In the previous few weeks a large amount of attention in the digital marketing industry has been given to a directive approved by the EU council. If you are unaware of the Directive in question, check out the Econsultancy article who provide a good general introduction to the topic. With consideration to further analysis of the politics behind the directive, read the out-law article. If you have the time, you can even read the directive for yourself!
I completed a Masters in European Business which focused largely on the institutions of the EU and the process of ratification of legislation, but the EU can still be confusing. With decision making powers shared from codecision to consultation with the EU Parliament, one can be forgiven for getting apathetic with engaging politically with the EU. One important fact to note is that this is a directive as opposed to a regulation. The fundamental difference is that it is upon the member states to implement directives, and the manner in which they do so.
There is some disparity between member states in how timely they implement directives. The EU permits a deficit of 1.5%, but even among all member states the average is 1.9%. Countries who are the slowest at implementing directives include France and Germany. It’s unfortunately bad news for those in Denmark and Spain who have the lowest deficit – meaning they implement directives the quickest.
I have contacted my local MEP to inquire as to how I can get further involved in the decision making process and exert my democratic power. I’m not a fan of the protectionist trade values of the EU, but I’m a fan of political and cultural integration. However on this one directive, I think the EU have got things firmly wrong.