone.

In the last week, the key thing that struck us was that the important news was coming out of individual countries, not from the EU.

None of the EU countries could afford to wait for the EU to do anything, so they went right ahead and did what they needed to do, regardless of EU laws or rules. All the EU Commission has done is an attempt to play catch-up, so as not to seem irrelevant.

In reality, this has shown up the EU machine for what it is — a dysfunctional, undemocratic and unnecessary bureaucratic impediment to swift and decisive action. Its laws, rules and regulations have been unilaterally tossed aside by national governments acting in the interests of their own citizens and their own countries, and unwilling to be encumbered by Brussels eurocrats.

Sources: EU Commission | National press in many EU countries



Graham Charles Lear

What is life without a little controversy in it? Quite boring and sterile would be my answer.